Being responsible for catering at a festival is a demanding task that requires a lot of prior planning and organisation.
In addition to making sure there’s enough food for everyone and that it’s practical to eat, you will also want to make sure that the food you serve is fun, fresh, and exciting.
Today, we will be sharing 21 festival-friendly food ideas. We will be recommending festival foods from all over the world, including American, Mexican, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese cuisines.
Spicy delights like these delicious Mexican bean burgers are popular at festivals because they’re so flavoursome and easy to eat on the go.
This particular recipe pairs the spicy burger with lime and yogurt salsa, providing a cooling effect on the chilli powder in the burger. After all, you don’t want the heat to be too overpowering. Served in a wholemeal bun, this Mexican bean burger will be a hit with festival-goers everywhere.
Thinking of making the entire event Mexican themed? See our Mexican Catering Food Ideas
Attending a festival is a lot of fun, but it can also be tiring. What better way to replenish sugar levels than to snack on a chocolate brownie?
These easy traybakes are super easy to prepare and they are the perfect bite-sized sweet treat for an afternoon snack. The rich, fudgy chocolate also makes a great dessert after some of the spicy savoury options on this list.
Seriously into chocolate? Check out our Easy Chocolate Desert Recipes
We are back to Mexico for the next item on our festival food catering ideas rundown.
A paper plate or box of nachos is a great festival food option.
Covered in a rich and indulgent cheese sauce and topped with beef, beans, and pico de gallo salsa, this nacho recipe actually makes for a surprisingly balanced meal.
Make sure to prepare as many boxes of these nachos as you can because everyone at the festival will want some.
Looking for a great Mexican Restaurant in Sydney? See our guide.
Halloumi fries have become very popular in recent years. And why wouldn’t they? They’re both delicious and easy to snack on, making them a good catering choice for festivals.
This recipe for halloumi fries shows you how to prepare these cheesy snacks by frying them in oil or using an air fryer. Either way, they’re delicious, especially when paired with ranch, garlic sauce, marinara, or pesto.
While Mexican bean burgers are an amazing festival food, the spice isn’t for everyone. That’s why we would also recommend offering a classic pulled-pork burger.
This pulled pork burger recipe is perfect for events because the brioche bun makes it easy to eat while exploring the venue. Plus, in terms of flavour, the combination of smoked paprika and brown sugar is second to none.
We have some fantastic Pork Belly Recipes for you to try.
This traditional Mesoamerican dish has been served at festivals for a long time and it continues to be a favourite.
We recommend this tamale recipe from Tastes Better From Scratch because it’s easy to prepare while remaining authentic, from the Masa Harina sauce to the use of lard for the dough. These tamales truly are the real deal.
Not sure how much food to provide? Our post, How Much Food Do I Need For A Party, has some guidelines
The sausage roll is a staple of British cuisine. However, it is served at festivals across the world because it’s tasty, filling, and easy to eat while walking around.
This sausage roll recipe features a light and airy puff pastry filled with well-seasoned sausage meat. The finished sausage rolls are bite-sized, making them perfect for hungry, busy festival-goers. However, if you want, you can make larger, fatter versions.
Ever thought of starting your own catering company? Our piece, Is The Food Catering Business Profitable, may help you to decide.
There’s nothing like a traditional chicken fajita to satisfy those mid-festival cravings. This high-protein, veggie-filled wrap is a healthy, tasty choice that’s sure to hit the spot.
What makes this fajita recipe so delicious is the combination of spices, from chilli powder and cumin to paprika, and other seasonings including oregano, garlic powder, and pepper. An added dash of lime juice brings it all together with fresh and fragrant results.
Searching for the Best Mexican Restaurant in Melbourne? We’ve got you covered.
Corn on the cob is one of the most well-known street foods, and this corn-on-the-cob recipe with chilli butter is absolutely perfect for festival catering.
This dish is quick and easy to prepare because it simply involves roasting the corn and pairing it with a simple mixture of butter and chilli flakes. The finished product is spicy, satisfying, and delicious.
Do you have a passion for spicy food? Take a peak at our Curry Cooking Tips
We couldn’t really talk about festival catering food ideas and not mention pizza, could we?
A slice of pizza is a convenient snack to buy at a festival, which is why pizza stalls are so common at such gatherings.
Of course, if you really want to master pizza making, you should invest in a Pizza Oven. These days, there are Pizza Ovens to suit every budget on the market. Click here for more information and prices.
This margarita pizza recipe from BBC Good Food is super simple but yields delicious results that taste just like authentic Italian pizza.
The pizza can be sold to festival-goers by the slice or by the box. It tastes the best when topped with shaved parmesan cheese and basil leaves.
Have you thought of using Catering Vans for your event? See our piece on Food Trucks for some info.
