Break out the stretchy pants, because between now and autumn’s harvest this food-loving city is hosting a feast of tasty festivals. From free multicultural celebrations to the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, these events are not to be missed.
Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival
Crazy about everything Japanese? Yet to embrace the Land of the Rising Sun’s wonders? Either way, the Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival is a delightful and delicious cultural escape. There’s everything from traditional taiko drumming to J-pop dance performances to help you build up an appetite. Food stalls will serve authentic snacks like takoyaki, okonomiyaki and yakitori. Plus there’s matcha ice cream and crisp Japanese beer – perfect for this summer afternoon celebration. Sunday 23 February.
Lonsdale Street Greek Festival
For one weekend every summer Lonsdale Street becomes bigger than Effie’s hairdo! The 33rd Lonsdale Street Greek Festival promises another feast of live entertainment, rides for the kids and food, food, food. Stall after stall will take your Hellenic experience way beyond souvas and baklava. 29 February-1 March.
Turkish Pazar Festival
The Queen Victoria Market is transformed into a traditional Turkish bazaar for two days of food, music, crafts and culture. Try everything from savoury gözleme and kebabs to authentic Turkish delight. Plus Turkish coffee made the traditional way – on a hot bed of sand. Don’t miss a show from the first Ottoman-style marching band outside Turkey. 7-8 March.
Sri Lankan Festival
Join Sinhala Buddhists and Tamil Hindus in celebrating their new year at the Sri Lankan Festival. This Sunday celebration includes music, dance performances, colourful costumes, workshops and fabulous food. Tuck into kottu, hoppers and curries then find room in for sweets like coconutty, deep-friend kokis. Sunday 26 April.
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
There’s no entry fee for Melbourne Food and Wine Festival’s free events, but bring funds to purchase food and drinks. 19-29 March.
Melbourne International Coffee Expo 2020
Like coffee? You’ll love Melbourne International Coffee Expo 2020. Established in 2012, it’s not just for industry types. Meet the people who grow the beans and find out where your coffee comes from. Enjoy a brew or two from some of Australia’s best roasters, including St Ali, Axil and Toby’s Estate. The culmination of Melbourne Coffee Week (1-9 May), it also includes the World Barista Championship and World Brewers Cup. 4-7 May.