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 Risotto Sticks or Sponge Candy Caramel Cannoli?
When and where is the Taste of Buffalo?
The Taste is set for 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, July 8, 2017 and 11a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday, July 9, 2017 along Delaware Avenue in downtown Buffalo, beginning at Chippewa Street and heading south to Niagara Square. Shake your booty on our dance floor to Buffalo's best party bands on the Tops stage inside our Niagara East beer tent, OPEN UNTIL 11 pm.
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 three 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.
Where can I find parking for the festival?
You can park on any side street that doesn't have restrictions, and there are also numerous parking lots and ramps surrounding the festival. Remember to bring cash to park or use Parking Panda before the festival to purchase a reserved parking spot. The Taste of Buffalo has partnered with Parking Panda, the nationwide leader in online parking reservations to offer the ability to purchase guaranteed parking passes at several lots within walking distance to the festival. Once purchased, parking passes will be instantly emailed to you and guarantee you access to your selected location.
Is the festival handicap accessible?
The festival is handicap accessible. There is handicap parking on the side streets that does not have restrictions, and there are also numerous parking lots and ramps surrounding the festival, that has the typical handicap spots. Remember to bring cash to park or use Parking Panda before the festival to purchase a reserved parking spot. We are the nation's largest two-day food festival so you should expect a crowd. There is plenty of shade in Niagara Square and look for our Shade Spaces presented by New Era Cap scattered throughout the Taste to stop and get out of the sun.
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?
Come party with us! Shake your booty on our dance floor to Buffalo's BEST Party Bands inside our giant Beer tent in Niagara Square, fashioned after our favorite lawn fetes. Dance to Spooky Business, voted Buffalo's Best DJ crew at our Genesee Street tent! A DJ with karaoke hosts the Mohawk Street party tent. NEW this year is our Hometown Beer Tent located near City Hall & Niagara West. This beer tent only features local craft beer on tap: Resurgence Blood Orange Saison, Big Ditch Low Bridge, Labatt Shandy & Flying Bison Kolsch 716. Take a seat at our Culinary Stage which features demonstrations and exciting competitions. The KidZone play space is a free, fun area to bring your kids. 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, 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.
Do you have gluten-free or other foods for people with restrictions or food allergies?
Each restaurant offers a Healthy Option. Unfortunately, due to the vast number of menu items and ingredients, we cannot analyze each dish and, therefore, cannot make any recommendations.
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.