The Best New York City Wine and Food Festival Events Under $100

Grand Tasting Culinary Demonstration
Grand Tasting Culinary Demonstration | Getty Images NYCWFF
Grand Tasting Culinary Demonstration | Getty Images NYCWFF

It’s not often that a single festival can be called the food event of the year in New York, where many an occasion is a hot ticket. But the New York City Wine and Food Festival -- the 12-year-old lovechild of the Food Network and the Cooking Channel -- is in a league of its own. This year, the four-day event happens from October 10-13 and features 80 tastings, demos, and classes from 500 chefs, including a slew of the networks’ biggest celebrities like Rachael Ray, Masaharu Morimoto, and Marcus Samuelsson.
While the event packages and intimate chef dinners at the festival, which raises money for Food Bank for New York City and No Kid Hungry, can be pricey, there are plenty of more affordable options on the weekend docket. If you’re looking to experience the excitement of NYCWFF without the sky-high price tag, consider snagging one of these tickets for $100 or less.

Panel: Social Media for the Hospitality Industry

Friday, October 11, 4 - 4:45pm
Midtown West
The Friday panels are the best bargains at the festival: These 45-minute conversations between industry leaders cost nothing to attend, and are sure to provide valuable insight. Whether you’re steadily growing followers for your recipe page or just want to know more about how restaurants are mining your social media, you’ll get something from this seminar, which features a discussion about creative strategies and best practices for how to use digital platforms to communicate and build community. 
Cost: Free with RSVP

NYCWFF Aperitivo
Aperitivo | Getty Images NYCWFF


Friday, October 11, 6 - 8pm
Meatpacking District
Start your Friday night right at this two-hour Italian-inspired appetizer tasting. You’ll sample cheese, charcuterie, pasta, and meatballs from nearly a dozen favorite local makers, including Speedy Romeo and Rossopomodoro, along with a variety of deliberately paired Italian spirits, wines and beers. 
Cost: $95

NYCWFF '90s flashback friday
'90s Flashback Friday | Getty Images NYCWFF

Flashback Friday hosted by Rev Run

Friday, October 11, 9 - 11pm
You’ll party like it’s 1999 -- literally -- at this 1990s-themed party hosted by the legendary Rev Run and longtime radio personality Angela Yee. While Rev Run spins ’90s records, you’ll sip cocktails based on the same era and nosh on late-night bites from places like Lolo’s Seafood Shack and Pies and Thighs. Wear an outfit inspired by hip hop’s golden age and you might win a prize at the door!
Cost: $100


Saturday, October 12, 9am & 1pm and Sunday, October 13, 10am & 1pm
Work up an appetite with a heavy sweat session, then indulge in a delicious and mostly guilt-free meal, all alongside a famous food and fitness fanatic like Robert Irvine or Hannah Bronfman. Choose between a high intensity yoga/boxing hybrid, toning and sculpting, or dance-inspired workout, then cool down with brunch and discussion on food and wellness.  
Cost: $75

Grand Tasting Culinary Demonstration
Grand Tasting Culinary Demonstration | Getty Images NYCWFF

Culinary Demonstrations

Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13, 12 - 6pm both days
Midtown West
If you’re focused on watching and learning as much as you possibly can this NYCWFF, you’ll want to snag tickets to the 30-minute culinary demonstrations, which start every 15 minutes beginning at 12:15pm. While the demonstration lineup is stellar -- expect to see the likes of Rick Bayliss and Rocco DiSpirito in action -- this ticket does not include access to the adjacent tasting space.
Cost: $95

Tiki Showdown

Saturday, October 12, 10pm - 1am
Throw on your dad’s least favorite Tommy Bahama shirt and imagine you’re in the tropics at this Polynesian-themed fête hosted by Anne Burrell. You’ll sip colorful tiki drinks and enjoy bites from local spots that celebrate the flavors of the South Pacific, like Makana Hawaiian Eatery and Maharlika, while you dance to live music late into the night. 
Cost: $95

NYCWFF Family ice Cream fun-dae
Family Ice Cream Fun-dae | Getty Images NYCWFF

Family Ice Cream Fun-dae

Sunday, October 13, 11:30am - 1:30pm
Give Sunday funday a sweet start at this celebration of the holy trinity that is the mixture of ice, cream and sugar. Hosted by the ace of cakes himself, Duff Goldman, this family-friendly event includes unlimited access to ice cream and toppings plus activities like face painting. And while this is one of the few NYCWFF events open to guests under 21, your adult ticket will indeed include craft cocktails.
Cost: $40 for juniors (under 21); $95 for adults

Schmaltzy Storytelling and Tasting

Sunday, October 13, 5 - 7pm
Settle in for a cozy Sunday night centered on ritual and the rich comfort foods of the Jewish diaspora. You’ll enjoy an evening of storytelling and tastings led by the Jewish Food Society -- an organization that aims to preserve and revitalize Jewish food traditions -- featuring a panel of food journalists and chefs with their own personal stories about the night’s recipes. 
Cost: $95

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Victoria Marin is a writer and digital content producer based in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter.