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Food & Wine's 2022 Lineup Reveals Encouraging Trends

It Appears Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Signature Culinary Festival Has Largely Recovered from COVID

It Appears Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Signature Culinary Festival Has Largely Recovered from COVID

Before Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s annual Food & Wine Festival opens on April 28th, we thought it would be interesting to compare the published booths and menus to last year’s options. Because of the sheer number of beverage options, we will focus primarily on the event’s savory and sweet dishes, rather than its specialty drinks and cocktails. If you’re curious about this year’s beverages, check out the full listing on BGW’s official Food & Wine Festival website, here.

As you’ll see below, there are actually some very positive trends evident in the 2022 lineup. The number of food booths has increased by three (!) this year and, better yet, the number of dishes has grown from 27 in 2021 to 42 in 2022! This is only one item shy of the 2019 lineup of 43 savory and sweet offerings.

It is worth stating that the total number of dishes is still quite a bit lower than Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Food & Wine Festivals in years gone by. To quantify that, there were 62 menu items in 2018, 54 in 2017, and 57 in 2016. That said, the fact that this year’s event has returned to its pre-COVID scale, despite ongoing supply chain difficulties and rising food and labor prices, is still pretty impressive. The park certainly deserves some foodie praise here.

Additionally, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is bringing back pre-2021 (and even pre-COVID) dishes! As highlighted at the end of our Food & Wine Festival 2019 impressions and highlights article, this is something we had been hoping to see. We all have those long-lost favs that we wish would return; hopefully one of yours made it into this year’s event.

Anyway, below you’ll find a full list of Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s 2022 Food & Wine Festival culinary selections. New offerings are marked in green, items returning from last year’s event are listed in blue, and the two retired dishes for 2022 are highlighted in red. There are also a number of samplings that are back from pre-2021 events; those have been called out in purple.

New Booths

This year’s event only features a single truly new-to-the-event booth: Australia. Typically that would be a bit disappointing, as the park’s culinary team typically adds a couple new countries each year. That said, given the unexpected booth revivals and menu expansions, we’re totally happy with the choice to include just one.


Judging by the event map, this year’s new Australia booth will be located deep inside Festa Italia in a corner of the park we’ve never previously seen the event touch. Our guess is that it will take up residence in the long-deserted, previously-planned-for-renovation, La Cucina. This booth only features three items, but all of the dishes from Down Under look like interesting additions to the event.

New for 2022

  • Lamb Chop: Roasted lamb lollipop and cilantro mint sauce
  • Snag on the Barbie: Banger sausage and vegemite caramelized onions
  • Lamington Cake: Sponge cake, raspberry jam, chocolate, and coconut

New-ish Booths

“New-ish Booths” sounds like a strange category, but I assure you it’s reasonable; just hear me out. In addition to Australia, there are two booths that Busch Gardens Williamsburg did not include in the 2021 Food & Wine Festival. That said, they’re not actually new booths.

This year the perennial favorite Mediterranean booth has been updated, relocated, and rebranded as “Greek.” Ironically, as long-time Food & Wine Festival aficionados will certainly recall, in 2017, this process occurred in reverse when the original Greece booth was renamed “Mediterranean.”

The other new-ish booth for 2022 is Japan. This East Asian kiosk should also sound pretty familiar to any event veterans out there. 2019’s Food & Wine Festival featured a Japanese booth; however, despite one of its dishes being featured at 2020’s Food & Wine stand-in, Taste of Busch Gardens, Japan vanished in 2021. Thankfully, this popular booth has fully returned three years after its last sighting!


In its transformation back from Mediterranean to Greece, this booth isn’t losing a single menu item from last year’s event. More excitingly, it is gaining three entirely new dishes, making this one of the largest lineups at a single booth in Food & Wine history!

Judging by Greece’s location on the event map, it will likely be the first Food & Wine stand to take up residence in Killarney’s O’Taters/Grogan’s Grill.

