Food & Drink

Charlotte StrEATs Festival Returns to Gateway Village This Spring

Michael Bowling (right) leads a seminar during the 2023 Charlotte StrEATs Festival.
Michael Bowling (right) leads a seminar during the 2023 Charlotte StrEATs Festival. (Photo by Ryan Allen)

Organizers on Thursday announced that Charlotte StrEATs Festival will return this April as part of Charlotte SHOUT!, adding a new regional wine and cuisine event that will precede the festival at Johnson & Wales University. 

StrEATs Uncorked, scheduled for April 3, will focus on four regions of North Carolina known for their wine (Yadkin Valley and Swan Creek) and cuisines (Appalachian and coastal fish camp). 

Following StrEATs Uncorked on April 3, the StrEATs festival kicks off on April 13 with a Charlotte StrEATs Tasting Tour at Gateway Village near the Johnson & Wales campus. Attendees will once again taste their way through Charlotte’s iconic neighborhoods with samples from 20 restaurants, cooking demonstrations, craft cocktails by Charlotte mixologists, and live music. 

Scheduled for noon-3 p.m. that day, general admission tickets currently cost $95 for the tasting tour. VIP ticket options include one-hour early access, an official StrEATs Cookbook with recipes from participating restaurants, a tote bag filled with goodies and other merch. 

The Charlotte StrEATs Festival, which is free and open to the public, will take place at Gateway Village from noon-5 p.m. on April 14. The fest will feature the area’s top local food and beverage vendors, a celebrity Food Network chef (to be announced), music, art, and more. 

Food will be available for purchase from a variety of food trucks, including Katsu Kart, Ve-Go Food Truck, CFT Bistro, Boujee Soul Food Truck, and Cutting Board CLT. Patrons can purchase wristbands separately to participate in the festival’s craft cocktail tasting. 

Mixing drinks with Muddy River rum. (Photo by Ryan Allen)

The Neighborhood Cook-off! will also take place during the April 14 festival, with chefs battling head-to-head for a chance to win the title of StrEATs Neighborhood Champion. 

This will be the third year for the Charlotte StrEATs Festival, which was launched to celebrate the local chefs and neighborhoods that make up Charlotte’s culinary scene as they came out of the most turbulent years of the pandemic.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing StrEATs back as part of SHOUT! for the third year,” stated Kristen Wile of Unpretentious Palate, who again partnered with Casey Wilson of Carben Events + Marketing to throw this year’s event, in a release on Thursday. “With each year for the festival, we aim to bring attention to even more talented chefs, mixologists, farmers, and food artisans. This year, we’re excited to include North Carolina wine and regional fare.” 

Charlotte SHOUT! is an arts festival scheduled for March 29-April 14 in Uptown

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