This weekend is a doozy for regional food festivals, which already appeared on the uptick these days. Between Maine lobster, Ethiopian edibles, Magnolia state BBQ, and more, it’s tough deciding which picks seem worth the long lines for a paper plate. We count five that sound quite hittable and evenly spread out through the weekend. Take a look at our guide to this weekend’s best food events:
Friday through Sunday
• L.A. Greek Fest: This Mediterranean jam goes all weekend at St. Sophia Cathedral and while short of promising plate breaking sessions, provides a cameo by Tom Hanks and his Greek girlie, Rita Wilson. A slew of lamb dishes, flaming saganaki cheese, moussaka, pastries, and wine from nearby Greek restaurants will also be there. Free on Friday, $5 on Saturday, and Sunday; 1324 S. Normandie Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90006 12 p.m.-11 p.m.
• The Original Long Beach Lobster Fest: The world’s largest cooker comes back to L.B.C. with live Maine lobsters from Bristol Farms on the menu, along with other random food vendors like Chinese and Jamaican food, and lots of liquor to get old folks dancing funny. Rainbow Lagoon, Shoreline Village Drive, Long Beach, CA 90802; $13 for entry, $25 for entry and lobster feast.
Mississippi Picnic L.A.: Our hopes run highest for this picnic in Elysian Park from The Mississippi Cultural and Heritage Society, where hushpuppies and homemade slaw are matched with plates of fried, farm-raised catfish, Tupelo ribs, and sweet tea for $20, plus a big roster of Southern-flavored bands. Saturday September 12th, Elysian Park, 2010 Stadium Way, Los Angeles CA 90012, 1:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here or at the door.
8th Annual Ethiopian Cultural Street Festival: Rally ‘round Fairfax’s “Little Addis Ababa” for a parade and the local restaurant row, representing home with their various versions of injera, tibs, and wat. Fairfax between Pico and Olympic Blvd., Sunday, September 13th, 12-8 p.m.
8th Annual Taste of Santa Monica: Local restaurants from high-end Fig to well, Hooters, will be out on The Santa Monica Pier, serving tastings of their cuisine at the weekend’s fanciest event, which concludes with a sunset happy hour. The focus feels less on the neighborhood’s up-to-the-minute restaurants and heavier on everyday eateries. Sunday, September 13th, 1:00-7:00 p.m.; $65 tickets.