New for 2022

  • Choriatiki Salata: Feta, cucumbers, red onion, tomatoes, and olives
  • Gigantes Plaki: Butter beans and tomato sauce
  • Tirokroketes: Crispy feta, gouda, sharp cheddar, and tzatziki sauce

Returning from 2021

  • Dolmades: Rice, grape leaves, and tzatziki sauce
  • Lamb Burger Slider: Pita, feta, cucumber, tomato, and olives
  • Loukoumades: Honey and cinnamon
  • Spanakopita: Spinach, feta, and spicy lemon sauce


Although some some options do not appear to have returned with the booth from the dead, the Mushi-Gyoza (which was served at 2020’s Taste of Busch Gardens) and the Matcha Ice Cream (from the 2019 the Japan booth) will be joined by tuna and plant-based options. The event map shows this kiosk will again be located at the compass circle in San Marco.

New for 2022

  • Impossi-Bao: Plant-based meat, Asian slaw, and steamed bun
  • Spicy Tuna Sushi Cup: Sushi rice, nori flakes, and spicy mayo

Returning from 2020

  • Mushi-Gyoza: Steamed chicken dumpling and citrus ponzu sauce

Returning from 2019

  • Matcha Ice Cream: Green tea ice cream, sweet soy glaze and sesame cookie

Returning Booths

Ignoring the complicated situation with the Greece/Mediterranean booth conversion, all eight of the countries and regions from Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s 2021 Food & Wine Festival are back for 2022. Better yet, five of them have been refreshed with changes for this season’s event.


There are some new wines featured on this year’s Brazil menu, but all of the dishes and and their descriptions are identical to 2021. We expect this menu to be served at Trapper’s Show Grill in New France.

Returning from 2021

  • Churrasco: Grilled beef and chimichurri sauce
  • Linquica: Grilled sausage, portabella mushrooms, and peppers
  • Abacaxi: Grilled pineapple and coconut caramel sauce

French Quarter

Over at Cafe Lulu in Aquitaine, the French Quarter booth will offer everything from last year’s menu plus a 2019 dish, the Bananas Foster Cheesecake. There is an oddity I should address here, too. The jambalaya is actually a returning dish from the park’s Mardi Gras event, not a previous Food & Wine. It will be replacing last year’s Chicken & Andouille Gumbo.

Returning from 2021

  • Beignets: Puff pastry, powdered sugar, and caramel
  • Jambalaya: Creole seasoning, shrimp, sausage, and rice
  • Muffuletta: Sliced mortadella, salami, ham, provolone, olive spread, and Cajun slaw

Returning from 2019

  • Bananas Foster Cheesecake: Rum caramel sauce and sliced bananas

Retired in 2022

  • Chicken & Andouille Gumbo: Creole-spiced stew and cajun rice


Returning to the path between Killarney and the Wild Reserve, Hawaii retains all four of last year’s menu offerings.

Returning from 2021

  • Hawaiian Mac & Cheese: Ham, pineapple, and macadamia nut crust
  • Spam Musubi: Seared Spam, sushi rice, and sweet soy glaze
  • Tuna Poke: Sushi tuna, wonton flower, wasabi aioli, and wakame seaweed salad
  • Pineapple Coconut Mousse: Sweet pineapple and toasted coconut


The Italian booth is slated to take over the grape stomping photo location next to the former Artisans of Italy shop in San Marco. All three of last year’s items remain for 2022, and a new fettuccini alfredo is slated to debut.

New for 2022

  • Fettuccini Alfredo: house-made pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and Kalamata olives

Returning from 2021

  • Cannoli: Chocolate and cannoli cream
  • Caprese: Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, balsamic glaze, and basil pesto
  • Creamy Mushroom Risotto: Truffle oil and basil pesto


The Jamaican booth is back between Rhinefeld and Oktoberfest. While we are relieved to see that both 2021 fan-favorite options are still being served, we are super-excited to try the new Jamaican patty, as well. Perhaps more importantly, Zachary’s former love, the pineapple upside-down cake, has returned to offer its delicious sweetness to this spicy menu!

