Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Taste of Buffalo?
The Taste of Buffalo presented by TOPS is an annual event that showcases the best of the Buffalo Niagara region's culinary talents. Everyone knows about Chicken Wings and Beef on Weck, but do they know about Cajun Crab Puffs or Beef & Sausage Gumbo?
When and where is the Taste of Buffalo?
The Taste is set for 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, July 13, 2013 and 11a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday, July 14, 2013 along Delaware Avenue in downtown Buffalo, beginning at Chippewa Street and heading south to Niagara Square.
How many restaurants are in the Taste?
On average, the Taste has over 50 restaurants, most of which are locally owned and operated. More than 13 different ethnic food groups are featured. All restaurants must serve three items, as well as a Healthy Option and one "Taste" item. Healthy Options are lower in fat, cholesterol and sodium. A "Taste" item is a smaller portion of a restaurant's signature menu item for only 4 tickets.
Is there an admission fee?
No. While there is no admission fee, all food items run between two tickets (with each ticket costing 50 cents a piece) to eight tickets. In addition, many of our sponsors offer free food samples or other giveaways.
Where can I purchase tickets?
There are four ticket booths set along the Taste's grounds. Tickets are sold for 50 cents each in increments of $5 sheets.
Can I use public transportation to get to the festival?
Yes. You can use the NFTA's trip planner! Metro covers Buffalo, Lockport, Niagara Falls, and all points in between utilizing buses, trains, vans and trolley-buses.
If I'm a restaurant, how do I get into the Taste?
The Taste's Restaurant Committee accepts applications year round. To be considered, visit the Restaurants section of our website and complete the online application.
What else goes on at the Taste besides all the restaurants?
The Taste has two stages featuring the best in continuous musical entertainment and a DJ with karaoke hosts the Huron Street Labatt Blue party tent. The Culinary Stage located in the New Era parking lot on Delaware Avenue is a competition kitchen that features Nickel City Chef, Buffalo's version of Iron Chef, and a variety of culinary personalities that showcase their culinary talents. Many of the sponsors have interactive exhibits and offer free samples. It's also a great place to people watch.
How long has the Taste been around?
The Taste began in 1984 by a group of civic leaders who wanted to create a family-friendly event that would help bring people to downtown on a summer weekend, and at the same time show off the region's entrepreneurial spirit by featuring locally-owned restaurants. From there, the Taste grew - and grew some more. It is now the nation's largest two-day food festival, attracting more than 450,000 people to downtown Buffalo. The Taste is still run by an all-volunteer board of directors and a small army of volunteers and an Event Coordinator.
Where does all the money go?
The Taste is a not-for-profit corporation registered with the State of New York and is run by an all-volunteer board of directors. The primary purpose of the event is to showcase downtown Buffalo and the wonderful restaurants that call our region home. As a rule, the Taste is designed to break even. Sponsorships help cover some of the expenses and food prices are set to make the event affordable for all families. The vast majority of the income from the Taste goes home with the restaurants and, after expenses (tents, electricity, permits, entertainment, trash collection, and more!), the Taste makes one or more contributions to local charitable organizations. Select charities and non-profit groups also partner with the Taste to staff ticket and beverage booths with volunteers in return for a small stipend. Up to five high school seniors residing in one of the eight counties in WNY, who intend to pursue a major in a culinary arts or hospitality curriculum, each receive $1,000 scholarships from the Taste each year. Click here to see the winners.
If I'm a potential sponsor, who do I contact about getting involved with the Taste?
Submit our Sponsorship Request Form and we'll contact you directly or call:
Can I set up and sell my wares and food as a vendor?
The Taste does not offer any type of vendor package.