Beer, Brisket, Coffee and Tacos: The 10 Best Fall Food and Drink Festivals in Dallas

As the days get shorter and the temps get cooler, things ramp up around here, and this fall is packed full of more festivals and events than ever. Since we don't have enough room in our bellies — or cash in our wallets — to hit them all, a little planning is in order. Here's a rundown of the best fall food and drink festivals in Dallas. Buy tickets early, as some of these festivals will sell out.

Chefs for Farmers
Sept. 23 to 25; locations vary
Tickets: $75 to $200
This fest, celebrating local farmers and chefs, has three separate events: A seated dinner (Creme de la Femme) on Friday night at Arlington Hall at Lee Park, a Saturday street food night market in the Design District and the Main Event, an all-you-can-stuff-in-your-face gathering at Arlington Hall. The Main Event has some robust talent in its lineup, including Graham Dodds (Wayward Sons), Emma and Travis Heim (Heim BBQ), John Tesar (Knife) and Nilton Borges (The Joule), along with visiting chefs from lauded restaurants like Cochon and Cured at Pearl. Featured farms include Bonton Farms, Farmers Assisting Returning Military, A Bar N Ranch and Dallas Urban Farms. This fest is pricier than the others, but there's a lot of talent — in both agriculture and the kitchen — on the bill. 

Smoked Dallas BBQ & Music Fest
2:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at Main Street Garden Park
Tickets: $28 to $90

This year's Smoked Dallas BBQ Fest has two epic lineups: 16 top pitmasters/chefs and killer Texas bands Shinyribs and The Toadies. The ticket price includes tastings from every meat-slinger until 5 p.m., after which you can buy barbecue. On this year's meaty lineup: Louie Mueller Barbecue, Pecan Lodge, The Slow Bone, Black's BBQ, Heim and more.

Texas Beer Camp
Oct. 1 & 2 in Princeton
Tickets: $40 to $45
By far one of the coolest festivals in DFW, Texas Beer Camp is a 24-hour overnight event that involves camping, homebrew, barbecue, Texas bands and ample craft beer. This is no ordinary beer fest: It's basically a giant bottle swap, which means you bring your own beer and share (or trade) with your fellow festival-goers. Homebrewers will also be brewing on-site. Pack your camping gear and fill your Yeti with bombers — you're in for an interesting weekend.

DIFFA/Dallas' Burgers & Burgundy
6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7 at the Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge
Tickets: $150  

This fundraiser thrown by Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS features sliders and wine on the scenic Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge, where visitors will also find art installations and performances from Repel the Robot and The Please, Please Me. Chef John Tesar is assembling a crack team of burger big-shots to cook up sliders for the evening fest.

Dallas Coffee Day
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 at Life in Deep Ellum
Tickets: $15
Now in its second year, Dallas Coffee Day brings together roasters, baristas, gear-makers and coffee lovers for a fest that celebrates Dallas' ever-growing craft coffee scene. This year's fest will feature 10 roasters, "one of the best hand grinder-makers in the country" and tacos for sale from Trompo, this year's biggest Dallas culinary Cinderella story. The price of admission includes a Dallas Coffee Day mug and tote bag designed by Houndstooth’s Natalie Hasty and unlimited coffee tastings from roasters. Pop into a cupping session to learn how to properly evaluate coffee, watch a latte art throwdown, grab a cortado from the espresso bar or hit up a panel discussion about why it's important for roasters to visit the farms where their coffee is grown and harvested.

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Beth Rankin is an Ohio native and Cicerone-certified beer server who specializes in social media, food and drink, travel and news reporting. Her belief system revolves around the significance of Topo Chico, the refusal to eat crawfish out of season and the importance of local and regional foodways.
Contact: Beth Rankin