8 food festivals Birmingham foodies won’t want to miss, including the Salsa Showdown on May 25

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Looking for amazing food, drinks and entertainment? Get your eat on during these delicious food festivals taking place in Birmingham now through May.

Saint Elias Lebanese Food and Cultural Festival

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Festival food prep. Photo via St. Elias Lebanese and Food Fest

Celebrate heritage and culture during St. Elias Lebanese Food and Cultural Festival. This will be the 21st year the event has taken place in Birmingham and it’s going to be a remarkable time. The event will feature:

  • Traditional dance performances
  • Family-friendly activities
  • And more!

There will also be thousands of delicious plates of food, including Lebanese dishes, such as:

  • Baked kibbe
  • Lemon chicken
  • Grape leaves
  • Spinach pies
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Dancing performances. Photo via St. Elias Lebanese and Food Fest

When: Friday-Saturday, April 26-27
Where: Saint Elias Maronite Catholic Church. 836 8th St. S., Birmingham, AL 35205
Time: 10AM-9PM
Admission Price: FREE
Food Price: $3-$12+.

Bob Sykes BBQ & Blues Festival

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Fun at the festival. Photo via Bob Sykes BBQ & Blues Festival on Facebook

The Bob Sykes BBQ & Blues Festival is gearing up for its 10th annual celebration—and a good time will be had for all who attend.

During the festival, enjoy:

  • Legendary Bob Sykes BBQ
  • Award-winning national and local blues musicians
  • Family-friendly activities
  • Vendors
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Bob Sykes BBQ. Photo via Bob Sykes BBQ & Blues Festival on Facebook

When: Saturday, April 27
Where: DeBardeleben Park. 1623 2nd Ave N., Bessemer, AL 35020
Time: Noon-8PM (gates open at 11AM)
Price: $15 (online or at Bob Sykes Bar B Q Restaurant); $20 (day of); Ages 12 and under–FREE with ticketed adult

Magic City Chocolate Challenge

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Raspberries and chocolate. Photo via Magic City Chocolate Challenge

There’s no better time to put your love of chocolate to the test than during the Magic City Chocolate Challenge.

During the event, some of Birmingham’s best bakers, chefs and chocolatiers will wow you with their delectable chocolate-inspired dishes.

But there’s more. While at this heavenly event there will also be:

  • Hors d’oeuvres
  • Live music from Ponder the Eclectic
  • A silent auction
  • Unlimited drinks and chocolate tastings
Birmingham, Magic City Chocolate Challenge
Tre Leche Chocolate Cake from Taco Morro Loco. Photo via Magic City Chocolate Challenge

When: Tuesday, April 30
Regions Field. 1401 1st Ave S., Birmingham, AL 35233
Time: 5:30-8PM
Price: General Admission:
 $35 in advance; $50 at door. VIP: $75 in advance; $100 at gate

Corks & Chefs: A Taste of Birmingham

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Photo via Corks & Chefs: A Taste of Birmingham

Are you ready for an explosion of flavors? Then grab your tickets and head downtown for the annual Corks & Chefs festival. This highly-anticipated annual event offers:

  • Delicious culinary creations from some of Birmingham’s favorite restaurants and eateries.
  • Wine, craft beer, coffee and tea samplings
  • Craft cocktail samplings
  • Guided tastings, seminars, demos and other special features
  • And more!
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Rustic tart. Photo via @BakingBandit

When: Saturday-Sunday, April 27-28
Where: Linn Park. 710 20th St. N., Birmingham, AL 35203
Time: 12-3PM
$40 in advance; $45 at door

Episcopal Place Gumbo Gala

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Gumbo competition at the Gumbo Gala. Photo via Episcopal Place

If you like gumbo and supporting a good cause then take part in the Episcopal Place Gumbo Gala. This annual fundraiser supports residents of Episcopal Place. This year there will be:

  • A gumbo cooking competition featuring backyard chefs, professional chefs and student teams
  • Samples of delicious gumbo
  • Food trucks and ice cold beverages
  • Local art and vendors

Margeaux and the Cats Meow will also perform live.

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Who’s gumbo is the best at the Gumbo Gala? Photo via Episcopal Place

When: Thursday, May 2
Where: Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. 20 32nd St. N., Birmingham, AL 35222
Time: 11AM-2PM
Price: $20; Age 10 and under–FREE

Great Southern Beer Fest 

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Delicious craft beer. Photo via Birmingham Beer Fest Birmingham

In the mood for some craft beer? Then head to Railroad Park for the Great Southern Beer Fest happening this May.

During this drink-tactic event, you’ll have the amazing opportunity to sample over 75 of the Souths “best of the best” craft beers. Talk about a beer-lovers paradise!

Also at the event, check out:

  • Live music from local bands
  • Food from some of the best Southern-inspired food vendors in town
  • Games like corn hole, giant Jenga, life-sized connect four and ladder ball

Purchase of ticket includes:

  • 1 commemorative full-size mason jar
  • 75+ craft beer tastings
  • Wristband access to event
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Fun at the festival. Photo via Birmingham Beer Fest Birmingham

When: Saturday, May 11
Where: Railroad Park Foundation. 1600 1st Ave S., Birmingham, AL 35233
Time: 1-5PM
Price: General Admission–$38; Designated Driver–$10

Magic City Wine Fest

Indulge in incredible wine and beer from other regions during one of Birmingham’s most popular events—Magic City Wine Fest.

Held at the Birmingham Zoo, you’ll not only have the opportunity to sip delicious wines and beers, but you can visit your favorite animals, too. While this festival may cater to drinks, there will also be food available for purchase and live music.

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Wine and animals at the Birmingham Zoo. Photo via Magic City Wine Fest

Where: The Birmingham Zoo. 2630 Cahaba Rd., Birmingham, AL 35223
Date: Saturday, May 11
Time: 5:30PM
Age: 21+
Price: $49 + tax (in advance); $59 + tax (day of)

Salsa Showdown

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All the chips and dip you can handle. Photo via Salsa Showdown

Plan for a Memorial Day Weekend full of crunch and flavor with the 9th Annual Salsa Showdown benefiting Sidewalk’s education programs All the best local restaurants and vendors will be doling out all the chips, salsa, quest and guac you can handle.

Admission to the event includes:

  • Sampling privileges at each competitor’s station
  • Ballot for casting an “Audience Choice” vote
  • Piñata smashes
  • Kids activities
  • Live entertainment
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Salsa Showdown in Birmingham. Photo via Salsa Showdown

Dogs are welcome, too. Just don’t let them steal all your chips and dip!

Dig spicy food? Show you can handle the heat during the infamous hot pepper eating contest. Do you dare?

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Hot pepper eating contest at the Salsa Showdown. Do you date? Photo via Salsa Showdown

Where: Cahaba Brewing Co. 4500 5th Ave S., Birmingham, AL 35222
Date: Saturday, May 25
Time: 2-6PM
Price: $15 in advance; $20 at event (Kids 5 and under–FREE)

There are also lots of Crawfish boils happening in Birmingham. Be sure to check out the list.