Delectable and often regional treats are the specialties at these gourmet food events.

Delectable and often regional treats are the specialties at these gourmet food events. (

While there’s nothing wrong with filling a hungry belly with French fries or a fresh sausage hot off the grill, every so often, a craving for something a little more upscale or exotic makes sense. While most of the upcoming autumnal festivals centered around beer or wine also offer fine dining possibilities, it’s also possible to make way to an event at which it’s not the drink but food, glorious food, that stands front and center.

Düsseldorf, Germany: Along the city’s most swanky avenue are dozens of upscale shops, stately homes, a green strip and a canal, creating the most convivial of settings for the annual Gourmet Festival. From Aug. 25-27, some 200 exhibitors will set up shop along a 1 1/2-mile stretch of the Königsallee, offering the public a vast range of food and drink including spirits, spices, cured meats, coffee, tea and more, as well as all the accoutrements and utensils needed to serve one’s culinary creations with the appropriate flair. The offerings are a combination of freshly prepared items to devour on the spot and items for later use at home. Just a few examples of the products the vendors have in store for visitors include caviar sourced in the Alps, smoked pork panino sandwiches from Italian pigs, French goat cheese and gins imported from Namibia and South Africa. Festival hours are 1 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. Entry is free. Online:

Vaduz, Liechtenstein: The capital of the world’s sixth-smallest nation will attract foodies from afar with the second edition of a festival launched just last year. The Genussfestival brings top chefs and up-and-coming talents to the tiny Alpine nation. On the weekends of Sept. 2-3 and Sept. 9-10, food trucks will park near the covered Town Hall square, where they’ll be serving up a range of dishes presented street-food style. Children will be offered the chance to take part in a painting competition. On Sept. 3, a vintage car exhibition adds flair to the scene. Admission to the festival is free and payment for dishes is rendered in tokens, purchasable on site. Online:

Diamante, Italy: Hot chili peppers are the veg of honor at the Diamante Peperoncino Fest, a five-day celebration of fiery fare held in a picturesque town along the stunning coast of Calabria. From Sept. 6-10, this town known for both its peppers and lemons will be a magnet for foodies.

Those who revel in the heat of spicy peppers will find much to challenge their palates, from the zone at which spicy street foods are sold to the chili-eating competition. An exhibition space sheds light on the more than 500 varieties of potent peppers. Products for sale include strings of locally grown and dried peppers, spreads, jams, spicy liqueurs and flavored salts. The remainder of the festival’s program cleverly carries forward the spicy theme with what might be termed as adult-only cinema, satire, street theater and cabaret. Folk music and tarantella performances provide a sense of the regional culture. Outside festival hours, visitors are encouraged to explore the delights of the area known as the Riviera dei Cedri, which takes its name from a locally-grown citrus. Recreational possibilities include hiking, swimming, fishing, scuba diving and rafting along the Lao River. Online:

Abergavenny, Wales: The Abergavenny Food Festival will celebrate its 25 years of existence with a mix of old standby events and new activities. On the weekend of Sept. 16-17, this pretty town near Wales’ border with England will draw together more than 150 exhibitors from both countries. Tastings, master classes, demos and activities for the kids all make up part of the extensive program. Events specific to this year’s edition include a Battle of the Beverage to see if beer or cider pairs better with certain foods; a demonstration of German baking techniques led by Great British Bake-Off contestant Jürgen Krauss; a demo and tasting of foods foraged on the day and a tasting of wines produced by Wales’ leading vineyard. The Cook Stars Cookery School, held on the grounds of the castle, teaches children ages 2 to 14 how to make Welsh rarebit muffins.

For some of these events, advance booking and additional tickets beyond general admission are required. The cost of entry to the festival itself is 13.50 UK pounds (about $17.20) for the Day Stroller wristband, offering access to all six festival venues from 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (5 p.m. on Sunday); tickets to the Night Market that runs 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Sept. 16 go for 3 UK pounds. Those under 16 can enter either event for free when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Online:

Galway, Ireland: Seafood lovers will fall hook, line and sinker for the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival, a celebration based around the tasty creatures fished along Ireland’s west coast.

The festival slated for Sept. 22-24 offers various competitions alongside freshly caught and prepared seafoods. Festivities get underway with an Oyster Opening Championship, followed by live music. The program for Sept. 23 includes the Winner’s Masquerade Party, which offers the chance to dress up and hit the dance floor. On Sept. 24, the afternoon unwinds with the Féile Bia Na Mara, which includes children’s activities, cookery demos, workshops and yet more live music. To be done at any time is the Seafood Trail, a self-guided eating tour through the city designed to shine a light on today’s vibrant culinary scene. Friday and Saturday’s programming are all paid activities, and tickets must be purchased in advance. On Sunday, entry is free; nevertheless, tickets still need to be booked. Online:

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