Kansas City is a Food Town.

This weekend is a kick-off to a summer full of local food, drink and music with festivals and events planned around town. Streets get blocked off, tents pop-up and the overall feeling of “dancing (or eating) in the streets” begins. This year, there is a great line-up of food festivals that you should not miss.

Zona Rosa – Festa Italiana

Festa Italiana, the unique celebration of Italian traditions and Italian-American culture, starts tomorrow to kick off the summer season. At this much-loved festival, there will be and assortment of Italian food favorites, a beer garden, an Italian Car Show, food eating contests and much more. Plus, novelty booths will line the streets of popular Zona Rosa including “Lots Of Italiana” shirts, hats, and other memorabilia representing Italian heritage for the whole family. A children’s area will be set up as well. Forty Italian food vendors will be on hand, selling tasty spicy meatball grinders, traditional pastas, Italian wedding cookies, and lemon Italian ices! Festa Italiana is open to the public, offers free admission and showcases Italian food vendors and live music. Big-stage productions of music, dancing and more will occupy the stage at Zona Rosa’s Town Square throughout the weekend. The Festival starts Friday, June 3rd at 5:00pm. For a complete line-up of the fun and festivities, visit Festa Italiana- Events at Zona Rosa or www.unicokc.org/festa-italiana-2016

**Above video from last year’s festival courtesy Fox 4 KC


The popular festival is in its 3rd year this summer and will be held on Father’s Day weekend. Boulevard will have special beer offerings just for Boulevardia and a convoy of the best local food trucks will on-hand serving up delicious food. Three stages will fill the street with music and there will be plenty of local things to explore in the Makers’ Market, Family Fair and Greensville. For more information and the schedule of events, click here.

Chipotle Cultivate KC

In it’s second year, Chipotle Cultivate will return to KC on July 23rd. Held at Penn Valley Park, this family-friendly fair will feature great chefs, including the KC own Colby Garrelts, chef and co-owner of Bluestem restaurant in Kansas City and Rye restaurant in Leawood, KS. He is a 2013 James Beard Award winner, Best Chef: Midwest and was selected by Food & Wine Magazine as one of the Top 10 Best New Chefs in 2005.  A Kids Zone will include fun, educational activities that teach kids where their food comes from and why it’s important. Cultivate Experiences will also be featured around the festival, where festival goers will learn what they have to offer. There are no tickets, just show up at the park from 11-7. All the chef demos, bands and activities are free to attend, as well. The only things you’ll need to pay for are the delicious foods and drinks that are available for your enjoyment.

Special Dinners and Events

On a smaller scale, many of our local restaurants and food trucks are setting up dinners and special events. Here are a few of our favorites:

Farm to Table Dinner at The Sundry, June 12th 6-8:30. This will be a four course feast featuring ingredients from Quite Contrary Farmstead, Of The Earth Farm Distillery, Charcuterie Adventure, & Karbaumer Farms. These awesome local farmers will also attend the event for discussion and questions.

Hank Charcuterie + Port Fonda Lawrence Collaboration Dinner on June 12th! Take a road trip to Lawrence and check out this coursed dinner prepared by Hank Charcuterie and Port Fonda. The menu and optional drink pairings can be found here.

June’s Wine Party at Affare – June 15th at 6:30: This should be a fun evening of tasting wine and eating tasty food! The theme for this dinner is lobster!

Cleaver & Cork World Wine Tour – August 2 at 6:30- For $25, enjoy a tasting an assortment of summer wines at Cleaver & Cork. From the coasts of California to the vineyards of France, Cleaver & Cork will feature a new wine varietal each month with 4-6 different tastes. Each guest will receive a wine tasting passport, 4-6 wine tastings and passed appetizers, created by Chef Matt Livers to compliment the wine. At the end of the tour, take your favorite bottles home at a discounted price.

Of course, there are tons of opportunities to explore the great food around KC this summer! Be sure to check out our blog throughout the next few months to check-out the latest in local eating!