Taste of D.C., 11 a.m.-6 p.m., May 28-30, Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, (202) 789-7002, www.tasteofdc.org, free. Formally held over Columbus Day weekend, this outdoor fest celebrates the city’s cultural heritage through food and music. For more than free samples, a $10 tasting ticket allows you to nibble on what some 40 restaurant booths are servin’ up—anything from burgers to gyros to jerk chicken.
St. George’s Crab Cake Dinner, 1-7 p.m. June 4, St. George’s Episcopal Church, Valley Lee, (301) 994-0585, $17, ages 6-12 $7.50, ages 5 and under free. All-you-can-eat menu that includes crab cakes and baked ham. Seconds anyone? Heck, go for thirds.
Wheeling Feeling, 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. June 4, Wheeling’s Heritage Port, 12th and Water streets, Wheeling, W. Va., www.chilicookoff.com. Chiliheads gather for the International Chili Society’s cook-off and you get to sample some of the best red around. Proceeds benefit charities and not-for-profits.
Taste of Coastal Delaware, 1-4 p.m. June 5, Marketplace at Sea Colony, Bethany Beach, Del., (800) 962-7873, www.bethany-fenwick.org. See how they do it in Delaware. Sample area chefs best dishes, from home cooking to haute cuisine.
Rib America Festival, June 10-12, Chevrolet Amphitheatre, 11 W. Station Square Drive, Pittsburgh, Pa., (412) 323-1919, www.ribamerica.com/main.html, $5. Some serious BBQ-ers come from as far as Texas to grill finger-lickin’ award-winnin’ chops while you listen to live music by Donnie Iris, Deep Purple, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
Gospel Music Crab Feast/Raise the Praise Fest, 1-5 p.m. June 11, July 16 and 30, Aug. 13 and 20, on the waterfront, Inner Harbor, (410) 484-5600, www.crabfeast.com. Feast upon both sea and foul while local Gospel groups sing their praise. Delmarva Chicken Festival, June 24-25, Suzzex Central Middle School, Millsboro, Del., (800) 878-2449, www.dpichicken.org, free. Everything tastes like chicken here ‘cause it is. Besides normal festie stuff like face painting, rides, and games, there’s a Chef Chicken Challenge and pen of baby chicks. Wait, that’s kinda sad.
Tilghman Island Summer Seafood Festival, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 25, Kronsburg Park, Tilghman Island, www.tilghmanmd.com. They had us at cold beer and steamed crabs.
National Capital Barbecue Battle, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. June 25, 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. June 26, Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, www.bbqusa.us, $10, ages 6-12 $5, ages 5 and under free. Chow down and watch competitors throw down to earn the title of National Pork BBQ Champion. Tents with cooking displays, jazz entertainment, and barbecued pulled pork, ribs, and chicken are enough to fill up any day.
New Castle County Ice Cream Festival, July 8-10, Rockwood Mansion Park, 610 Shipley Road, Wilmington, Del., (302) 761-4340. You know you’ll be eating Turkey Hill ice cream morning, noon, and night so join in the 5k run that kicks off the affair.
Blueberry Festival, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 16, Deer Creek Friends Meeting, Darlington, (410) 457-9188. Blueberries are cool enough for a festival too.
Pork, Peanut, and Pine Festival, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 16-17, Chippokes Plantation State Park, 695 Chippokes Park Road, Surry, Va., (757) 294-3625, www.dcr.state.va.us/parks/-prkevntz.htm. From peanut brittle and pie to pork chops and rinds, you’ll see some creative ways to eat two of Virginia’s famous foods. We don’t know what’s up with the pine.
Taste of the Town, noon-10 p.m. June 18, Reston Town Center, Market Street, Fountain Square and the Town Center Pavilion, Reston, Va., www.restonchamber.org, $1. Pay a buck to sample the cuisine of over 30 Virginian restaurants.
J.M. Tawes Crab and Clam Bake, 1-5 p.m. July 20, Somers Cove Marina, Crisfield, (410) 968-2500, www.crisfieldchamber.com/clambake.htm, $35. Get it Wednesday, and this time we don’t mean your copy of City Paper, instead it’s all-you-(and 5,000 other advance ticket buyers)-can-eat crabs and clams.
