12 Rhode Island Food Events to Have on Your Radar in 2022
January 5, 2022
*Please note: all events subject to change. Some events may require masks or proof of vaccination. Please confirm all events and safety guidelines in advance.
Sun Wine & Food Fest 2022, January 28-30, 2022
One of only two contenders we’re featuring outside of Rhode Island state lines (because Uncasville is just about 15 minutes from our border), this annual food and wine frenzy at Mohegan Sun welcomes wine connoisseurs and food aficionados from far and wide. Swirl, sniff, sip and sample your way through across thousands and thousands of square feet of this sprawling convention center and see culinary superstars including James Beard Award Winner Todd English. Sample whiskey from around the world including Japan, Ireland, Scotland and of course, Kentucky. Fans of reality TV show Vanderpump Rules won’t want to miss an evening with Tom Sandoval & Tom Schwartz as these to menacing mixologists debut their new whiskey: Toms’ Good Lovin’. And of course there’s the Grand Tasting which features more than 1,000 varieties of wine, beer and spirits
Rhode Island Brew Fest, Feb. 5, 2022
Who’s up for a wintertime celebration that touts the hard work of American craft brewers? Toast and taste craft brew from more than 55 regional breweries and over 200 styles of beer in the Main Hall of the beautiful Waterfire Arts Center in the heart of Providence. You’ll also be treated to live music and tons of food vendors to please your palate. And they didn’t forget a commemorative gift! Every attendee will receive a custom glass as they exit the festival. The event will have two sessions from 1- – 4pm and 5:30 – 8:30pm.
RI Veg Fest, Feb. 12-13, 2022
What’s better than eating both ethically and compassionately? RI VegFest promotes a plant-based vegan lifestyle throughout the state. Can’t part with crispy bacon? That’s oaky too. You won’t find any animal-bacon here, but you will find some awesome alternatives, so whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or simply #PlantCurious, you’re welcome to join this awesome experience while learning how to eat clean and green. Enjoy the talents of more than 85 vendors on site at the Waterfire Arts Center in Providence, including creations from local artists and artisans.
9th Annual Great Cupcake Championship! #BestCupcakesRI March, 5, 2022
RI FOOD FIGHTS celebrates two of everybody’s favorite things: local food and friendly competition throughout the Ocean State. Whether in-person or virtually, the goal is always to name (and crown!) BEST food and beverages in Rhode Island. Of all their tough bouts, RI FOOD FIGHTS calls Great Cupcake Championship the most anticipated throw down in the state. Held at the new Farm Fresh RI Food Hub located along the Woonasquatucket River Valley corridor, this event typically sells out, so act fast is you’re ready for a cupcake bonanza. (And every ticket purchaser will head home with a 4-pack of Rhode Island’s own Yacht Club soda!)
Mount Hope Farm Farmers Market, ongoing
Even in the heart of winter, we love the Mount Hope Farm weekly Farmers Market with it’s nearly two dozen diverse vendors ranging from locally made kombucha and locally raised meats to artisan cheesemakers, craft candles, locally caught seafood and even Go Teff, Ethiopian super grain food made in Providence. Often you’ll be invited to enjoy samples, and after shopping, you can explore Mount Hope Farm’s miles of bucolic trails which reward your outdoor exploits with breathtaking panoramic views of the Mount Hope Bridge and sparkling bay.
Greenvale Vineyards, beginning in May
This sixth generation farm that sits along the Sakonnet River in Portsmouth knows a thing or two about proper pairings – in this case, it’s their exceptional estate-grown wines with live jazz. The series unfolds every Saturday afternoon, May though the second Saturday of September. Producing Albariño, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris Ramato, Meritage, Cabernet Franc and perhaps their best known wine, the Skipping Stone Wite, a blend of Cayuga and Vidal Blanc, Greenvale’s verdant pastures and bucolic milieu make it an exceptional place to taste authentic Rhode Island flavor in an idyllic setting.
Newport Oyster & Chowder Festival, May 21-22, 2022
From briny bivalves to creamy chowder, it’s the best way to taste your way around the Ocean State! Sip champagne and enjoy oysters and chowder from local growers and vendors along Newport’s bustling waterfront all weekend long. With more than 45 oyster farms in the Ocean State, what better way to savor the terrior of our local waters? The flavors are distinctive to each farm, so this is your chance to savor a sampling of them in one festive atmosphere! Growers will be shucking alongside a select group of local restaurants and you’ll enjoy live music under festival tents. Additional oysters, a full bar and other food provided by local restaurants will also be available on site.
Coastal Wine Trail’s Wine, Cheese, & Chocolate Festival, June 25, 2022
Wine, cheese and chocolate – who could ask for anything more? This joyful celebration is technically held out of state but Rhode Island’s favorite wineries participate as part of the Coastal Wine Trail consortium, and you’ll also fine Lil’ Rhody local food artisans here too! Let your palate explore the savory and the sweet as more than 45 participants descend on Westport Fairgrounds with plenty of room to roam.
RI Seafood Festival, Sept. 10-11, 2022
Held at Providence’s India Point Park at the foot of the I-195 pedestrian bridge, this two-day festival showcases New England’s best seafood and beverages all while you take in live music and take in the view of the exact point the Seekonk River and Providence River meet. Traditionally taking place the weekend after Labor Day, this fun-filled, family friendly event is a great way to bid adieu to a perfect Rhode Island summer.
Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, Sept. 16-18
Historically, the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival has attracted top wineries from around the globe, produced exquisite dinners, hosted seminars and exclusive dining experiences in addition to grand tasting events at held at Marble House, the Gilded Age mansion. With the pandemic, the festival saw a turn toward more intimate events to keep gatherings smaller than in previous years. While the 2022 Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival is scheduled, the details are still unknown. What we do know is that big or small, this event has always delivered.
Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival, Oct. 15-16, 2022
Here’s how it works: head down to historic Bowen’s Wharf in downtown Newport for either day of this weekend extravaganza. Admission is free; you simply pay for the food and beverages that you want to purchase. Honoring the “Harvest of the Sea,” this beloved festival, now in its 31st year, offers fresh local seafood including fish tacos, lobster rolls, stuffies, chowder, fried calamari, clams and oysters in addition to signature cocktails and cold beer. As you savor some delectable dishes, relax and enjoy the talents of local musicians with beats ranging from folk and surf rock to Caribbean and blues. Proceeds from festival bars benefit Oliver Hazard Perry, RI’s 200-foot official sailing education vessel. Bring the whole family!
The only thing better than dining around the Ocean State is dining around the Ocean State at a great deal. Enjoy two weeks of dining special with participating restaurants throughout Rhode Island featuring amazing deals from prix-fixe meus to BOGO deals and deep discounts, not to mention savory specials. Catch a bargain for breakfast, lunch or dinner (some offer all three!). Have it your way: dine inside, dine outside or take it to go. And keep your eye out for beverage specials from discounted wine by the bottle to creative cocktails. Be ready, because Little Rhody knows how to bring the heat!