Summer Food and Wine Festivals in Rochester, New York

Summer Food and Wine Festivals in Rochester, New York

Your complete guide to eating and drinking your way around a Rochester summer is here.

Rochester, N.Y., and its surrounding areas are brimming with festive foodie events during the warm summer months. Anyone is bound to find a festival piquing their curiosity and tickling their tastebuds — and maybe worthy of loosening a belt a notch or two.

Mark your calendar with these upcoming Rochester food and beverage summer festivals. We’ll see you there!

June Rochester Festivals

June launches summer’s Rochester-area food and beverage festivities with a bang.

This month is packed with seasonal celebrations highlighting everything from local, farm-to-table fares to first-come, first-served international treats. Rochester locals and those passing through are sure to find more than a few food events to fill their June calendars.

1. Rock the Gates

When: Early summer, typically June

Where: Williamsville, N.Y.

Rock the Gates is a must-attend summer bash hosted annually at 12 Gates Brewing Company, located in nearby Williamsville, N.Y.

True to its name, the day-long event marries all things rock with all things beer. Handcrafted favorites and seasonally available microbrews meet some of Monroe County’s finest rock tribute bands, including past performers playing AC/DC, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam and more.

VIP tickets receive specialty access to 12 Gates’ lineup of beer releases, including favorite seasonal brews like:

  • Strictly Hop IPA
  • 10-Ply, a milkshake IPA
  • Tacocat, a tequila, oak and lime-infused Pilsner
  • Pertnear, a New England-style IPA
  • By the Blood Orange Moon, a blood orange-flavored wit
  • And more

Learn more and get VIP event ticket information.

2. Saturday of Brews Cruise

Saturday of Brews Cruise: a day-long, multi-stop summer tour of four renowned area breweries — and the perfect way to spend a day with friends during the summer.

When: Multiple summer dates beginning the first week of June

Where: Multiple Locations

Four local breweries co-hosting one special summer extravaganza? That’s what treats guests during the June Brew Cruise, a day-long, multi-stop summer tour of four renowned area breweries — and the perfect way to spend a day with friends during the summer.

The Saturday of Brews Cruise includes stops at multiple Rochester-area and Monroe county breweries. Past cruises featured:

  • Three Heads Brewing (Rochester)
  • Prison City Pub and Brewery (Auburn)
  • Peacemaker Brewing Company (Canandaigua)
  • Other Half Brewing (Canandaigua)

Past tours have started at Three Heads Brewing. Check Three Heads Brewery’s events page for future tour dates and times.

3. Buffalo Pints + Pierogi Fest

When: Early or late June

Where: Buffalo, N.Y.

Enjoy a day dedicated to one of the crown culinary jewels of Eastern Europe — the pierogi.

Area chefs will be serving up their interpretations of this famous dumpling through sweet, savory and surprising dishes, all washed down by local beer and wine vendors.

Each year, the Buffalo Pints + Pierogi Fest also features:

  • Live music entertainment
  • A landscaped beer garden
  • Local artisan vendors
  • Pierogi eating contests
  • Pierogi competitions
  • Games
  • Prize drawings
  • And more

See ticket packages and get the full list of food, beverage and artisan vendors from the city of Buffalo’s official events page.

4. Spanish Street Festival

When: Early June, similar events hosted later in summer

Where: Rochester, N.Y.

Don’t miss out on one of western New York’s largest heritage events with this all-in-one evening dedicated to Spanish cuisine.

Hosted annually by Tapas 177 restaurant in Rochester, festival attendees work their way across food and drinks arranged according to Spanish regions. The culinary tour will provide samplings of both classic Spanish dishes as well as lesser-known regional treats across four distinct Spanish provinces — Malaga, Pamplona, Bunol and Barcelona. Guests are also served Iberian-inspired cocktails prepped exclusively for the festival.

View the full lineup of Tapas 177’s summer events, then get in the spirit by sampling a bottle of Rioja, one of Spain’s most acclaimed wine varietals.

5. Rochester Cocktail Revival (RCR)

Rochester Cocktail Revival: This one-of-a-kind summer event brings you closer to the art and science of craft cocktails than ever before.

When: Early or mid June

Where: Various Rochester locations

Rochester Cocktail Revival is a week-long soiree into all things mixed, shaken, blended and stirred.

