Off the Eaten Path

Off the Eaten Path With Jess: Fall Edition

The best food events in New York City this fall from our expert foodie, Jess Bender.

Some of the tacos you'll be having at the Tipsy Taco Fest

From the most acclaimed restaurants off the 7 train to Brooklyn’s best craft distilleries and breweries to the tastiest artisanal doughnuts in the five boroughs, our food expert Jess Bender knows every culinary corner of NYC. And she’s always finding more ways to savor the city. So what’s Jess checking out this season? Tibetan dumplings, a tsunami of tacos, beer and chocolate pairings, gourmet $1 pizza slices, and taste bud–scorching peppers, to name a few. Follow along on all her foodie fun at these appetizing food events in NYC.

Refugee Food & Art Festival, September 22–23

Don’t resist this important and delicious inaugural food festival. Hosted by the food-driven meet-up startup Komeeda, this three-day feast will include tastings, dinner parties, and brunches cooked up by “chefugees” from across the globe. Even better, this fest is happening at the same time as the UN’s General Assembly. Food Arts Center, 210 East 43rd Street (between Second and Third Avenues), Midtown East

Tipsy Taco Fest, September 23

Tacos were made for Tuesdays, and they’re even better when they’re unlimited and paired with tequila, micheladas, margaritas, churros, and a guacamole bar. From the organizers who brought the Bacon and Beer Classic to Citi Field comes this Mexi-feast inside one of my fave Williamsburg bars, The Well. The Well, 272 Meserole Street, Williamsburg

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Taco buffet, anyone?

Chile Pepper Festival, October 1

Who knew a botanical garden could be so fiery? The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s annual ode to peppers high on the Scoville scale is one of the borough’s most anticipated parties of the year, with blazing bands, chocolatiers not afraid of tampering with mouth-tingling flavors, hands-on workshops (just don’t wipe your eyes after), and hot sauces that’ll leave a mark days after consumption. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 990 Washington Avenue, Crown Heights

Slice Out Hunger, October 4

Sometimes iconic pizzerias want to moonlight as dollar-slice shops, even if it’s just for one night only. In collaboration with Scott’s Pizza Tours, some of the city’s best spots for pies—think: Di Fara, Emily, Keste, and Lucali—are selling their world-renowned slices for just a Hamilton. All of the night’s proceeds will directly benefit hunger relief around the five boroughs. The Shrine Church of Saint Anthony of Padua, 155 Sullivan Street (between Prince and West Houston Streets), Soho

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Pizza always tastes better with friends.

Live at the Archway: Oktoberfest, October 6 and 7

Take a daycation to Munich by way of Dumbo, just in time for Oktoberfest. The archway underneath the Manhattan Bridge will be transformed into a traditional beer hall for the weekend; the lager, wurst, and sauerkraut will be ever-flowing from high noon to sundown. Enjoy the hipster Polka Brothers, arts and crafts, and pick-your-own-apples, too. Pull out your best dirndl for the ’gram. The Archway, Dumbo

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Photo courtesy of Noemie Trusty

Chocolate and Beer Pairing Party, October 9

Stout with a strong dark chocolate is one of my ultimate food pairings, so an entire night dedicated to beers and beans gets a first-dibs spot on my calendar. Chocolate will be provided by Red Hook’s Raaka Chocolate (save the guilt for something else; these bars are all vegan), and suds come from in-house (I’m assuming you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the Constant Disappointment double IPA). Your ticket even provides you with reading material for the commute home, Megan Giller’s Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: America’s Craft Chocolate Revolution. Threes Brewing Company, 333 Douglass Street, Gowanus

Pickle Day, October 15

The Lower East Side may be more synonymous with vintage fedora stores, über hip versions of comforting classics for Michelin prices, and street style for the Instagram age, but once upon a time, the neighborhood was home to generations of Jewish immigrants. This yearly tribute to the city of yore is the perfect flashback to those good (if difficult) old days, with 20-plus pickle vendors, live music, local businesses, and even a pickling contest (would anything else be appropriate?). Orchard Street (between East Houston and Delancey Streets), Lower East Side

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Old school pickles in new school NYC / Photo courtesy of Nina LoSchiavo, Lower East Side Partnership

Ice Cream Social, October 25

Nostalgia trips can often be dire when adulthood problems have you down, but getting back in touch with your youth is always better when beer is involved. Ice cream juggernaut Ample Hills hosts this monthly meet-up, where the treats are quintessentially old school (you can even churn your own with its pedal-powered bike) and the activities are catered to your current interests (crafts! bar trivia! pizza!). Ample Hills Creamery, 305 Nevins Street, Gowanus

The Sixth Annual Momo Crawl, November 5

You didn’t think you could get cheap dumplings only in Flushing, did you? Jackson Heights is one of the city’s only spots to get Tibetan-style dumplings (momos), and you have the chance to sample $1 momos from more than 20 different vendors during this crisp afternoon crawl. Diversity Plaza, 37th Road + 73rd Street, Jackson Heights

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Warm up with some momos

Get in touch with our experience advisers who can secure admission to these events for you and more.