As we promised in part one, we have compiled a comprehensive, dish-by-dish review of Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s 2018 Food & Wine Festival.
Please keep in mind that these ratings reflect what we tasted on Memorial Day weekend.  Historically, the food at the event can vary dramatically throughout the day and across the weeks.
Below you will find both scores (out of five) and our thoughts, organized by booth.

Jump to a specific booth?

American Southwest

Chocolate Lava Cake

Fudge brownie cake with molten Ancho-spiced Chile chocolate filling

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
American Southwest $4 3.88

Fish Taco

Chile-spiced tilapia with red cabbage slaw, pico de gallo & cilantro lime sauce

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
American Southwest $4.75 4
Renee's
Savory Pick
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Fish Taco

Ghost Pepper Guacamole

Spicy hot guacamole with Tajin seasoned tri-color tortilla chips

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
American Southwest $4.25 3.38

Sonoran Spice Pork Taco

Spice-rubbed pork carnita with jicama-chayote slaw in a soft tortilla

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
American Southwest $4.75 4.38
Best in Booth(Savory)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Sonoran Spice Pork Taco

Brauhaus

German Meatballs

Traditional meatballs with a lemon & caper sauce

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Brauhaus $6 2.88

Schnitzelwich

Pork schnitzel slider with sliced lemon & caper sauce

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Brauhaus $5.50 4.5
Best in Booth(Savory)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Schnitzelwich

Brazil

New for 2018

Abacaxi

Grilled pineapple with coconut caramel sauce

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Brazil $4 1.88
New for 2018

Churrasco

Grilled beef with chimichurri sauce

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Brazil $6 3.88
New for 2018

Linguica

Grilled Brazilian sausage with grilled portabellas and peppers

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Brazil $5.25 4.4
Best in Booth(Savory)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Linguica

Caribbean

Gamba Fritters

Caribbean fried shrimp dumplings with Pickapeppa dip

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Caribbean $5.50 4
Zachary's
Savory Pick
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Gamba Fritters

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jerk-marinated chicken drumsticks with guava barbecue & grilled pineapple salsa

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Caribbean $6 2.38

Mojo Shrimp

Citrus & garlic marinated shrimp on heart of palm, black beans & corn relish with lime cilantro vinaigrette

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Caribbean $5.75 4.25
Best in Booth(Savory)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Mojo Shrimp

Pineapple Rum Upside-Down Cake

Cake with sweet pineapple-rum sauce

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Caribbean $4.25 3.25

Crêpes & Coffee

Choco-noisette et Banane Crêpe

Hazelnut-chocolate spread & bananas

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Crêpes & Coffee $5.99 3
New for 2018

Chocolate Crêpe with Nutella & Strawberries

Hazelnut-chocolate spread with strawberries in a chocolate crêpe

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Crêpes & Coffee $5.99 3.5
Best in Booth(Sweet)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Chocolate Crêpe with Nutella & Strawberries
New for 2018

Strawberry Cheesecake Crêpe

Cheesecake batter with strawberries and graham crackers

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Crêpes & Coffee $5.99 3.38

Cuba

New for 2018

Cuban Sandwich

Roasted Pork with ham, dill pickle and yellow mustard pressed in Cuban bread

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Cuba $5.50 3.75
New for 2018

Flan

Custard

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Cuba $3.50 3.75
New for 2018

Ropa Vieja

Shredded beef in criollo sauce served over beans & rice

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Cuba $6 4.88
Best in Booth(Savory)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Ropa Vieja
New for 2018

Tostones

Fried green plantains with mojo mayo

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Cuba $3.50 4
Nicole's
Savory Pick
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Tostones

French Quarter

Bananas Foster Cheesecake

Vanilla & pecan-crusted cheesecake with orange-rum caramel sauce & sliced banana

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
French Quarter $4.50 4.38
Best in Booth(Sweet)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Bananas Foster Cheesecake

Beignets

Fried doughnut squares topped with powdered sugar & drizzled with caramel

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
French Quarter $5 3.38
Zachary's
Sweet Pick
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Beignets

Muffaletta

Sliced mortadella, salami, ham & provolone with olive spread on sesame bread with Cajun coleslaw

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
French Quarter $5 3.38
New for 2018

Shrimp Etouffée

Creole-spiced shrimp stew over Cajun rice

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
French Quarter $5.75 4.75
Best in Booth(Savory)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Shrimp Etouffée

Hawaii

Haupia

Sweet coconut mousse with Kona coffee ganache

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Hawaii $3.25 4.88
Thomas'
Sweet Pick
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Haupia
New for 2018

Hawaiian Mac & Cheese

Ham & pineapple mac & cheese with macadamia nut crust

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Hawaii $4.25 3

Huli Huli Chicken

Sweet pineapple & soy BBQ chicken served with orange & purple sweet potato salad

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Hawaii $5.25 3.75
Best in Booth(Savory)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Huli Huli Chicken

Spam Slider

Fried spam with Sriracha mayonnaise & grilled pineapple served with pineapple & coconut coleslaw

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Hawaii $5 3.25

Tuna Poke

Soy & sesame sushi tuna in a wonton flower with wasabi aioli & wakame seaweed salad

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Hawaii $6 2.88

India

New for 2018

Lamb Kofta

Indian spiced ground lamb on a stick with cilantro lime yogurt sauce

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
India $5.75 3

Samosas

Indian savory pastry filled with curried potatoes & peas with mango chutney

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
India $5 4.5
Best in Booth(Savory)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Samosas