This one-of-a-kind summer event brings you closer to the art and science of craft cocktails than ever before. It’s also one of New York State’s only festivals dedicated to cocktail mixology, with Rochester serving as a premier destination for craft mixed beverages and top-tier mixologist talent.

With over 20 cocktail bars and venues participating in past years, future Rochester Cocktail Revival’s lineup doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Attendees experience:

  • More than 15 cocktail-paired meals
  • 40 individual events and parties
  • Hands-on mixologist classes and seminars
  • Live music
  • A commemorative themed gala

See more about the Rochester Cocktail Revival lineup, or check out specific RCR events with individually sold tickets.

6. Spirit Tasting Spectacular

When: During the annual Rochester Cocktail Revival (RCR) Festival, early to mid June

Where: Rochester, N.Y.

Spectacular is in the name, and spectacular is what guests can expect in one of the Rochester Cocktail Revival’s opening summer events.

Attendees have tasting access to over 40 spirits from local, state and national distillers, plus craft cocktail samples and full drinks made to highlight them. Solo event tickets include up to 16 free spirit samples, plus additional samples and beverages available for order at cash bars.

Learn more about the Spirit Tasting Spectacular plus other individual festival events that are part of the annual Rochester Cocktail Revival.

7. Oyster Fest

When: Amidst late spring oyster season, late May to early June

Where: Niagara Falls, Ontario

New York State’s great lake and coastal shores are no stranger to shellfishing — and neither are its neighbors to the north.

Making it out to Niagara Falls’ annual Oyster Fest is worth the trek to experience the expert oyster shucking competition alone. Enjoy heaps of fresh-shucked oysters, explore local wineries, spirits and craft brewery and taste additional seafood vendors, plus bring the whole family for themed arts, crafts, musical entertainment, games and more.

Admission is free for children 10 and under. Learn more about Oyster Fest Niagara, then prep for your Canadian adventure with a bottle of premium Canadian whiskey, great on the rocks for a balmy summer evening.

9. Bar Room Battle Royale

When: During the annual Rochester Cocktail Revival (RCR) Festival, early to mid June

Where: Rochester, N.Y.

The Bar Room Battle Royale is a signature event of the renowned annual Rochester Cocktail Revival festival.

Its name doesn’t mislead. Watch as some of the nation’s best mixologists square off in cocktail-making competitions — with only one claiming the title of supreme mixological master.

Past tickets to the Bar Room Battle Royale included: Iron Tasting arena admission, Bar Ninja competition admission, VIP drink specials, and Cocktail-paired bar snacks

Past tickets to the Bar Room Battle Royale included:

  • Iron Tasting arena admission
  • Bar Ninja competition admission
  • VIP drink specials
  • Cocktail-paired bar snacks

Find this year’s Battle Royale date and time on their website — it’s been known to sell out.

10. Cheese the Day

When: Mid June

Where: Rochester, N.Y.

A day filled with cheese? Washed down with cold, crisp ciders? That’s what guests are in for at Cheese the Day, the Blue Toad Hard Cider’s seasonal food and cider-pairing event. We don’t think anyone leaves disappointed.

Try a hand-curated assortment of Blue Toad Hard Ciders always picked to complement the flavors of a range of locally sourced cheeses and cheese recipes. Both sweet and savory items are served, showcasing how cider beverages pair with this favorite charcuterie-board staple.

For tickets and more information, visit the Blue Toad Hard Cider NY’s event page.

11. Rochester Martini & Mimosa Fest

When: Late June

Where: Rochester, N.Y.

Two classic cocktails get their day in the spotlight at the annual Rochester Martini & Mimosa Fest.

Enjoy as over six Rochester-area restaurants serve up their takes on the mimosa and the martini, the beloved beverage of brunch and dinner at local brasseries. The two provide a signature beverage-festival experience, with martinis’ silky, signature sips washed down with a mimosa’s light, sweet and sugary finish.

Rochester Martini & Mimosa Fest: Enjoy as over six Rochester-area restaurants serve up their takes on the mimosa and the martini, the beloved beverage of brunch and dinner at local brasseries.