Fans of hot dogs will love this chilli version. Served in hot dog buns and topped with seasoned ground beef, bacon, and cheese, this sausage-based classic
Another great thing about this recipe is that it’s very versatile. You can make the chilli dogs as spicy or mild as you want, and you can add additional toppings such as onions on customer request.
Thinking of making big plates of food? Check our Finger Food Platter Ideas
Quesadillas are an easily-customizable festival food, which is great because it can be tough to cater to everyone’s tastes.
This recipe for quesadillas doesn’t call for any specific filling. Instead, in addition to the cheese, it gives you plenty of options for creating unique and flavoursome combinations.
Some of the recommended fillings include chicken pieces, mushrooms, black olives, green onions, and fresh, diced tomatoes. We are also fans of things like ground beef and even bolognese sauce.
Simple and tasty, these are on of our top festival catering food ideas.
Are you sorting out the Christmas bash this year? Our Catering Food Ideas For Christmas Parties has some handy hints.
Freshly-made ice cream is the ideal dessert to serve at a festival.
Not only is the process of watching the ice cream being made in the machine fascinating from a customer’s point of view, but everyone knows that homemade ice cream tastes better than the ready-made version from the tub.
Make as much ice cream as you need in whatever flavour you fancy with this easy-to-use Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt & Sorbet Maker.
This vanilla ice cream recipe is easy to follow and can be topped with almost anything, from chocolate sauce to dried fruit. For festival purposes, it’s best served with cups and spoons.
Want some inspiration regarding what to make? Check out our Popular Catering Dishes
Burritos, like fajitas, are great festival foods because they’re easy to hold and eat without having to sit at a table.
This burrito recipe from Taste of Home is one of our absolute favourites. It’s a simple, tried and tested recipe, with a ground beef filling complemented by refried beans, Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, salsa, and classic taco seasoning.
Are you planning to serve hot food? Our piece on Ways To Keep Food Warm For A Party has some tips.
Churros are a traditional Spanish dessert that can be described as long, stick-shaped donuts. At festivals, they are typically served in paper cones or boxes with a pot of chocolate sauce for dipping.
Churros, as this recipe shows, are quick and easy to make. They only take 5 minutes to prepare and you just need flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, oil, and boiling water.
Does gluten cause you issues? We have some great Gluten-Free Desserts for you to make at home
Corn dogs are a popular type of American street food or fast food. For Americans, a corn dog stand would almost certainly be included amongst their festival catering food ideas. And if you’ve ever tried the combination of hot dog and cornmeal batter, you’ll know why. They’re so delicious!
The reason corn dogs are so good for festivals is that you don’t need a container and you don’t even need to hold the food itself – the skewer that goes into the frankfurter means that this fast food can easily be enjoyed with minimal mess.
A box of loaded fries is the perfect pick-me-up after a long day of walking around a festival.
We think this is the best loaded fries recipe for festival catering because of the minimal, but delicious, selection of toppings – although, of course, you can top loaded fries with anything you like.
This recipe recommends green onions, tomatoes, red onions, jalapeno peppers, sausage meat, and, of course, a healthy serving of cheese!
Of course, you can always order from a well-known food company if you don’t want to cook yourself. See our post on Red Rooster Catering for example.
If you’ve ever seen how busy a donut stall can get at a festival, you already know how popular these doughy sweet treats are with hungry festival attendees. So there’s no way we could leave them off our list of festival catering food ideas.
This glazed donut recipe is one of the best for the occasion because customers can watch the donuts being fried and glazed by hand before sampling the finished product.
You can’t go wrong with tacos at a festival, and this classic ground beef taco recipe is guaranteed to bring crowds of festival-goers flocking to your stall.
Stop your tacos from collapsing on their side with one of these handy Taco Holders.
The Wholesome Dish’s recipe leaves it up to you whether to serve hard-shell or soft-shell tacos. However, we recommend following the instructions to the letter when it comes to the filling because the chilli and cumin seasoning is amazing.
Searching for a cuisine to highlight? Why not try some of our Nigerian Food Catering Ideas?
The egg roll is a well-known Chinese appetiser, but these finger foods aren’t just served in American-Chinese restaurants – they can also be found at festivals in many countries because they’re small, filling, and convenient to eat.
All Recipes claims that these are the best egg rolls, and we agree. They’re crispy on the outside and filled with pork, cabbage, and carrots.
Do you ever find yourself with Leftover Pork? We have some recipes for you.
A falafel wrap makes a great alternative to fajitas for vegan or vegetarian festival-goers who want an easy, high-protein meal to get them through the day.
This recipe has instructions for frying the falafels in oil as well as a healthier preparation method to appeal to health-conscious customers. Once the falafels are prepared, all you need to do is put them into a wrap with some chopped salad and tahini.
On the hunt for the Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Melbourne? See our recommendations.
With the inspiration from this article, you’ll be able to serve a fantastic festival catering menu.
Be sure to think about how you will serve each of these foods and what kinds of cuisines will fit best with the theme of the festival. Good luck!