Local Flavor in Gilroy, The Garlic Capitol of the World

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Dive deep into everything garlic in Gilroy.

Garlic Dish in Gilroy

Originally from central Asia, garlic has been used as food and medicine for thousands of years. But Gilroy, Calif., may hold the record for the amount of garlic consumed during a three-day period: two tons.

It all goes down at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Its 41st festival will be held July 26, 27 and 28, 2019. Walk down Gourmet Alley to eat such dishes as garlic calamari, garlic fries, pesto pasta and, of course, garlic bread. There’s also live entertainment, celebrity chef demonstrations and cooking contests. For the truly brave, free samples of garlic ice cream await.

Gilroy Garlic Festival

Can't make it to the festival? Get a taste of Gilroy’s garlic scene year-round at local restaurants. Try garlic soup and ice cream at the Garlic City Cafe and the Big Roy Burger with roasted garlic at Cafe 152 Burger Co. At Old City Hall, you’ll find great garlic dishes and restrooms that have jail bars from the days when the building housed the city jail. Mama Mia’s infuses garlic in its Italian dishes as does Milias Restaurant, which opened in 1922. It’s been a longtime local favorite, so much so that some who have passed away are rumored to linger.

You can even sample garlic beer on tap at Golden State Brew & Grill in downtown Gilroy.

Michael and Vic Vanni, owners of Solis Winery at Vanni Estate Vineyard

Michael and Vic Vanni, owners of Solis Winery at Vanni Estate Vineyard

Need a break from garlic? Tour the beautiful Santa Clara Wine Trail with tasting at 30-plus wineries. Or head to Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park, which includes more than 40 rides and attractions, the super splashy Water Oasis play area, majestic gardens and wildly shaped trees known as "circus trees."

Shop and save on top designer brands at Gilroy Premium Outlets. And don't miss Casa de Fruta, the iconic roadside attraction with fresh produce, wine tasting, an antique carousel and 24-hour restaurant. 

Is Garlic Good for You?

Rich in antioxidants, garlic may protect you against the common cold, heart disease and cancer, according to University of Maryland Medical Center researchers.

While study results related to heart disease and garlic are mixed, one four-year study concluded that people who took 900 mg of standardized garlic powder each day slowed the hardening of their arteries.

Another study showed that participants who consumed garlic supplements were less likely to get common colds and more able to rapidly fight them than those who took the placebo. Furthermore, in long-term studies, those who ate more raw or cooked garlic were less likely to get cancers of the esophagus, colon and stomach.

Source: University of Maryland Medical Center

Related Story: Deep-Rooted Secret in Gilroy Gardens

For more information:

Stop by the Gilroy Welcome Center, in the Gilroy Premium Outlets Building A close to Forever 21. You can pick up maps, tips and event information 363 days per year.

8155-6 Arroyo Circle, Gilroy, CA
(408) 842-6436

Central Coast Tourism

Wine Country