Tandoori Chicken

Spiced yogurt marinated chicken with cardamom ginger rice & cucumber raita

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
India $6 3.5

Ireland

Bangers with Colcannon

Irish sausage with mashed potatoes, cabbage & Guinness brown sugar gravy

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Ireland $5.25 2.88

Guinness Mousse

Dark chocolate & Guinness mousse with whiskey-infused whipped cream

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Ireland $4 4.63
Renee's
Sweet Pick
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Guinness Mousse

Irish Cheese Sampling

Sage Derby, Blarney Castle cheese & Dubliner cheese served with apple-raisin chutney & cream crackers

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Ireland $4.25 3.25
Best in Booth(Savory)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Irish Cheese Sampling

Italy

New for 2018

Biscotti (Almond)

Almond Italian cookie

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Italy $3 2
New for 2018

Biscotti (Chocolate)

Chocolate Italian cookie

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Italy $3 3.13

Mini Cannoli Trio

Traditional, strawberry cheesecake & chocolate-hazelnut mini cannoli with chocolate-dipped shells

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Italy $6 3.13

Panna Cotta

Vanilla cream pudding, served with strawberries

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Italy $3.25 3.5
New for 2018

Pizzelle Cookies

Fresh pressed Italian cookies filled with sweet mascarpone cheese

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Italy $3.25 4.88
Best in Booth(Sweet)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Pizzelle Cookies

Tiramisu

Italian parfait with sweetened mascarpone cheese, layered with espresso-soaked lady fingers

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Italy $3.25 3.13

Japan

New for 2018

California Roll

Sushi roll of crab, avocado & cucumber with pickled ginger & wasabi

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Japan $4.50 3.38

Lettuce Wrap

Vegetables & tofu wrapped in tender butter lettuce with toasted almonds & sweet chili dipping sauce

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Japan $4 4.13
New for 2018

Matcha Ice Cream

Green tea ice cream with sweet soy glaze and sesame cookie

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Japan $4 3.38
Nicole's
Sweet Pick
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Matcha Ice Cream

Mushi-Gyoza

Japanese-style steamed chicken dumplings with citrus ponzu sauce

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Japan $5 4.75
Best in Booth(Savory)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Mushi-Gyoza
New for 2018

Soba Noodle Bowl

Dashi broth with pickled vegetables, green onions, edamame, egg, and shiitake mushrooms

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Japan $4.50 2.5

Mediterranean

Baklava

Sweet pastry with nuts & honey between thin crispy filo pastry layers

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Mediterranean $3.50 4
New for 2018

Dolmades

Rice & herb stuffed grape leaves with Tzatziki sauce

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Mediterranean $4.25 3.88
Thomas'
Savory Pick
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Dolmades

Falafel

Chickpea fritter with sesame dipping sauce

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Mediterranean $3.75 1.75

Lamb Burger Slider

Seasoned ground lamb on pita bread with feta cheese spread, cucumber, tomato & olive

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Mediterranean $6 3.88
New for 2018

Spanakopita

Spinach and feta in crispy filo dough with spicy lemon sauce

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Mediterranean $4.50 4
Best in Booth(Savory)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Spanakopita

South Korea

New for 2018

Beef Bulgogi

Grilled Korean style marinated beef skewer

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
South Korea $6 3.5
Best in Booth(Savory)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Beef Bulgogi
New for 2018

Kimchi Sampler

Cabbage, cucumber, daikon radish varieties of kimchi

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
South Korea $4 3
New for 2018

Korean BBQ Pork Ribs

Spicy chili BBQ glazed ribs served over gochujang slaw

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
South Korea $6 3.38

Spain

Chorizo Empanada

Spicy pork sausage pastry pocket with cilantro lime cream

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Spain $4.50 3.5

Gazpacho con Ceviche

Chilled tomato cucumber soup with citrus-oyster mushroom salsa

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Spain $4 3.75

Tapas

Paprika-roasted Marcona almonds, Marinated olive medley, Manchego cheese with Membrillo – quince paste

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Spain $5 4.13
Best in Booth(Savory)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 Tapas

Venera con Jamón

Scallop, wrapped in cured ham with saffron rice & romesco sauce

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Spain $5 3.75

Virginia

Bacon & Cheddar Hushpuppies

Cornmeal fritters served with honey butter

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Virginia $4 3.63

Pecan, Bacon & Chocolate Bars

Sweet pecan caramel bars topped with smoked bacon & chocolate drizzle

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Virginia $3.50 3.38

She-Crab Soup

Crab bisque finished with sherry, Old Bay® crostini & Chesapeake blue crab salad

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Virginia $5.75 4.38
Best in Booth(Savory)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food and Wine Festival 2017 She-Crab Soup

Smithfield Ham Tasting

Red Eye country ham, Applewood carved ham & ham pate, served with a honey biscuit, apple butter, honey mustard & whole grain mustard

Booth Price Rating (Out of 5)
Virginia $4 4.13


Reflecting on past festivals, there are a few dishes that we would love to see return to the F&WF in 2019. That said, this was another good year for BGW’s tastiest event.
Once again, we would like to thank Renee, Meri, Thomas, Zimmy, and Luke for all of their help with this fairly massive undertaking.  We quite literally could not have done it without them.
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