Past delights at the Martini & Mimosa Fest featured:

  • Complimentary champagne
  • PURA sparkling water tastings
  • Craft and traditional mimosas and martinis bars
  • Live DJ entertainment
  • Frozen beverages
  • And more

Tickets for this one tend to sell fast, with discounted group packages available for group rates.

12. A-List Canal Crawl

When: Multiple dates and tour times beginning in June

Where: Pittsford, N.Y.

The A-List Canal Crawl is not your typical bar hop. In fact, the event showcases far more than a few beverage samples at a handful of bars, instead giving guests exclusive access to the dining, shopping and entertainment venues that make up the heart downtown Pittsford.

Local guides host groups of up to 30 across pre-planned stops, with games, raffles and other entertainment at each location. Stops along the Crawl are diverse, allowing attendees to sample:

  • Brewed ciders
  • Craft beers
  • Local wines
  • Craft cocktails
  • Kombucha
  • Coffee and tea
  • Fresh-pressed juices
  • Artisan foods
  • Baked goods
  • Hand-churned ice creams and gelato
  • Local shopping
  • And much more

Grab your friends and book a spot on a tour this summer.

13. Eat the World! Food Truck Party

When: Late June, similar food truck events occur later in the summer

Where: Buffalo, N.Y.

This specialty craft food event puts a world of cuisine at your fingertips.

Ethnic food truck vendors from around western New York will be setting up shop at the International Institute of Buffalo, bringing their fryers, broilers, griddles and grills to present a feast of international proportions. Slotted food trucks include fare from the Middle East, Mediterranean regions, African cuisines and even The Great Aussie Bite celebrating food from down under.

Past general admission tickets have included two complimentary beverages of beer, soda or water.

July Food and Wine Festivals

July keeps the summer festivals sizzling in Rochester with a slate of food and drink events of its own.

1. Finger Lakes Wine Festival

Finger Lakes Wine Festival: Over 80 wineries and vendors set up shop and serve pours from their cellars, plus host cooking demonstrations, winemaking seminars, curated tastings, competitions and more.

When: Second weekend of July

Where: Watkins Glen, N.Y.

The Finger Lakes Wine Festival is a must-experience event for any professed wine lover.

One of the largest wine celebrations in the state and in all of New England, Finger Lakes Wine Festival is dedicated to all things New York wine. Over 80 wineries and vendors set up shop and serve pours from their cellars, plus host cooking demonstrations, winemaking seminars, curated tastings, competitions and more.

In addition to the exploration of all things wine and winemaking, the annual Finger Lakes Wine Festival features:

  • Artisan merchandise stalls
  • Dozens of food vendors
  • Culinary classes and seminars
  • Food and wine-pairing tutorials
  • Industry speakers
  • Musical entertainment
  • And more

Learn more about the annual Finger Lakes Wine Festival, then get in the spirit by exploring New York wine regions and types. Details on Rochester-area transportation packages to the festival are available, as well as information regarding both on and off-premise event lodging.

2. A Taste of Summer at Perry Chalk Art Festival

When: Mid July annually

Where: Perry, N.Y.

Learn the secrets of eating seasonally at this local Rochester festival gem, A Taste of Summer.

A Taste of Summer brings together over 10 area restaurants, breweries and wineries every year to showcase specialty dishes and drinks using only seasonal, local ingredients. Attendees enjoy food, beverages and nibbles prepped by renowned establishments like:

  • Ration Wine Bar
  • Silver Lake Brewing Project
  • Red Newt Winery
  • The Hole in the Wall Restaurant & Lounge
  • Morluski’s
  • Eli Fish Brewing Company
  • Lakewood Vineyards
  • Standing Stone Vineyards
  • The Yard of Ale
  • East Hill Creamery
  • And more

Pre-sale tickets are typically available at discount rates. Tickets are used day-of in place of cash or credit to purchase dishes. The standard event rate is three tickets for one dish. See more details on the Perry Chalk Art Festival event lineup.

3. O.P.P. (Other People’s Pints) Festival

When: Inaugural event in mid July, other O.P.P. dates throughout the year

Where: Avon, N.Y.

While you’re in a hop state of mind from June’s brewery festivities and parties, make your way to the Rising Storm Brewing Company over in Avon. The award-winning brewery is opening its doors to commemorate all the beer-brewing talent in the area with a festival completely dedicated to other breweries — that is, “other people’s pints.” Get the name now?