New for 2022

  • Jamaican Patty: Pastry crust, spicy beef, and coconut jerk dip

Returning from 2021

  • Gamba Fritters: Shrimp dumplings and pickapeppa sauce
  • Jerk Chicken Slider: Mango salsa and cilantro lime slaw

Returning from 2019

  • Pineapple Upside-Down Cake: Pineapple, rum, and brown sugar glaze


On the flip-side of the coin, the Mexican booth in the Wild Reserve may be suffering the most puzzling loss this year: the removal of the popular chorizo empanadas. Though the removal of the perennial favorite is disappointing, the new desert sounds like a very promising addition.

New for 2022

  • Chili Chocolate & Horchata Mousse: Spicy chocolate and cinnamon

Returning from 2021

  • Carne Asada Taco: Marinated citrus & soy beef, queso fresca, cilantro, guacamole, and corn tortilla
  • Crispy Shrimp Taco: Sweet chili sauce, pico de gallo, and cilantro lime slaw

Retired in 2022

  • Chorizo Empanada: Spicy pork sausage and cilantro lime cream

South Korea

The South Korean booth is taking up residence behind Turkish Delight once again with a completely unchanged menu for 2022.

Returning from 2021

  • Beef Bulgogi: Grilled Korean-style beef and rice
  • Chicken Bulgogi: Grilled Korean-style chicken and rice
  • Korean BBQ Pork Ribs: Spicy chili BBQ ribs and gochujang slaw


A second seafood dish is slated to come to the event’s Virginia booth this season. All signs point to this booth once again returning to the former home of Pigs in a Kilt in Heatherdowns.

New for 2022

  • Oyster on the Half Shell: Mignonette, cocktail sauce, and lemon

Returning from 2021

  • Bacon & Cheddar Hushpuppies: Cornmeal fritters and honey butter
  • She-Crab Soup: Crab bisque, Old Bay crostini, Chesapeake blue crab salad

Although we are not going to dive deeply into the drinks menus, it is worth addressing the volume of options in 2022. In 2019, across the event the park listed 36 beers, 40 wines, 30 cocktails, and 10 non-alcoholic specialty beverages. In 2021, the following were on offer: 14 beers, 20 wines (including cordials and sangria), 27 cocktails, and 8 non-alcoholic specialty beverages. There were, of course, also tasting booths, which are not included in those numbers.

This year, the website lists 15 beers, 26 wines (including sake, cordials, and sangria), 24 cocktails, and 10 non-alcoholic specialty beverages. While this does appear to be a fairly dramatic reduction since Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s last pre-COVID event, the overall numbers seem to have risen slightly from last year. There are some favorites returning. So, hopefully, everyone will still find something cool and refreshing to drink.

As long-time fans of Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Food & Wine Festival, we are very excited to see the number and variety of culinary options on offer at this year’s event. We are looking forward to trying both the new dishes and our returning favorites from years past. If you are interested in how 2022 stacks up, we will be publishing our traditional comprehensive review, after the tasting team hits the park on opening weekend.

Stay tuned to our social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) to see when that full event review goes live!

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  1. idk if they changed the recipe or name of it I remember having the chili chocolate cake in around 2017 (I think that was the last time I went to the F&WF)

    1. You’re likely thinking of the Chocolate Lava Cake that was last seen at the old American Southwest booth in 2018. It always scored well in our reviews!

  2. Although I definitely love all of the options from around the world, I do wish they would bring back some of the original European booth offerings that they had in years past. My family and I really loved all of the food (especially the Coq au Vin, Steak au Poivre and the Vichyssoise soup) in France as well as the Spanish offerings. Since this park is themed around “the old world”, it would be nice to bring some of those booths back. I am thrilled that they are bringing back Greece, though, which is also one of our favorite booths. Just wish it wasn’t all the way down in “Ireland”! 😂🤣😂