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SA's 12 biggest food and drink festivals in 2018

We've taken a look at some of the greatest food festivals that take place across South Africa and these are the ones you don’t want to miss.

11 Apr 2018
Food festival food truck

(Image: iStock)

With South Africa being the home of diversity, We have made a huge success in hosting internationally known food festivals. These festivals see culinary experts show off their expertise and give people the chance to interact with some of the best chefs the world has to offer.

From food to beer, these are some of the best food festivals to look out for listed in order of their upcoming dates.

Whisky Live Festival
Enjoy a vast variety of whiskies ranging from cold Scotland’s single malts to the warmer South African brewed single grains. The Whisky Live Festival is sure to have a whisky that caters to every person's palate. Meet distillers who will offer advice not only on how to drink your whisky, but how to savour every drop. The Whisky Live Festival is the largest of its kind and will be taking place in Cape Town,Pretoria and Durban on the following respective dates. More spirits such as vodka and gin will be available to taste along with deli and lifestyle stands to visit.

Dates: Cape Town: 12 April 2018 – 14 April 2018 Pretoria: 17 May 2018 – 19 May 2018 Durban: 21 June 2018-23 June 2018
Venues: The Lookout Granger Bay Cape Town 12 April 2018 – 14 April 2018,
Menlyn Park Shopping Centre Level 5 Parkade Pretoria 17 May 2018 – 19 May 2018, Sibaya Casino Durban 21 June 2018 - 23 June 2018
Cost: R115.00 – R1553.00
Ticket purchases: This festival is for people 18 and older. tickets can be purchased at Ticket Pro.
Contact: 010 900 2025
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South African Cheese Festival
The 17th SA Cheese Festival will be taking place on the 27th – 29th April 2018. Join over 30 000 cheese lovers for a weekend of pairing artisanal cheese and your favourite wines. Kids can get creative and take part in fun activities such as a cheese carving competition making it a day for the whole family. Meet celebrity chefs who will share their tips and tricks on how to get creative with the deliciousness that is all things cheese.

Dates: 27 April - 29 April 2018 
Venue: Sandringham Farm, Stellenbosch, Cape Town
Cost: R180 per person per day, senior citizens pay R120, Children from 2 to 13 years pay R20.
Ticket purchases: Tickets can be purchased through Computicket. Please note: no tickets will be sold at the door.
Contact: 021 975 4440
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cheese festival

Wacky Wine Festival
The 15th annual Wacky Wine Weekend will be filled with lots of wine tasting and tons of wine education. The festival focuses on food, good wine and entertainment - allowing consumers to enjoy the event and also take part in a number of activities including tours of the vineyards. With live music, plenty of food stalls with flavoursome country cuisine and fun activities for kids, the Wacky Wine Weekend Festival is one that shouldn’t be missed.

Dates: 31 May – 3 June 2018
Venue: Robertson Wine Valley
Cost: R200 per person, Kids under 18 are free. Tickets are available via Webtickets.
Contact: 023 626 3167
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Knysna Oyster Festival
A day for family, sport and oysters. The Knysna Oyster Festival is back this year with activities ranging from marathons, trail runs, cycling, and a ride on the dam, and of course oysters. Live music and tasty food and drinks served by local restaurants make this a perfect event for family fun.

Dates: 29 June – 8 July 2018
Venue: Knysna Quays, Knysna, 6570
Contact: +27 44 382 5510
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#Simonsig tasting in the @picknpay tasting room at the #knysnawinefestival #KOF2017. If you missed out tonight join us for another session tomorrow!

51 Likes, 2 Comments - Knysna Oyster Festival (@knysnaoysterfestival) on Instagram: "#Simonsig tasting in the @picknpay tasting room at the #knysnawinefestival #KOF2017. If you missed..."

Soweto Lifestyle and Wine Festival
The Soweto Lifestyle and Wine Festival is a place where local and global wines meet the Soweto soil. The festival hosts travel and lifestyle exhibitions that are sure to entertain and help you plan your next holiday. The stars of the festival are the wine and food demonstrations where you can enjoy your favourite wine while gaining culinary inspiration to try out in your own kitchen. 

Dates: 1st - 2nd September 2018
Venue: To be announced
Cost: Ticket prices coming soon.
Ticket purchases: This festival is for people 18 and older. Tickets will be available at the door.
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Shisanyama Festival

This festival promises to bring you the best in South African culture, entertainment and food.  Running for two days at the popular Eyadini Loung, Umlazi 5000 festival goers will eat, party and repeat.  Some of the fun activities include a venue cook-off with a Shisanyama award being given to the best cook!  Expect to munch on spiced briskets, chicken wings, and home-made chakalaka, pair your meals with premium whisky, brandy, champagne and ciders.

Dates:  1 & 2 September 2018

Venue:  Eyadini Lounge, uMlazi, Durban

Cost: General access R150 and VIP costs R300.

Contact:  072 566 2551

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Street Food Festival
Back for the 5th time this year, the popular Street Food Festival celebrates street food in its diverse forms. This year’s event promises to be way more fun, with 10 days of fun food festivities leading up to the weekend market. Smaller pop-up events like food-walks and food movie screenings will be part of the activities over the ten days. Local food talents will be serving delicious freshly made food whilst live DJs take care of the music.

