Foodie events: Dinners, tours, festivals and more

The Cardinal Directions Beer Festival, hosted by Steel String Brewery, is Sunday, May 21, at 1 p.m. in downtown Carrboro’s Town Commons. More than 20 breweries will celebrate spring brewing season and the saison beer.
The Cardinal Directions Beer Festival, hosted by Steel String Brewery, is Sunday, May 21, at 1 p.m. in downtown Carrboro’s Town Commons. More than 20 breweries will celebrate spring brewing season and the saison beer.


Cider Cocktail Classes

Alley Twenty-Six in Durham will host cider cocktail classes with Mattie Beason, owner of Black Twig Cider House. Each class will offer tastings of three cider cocktails and discussions with Beason, Alley Twenty-Six’s Shannon Healy, Rob Mariani of Alley Twenty-Six Tonic Syrup’s and North Carolina distillers Following the class, Beason will be the guest bartender and will continue to serve cider cocktails. Classes are 4 to 5 p.m. May 20 (with Durham Distillery), June 17 (with TOPO Distillery) and Aug. 19 (with Fair Game Beverage Company). Classes are $25. Alley Twenty Six is at 320 East Chapel Hill St., Durham.

Fridays on the Front Porch

The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill has kicked off its weekly Friday night concert series. Every Friday through Oct. 13, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. there will be live music and food trucks near the front porch. For a schedule of music and food trucks, go to

Creekside Wined Down

Triangle Town Center & Commons in Raleigh holds free “Creekside Wined Down” events every other Thursday from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the pavilion with live music, lawn games and beer and wine. Proceeds from beverage sales will benefit Triangle nonprofit Saving Grace, an animal adoption organization dedicated to helping homeless animals find permanent homes. Wined Down events are May 25 and June 8. All events are weather permitting.

Lions, Tigers and Beer benefit

A fundraiser to benefit the Conservators Center – a Burlington nonprofit that preserves threatened species – features food and beer pairings inspired by the endangered animals.

The May 19 event, a partnership with Mystery Brewing and Tabletop Media Group, is at 6 p.m., at the Conservators Center, 676 E. Hughes Mill Road, Burlington. While participants take a self-guided walking tour of the center to see the animals, Triangle restaurants and breweries (and two from Greensboro) will provide food and beverage.

Tickets are $100 per person or $180 per pair and include food, beverage and the tour. The tour and six food stations will take about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Proceeds go to the Conservators Center’s Animal Care Fund. The nonprofit preserves threatened species through rescuing wildlife and education. The rain date is May 26.

Raleigh Food & Wine Festival

The Raleigh Food and Wine Festival is May 18-21 at participating restaurants, who host a variety of dinners, tastings, tours and culinary lessons for three days. On May 21, all of the festival participants will gather at Mulino Italian Kitchen and Bar at 309 N. Dawson St., Raleigh, for a tasting celebration with food and beverage samples. Tickets and reservations for the first three days are sold separately. Tickets for the May 21 event are on sale for $29 general admission from 1 to 4 p.m. or $49 VIP, which gains admission at noon. Attendees at Sunday’s event must be at least 21.

Got to be NC Festival

The Got to Be NC Festival is May 19-21 at the State Fairgrounds and features Got to Be NC Homegrown Fare, along with rides, games, pony rides and the Masonic Carolina Pig Jig. North Carolina food purveyors will be at the Homegrown Fare section in the Expo Center with samples from food companies, breweries and wineries from North Carolina. Admission to this part of the event is $3, or free for 12 and under. For details on participating vendors, go to

Cardinal Directions Beer Festival

The Cardinal Directions Beer Festival, hosted by Steel String Brewery, is Sunday, May 21, at 1 p.m. in downtown Carrboro’s Town Commons. More than 20 breweries will celebrate spring brewing season and the saison beer. There will be food trucks, non-alcoholic beverage vendors and live music. Admission is free, but tickets are $20 for tastings and include a festival glass and 5 sample pours. Additional samples are available for $2 each. Must be 21 years and over to purchase tickets. Advance tickets can be purchased. The even raises money for Farmer Foodshare.


TxakoliFest’s 10th anniversary, which celebrates the wine produced in Spain’s Basque region, is Sunday, May 21, from noon to 4 p.m. at The Rickhouse in Durham. The event features tastings from these restaurants: Alley Twenty-Six, Blu Seafood & Bar, Bona Fide Sandwich Co, Gocciolina, Juju Durham, Mateo bar de tapas, St. James Seafood & Oyster Bar, Nana’s, Piedmont, Oval Park Grille, Pizzeria Toro, Toast, The Boiler Room, The Restaurant at The Durham and Picnic. Tickets include wine tastings, tastings from restaurants and live music. Proceeds will help an immigrant legal defense fund that helps Triangle families as they navigate immigration rules. Tickets are $75 and include a tasting glass and 1 p.m. entry. A $100 ticket includes tasting glass, event T-shirt and VIP entry at noon.

