A Foodie’s Guide To The Best NYC Food Events in April

With spring finally kicking in for real it’s time to get serious about the upcoming beach season… by eating and drinking tons of delicious things! Ok, so maybe that’s not everyone’s strategy, but it’s definitely mine, and the folks at Rockaway will just have to deal with my less-than-perfect beach bod. Because April is the cruller-est month. Anyway, here are a half dozen food events coming up over the next few weeks that are worth your consideration.

7th Street Festival

Taste of Seventh (April  11th  – 12th)

East 7th Street boasts a noteworthy number of excellent eateries, and their annual “food crawl” is never a bad idea. Planning for this year’s Taste of Seventh was in the works well before the horrific explosion and fire destroyed the corner of 7th and Second Avenue, but rather than cancel the weekend’s event, instead the restaurants will donate all profits from every ticket directly to the local Red Cross helping those harmed or displaced by the tragedy. Big Gay Ice Cream, Luke’s Lobster, Porchetta, Butter Lane, Caracas Arepas, and newcomer Huertas: $25 gets you a tasting at them all AND helps out your fellow New Yorkers.

Bloody Mary Festival

Bloody Mary Festival (April 12th)

The booziest food of event of the month (other than whatever personal party you’ve got going on that I don’t know about) has to be the Bloody Mary Festival, which offers you three hours of unlimited drinks AND a meaty lunch by the great Delaney BBQ. The line-up of Brooklyn-based day-drink makers is impressive, featuring the likes of Char No. 4, Pok Pok’s Whiskey Soda Lounge, Black Swan, Beast of Bourbon, and Lucky Luna, which won Best Bloody in 2014. There will be live music, too. Expect a party. Located at Industry City in Sunset Park. More info and ticket sales here. 

Food Book Festival

Food Book Fair (April 10th – 12th)

On a more intellectual tip (but still fun), there’s the Fourth Annual Food Book Fair, taking over the trendy Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg for the weekend. Definitely not a simple cookbook convention, the Book Fair instead “celebrates the intersections of food culture and food systems and the writing that brings them to life” with panels, workshops, tastings, lectures, roundtable discussions, and parties. Participants include April Bloomfield, Mimi Sheraton, Brooks Headley, Stephen Schmidt, and lots of other smart, funny, lively folks with a passion for food. More info and ticket sales here. 

Taste Of The Lower East Side

Taste of the Lower East Side (April 15th)

Manhattan’s Lower East Side has a lot of great history, a vibrant community spirit, and a TON of excellent places to eat. Bringing it all together? The 15th Annual Taste of the Lower East Side, which benefits the Grand St. Settlement and, in turn, scores of local kids and teenagers who are likely less fortunate than you. Held at the Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street, the Taste of Lower East Side offers up bites from more than 50 of downtown’s best restaurants, including DBGB, Pies ‘n’ Thighs, Freemans, The Wren, Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya, Russ & Daughters, il laboratorio del gelato, Fung Tu, and Clinton Street Baking. More info and ticket sales here.

Bacon and Beer Classic

Bacon and Beer Classic (April 25th)

Ok, so not only does the Bacon and Beer Classic celebrate two of the greatest things on the planet, but, unlike some food events that can get a tad claustrophobic, it’s also held inside the Mets’ still-sort-of-newish stadium, Citi Field. Plenty of room to wander and goof around as you sample bacon-based dishes from the likes of Laudhaus, Roni-Sue, Black Tree, Carnal, and Robicelli’s Bakery, and plenty of adult beverages from breweries such as Otter Creek, Flying Dog, Abita, Bad Seed, Gun Hill, and literally dozens more in both categories. Plus you’re at the ball park! There’s a brunch session and an evening session, and both are likely to be a blast. More info and ticket sales here.

Hot Sauce Expo

Hot Sauce Expo (April 25th – 26th)

And finally, some fire to end your month right, as the Third Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo invades the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint for the weekend. Nearly 50 vendors from all over the world will be on hand selling their insanely spicy wares (and giving out lots of samples), including Heartbreaking Dawns, Puckerbutt Pepper, Bigfats, Voddoo Chili, and Holy Schmitts. There will also be eating contests to marvel at (burritos, pizza), competitions for Best Buffalo Wings and a Bloody Mary Mix Down, plus plenty of beer and BBQ to round out the fun. More info and ticket sales here.

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