Attention: Do you love food? Are you looking for fun events to attend in the Boston area this spring? If your answers are yes and yes, then I’ve got good news for you! I’ve searched high and low to compile a list of the top 10 can’t-miss Boston food events this spring. This wide range of food-festivals has something for everyone. Whether you’re tight on cash or an avid charity-donor, a vegetarian or a meat-lover, you’ll find something to add to your calendar!
When: Saturday, April 7th, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM
Where: Cambridge Community Center Gym
To kick things off, the Cambridge Winter Farmers Market will hold its last event of the season on April 7th. The indoor market hosts over two dozen vendors, offering a wide variety of locally sourced goods. You can head to this one-stop shop to stock up on fresh produce, dairy products, meats and fish, fresh-pressed juices, breads and baked goods, specialty foods (jams, pastas, vinegars, etc.), and even body care products. Or, grab some friends and turn this trip into a meal by enjoying a prepared ethnic lunch from vendors such as Indonesian Three Magnolias and Mr. Tamole. This market does not require a membership and admission is entirely free of cost. Even if you’re short on cash, you can still hit up this market to enjoy the live music and free samples!
When: Sunday, April 8th, 6:00 PM-9:00 PM
Where: Plaza Ballroom at the Seaport Hotel
Make your way over to the Seaport waterfront to explore the offerings of South Boston’s restaurants. With over 30 participating establishments to sample from, you’re certainly in for a culinary adventure! Whether it’s Loco’s Mexican flavors, Legal Test Kitchen’s seafood specialties, Blue Dragon’s Asian masterpieces, or Sweet Tooth’s baked goods, even the pickiest of eaters could find themselves in flavor heaven at this event. While this is a pricier outing—at $55 per online ticket and $65 per ticket at the door—your money will not go to waste. Not only are you getting the opportunity to sample dishes from South Boston’s finest restaurants, but the proceeds directly support the South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation. The mission of this non-profit organization is to provide affordable housing for the community, support the economic development of small businesses, improve access to healthy foods, and address environmental issues.
When: Monday, April 16th, 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
Where: Boston Public Market
If you’ve hopped on the charity bandwagon with the last event, then be sure to also check out the North End Pasta Crawl. The proceeds will support the Roxbury Youth Orchestra, a project run by Revolution of Hope that aims to transform the lives of inner-city youth by offering community, teaching workforce skills, and creating an artistic outlet. With the purchase of the $55 pasta crawler ticket, you receive a commemorative T-shirt and get to enjoy samples from four of the North End’s restaurants. Are you a wine lover? If so, upgrade to VIP for $10 more and get two glasses of wine during your crawl! Whether you’re a pasta fanatic, a charity supporter, or a runner looking to carbo-load after completing the Boston Marathon, you don’t want to miss this Marathon Monday event!
When: Saturday & Sunday, May 5-6th, 10:00 AM-10:00PM
Where: City Hall Plaza
If the last two events were outside of your budget, have no fear because this Cinco de Mayo celebration will likely fit the bill without shorting on the fun! The $15 general admission pass gets you access to a day of live music, taco vendors, beer tents, lucha libre wrestling, taco eating contests, and best taco award ceremonies. For the hardcore Taco Fest enthusiasts: upgrade to VIP for $60 more and get a variety of perks, including early admission, open bar access, free taco vouchers, raffle tickets, complimentary corn tortillas, and a bottle of Rocky’s Hot Sauce.
When: Thursday, May 10th, 5:30 PM-8:30 PM
Where: The Center for Arts at the Armory (Somerville)
Have you found that living in the city is a barrier to accessing fresh, local food? If you’re interested in getting easy, convenient, and consistent access to fresh produce (and perhaps local meat, eggs, and cheeses, too) then Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is definitely for you. CSAs are a farm sharing method in which customers pay an up-front cost and then receive weekly distributions of seasonal goods. The Farm Share Fair is an opportunity to learn more about the economic, environmental, and health benefits of CSAs, as well as to compare the different programs that are available (varying in-home delivery vs. pick up, types of products, and more). So, whether you’re new to CSAs or a current participant seeking more knowledge on program variety, don’t hesitate to attend this free event!
When: Sunday, May 20th, 3:00 PM- 6:00 PM
Where: SoWa Power Station
If you’re anything like me, then you’ve spent countless hours getting emotionally invested in episodes of Food Network’s “Chopped”. Well, lucky for us, Lamb Jam is the chance to become a part of the action! Next month, 16 of New England’s most talented chefs will compete in a live cook-off for the title of “Lamb Jam Boston Champion.” The intention of this event is to celebrate the efforts of 80,000+ family-operated farms across the nation. For $75 you will not only get to watch the action unfold live, but also get the chance to vote, eat, and have fun. Admission includes access to a festival of bartenders, winemakers, brewers, and culinary expert demonstrations, and it’s all accompanied by live music and art!
When: Wednesday, May 23rd, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
Where: WGBH Studios (Brighton)
Breaking news: ice cream is not just for kids! If you have a sweet tooth, this 21+ event is perfect for you. By purchasing a $25 admissions ticket, you will get the opportunity to sample a variety of ice cream (from classic to innovative) from four competing local brands. Make this outing of ice cream-sampling, vote-casting, and drink-sipping a fun night with your friends! The event will conclude with the ceremonious awarding of best chocolate, best wild card, and people’s choice ice creams. But if the ice cream and competitive atmosphere isn’t enough to draw you in, perhaps you will be motivated by the fact that “Holiday Baking Championship” finalist Joshua Livsey as well as “Chopped Grill Master” & “Top Chef” All-Star Tiffani Faison will be in attendance as guest judges!
When: Saturday, June 2nd, 11:00 AM-6:00 PM
Where: Babcock Street (Coolidge Corner)
If you love art as much as you love food, then this free outdoor art festival is a must. Enjoy indulgences from Boston-based food trucks as you peruse and shop the work of 70 selected artists and makers. Choose between Bon Me’s innovative Asian dishes, The Chubby Chickpea’s Middle Eastern cuisine, The Dining Car’s gourmet sandwiches and salads, Revelry’s Cajun and Creole flavors, and the Trolley Dog’s unique hot dog menu… or try them all! And while you’re there, be sure to check out Hive—a mobile event space offering a lounge and full-service bar with a unique cocktail menu.
When: Tuesday, June 5th, 7:00 PM-9:30 PM
Where: Cruiseport Boston
While this event is the most expensive on the list—ringing in at $95 for general admission—it certainly should not be ignored, as 100% of the proceeds from this event will support No Kid Hungry’s effort to end childhood hunger. Over 60 of Boston’s top culinary professionals will offer tastings of their creations, paired with premium beers, wines, and spirits. Last year’s event raised over $140,000 toward No Kid Hungry’s important cause, so now is your chance to get involved!
When: Thursday, June 21st, 5:00 PM-9:00 PM
Where: Harvard Museums of Science & Culture
Finally, say goodbye to Spring with a bang! On the longest day of the year, the Harvard Museum of Science and Culture is offering free admission to their solstice event, which includes access to all four museums, live performances, flower-crown crafting, and other sun-inspired activities. Most importantly (in my opinion), an assortment of Boston’s best food trucks will be present, providing the fuel to accompany the fun!
Liz Learned is a first-year MS student in the Nutrition Interventions, Communication, and Behavior Change program at Tufts University’s Friedman School. Liz currently works as the Communications Research Assistant for the USAID funded Food Aid Quality Review project here at Friedman. She received her BS from Union College in 2017, with a major in Psychology and minor in Sociology. Outside of academia, you can find Liz hiking, cooking, and spending time with her dog!