Doughman competition set for Durham

The Doughman – an event that tests both physical prowess and intestinal fortitude – is scheduled for May 27, around Duke University and nearby Ninth Street. The race consists of eating from a local restaurant followed by either a bike ride, a run, and/or an aquatic activity. Teams of four compete in a run, bike ride and aquatic activity, accompanied by food from local restaurants. The route will take participants through Durham – near Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Duke University and Ninth Street – and highlight local culinary destinations. Costumes are encouraged. The event begins at 8 a.m. Registration costs $200 and ends May 24 at 11:59 p.m. Proceeds go to the Durham Bicycle Cooperative, a volunteer nonprofit community bicycle project., or

Standard Foods Beehive Dinner

Standard Foods, 205 E. Franklin St., Raleigh, will be joined Sunday, May 28, at 4 p.m. by Chefs Cheetie Kumar from Garland, Drew Maykuth of Stanbury and Sean Fowler of Mandolin to create a honey-inspired dinner with Standard Foods’ Chef Eric Montagne and Will Cisa and honey from Apiopolis, a nonprofit bee sanctuary. Big Boss Brewery and Jones Von Drehle Winery will provide beverages. The event is a fundraiser to help a nonprofit bee sanctuary install a new bee sanctuary on the Standard Foods farm. Tickets are $80 with tax and gratuity included.

Memorial Day Fish Fry

Crook’s Corner and Al’s Burger Shack are teaming up for a fish fry Monday, May 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Crook’s Corner, 610 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill. There will be fried shrimp, oysters, flounder, catfish, french fries and hushpuppies. There will be music from Liquid Pleasure. Tickets are $45 at

Farm to Fork Picnic Weekend

More than 70 farms and restaurants will come together for the 10th annual Farm to Fork Picnic to celebrate the partnerships that have helped make the Triangle a food destination. The picnic will cap off the Farm to Fork Picnic Weekend, which includes the Sustainable Supper on June 2 and sold-out Five Chefs in Five Courses on June 3. There also will be a talk by culinary historian Michael Twitty.

The Farm to Fork Picnic Weekend is June 2 to 4. Proceeds will go to farmer training programs at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and the W.C. Breeze Family Farm Extension and Research Center. Tickets are available for the Sustainable Supper and the picnic at the Fearrington Village in Pittsboro. For details on events, go to

Triangle Restaurant Week

More than 100 restaurants across the Triangle are expected to take part in the summer edition of Triangle Restaurant Week June 5 to 11. Restaurants offer fixed menus for lunch and dinner at set prices. For participating restaurants and menus, go to

Chefs for Change

A fundraising dinner series from Families Moving Forward continues at The Rickhouse, 609 Foster St., Durham. A Durham chef will serve three or more courses at a ticketed dinner with proceeds benefiting the organization, which provides temporary homes to homeless families with children. The participating chefs are Seth Gross, Pompieri and Bull City Burger & Brewery, June 19; Billy Cotter, Toast and Dashi, Aug. 21; and John May, Piedmont, Oct. 16. There will be a finale gala Dec. 18. Tickets are $75 and include the meal, wine and beer. A limited number of series passes will be sold for all four events and gala. Gala tickets are $50. Tickets are sold in advance only.

TerraVita Food & Drink Festival tickets on sale

Tickets are on sale for October’s TerraVita Food & Drink Festival, which features award-winning chefs, journalists, authors and tastings along with a sustainable food message. The four-day festival, now in its eighth year, is Oct. 18-21 at various Chapel Hill venues. The festival features dinners, chef demos as well as the Sustainable Classroom – workshops and tastings with acclaimed speakers. This year’s festival also features a Seasoned in the Chef tribute dinner to honor Bill Smith of Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill. Chefs will prepare courses to recognize Smith’s legacy as a chef. Ticket prices vary per event. A limited number of four-day passes are $550.

Food and Drink Tours

Tap the Triangle craft beer tour

Tap the Triangle offers craft beer tours in Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh. TTT will offer a Friday night “hop on, hop off” shuttle connecting the breweries in Durham for a flat rate. The company has partnered with a dozen breweries and bottle shops and offers tours from $24.99 to $69.99. They package beer tastings with transportation.

Taste Carolina

Taste Carolina offers a variety of food tours in Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh and Hillsborough including tasting tours, Raleigh Roots Tour, Dinner and Drinks tours and a Speakeasies Cocktail Tour. For descriptions, dates and reservations, go to

Tobacco Road Tours

Tobacco Road Tours offers several tours in Raleigh and Durham . They include the Raleigh Walking Culinary & Cultural Tour, Raleigh Craft Cocktail Tour and the Raleigh Pub Crawl & Haunted Adventure Tour. For descriptions, dates and reservations, go to

Triangle Food Tour

Guided culinary walking tours are offered in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary on Saturday afternoons. Star times vary. Tickets are $45, plus service fee. Reservations must be made in advance. For descriptions, dates and reservations, go to

Tour of Lassiter Distilling Co.

Tour the facility in downtown Knightdale to see how Lassiter’s North Carolina Rum is made. Tours run for 30-45 minutes and include a sample of rum for guests 21 and over. Lassiter Distilling Co., 319 N. First Ave., Knightdale. 919-295-0111,

Have an event? Email at least two weeks in advance.