Culinary Events Around “Flavor Town” Columbus

The capital of Ohio, Columbus, has a long history of under-the-radar food culture. Yet, the city is buzzing with innovative culinary events that bring entertainment to the next level.

Columbus has one of the most thriving brewery scenes in the country, celebrating its vibrant community of flavor lovers. Whether you are considering spending a weekend downtown or attending a live music festival, there are plenty of exciting upcoming events in Columbus in May 2022. Check out our list of the events you can’t afford to miss and the preferred food spots for residents and visitors from around the world.

The Unmissable Columbus Food Adventures

If you are unsure where to start your culinary journey, you should join one of the Columbus food experience tours. You can choose to attend one of their 10 walking tours, a van-based tour, or an adult drinks tour.

It’s recommended to buy your tickets ahead and check the calendar for availability. Alternatively, you can also book a private tour.

The food tours expected to run in May will be:

  • The Short North
  • Old Worthington
  • Brewery District Dublin
  • German Village as featured on the Food Network show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” (on weekend afternoons)
  • All Dessert
  • Grandview Avenue
  • Taco Food Truck (can also be booked for private groups)
  • Meat Lovers (one Thursday each month)
  • All Eats (only on Friday evenings)
The unmissable Columbus Food Adventures

The Much Awaited Free Taco Fest – May 14-15

Created in 2018, the Taco Fest welcomes hundreds of festival-goers every year! It is one of the most exciting events in town with plenty of live music in the middle of a beautiful backdrop. Don’t miss this fun taco festival that showcases some of the most delicious Mexican cuisine on offer in Columbus.

It is a two-day celebration held in Genoa Park in honor of tacos, tequilas, and Mexican beer. Admission is free to all. However, you can choose to donate to support the Ohio Restaurant Association’s Ohio Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, which is designed to provide funding for those in the food industry affected by the pandemic. Also, a portion of the profits collected during the event by food vendors will go toward the relief fund.

You can also buy merchandise from the online shop dedicated to the annual celebration of Mexican food and culture! The party starts at noon on both days and lasts as long as the sun stays up, and even a little longer!

The Ohio Black Expo – May 26-29

The Columbus area Black Expo features many exhibits to celebrate #blackexpollence with a variety of arts, music, food, and entertainment during Memorial Day Weekend. Artisans can also apply to attend and present their workshops to the local community. You are likely to spot celebrities making an appearance at this unique event.

Founded by Rhonda D. Robinson in 1980 and originally called the Columbus Black Expo, the Ohio Black Expo changed its name in the late 1980s when Robinson realized the exhibition attracted thousands of visitors from all over the state. The first event took place at the Veteran’s Memorial in downtown Columbus.

Make sure to buy your tickets to secure your place in advance. The event also runs a competition offering VIP access, meal and drink vouchers, and a stay in downtown Columbus.

The Asian Festival – May 28-29

One of the few online events, this annual celebration promotes the Asian community and culture. Due to COVID concerns, the festival will explore Asian culture through virtual entertainment, arts, and workshops. The festival is one of the major food and culture festivals in Central Ohio. While the event is now online, in years past, thousands of visitors attended this annual cultural celebration.

It is currently unknown which activities or performances will be part of the online event. Yet, organizers promise to share the Asian experience through arts, food discovery, children’s activities, and many more fun activities. Due to its virtual nature, we expect the event to be free for visitors.

An Evening in Paris – May 17

Want to go to Paris but can’t afford to travel? Don’t look any farther than Columbus. You can spend the day in the French capital city without breaking the bank. One of the most romantic food events in Columbus, an Evening in Paris, invites couples to discover elegant recipes that will transport them to Paris for the day. A complimentary glass of wine is also included in the admission price.

The event, held in the new state-of-the-art Mitchell Hall on the campus of Columbus State Community College, introduces attendees to the life and work of food writer Shawnie Kelly and her culinary experiences in Paris. It’s worth noting that Mitchell Hall holds many similar events, combining food and arts for the joy of visitors. Check out their site or search the Columbus SCC site for more about upcoming events.

An Evening in Paris - May 17

Culinary Arts – May 14 – 21 – Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Every month, the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus arrange a diverse slate of plant and food events.

In May, their culinary arts workshops welcome children and adults to a cooking class to explore new flavors and recipes. You can join the chickpea pasta or wood-fired pizza workshops.

Participants are advised to book ahead as some of the most popular food events can be difficult to get into. Among the events are short lunchtime classes that leave plenty of time for families to enjoy the rest of their day in Columbus. Make sure to have a drink after the event at the botanical café before you leave!

Beer Dinner: A Night of Lachancea Tart Beers – May 17

This grown-up night celebrates a new style of sour beer. One of the preferred drink events for pint lovers combines a four-course meal with the unique Lachancea tart-flavored signature beers brewed in Columbus. You can enjoy this specific pint, as well as many others, surrounded by beer connoisseurs.

As a rule of thumb, we’d suggest getting your ticket sooner than later. Better be safe than sorry on the day!

Beer Dinner A Night of Lachancea Tart Beers - May 17

Science is Brewing: A Free Brewer-led Brewery Tour – Columbus Land-Grant – May 4

Many assume that there is nothing more to a pint of beer than excellent craftsmanship. But this brewing event helps you explore the science-backed facts about brewing.

A festival for grown-ups-only where you can enjoy a refreshing brew in the late day sun. For those who are keen to explore the brewing community, it’s one of the most informative festivals you could find!

Further Food Festivals in Columbus, Ohio

We advise foodies to stay tuned about upcoming events in Columbus and the surrounding areas in Ohio. Many events are free in Columbus, which makes things even more exciting! If there is one thing we can say about Columbus, it’s that there is more than one food-backed arts or wine culture festival that competes for your attention.

You can check out some of the most popular drink events and culinary culture festivals following these links: Columbus, OH food festivals Events Next Month | Eventbrite and Annual Columbus Events | Festivals, Concerts & Sports.

Alternatively, it’s worth mentioning that many festivals that may not be food-focused still include a ton of delicious local products and baked goods!

Further food festivals for free or not in Columbus, Ohio

Where to Stay in Columbus, Ohio When You Attend a Free Festival?

Not sure where to start your search when attending a food or wine festival? You can find a variety of hotels on sites such as and Airbnb for accommodations in some of the most popular and easily accessible areas in Columbus such as downtown, or areas highly served by public transport such as the Columbus Ohio Expo Center and Ohio State University.

What is the Columbus Community Like?

The Columbus community loves a good festival. Residents are blessed with a variety of exciting events that bring the arts, music, culture, food, and unique flavors of the city together.

Would you be interested in moving to Columbus and living in the middle of the flavor town? Take a look at real estate opportunities in the city, such as those offered by Rockford Homes. Our communities offer an easy commute to some of the most popular districts, suitable for families, so you can enjoy your favorite events all year long! Feel free to get in touch with our team for more info.

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Stephanie Ferner

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