Crab Days, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 30-31, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Mill St., St. Michaels, (410) 745-2916, $10 each day. Another summer weekend in Maryland means another crustacean-themed festival. Good luck pulling up crab pots, chicken necking, and trot lining at this one.
D.C. Restaurant Week, Aug. 1-7, participating Washington restaurants, www.washington.org/restaurantwk. For one week, over 90 restaurants’ prices fall as the temperature rises in D.C. Pinch those pennies, but budget your time for the prix fixe three-course deal at participating eateries.
Old-Fashioned Corn Roast Festival, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 6, Union Mills Homestead, 3311 Littlestown Pike, Westminster, (410) 848-2288. What’s summer without corn-on-the-cob? It’s the 35th year Carroll County’s hosting the corn-roasting bash, which includes an art show and tours.
Ice Cream Social, 1-4 p.m. Aug. 7, Hays House Museum, 324 Kenmore Ave., Bel Air, (410) 838-7691, www.harfordhistory.net, $3, students and seniors $2. Go for the ice cream. Stay for the conversation.
Virginia Food Festival, 4-8 p.m. Aug. 13, Richmond Raceway Complex, Richmond, Va., (804) 643-3555, $24, ages 6 and under free. Virginia is for food lovers. Steamed crabs, tilapia, and apple brown betty all sound pretty enticing. Be sure to buy your tickets in advance.
Pocono Garlic Festival, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 3, Court House Square, Stroudsburg, Pa., (570) 421-7235, www.poconogarlic.com/welcome.html, free. The smelliest festival of them all. Here’s your chance to indulge your garlic cravings as area chefs prepare some of what we imagine to be the most pungent—but prolly flavorful—dishes. Just don’t get too close to the tuba players.
National Hard Crab Derby and Fair, Sept. 2-4, Somers Cove Marina, Crisfield, (410) 968-2500, www.crisfieldchamber.com/crabderby.htm. Race to pick ‘em, cook ‘em, and eat ‘em before summer’s over.
Bird-in-Hand Bakery, 2715 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand, Pa., (800) 665-8780, www.bird-in-hand.com/bakery. Red velvet cakes, apple dumplings, and shoofly pies are among the Pennsylvania Dutch foods offered in this location near Lancaster. Can’t make the trip? Check their Web site for how to ship their shoofly right to your front door.
Bomboy’s Home Made Candy, Inc., 329 Market St., Havre de Grace, (410) 939-2924, www.bomboyscandy.com. Besides an assortment of chocolate, this family business also has an ice cream shop with some summery fun flavors like piña colada and strawberry cheesecake.
Capogiro Gelato, 13th and Sansom streets, Philadelphia, Pa., (215) 351-0900. Aims to whip up the freshest Italian gelato by using only local produce and milk from hormone-free cows. Yum.
Crab Place, 384 West Main St., Crisfield, (877) 328-2722, www.crabplace.com. If all-you-can-eat clambakes still don’t cut it for you, order your oysters, shrimp, crabs, and clams to crack open and slurp up on your own—delivered fresh from the Chesapeake.
Dean & DeLuca, 3276 M St. N.W., Washington, (202) 342-2500. Break from the bustle of Georgetown shoppers for a gelato treat at Dean & DeLuca’s outdoor café. Tables tucked by the canal around back make for a great spot to scoop it up and take it all in.
Dolles, 1 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del., (302) 227-0757, www.dolles-ibachs.com. Bring back a little more than sand when you hit the beach this summer. If salt-water taffy is too chewy for you, they’ve also got fudge, peanut brittle, and caramel corn to rot your teeth.
Ficner’s Farm, season starts in June, 1911 Fast Landing Road, Dover, Del., (302) 674-4677. Pick your own strawberries or fill up the cart with veggies from the store.
Hepburn Orchards, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily, 557 E. Main St., Hancock, (301) 678-6060, www.hepburns.com. The Hepburns work hard at bringing you back to the old-fashioned country days with their slab bacon and fudge “the way grandma used to make.”
Hershey’s Chocolate World Visitor Center, 800 Park Blvd., Hershey, Pa., (717) 534-4900, www.hersheys.com/chocolateworld. You don’t skip dessert when visiting the “Sweetest Place on Earth.” Take part in the chocolate-making factory experience before treating yourself to goodies at their ice cream and cookie shops.
