New York City Wine & Food Festival Preview: What to Expect From New, Fan-Favorite, and Family-Friendly Events

The festival's 12th edition will move tentpole events to Hudson River Park's Pier 97 and debut new events hosted by Elvis Duran, José Andrés, and Molly Yeh.

Tequila Cazadores After Dark, one of the festival's signature events, will take place October 11 at Second Floor.
Tequila Cazadores After Dark, one of the festival's signature events, will take place October 11 at Second Floor.
Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images for NYCWFF

NEW YORK—The New York City Wine & Food Festival is the city’s largest culinary event, and this year’s edition will see buzzy new events, revamped fan-favorites, and the use of a new venue for culinary tentpoles. The 12th annual festival, which runs October 10 to 13, will have more than 80 events throughout the city, including tastings, dinners, themed parties, brunches, and family-friendly events. Last year's festival drew nearly 50,000 people and, since the event began in 2007, it has raised more than $11.5 million for No Kid Hungry and Food Bank For New York City.

One major change this year is moving larger evening events, such as the Blue Moon Burger Bash, to Hudson River Park’s Pier 97; these were previously held at Piers 92 and 94. The festival’s signature daytime event, the Grand Tasting, will remain at its 135,000-square-foot Pier 94 location. The festival also will include new events in partnership with local celebs and restaurateurs such as Elvis Duran, Andrew Zimmern, and José Andrés.

In anticipation of the four-day culinary fest, here’s a look at what to expect from five new events, five returning signature events, and three events geared toward families.

New Events
Elvis Duran’s Taste of New York: Radio personality Elvis Duran and his team at the Z100 Morning Show will host a kickoff event at Pier 97 on October 10, highlighted by tastes of New York staples such as Nathan’s Famous, Parm, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, and Zaro’s Family Bakery. The event, also celebrating Duran’s new book Where Do I Begin?: Stories from a Life Lived Out Loud, will feature a performance by Alessia Cara.

A Night at José Andrés’ Mercado Little Spain: The festival will host a V.I.P. late-night event October 10 at chef José Andrés’ Spanish marketplace at the new Hudson Yards development. The event will serve tapas, meat and seafood, and wine from the market’s restaurants La Leña, Mar, and Spanish Diner.

Dumplings Around the World: Food Network host Molly Yeh will host an event October 12 at Metropolitan West, highlighting everything from soup dumplings to fried gyoza to meat-filled empanadas. Participating vendors include East Wind Snack Shop, Baba’s Pierogies, Dos Caminos, and Luda’s Dumplings. 

Oktoberfest: Chef and Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern will bring the German celebration Oktoberfest to the Standard New York on October 12. Vendors including Claudio’s, 27 Morton, and Hank’s Juicy Beef will serve typical German fare such as bratwurst and soft pretzels and, of course, giant steins of beer.

Titans of BBQ: The festival’s annual barbecue event has a new name and location. Hosted by Dario Cecchini, Pat LaFrieda, and Michael Symon, the Pier 97 event on October 12 will serve everything from brisket to pulled pork sandwiches to Korean-inspired fare. Participating restaurants include Pig Beach, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Carnal, and Peaches HotHouse.

Fan-Favorites
Blue Moon Burger Bash: Rachael Ray returns to host the 12th annual burger competition, taking place October 11 at Pier 97. The event will spotlight more than 25 of the city’s best burgers from restaurants including 5 Napkin Burger, Le Rivage, and Blue Smoke. Judges along with Ray include Anne Burrell, Willie Colon, Amy Freeze, and Mike Puma. 

Tequila Cazadores After Dark: The festival’s annual tacos and tequila party will be hosted by Rick Bayless on October 11 at Second Floor. Sponsored by Toyota, the late-night event will serve tacos from Cantina Rooftop, Playa Betty’s, Fonda, and more. 

Flashback Friday presented by Maker’s Mark: Rev Run will spin ‘90s hits at the festival’s annual throwback party, taking place October 11 at Highline Stages. The Breakfast Club host Angela Yee also will appear at the event, which will offer eats from Pies ‘n’ Thighs, Doc’s Cake Shop, and Prohibition Bakery. Attendees are encouraged to wear ‘90s-theme outfits to win a prize. 

Barilla’s Drag Brunch presented by Absolut Juice: Younger actress Debi Mazar, who formerly hosted the cooking show Extra Virgin, will host the festival’s annual drag brunch, taking place October 12 at Highline Stages. Along with Absolut Juice cocktails, the brunch will serve eats from restaurants including Egghead, the Meatball Shop, and Lasagna Restaurant. New York-based drag artists Joey Arias and Pixie Aventura, as well as RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Silky Nutmeg Ganache are slated to perform. 

Four Roses Bourbon’s Broadway Tastes: Beetlejuice’s Alex Brightman and YouTube personality Randy Rainbow will host the festival’s Broadway celebration on October 13 at Metropolitan West. The event will feature live performances by the cast of Beetlejuice, Dear Evan Hansen, Mean Girls, and Tootsie. Brunch eats will be served by High Street on Hudson, Breads Bakery, Melba’s, and more. 

Family-Friendly Events
Master Class with Alex Guarnaschelli and Chef Ava: Food Network star Alex Guarnaschelli and her daughter Ava will host a hands-on cooking class for all ages on October 12 at the Institute of Culinary Education. The mother-daughter duo will teach attendees their favorite recipes and cooking techniques. 

The Ultimate Pizza Party: Jeff Mauro, co-host of Food Network’s The Kitchen, will host an event highlighting the city’s best wood-fired pizza on October 12 at Fornino, Brooklyn Bridge Park. Slices will be served by Sottocasa Pizzeria, King Umberto, Brooklyn Pizza Crew, and Wheated. 

Italian Sunday Supper: Giada De Laurentiis will host a dinner of classic Italian comfort food on October 13 at Second Floor. Pizzas, pastas, meatballs, and other staples will be served by Forcella, Otto Enoteca and Pizzeria, Rossopomodoro, and Fausto. Barilla and Peroni will sponsor the event.