Nothing says summer in the Centennial State quite like sipping IPAs or feasting on tacos while listening to live music in the sun. Festival season is officially here and, while there are plenty of reasons to hop in the car and head to the mountains or the Western Slope, there are also a variety of indulgent food and drink festivals right here in the Denver metro area. Below are a few of our favorites.   

Boulder Creek Festival | May 24–27

Ring in the start of the summer season at this 35-year-old Memorial Day tradition, which takes place along the banks of the namesake waterway at the foot of the Flatirons. This year, the four-day bash includes live music from more than 30 bands, including a concert from Friday night kick-off band Steely Dead; carnival-style rides and eats from more than 20 vendors; and a beer fest with suds from breweries such as Upslope Brewing Company and FlyteCo Brewing.

Denver Greek Festival | June 7–9

Though the Denver Greek Festival is more of a full-blown cultural festival, food plays a starring role at this family-friendly event, which is in its 57th year. Gyros, spanakopita, souvlaki, loukoumades, baklava, and other classic Greek foods are on the menu all weekend long at Denver’s Assumption Greek Orthodox Cathedral (4610 E. Alameda Ave.), along with live Greek music, and dancing. 

Bastille Day: French Fest | July 12–14

Cherry Creek North will honor the best of French culture through a Bastille Day festival. At the two-day affair, which will take place at Fillmore Plaza, Francophiles can peruse dozens of vendors selling food, wine, art, and other goods that embrace the culture of the Western European country and sip Champagne, wines, and soft drinks at Le Café de Paris lounge.

The Big Eat | July 18

The Front Range wouldn’t be the culinary powerhouse it is today without the many dedicated chefs, bartenders, servers, dishwashers, owners, and everyone else who works tirelessly in restaurants and bars. Say thank you by attending the Big Eat at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the annual fundraising event for EatDenver, which supports more than 275 independent restaurants. Feast on signature dishes, plus cocktails, wine, cider, and beer, from more than 70 restaurants and bars across the city, all organized conveniently by neighborhood. 

Colorado Dragon Boat Festival | July 27–28

The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival at Edgewater’s Sloan’s Lake Park, the largest event of its kind in the United States, draws more than 150,000 attendees every year. There, you can watch impressive boat racers and performers and sample the mouth-watering cuisines of Thailand, India, the Philippines, Laos, Hawaii, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and other Asian and South Pacific nations at the festival’s Taste of Asia food court.

Denver Burger Battle | August 1

Chefs from across the metro area go head-to-head at the Denver Burger Battle, all vying for the crown (and the street cred) of making the best burger in Denver. Snarfburger and Cherry Cricket are the defending champs from 2023, but there are plenty of restaurants to give them a run for their money this year, including the Mighty Colorado Burger and Uptown & Humboldt. As a festival-goer, all you have to do is eat as many burgers as you can (and sip unlimited beer, wine, and cocktail samples), then follow your taste buds and vote for your favorite.

Top Taco | August 8

If your idea of a good time involves unlimited tacos and tequila cocktails, head to Westminster City Park for Top Taco, where you can feast on bites from more than 60 Colorado restaurants. Mosy between multiple stages of live music and chat with chefs and mixologists, all while casting your vote for the best tacos and cocktails.

Boulder Taco Fest | August 10

For a Saturday full of gourmet tacos and margs, make the quick trek up U.S. 36 for the Boulder Taco Fest, where you’ll also be able to watch lucha libre wrestling and jam out to live music. If tequila isn’t your thing, they’ll also have craft beer from local breweries. Don’t feel guilty going back for seconds (or thirds) at all the participating restaurants, including Xatrucho, Tacos Tepa, and McDevitt Taco Supply. Consider it research for voting on the best taco at the festival.

Denver Food & Wine Festival | September 4–7

Denver Food & Wine, hosted by the Colorado Restaurant Foundation and Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, honors the local culinary community via a series of exciting events. On September 7, more than 50 Front Range eateries bring their best nibbles to the Grand Tasting at Tivoli Quad at Auraria Campus, which also features unlimited samples from hundreds of wine, spirit, and beer makers. Other signature happenings include wine seminars and the Shake & Brake Showdown cocktail competition paired with eats prepared by Denver’s best food trucks. Proceeds from festival events benefit Colorado restaurant workers through the CRF’s educational and workforce programming and hardship grants.

Westwood Chile Festival | September TBA

This annual street fest celebrates Hispanic cultures through music, dance, art, and food in southwest Denver’s Morrison Road Corridor. The smell of freshly roasted chiles fills the air as attendees catch Venezuelan and salsa dancing shows and check out more than vendors selling everything from hot sauces to jewelry. Heat lovers can also partake in the chile eating contest, which features peppers harvested from the Westwood Food Co-Op’s urban garden.

Read More

Colorado Food and Drink Festivals Worth Planning a Trip Around
Best Patios and Rooftop in Denver and Beyond 

Sarah Kuta
Sarah Kuta
Sarah Kuta is Colorado-based writer and editor. She writes about travel, lifestyle, food and beverage, fitness, education and anything with a great story behind it.