Homestead Farm, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, near Poolesville, (301) 977-3761, www.homestead-farm.net. Start with strawberries and come back to pick your own blackberries, peaches, and red raspberries as summer ripens. Sweeten the deal at their market and buy jars of honey collected from local beehives.
Jefferson Orchards, Kearneysville, W. Va., (888) 792-7753, www.jeffersonorchards.com. Over 600 acres in the Shenandoah Valley for you to stroll through and pick your own peaches, plums, and apples.
Jim’s Steaks, 4th and South streets, Philadelphia, Pa., (212) 928-1911, www.jimssteaks.com. Avoid locals at Passyunk and Ninth squabbling (and scoffing at us tourists) over whose cheesesteak is Philly’s best—Pat’s or Geno’s—and head to the third contender of the title at Jim’s. Wherever you go, fit in with a Cheez Whiz topping on your steak and a simple “without” to mean no onions, thank you.
Kelly’s Front Porch, 13th Street on the boardwalk, Ocean City, (410) 289-8134. Cool off with a smoothie or iced, frozen, yum yum coffee drink.
Lazy Sundae, 2925 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va., (703) 525-4960. Funky ice cream flavors like ice cream cake, Earl Grey, and key lime pie set this shop apart.
Vitale’s Italian Ice’s and Homemade Ice Cream, 75 Greentree Drive, Dover, Del., (302) 674-8851. We’re screaming for it. They’ve got it.
Baltimore Farmers’ Market, 8 a.m.-noon Sundays, Holliday and Saratoga streets, www.bop.org. The early bird gets the . . . ripest apple? The market stays open ‘til they sell out, which is usually by noon. Also offers mini-workshops on how to pick out the best fruit.
Bardane Country Market, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily July-October, Shenandoah Junction, W. Va., (304) 876-6477. Sells fresh apples and peaches on the site of an apple evaporator. We’re not sure what that is, but they say it’s where apples were cut and dried the old-fashioned way, which sounds cool enough. Check back in July for their Peachy-Keen celebration.
Calvert Country Market, open daily, 98 S. Solomons Island Road, (410) 414-9669, www.calvertcountrymarket.com. Head here even on rainy days to get your salad fixins ‘cause they set up indoors.
Carroll County Summer Farmers Market, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays June 19-Sept. 3, Agriculture Center, 700 Agriculture Center Drive, Westminster, (410) 848-7748. Baked goods and locally grown fresh produce.
Cross Street Market, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. every day, Cross Street between Market and Light streets, www.southbaltimore.com/-shop/crossmkt.html. You can find it all by name: Jim’s deli, Kwon’s produce, and Kathy’s bakery, but only Nick’s has “Baltimore’s Best” seafood market and raw bar.
Freshfarm Market, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays, 1500 block of 20th Street, DuPont Circle, Washington, (202) 362-8889, www.freshfarmmarket.org/-markets.html. Pick out your weeks’ worth of staples at this one-of-many Freshfarm Markets located in D.C. Here you’ll find fruit and veggies, poultry, cheese, bread, pies, and sometimes more than 30 farmers to bargain with.
Georgetown Market in Rose Park, 4-7 p.m. Wednesdays, 26th and O streets N.W., Washington, (202) 333-4946. The farmers’ market for last-minute dinner buys.
Historic Farmers Market, 310 First St., Roanoke, Va., (800) 635-5535. We hear the best time to visit is Wednesday through Saturday ‘cause most vendors are planting, picking, and preparing their fresh fruit and veggies at the beginning of the week.
Lexington Market, 400 W. Lexington St., (410) 685-6169, www.lexingtonmarket.com. A stellar marketplace that boasts 80 vendors and a 220-year tradition, but we try and avoid the second, smaller building—it smells funny.
Shenandoah Farm Market, 9354 Orkney Grande, Mount Jackson, (540) 477-9792, www.shenandoahfarm.biz. Specialties here include Shenandoah Farm tomatoes, English cucumbers, Bibb lettuce, lamb, and goat, not to mention your standard bread, jams, and cheese. Call in your orders ahead of time for speedy service.
Waverly Farmers’ Market, 7 a.m.-noon Saturdays, the 400 block of E. 32nd Street, (410) 366-6362, www.32ndstreetmarket.org. This outdoor market offers a good mix of people to mingle with and farmers’ bounty to select from.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201