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Pizza, chocolate, veganism, oh my! New York’s must-visit food festivals this fall


For foodies, fall brings a fresh crop of festivals to the Big Apple. Vegetarian? Chocolate fiend? Wine snob? Whatever your cravings, you’ll find gatherings to indulge them all season long.


Saturday, Sept. 28, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; 20 Randall’s Island Park;; Early bird tickets $10

From its (grass)roots as a Toronto eatery, Vegandale has mushroomed into an international circuit of meat-free merriment. The New York festival will sprout on Randall’s Island Park with vendors like Big Apple bakery Brooklyn Whiskers, Hoboken plant-based pizzeria Hungry Like the Wolf, NYC food truck pioneers The Cinnamon Snail, and herbivorous hawkers from as far as California and the U.K.

New York Pizza Festival

Saturday, Oct. 5 - Sunday, Oct. 6, 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.; Crescent Ave., Bronx;; Pizza tickets start at $25

Hosted by the Bronx’s Belmont Business Improvement District — it’s “the real Little Italy," they say — this cheesy, saucy annual fest brings together “Master Pizzaioli” from across the globe. Five pizza makers from the motherland — that’s Italy — join 25 American pie pros. The result: world-class pizza for all. The event benefits NYC nonprofit Slice Out Hunger.

African Restaurant Week Festival

Saturday, Oct. 12 - Sunday, Oct. 13, 12 p.m. - 7 p.m.; MIST Harlem, 46 W. 116th St.;; General admission $15

You’ll find every corner of Africa represented at this two-day celebration of “food, arts, community, and culture." Traverse cross culinary borders with vendors like Taco Africana, NYC’s only African taqueria; Accra Restaurant, Harlem’s hotbed of Ghanaian cuisine; Brooklyn’s Sudanese specialists Sambuxa NYC; and the Nigerian nosh-makers of 3 Guys with a Grill. Look up from your plate long enough to take in performances by Chicago’s Koku Gunza and many more.

Tastes of Franklin Festival

Saturday, Oct. 19, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Franklin Ave., between Eastern and Atlantic Aves., Brooklyn;; Cash $20, online $22

Here’s a chance to celebrate culinary Brooklyn for a good cause. Part of a borough-wide series, Tastes of Franklin spotlights delicious dishes through “food crawls”; on Franklin Ave., you’ll dip into local haunts Pine Tree Sushi, fusion-BBQ hotspot Memphis Seoul, quirky new-American Hunky Dory, “slow-cooked” Italian joint Cent’Anni, and more. It all benefits Seeds in the Middle, which promotes healthful eating and active living among youngsters.


Sunday, Oct. 27 - Monday, Oct. 28, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Knockdown Center, 52-19 Flushing Ave., Maspeth, Queens;; Starts at $70 online, $90 at the door

They’re pure. They’re kind to the planet. And they might be better for you. Best of all, say producers, natural wines are delicious. Find out at this expo of “the most exciting collections of fine, natural, organic and biodynamic wine artisans ever to come together in NYC," organizers bubble. Exhibitors include Greece’s Domaine Ligas; Italy’s Tenuta l’Armonia; and Natenadze’s Wine Cellar from Georgia — that’s the ex-Soviet republic, not the Peach state.

NYC Craft Beer Festival

Friday, Nov. 1 Saturday, Nov. 2, Union West, 535 W. 28th St.;; $55-$85

“Halloweekend Harvest” is the theme of this hoppy festival’s eighth edition. Costumes are “encouraged," so you may indeed start seeing things after downing a few. You’ll find local hops heroes like Brooklyn’s Braven Brewing Company here, along with more exotic alemakers like Iceland’s Einstök Ölgerð and Lion Brewery Ceylon from Sri Lanka.

Ethnic Jewish Food Festival

Sunday, Nov. 3, 4 p.m. - 8 p.m., Beth Shalom v’Emeth Reform Temple (B’ShERT), 83 Marlborough Road, Brooklyn;; Adults $45 plus fees

Cooks from Israel will share beloved Moroccan, Yemenite, Persian, Ethiopian and Kurdish recipes. Those hosting are part of WOMEN COOK, an organization that helps women “in distressed communities to use their culinary skills to become economically independent.” On the tasty vegetarian menu: Persian carrot salad, Kurdish stuffed cabbage, Yemenite hilbeh — that’s fenugreek dip — and Moroccan cookies for dessert.

Salon du Chocolat NY

Saturday, Nov. 16. - Sunday, Nov. 17 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 W. 34th St., Hall 1B;; Adults $25 plus tax

Willy Wonka never had it so good. At the first New York edition of this global cocoa-fest, you’ll meet master chocolatiers, melt at the sight of chocolate sculptures, and even get sweet on a chocolate fashion show. Of course, you can also shop for hard-to-find chocolate brands from around the world.