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Prepare your palate for these upcoming Tampa Bay area food festivals

Here are six events coming up for the culinarily curious.

Several paper bowls filled with food sit atop a table. There are two different options, with one containing rice and salmon, and the other with chicken and green spaghetti.

Taste of South Tampa is a gastronomical delight.

As you’ve probably noticed by now, our Tampa Bay area food scene is among the nation’s best, with WalletHub ranking Tampa No. 6 on its Best Foodie Cities in America list + the Burg cracking the top 50 as well. But it’s not only our restaurants which shine — we’ve got top-notch foodie festivals, too.

Here are six happenings to put on your radar:

Taste of South Tampa

Sunday, March 3 | 1-4 p.m. | Tampa Garden Club, 2629 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa | $50

Dozens of local restaurants take over the Bayshore venue for the 18th annual event, including 7th + Grove, Ava, Bulla Gastrobar, Streetlight Taco, and The Dan.

Tampa Bay Empanada Festival

Saturday, April 6 | Perry Harvey Sr. Park, 1000 E. Harrison St., Tampa | $5+

Feast on empanadas in the heart of the Cigar City, and enjoy cocktails, live music, games, and other entertainment.

Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival

Tuesday, April 9-Saturday, April 13 | Locations + prices vary

With events spread across Tampa Bay, there are culinary delights awaiting, featuring a VIP Chef Showdown, and a Grand Tasting finale at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

A paper plate of paste and meatballs is being held toward the camera by a gloved hand. It is close up, and there is red sauce + parmesan cheese atop the dish.

I’ll take one of those, thank you.

Bern’s Winefest

Saturday, April 13-Sunday, April 21 | Locations + prices vary

Now in its 27th year, nine days of lavish food + wine events will take place at spots like Haven, the Epicurean Hotel, and Bern’s Steak House.

St. Pete Italian Fest

Saturday, April 27 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | St. Pete Pier, 600 2nd Ave. NE, St. Petersburg | Free with reservation

Mangia, mangia as the Burg hosts a celebration of all things Italy — featuring the classics like pizza, pasta, gelato, and other authentic dishes.

International Cuban Sandwich Festival

Sunday, May 26 | 12-6 p.m. | Centennial Park, 1800 E. 8th Ave., Tampa | Free with reservation

Head to the home of the Cuban sandwich for the 13th annual event, where there will be no shortage of hot pressed Cuban bread filled with pork, ham, salami, swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard — the right way to do it.

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