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 Street beer tent, OPEN UNTIL 11 pm.

How many restaurants are in the Taste?
On average, the Taste has over 55 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. Admission is FREE.

How much is the food?
Food items range in price from 2 tickets to 10 tickets. Each food ticket is valued at .50

Where can I purchase tickets and how much are they?
There are 3 ticket tents at the festival. Food tickets are sold in $5 sheets and each food ticket is valued at .50.

Can I buy my food tickets in advance?
You can purchase pre-sale food ticket vouchers at the register at participating TOPS Markets in Erie and Niagara counties. Pre-sale food ticket vouchers are sold in $10 and $50 increments and are redeemable for tickets at any of the 3 ticket tents at the festival.

Are there any special deals/offers?
Yes! Visit a participating TOPS Markets in Erie or Niagara county. Purchase a $50 pre-sale food ticket voucher at the register and receive a coupon good for 4 FREE non-alcoholic beverages, redeemable at any Taste of Buffalo ticket tent.

Are there any free samples?
Restaurants do not offer free food, but some of our sponsors offer free samples or other giveaways.

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. You'll find a DJ spinning hot dance tunes on the AT&T Stage located on Huron St. Show off your talents and sing karaoke inside the Mohawk Street beer tent. Our Hometown beer tent located near City Hall & Niagara West features ice cold local craft beer on tap and live acoustic music. Take a seat at our Culinary Stage inside the New Era Cap parking lot on Delaware Ave. and watch demonstrations and exciting competitions and grab a sample or two! The Taste of Fun KidZone play space is a free, fun area to bring your kids. Sponsors provide fun, interactive exhibits and free samples!

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:

Connie Wendling
716-656-1214

Can I set up and sell my wares and food as a vendor?
The Taste does not offer any type of vendor package.

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