The Edible Coast

This summer, California’s Monterey Peninsula showcases its rep as a food-fest haven, with a trio of festivals incoming.

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July 27th-29th

Now in its 40th year, Gilroy Garlic Festival elevates the area’s well-known crop to star status, infusing, marinating, searing, roasting and blending garlic into tasty things. This year, garlic is also shaken in the signature cocktail, a Garlic Festival Mule. If you’ve ever wondered what Northern California native Brian Boitano would do, find out at the celebrity chef challenge; the Olympic star and South Park icon headlines. Those coming from San Jose can hop the Garlic Train. The dish everyone talks about? Garlic ice cream.

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Courtesy Gilroy Garlic Festival

July 29th

Become acquainted with or revisit the foods bubbe made at Carmel’s Jewish Food Festival. Latkes, pastrami, matzah ball soup, knishes and rugelach will be on the menu. There’s folk music, and, of course, the Jewish wedding tradition.

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Courtesy Monterey Bacon Fest

August 11th & 12th

We’ve all crossed the line with bacon, following it wherever it wants to go, whether that be next to scrambled eggs or on a sprinkled doughnut. The time has come for the Bacon Margarita. The cocktail will debut at Monterey Bacon Fest. Saturday’s bacon bash—the three-hour Ultimate Bacon Experience—costs extra, but it includes beaucoup bacon, bourbon and beer ($60 in advance).