In January, food and wine become the main focus in Fort Lauderdale. Visit Fort Lauderdale Food and Wine Festival (VLFWF) — formerly known as The Greater Fort Lauderdale Food and Wine Festival — has run since 2018 and consists of 23 events over the course of a week, showcasing Broward County’s chefs and mixologists in the greater Fort Lauderdale area.
Two of the festival’s biggest events will return in 2024, “Bar Fight, A Spirited Competition” which puts mixologists head to head in a competition where ticket buyers vote on the best cocktails, and a “Poolside BBQ Battle.” The barbecue is headed by 15 pitmasters, and, as it turns out, ‘pitmaster’ is a barbecue expert not a hyper-masculine brand of deodorant. Events at the festival range from those like “Bar Fight,” which is smaller and held at a trendy rooftop bar, to those like “The Grand Tasting,” held during the day in Las Olas Oceanside Park where hundreds of attendees roam the manicured lawn and bounce between food tents, tastings, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, art installations and live music.
VLFWF cooking demos are run by chefs Aarón Sánchez, Jason Smith, Nicole Layog and Nancy Fuller. There are events for every level of foodie and a portion of all proceeds goes to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.
- Attendance numbers are not available for the greater Fort Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival.
- Events within the festival are ticketed and range from free to $85.
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Where is the nearest airport?
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is the closest to the festival, located a short drive from the festival in Fort Lauderdale.
Where’s Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival happening?
The main venue is Las Olas Oceanside Park at 3000 East Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA. Though the festival is spread out over several venues on an event-by-event basis in Fort Lauderdale. Venues include restaurants, bars, rooftops, and parks.
How do I get around?
Transportation to and from events is not a part of this festival, however, it’s easy to get around Fort Lauderdale with or without a car.
It’s my first time attending. What can I expect?
The South Florida festival programs a week-long series of experiences and events. They range from live cooking demonstrations, cooking classes, live entertainment, seminars, as well as premier culinary events like the Grand Tasting. You should expect many opportunities to sip and sample at the food & beverage tastings.
How far is Miami from Fort Lauderdale?
Miami is 30 miles away.
We should I stay when I’m at the fest?
The festival’s website offers these recommendations: The Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach is this year’s headquarters hotel. Other partner hotels include Courtyard by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Beach, Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Fort Lauderdale Beach, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Hyatt Centric Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale, and The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale.
What is Sistrunk Marketplace?
Sistrunk Market & Brewery is a food hall in Fort Lauderdale’s art district.
Where is Wednesday’s mixology competition held?
It is scheduled to go down at Rooftop@1WLO.
What events are running this year?
Events announced at the time of this writing include “Bar Fight! A Spirited Competition,” “Wok n’ Roll,” a poolside BBQ, “The Grand Tasting,” and a free picnic in the park sponsored by Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.