Dates: 1st - 2nd September 2018
Venue: Side Street Studios,48 Albert Road, Woodstock, 7925 Cape Town.
Cost: tickets are available via Quicket:  R50 one day pass and R80 for a weekend pass.
Contact: 021 448 6511

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Street food festival 2017

Franschhoek Uncorked
The annual Franschhoek Uncorked Wine Festival will be back this year just in time for the warm Summer months. Spend two days, sampling newly released wines and tasting a range of some of their older wines, grab something to eat from their fresh food markets and enjoy cellar and vineyard tours and the amazing views and scenery on offer.  Purchase a weekend pass - which includes entry to 16 of the participating farms, a complimentary tasting glass, and tastings of the different wines on show from each winery. 

Dates: 16 – 17 September 2018
Venue: Franschoek , Cape Winelands.
Cost: R150 weekend pass per person.
Contact: Franschhoek Wine Valley at 021 876 2861.
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DSTV Delicious International Food & Music Festival
Described as an epic world-class festival, the DSTV Delicious International Food and Music Festival is a favourite amongst both locals and the international culinary community. Festival-goers are offered a wide range of options such as the popular food trucks that serve the best street food or the Pan African menus which will have you tasting mouth-watering meals from across the African continent. Because this festival encourages the support of local brands, some of your favourite restaurants will be featured as pop-ups, bringing you the best in SA cuisine. You do not want to miss this year’s edition.

Dates: 22nd - 23rd September 2018
Venue: Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, Johannesburg.
Cost: R495 per person Saturday or Sunday only or R800 for a weekend pass.R250 per child, Saturday or Sunday only.
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DSTV Delicious festival

TOPS at SPAR Bierfest
It’s all about beer, sausages, sauerkraut and a good time at the TOPS at SPAR Bierfest. The festival caters to all, with brews ranging from lagers to craft beers that are sure to quench any beer lover’s thirst. Live music performances from The Rockerfellas and an Oompah band is sure to get you dancing in your best German costume. The Festival is set to take place in Durban, Pretoria and Cape Town.

Dates: Durban: 31 August – 01 September 2018 Pretoria: 26 – 27 October 2018 Cape Town:  28 – 29 November 2018
Venues: Durban Bierfest: Sibaya Sun Park, Pretoria bierfest: Times Square, Cape Town Bierfest: Grandwest Casino and Entertainment World Sun Park.
Ticket purchases: TBC
Cost: This festival is for people 18 and older. Prices Range from R175 – R 1022 depending on the different packages.
Contact: 021 824 3132
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Franschhoek Bastille Festival
Make sure you wear the themed colours of red, white and blue when attending the DSTV Franschhoek Bastille Festival. Sip on a variety of Franschhoek’s finest wines or simply enjoy the selection of delectable foods made available by some of the well-known and renowned Franschhoek eateries.

And to capture this fun-filled memory for you is the caricature artist who has become a huge favourite. Included in the ticket are your entry, a complimentary tasting glass and a booklet of five wine tasting coupons. If you’re keen on tasting other wines additional coupons can be purchased on the day.

Dates: TBC
Venue: Franschhoek Wine Valley.
Cost: R280 per person for the Food & Wine Marquee.
Contact: +27 (0)21 876 2861
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Loads of French flair at this year's #DStvBastilleFestival - at the Food & Wine Marquee #Franschhoek Tickets @webticketsSA #visitwinelands #franschhoekMoments

50 Likes, 2 Comments - Franschhoek Wine Valley (@franschhoek_sa) on Instagram: "Loads of French flair at this year's #DStvBastilleFestival - at the Food & Wine Marquee..."

Cape Town Festival of Beer
The Cape Town Festival of Beer is the largest beer festival this side of the equator and celebrates all things beer in the Mother City! Visitors are able to taste over 200 beers at the festival and learn about the rich heritage of beer. Over 45 brewers will be present also giving guests the chance to interact with home brewers, microbrewers and some of the mega-brewers. So come early and prepare to have the best beer experience of your life.

Venue:Hamiltons Rugby Club in Greenpoint.
Cost: Tickets vary depending on which day you attend:  R60 for Friday, R150 for Saturday and R100 for Sunday.
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Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival, The Magic of Bubbles
The Franschhoek festival ‘Magic of Bubbles’ where attendees are dressed to impress and indulge in South Africa’s best Méthode Cap Classiques and finest cuisines, is back. Enjoy sparkling wine and delicious food in the Culinary Capital of South Africa. Surrounded by the Winelands and mountains, this is an event you do not want to miss.

Dates: TBC
Venue: Huguenoet Monument, Franschhoek. 
Contact: +27 (0)21 876 2861
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It's all about real food at the Visa Street Food Festival

Forget overpriced hipster sandwiches or convoluted fine dining, the Visa Street Food Festival happening in Cape Town and Joburg is about providing real, down-to-earth dishes to the crowds. Grethe Kemp delved into the thinking behind the fest.It's in full swing in Cape Town, and next weekend the annual Visa Street Food Festival will be taking over Maboneng in Joburg.


Read more on: food festivals

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