Attracting well over 50,000 visitors to the city centre each year, Sheffield Food Festival has established itself as one of the best attractions in the city. The latest Sheffield Guide takes a look at this incredible event…
Welcome to Sheffield Food Festival
The Sheffield Food Festival is a celebration of Sheffield’s vibrant food scene. The Steel City’s best local chefs, dishes, produce and talent are showcased, plus much more!
The festival is traditionally a feature of the Spring Bank Holiday weekend each year. However, this year’s event has been postponed until 18-20 September 2020 (subject to being safe to do so).
Spread across the city centre, you’ll find aspects of the festival in Fargate, Pinstone Street, the Peace Gardens, Orchard Square, St. Pauls Place, Millennium Square and the Winter Gardens.
Sheffield Food Festival traders
More than 100 traders descend into the city centre for the festival, creating a community-like hub and marketplace. You’ll find street food, drinks, entertainment, demonstrations and lots more going on throughout.
Research has shown that 89% of people travelling into Sheffield do so for the incredible festival over the weekend. The local economy is boosted by over a million pounds as a result.
What to expect
As the name suggests, you’ll encounter a plethora of amazing food. From street food stalls to local restauranteurs showing off their grub, there’s something for everyone. Of course there are burgers and pizzas, but you’ll also find world foods, from Indian cuisine to Caribbean fayre. As you’d expect, many of these come as spicy (or not) as you like!
Want to try something completely different? There is everything from tasty vegan and vegetarian treats to the likes of Canadian specialty Poutine. The Street Food Chef’s famous burritos usually make an appearance, plus there are lots of Pan-Asian dishes and Thai street food.
Put simply, the choice is almost overwhelming — and the all-round quality is exceptional.
Drinks to match
Many of the city’s brewers and distillers are represented for those who like a drink.
Several bars are dotted around; from the likes of Abbeydale Brewery, Bradfield Brewery, Kelham Island Brewery, True North Brew Co., Loxley Brewing Company, Locksley Distilling, Stancill Brewery and more.
Entertainment and demonstrations
There’s entertainment to be had too. Situated at the top of Fargate is the ‘Eats, Beats and Treats’ village. An incredible line-up take to the stage across all four days; from some of the best singers and bands to amazing poets and hip-hop artists. Heading into the evening some of the city’s best DJs mix up your favourite tunes.
The free Theatre Kitchen allows you to come face-to-face with your favourite producers and sample their delights. Chefs from across Sheffield show you how to cook some of their specialities, guiding you through their processes and produce.
On The Sheffield Guide’s visit in 2019 we were treated to an amazing demonstration from Locksley Distilling. They showed you how you could make your own gin, and how they make their various products. Of course, we got plenty of samples of their flagship Sir Robin of Locksley Gin to try too!
Beyond the street food trucks you find numerous Artisan traders.
Support local producers, selling everything from fresh Patisserie items to amazing cookbooks; superb take-home pies to incredible ranges of gins and beers.
Like cheese or hot sauce? You’ve come to the right place with a number of vendors offering samples and produce to take home.
Just the beginning
This all just scratches the surface of this amazing annual weekend event. There’s plenty more children’s events and family fun taking place, plus many more interesting talks and debates.
There’s even areas to connect with local community food hubs. Arrange to have sustainable, locally-sourced organic vegetables, fruit and other items regularly delivered to your home.
City centre events
Many brilliant — and growing — events take place across the city centre. Take in the famous continental food markets, Sheffield-by-the-seaside or the impressive Christmas markets.
Above all, the Sheffield Food Festival does seem to be the biggest and best one of them all currently. It is a must-visit for locals and travellers alike.