Food festivals in Devon: this year’s top picks

We’re pretty good at food festivals in Devon, if we may say so ourselves …

With excellent local produce, talented chefs and producers, and a crowd of foodies both home-grown and visiting, it’s unsurprising that all year round we have food festivals and events across Devon. From the large – such as the Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink (April 22-24, see below) – to the small, it’s well worth planning a trip around a visit to a Devon food event; read our guide and follow the links to find one that suits your tastes.


Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink
April 22-24 2016
Foodies from far and wide (and near!) will be heading to Exeter for this excellent annual food festival. Held in the lovely setting of Exeter Castle and Northernhay Gardens, there’ll be 100+ exhibitors showing off the best food and drink from across the South West.

Visitors can browse the stalls, chat to producers and sample delicious tasters, as well as watch their favourite chefs in action – this year this’ll include 30+ from the top eateries in the region, As well as festival founder Michael Caines of course. Young foodies will also have lots of fun learning all about local food and cooking at the Little Cookies tent. There’ll be a range of street food stalls and live local music every day, plus the much-loved After Dark parties – on April 21, 22 and 23, these are not to be missed. Find out more
Bottom line: the biggest food festival in the west
Also in this area: Devon County Show (May 19-21 2016) Exeter Street Food Market (every Fri-Sun) and Exeter Street Food Night Market (first Thurs every month)


Food festivals in devonSalcombe Crabfest
May 1 2016
This celebration of crab and all things seafood in the pretty setting of Salcombe will be opened by the Queen of Cooking herself – Mary Berry (CBE), who will be talking about her life, favourite recipes, and the new series of Great British Bakeoff. Enjoy hands on demonstrations, crab picking tuition, commercial crab fishing talk, a demonstration kitchen, crab pot making, music, wine tasting and appearances from renowned local chefs and food authors. Find out more
Bottom line: brilliant for seafood aficionados
Also in this area: Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival (June 3-5 2016)

food festivals in devon dartington food fairDartington Food Fair
May 29-30 2016
The return of the Dartington Cider Bar – now serving its very own Elmhirst Ale, made specially for Dartington by Hunter’s Brewery – will be a popular part of this celebration of Devon food and drink. TV chef Mal Harradine will be cooking alongside regional foodie heroes in the Cookery Theatre, Big Fire will be demonstrating alternative ways of cooking outside, and Rachel Lambert will be taking groups to forage on the wider Dartington estate. Cranks Kitchen and The Venus Café and Takeaway will offer locally-sourced dishes – or for the more energetic, a walk up through the estate to the award-winning White Hart bar and restaurant at Dartington Hall is a treat not to be missed, and there’ll be plenty to amuse the kids too. Find out more
Bottom line: a great foodie day out for all, in beautiful surroundings
Also in this area: Taste of the Teign (September 19-25 2016)


food festivals in devon flavourfestFlavour Fest, Plymouth
June 3-5 2016
Plymouth’s biggest food festival offers great grub from across the South West as well as live entertainment, cooking demonstrations from celebrity and local chefs, a bar – and a great atmosphere for everyone. The Cookery Theatre with its Big Screen will be hosting chefs sharing top tips of the trade, and at the Place de Brest area you’ll find local ales, ciders and beers. And new for this year is the Grow, Cook, Share area on Guildhall Square, with a temporary allotment and marquee where you can pick up some really useful tips. Find out more
Bottom line: great for budding producers as well as keen foodies
Also in this area: Plymouth Seafood Festival (Sept 24-25 2016)


food festivals in devon north devon foodfest 2
North Devon Foodfest
October 16 2016
Every October sees Barnstaple’s Victorian Pannier Market stuffed with excellent food and drink from across North Devon and Exmoor. Expect stands selling everything from cheese, artisan bread, ciders and ales to local meat, handmade curry sauces and seafood, plus street food vendors, accompanied by live music and a chef demo stage that usually includes Michael Caines, thanks to his support for South West food and his local Kentisbury Grange connection.
Bottom line: A bustling festival – and all under cover
Also in this area: Clovelly Lobster and Crab Feast (September 4 2016); Clovelly Herring Festival (November 20 2016)


food festivals in devon dartmouth food festivalDartmouth Food Festival
October 21-23
Grown ups will love Dartmouth Food Festival’s entertaining cookery demonstrations, drinks seminars and tastings, and the chance to meet celebrity chefs, local cookery heroes and some of the UK’s top food writers. And then there’s the Children’s Festival – a whole day of activities and fun events throughout the festival. Even your pet can can get in on the act and try Dartmouth Ice Cream Company’s special flavour designed for dogs! Find out more
Bottom line: An autumn food fest that’s great for children and even dogs – and it’s free
Also in this area: Rockfish and GWR Crab Festival (August 7 2016)