Grab your breath mints, because it's time to scare aware the vampires at the Cleveland Garlic Festival in Shaker Square. Before we start breaking out the Twilight jokes, let's get serious. The annual festival is one of the fastest-growing food fests in Northeast Ohio — and for very good reason.
Did you know that the Cleveland area is home to more than 300 varietals of garlic? And did you know that because of the region’s mineral-rich soil, our garlic happens to be some of the tastiest in the U.S.? Wanna know what we do to celebrate our garlic-growing prowess? We throw a party (duh). The Cleveland Garlic Festival is every home chef’s paradise and has become one of the fastest-growing culinary festivals in Northeast Ohio. Still, do yourself (and others) a favor and grab your Tic-Tacs on the way out.
What To Do There
- With dozens of on-site vendors that range from independent farmers to local restaurants, competitions between some of the region’s top chefs, and a tent devoted entirely to cheese, this is a food-lover’s playground. So what are you going to do at the Cleveland Garlic Festival? You’re gonna eat. You’re gonna watch people eat. And you’re gonna watch people make things that you’ll want to eat. Got any other questions?
- There will be ample opportunities to wash all that garlicky goodness down with some of Ohio’s best craft beer purveyors on hand to keep you lubed up and hungry. There’s even garlic beer. Because of course there is.
What Else To Do
- Learn. While there is live music all throughout the two-day event, the real rock stars are the 15 or so local garlic growers who are on-hand to explain their wares to you: what makes their garlic different from what you might be used to, how to use it in your own cooking and how they’ve incorporated it into their own value-added products like crushed or pickled garlic.
Tips for Attending
- The Garlic Festival is held in Shaker Square — about 10 miles east of Downtown Cleveland — every August and is easily accessible by train with the Shaker Square Rapid Station located nearby.
- If you’re bringing the kiddos, never fear, there’s plenty for them to do as well. They can take their own cooking classes, learn the basics on growing garlic or even try their hand at the festival’s pedal tractor maze.