Five NSW Events to Hit Up If You're Hungry for a Full-On Foodie Experience

All-things oysters, flame-grilled feeds, decadent degustations and more await.
Concrete Playground
Published on May 05, 2023

Five NSW Events to Hit Up If You're Hungry for a Full-On Foodie Experience

in partnership with

All-things oysters, flame-grilled feeds, decadent degustations and more await.

New South Wales being as big as it is, it should come as no surprise just how varied the communities and events calendar can be. If you're committed to travelling across this wide land in search of a good feed, let us do the hard yards for you. Throughout the year, there are food festivals of all shapes, sizes and menus happening across the state, so we've partnered up with Destination NSW for this definitive list of events you'll need to add to the agenda.

As of autumn, we're fast approaching the annual celebration of luminescence and warmth that is Vivid Sydney, conveniently timed to fend off the cold and dark nights of winter. Beyond the obvious attractions of bright lights and exclusive experiences, a great many foodie-centric events are booked across the state, too.

  • 5

    If you appreciate a mouthful of this decadent seafood treat, then you’ll appreciate a trip to Narooma for the 2023 edition of the beloved annual Narooma Oyster Festival. From Friday, May 5 to Sunday, May 7, the usually quiet coastal town is quickly filled to the brim with crowds seeking the rich briny flavour of NSW native rock oysters.

    The three-day program is filled with live music and tasting experiences galore. Meet local farmers, learn to shuck and sample the produce adjacent to the very water it was harvested in, South Coast estuaries are oyster country after all. Saturday will be packed with competition, in particular the national oyster shucking championships and Australia’s Biggest Oyster. Narooma is approximately a 4.5-hour drive from Sydney, so make a weekend trip out of it. Don’t forget the vinaigrette.

    Add to Playlist
    Want to start building your ultimate playlist?

    Start creating a personalised itinerary — or add to an existing list. Save it, share it and take it with you on your next local adventure.

    Driven by
    Buy Tickets Read more
  • 4
    Vivid Fire Kitchen

    Vivid Sydney is mere weeks away, and we couldn’t be keener. Visitors are often rugged up in their winter coolies, but cold won’t be a concern when you’re immersed in the heat of Vivid Fire Kitchen. Set in the vast concrete halls of The Cutaway, alongside the immersive artworks at Vivid House, this new addition to the annual Vivid Sydney calendar combines primal cooking with modern culinary class.

    With several sessions happening from Friday, May 26 to Saturday, June 17, this event ensures visitors have plenty of chances to get amongst the flames. The best pitmasters from around the world are gathering alongside top-shelf Sydney chefs, so grab a seat by the fire to watch the experts work and get a bite of the exclusive menu — or take part in a live demo to master the art of the grill with the help of the best in the trade. Visit the Vivid Sydney website for the juicy details.

    Add to Playlist Read more
  • 3
    House of Naturalia

    This year’s Vivid Sydney theme is ‘Naturally’, and venues across the city are embracing this creative direction. But one, in particular, is putting in the extra mile: Barangaroo House. The multi-story venue is going all-out on sustainability with a temporary transformation into the House of Naturalia and a specially curated selection of cocktails, dishes and light installations.

    Each level of the venue is contributing to sustainable practices. Rekodo Restaurant and Vinyl Bar is offering an exclusive menu that champions local ingredients and zero-waste practices — and Thursday nights will see live DJs accompany the dining. Upstairs in the Smoke Rooftop Bar, you can sample custom cocktails made with the kitchen’s leftovers, plus you’ll have a banging view of the light installations.

    Add to Playlist Buy Tickets Read more
  • 2

    Another Vivid Sydney celebration is the Vivid Sydney Dinner, a one-night-only decadent experience in the Ivy Ballroom on Saturday, June 3. Every element of the evening will match the theme of ‘rewilding’ with food, art, live music, and of course, light installations (this is Vivid Sydney, after all). The menu has got some serious talent behind it — led by Merivale executive chef Ben Greeno and fellow chef and author Danielle Alvarez.

    The meals? Made with fresh and seasonal NSW produce and paired with an equally fantastic bottle of local wine on a course-by-course basis. Then there’s the entertainment. Eddie Perfect will play host throughout the night and be joined on stage by a series of performers. You’ll see alt-pop singer Montaigne, African fusion artist Julian Belbachir and beloved vocal powerhouse Christine Anu belt out some of their most popular hits. And to keep the party going, Australia’s ‘First Lady of House’ Kate Monroe will jump on the decks for a bespoke Vivid Sydney set.

    Add to Playlist Buy Tickets Read more
  • 1
    National Cherry Festival 2023

    If you appreciate the sweet treat that is the cherry, plan a weekend trip to the country town of Young, the cherry capital of Australia, for the National Cherry Festival from Friday, December 1 to Sunday, December 3. It’s a true extravaganza in which cherry growers and lovers alike congregate for the three-day festival to indulge in all the cherry-based food you can imagine. Probably best to leave your white clothes at home for this one. It’s also a great opportunity to meet the farmers behind the delicious fruits and learn about what it takes to make those beauties grow.

    Beyond food, there’ll be a healthy amount of entertainment in the forms of cooking demonstrations, live music performances and several competitions. There’ll be cherry-picking and seed-spitting competitions, simple but thrilling. Also, make time for the local cherry blossom walk — the beautiful trees will be in full bloom to celebrate the season. Young is a four-hour drive out of Sydney, so book some local accommodation ahead of time, the crowds might surprise you.

    Add to Playlist Read more

For more information on the many events happening across Sydney and NSW, visit the Destination NSW website.

Images: Destination NSW

Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x