With over a dozen breweries on its yearly docket, the O.P.P. Festival is a one-stop night to soak in local craft beers. Taste beer flights and full pours, plus sample local food vendors while live musical entertainment plays on stage.

Get more information on Rising Storm Brewing Company’s summer events.

4. Empire Brewfest

When: Mid July

Where: Syracuse, N.Y.

The annual Empire Brewfest is a homage to all things craft beer — and more than worthy of the pilgrimage to Syracuse.

After all, it has “Empire,” in the name for a reason. One of the largest brewery festivals in summer, Empire Brewfest hosts well over 200 breweries and brewery representatives offering everything from their classic pours to brand-new, limited edition summer brews.

Empire Brewfest hosts well over 200 breweries and brewery representatives offering everything from their classic pours to brand-new, limited edition summer brews.

Choose from several ticket packages. VIP tickets over the years have been upgraded to include amenities like:

  • Exclusive craft beer release party
  • Specialty vendor foods
  • Food truck rally (15+ trucks)
  • Games and prizes
  • Live music
  • And more

Find the full lineup of Brewfest events, breweries, food vendors and more on their event page.

5. FLXcursion Grand Tasting

When: Mid to late July

Where: Geneva, N.Y.

Cool-climate wine lovers rejoice, this summer festival is made for you!

The FLXcursion Grand Tasting is a traveling series bringing international cool-region wine producers to cities near you. Past Grand Tasting vendors hail from Oregon, Washington State and Michigan, plus Austria, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and more.

Taste classic to cutting-edge cool-region red and white varietals from a host of vineyards, hearing their origin stories told by the very people who cultivate the grapes. Information on standard and VIP tickets is available here.

6. Finger Lakes Cheese Festival

When: Late July or early August annually

Where: Odessa, N.Y.

Summer festivals are a prime time to get your cheese fix on, with few places better to do so than the annual Finger Lakes Cheese Festival.

Showcasing the area’s rich and diverse cheesemaking scene, this family-friendly event is a day-long celebration of all things dairy. Taste dozens of cheese varieties, snack on cheese dishes, watch live cooking demos and attend cheese-wine-beer-cider pairing sessions. The kids will have fun exploring the event venue’s creamery, taking hayride tours of the farm and playing cheese-themed games.

The Finger Lakes Cheese Festival has traditionally also showcased the best of local:

  • Jams and preserves
  • Pickled goods
  • Farmers’ market produce
  • Teas and coffees
  • Baked treats
  • Maple syrup
  • Handcrafted wood art
  • And more

Order tickets on the official Finger Lakes Wine Country events calendar.

7. Low Country Boil

When: Late July

Where: Hornell, N.Y.

Many regions around the world have their version of the boil dinner. Here in Rochester and Monroe County, we like ours with fresh clams, mussels and lobster, served with summery sides of locally farmed potatoes, corn on the cob and steaming-hot biscuits just pulled from the oven and smothered in butter.

That’s precisely what you’ll find on the menu of Wild Brute Winery’s Low Country Boil, a festive evening for food connoisseurs looking for a taste of true New England summer cooking. Additional menu items include crab legs, smoked sausage and homemade seasonal desserts, all served hot and fresh like they would be in your own backyard.

Past meal tickets have included a complimentary glass of champagne. Contact Wild Brute Winery for ticket prices and group packages.

August Rochester-Area Food Festivals

Rochester’s food and beverage festivals aren’t over yet. Cap off the summer with these foodie celebrations in and around Monroe County all throughout August.

1. 1833 Kitchen & Bar’s Taste of Summer Series

1833 Kitchen & Bar's Taste of Summer Series: Stop in on select Wednesdays throughout the summer months, sit down for the featured tasting, then enjoy live music, related food specials or a full dinner spread.

When: Multiple Wednesdays throughout August and into fall

Where: Aurora, N.Y.

1833 Kitchen and Bar at the Aurora Inn serves up a unique, summer-long tasting series with one goal — showcase the diverse range of local wineries, breweries and distilleries that make up the thriving beverage scene here in western New York.

