Spring Food Fling

By: Karen Dybis | March 13, 2020

Photo Courtesy of Chocolate Festival.

After spending the winter months inside the house, Metro Detroiters will be thinking spring, not only in terms of getting out to enjoy the weather but to find something new to eat. That is where spring’s selection of food festivals come in as a way to get out, check out some new foods and catch up with family and friends.

Metro Detroit has a proud food heritage of small businesses that have grown into hometown favorites from Faygo to Sanders to Better Made. But the food offerings that have made Michigan famous stretch out across the state, giving rise to food festivals that are worth the drive and definitely will feed body and soul with the great vendors who bring their best on site. 

If you want to try a new dish or two, then it is worth piling the family into the car and heading out over the next few weeks to these food festivals. There is something for everyone, whether you’re interested in learning about foods from around the world, sweet treats or beer-flavored goodies that provide a taste sensation that you’ll definitely want seconds of. 

“I always say: It’s Michigan’s premiere chocolate festival,” said Barbara Disborough, head of Chocolate Lady Productions and organizer of the annual Traverse City Chocolate Festival. “People come from around the state and the region to taste chocolate and talk to the chocolatiers. … We’ll also have a kids’ workshop that’s a lot of fun for kids and their families.” 

Here are five Michigan food festivals that combine the freshness of spring with the creative minds that have created foodie favorites for all seasons. 

Southern Michigan Winter Beer Festival

Beer may be the primary attraction – after all, Michigan is becoming known as a craft beer state for good reason – but the food also promises to be a delicious component of this Jackson-based food-and-drink festival. The March 14 event is a ticketed event that gives you tasting tokens to try everything on tap. Food trucks with a variety of offerings also will be on hand as well as retailers, games, music and fire pits for a night of good fun.

E’ttn Good Taste Fest

If you believe that sharing food with the people you love is the definition of a good meal, then you are going to enjoy the E’ttn Good Taste Fest. This ticketed event, scheduled for March 21 at the International Institute on Kirby in Detroit, brings together more than three dozen food vendors and chefs who want to fill you up and tell you all about their locally owned business. These food bloggers have brought together food, sweets, drinks and shopping into one big party.

Freeland Walleye Festival

With a slogan like, “It’s Walleye Time!” you know this is going to be a festival of both good food and fun people. The Freeland Walleye Festival has been a tradition in this mid-Michigan town for 35 years. The event, which runs April 23 through 26, features a wide variety of activities as well as good fish dinners, featuring fried walleye, as well as pancake breakfasts and a big beer tent for folks interested in adult beverages. 

Chocolate Festival

Set aside a weekend to head up to Traverse City for one of the most decadent food festivals around. The 11th annual Traverse City Chocolate Festival promises it is Michigan’s largest chocolate fest with tasting and samples from the region’s finest chocolatiers, bakeries, chefs and caterers. This ticketed event, which takes place April 19 at the Traverse City West High School, tends to sell out so buy your space early. The event, which also features art, books, music and shopping, is a fundraiser for the Northwest Food Coalition.