Best of all? Tastings are free — no tickets or advanced reservations required. Simply stop in on select Wednesdays throughout the summer months, sit down for the featured tasting, then enjoy live music, related food specials or a full dinner spread.

Mark your calendar with the Taste of Summer’s dates and vendor lineup.

2. Strathmore Beer & Cheese Festival

When: First or second weekend of August

Where: Syracuse, N.Y.

Wine and cheese may be the perennial pairing, but don’t go kicking beer to the curb just yet. The Strathmore Beer & Cheese Festival proves sample after sample, vendor after vendor, just how much these two belong together.

Each year, the event explores dozens of artisan cheeses from local and national cheesemakers alike, alongside featured craft beers and ciders. Charcuterie plates and other cheese-inspired fares will also be available during this day-long fest.

All ticket packages contain various amounts of cheese, charcuterie and beverage samples. Find ticket package details and purchasing instructions on their event page.

3. Annual Old Fashioned Corn Roast

When: Peak corn harvest season in Northeast NY, August through September

Where: Sanborn, N.Y.

August is peak corn season in New York State. Long Cliff Vineyard & Winery embraces the harvest in style with their annual Old Fashion Corn Roast, a complete, appetizer-to-dessert ensemble dedicated to sweet corn and all that goes well with it.

Annual Old Fashioned Corn Roast: Typical event tickets include three personalized wine samples, a full beverage of your choice and dinner that's featured locally sourced fare such as: BBQ pulled pork sliders, 1/4 roasted chicken, Seasonal chef's salad, Buttered potatoes, All-you-can-eat roast corn (plus the fixins')

Typical event tickets include three personalized wine samples, a full beverage of your choice and dinner that’s featured locally sourced fare such as:

  • BBQ pulled pork sliders
  • 1/4 roasted chicken
  • Seasonal chef’s salad
  • Buttered potatoes
  • All-you-can-eat roast corn (plus the fixins’)

See Long Cliff Vineyard & Winery’s website for details.

4. Silk and Tassel

When: Mid August

Where: Geneva, N.Y.

Enjoy an upscale farm-to-table meal and sip local Finger Lakes wines while supporting the Smith Opera House, all during in this annual food-centered festive fundraiser hosted at the Smith Center for Performing Arts.

Silk and Tassel brings award-winning, distinguished chefs from western New York to prepare a multi-course, gourmet dinner using only seasonal and sustainable foods. Event proceeds go directly to the Smith Center for Performing Arts. Donors will sit at a long, communal table, sharing in food and conversation — all for a good cause.

See the chefs and vendors taking part in Silk and Tassel, then learn about the Smith Center for the Arts’ additional summer series.

5. National Buffalo Wing Festival

When: Labor Day weekend annually

Where: Buffalo, N.Y.

There’s no better way to cap a summer of western New York food and wine festivals than attending the creme de la creme celebration of them all, the National Buffalo Wing Festival.

Consistently drawing 50,000 to 60,000 visitors a year, the two-day long homage to Buffalo’s famous fried chicken fare and is conveniently held only a few hours from Rochester. This packed festival is a must for every foodie to check off their bucket list, featuring:

  • Over 100 wing flavors and varieties
  • Wing vendor tasting competitions
  • Beer and wine pairing stations
  • Official United States Wing Eating Championship
  • Other food and beverage-themed contests, prizes and drawings
  • Carnival games
  • Live music

VIP Party Deck tickets are typically available for a “Best Seat in the House” all-inclusive festival experience. All other general event tickets are available day-of at the gates, no pre-sale. Get all the details in their full festival guide.

Pro tip: Interested in bringing buffalo hot wing-wine pairings home? Stick with sweeter, low-alcohol wines like GewürztraminersGarnachas and zinfandels. Their juicy, bright but mellow flavors won’t fight against your plate of bold buffalo hot wings, letting you enjoy the nuances of each.

Bring Rochester’s Best Food and Drink Festivals to Your Home

Whether you want the right wine for a summer meal or a one-stop resource for wine and beverage happenings near and far, Marketview Liquor can help.

We house one of the area's largest selections of local, national and international wines. Browse our wine catalog,

We house one of the area’s largest selections of local, national and international wines. Browse our wine catalog, then order online for quick and convenient home delivery. Or pick up your order in-store to also explore our wide selection of liquors.