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Taste of Buffalo presented by TOPS Offers Western New York's Food Favorites July 9 & 10

Highlights include record 62 restaurants and food trucks, "Healthy Eating Competition" and plenty of fun by the forkful

Fri, Jun 17th 2016 12:30 pm

Buffalo, NY - The Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops Markets, celebrates 33 years of showcasing culinary delights from all over Western New York this summer. The country's largest annual two-day food festival, which draws approximately 450,0000 hungry food lovers each year, returns to Delaware Avenue and Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo on Saturday, July 9 from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. and Sunday, July 10 from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. The Taste also includes live music on the Tops Stage at the Niagara East Beer Tent until 11 p.m. on Saturday. This year's Taste offers a record-breaking 62 restaurants and food trucks, six New York State wineries, Coca-Cola products, Labatt Beer throughout the festival, and the new Hometown Beer Tent featuring brews from Flying Bison, Big Ditch, Resurgence and Labatt.

"Each year the Taste highlights the incredibly diverse food scene that has emerged across Western New York," said Jen Mitri, 2016 Taste chair. "This year is no exception with a record 62 eateries offering more than 250 items to sample. Combined with a host of offerings from both national and local sponsors and great entertainment for the whole family, it looks to be another great weekend of fun by the forkful at the 2016 Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops."

New restaurants and food trucks participating this year include Baked Cupcakery, Chiavetta's, Curly's Grille, Deep South Taco, The Flaming Fish food truck, Giacobbi's Cucina Citta, Go Veggies Café, Gypsy Parlor, India Gate, Mandarin Garden, Mineo & Sapio Street Eats food truck, Pizza Amore "The Wood Fired Way," Stack Burger and Venus. Participating wineries include Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, Merritt Estate Winery, Niagara Landing Wine Cellars, Spring Lake Winery, Three Brothers Wineries & Estates and The Winery at Marjim Manor. The complete list of restaurants and food trucks, along with 2016 menu items, is now available at tasteofbuffalo.com.

Tops continues as the Taste's presenting sponsor. Plan ahead and take advantage of the Family Freebie. Now through July 10, buy a $50 presale food ticket voucher at any participating Tops Markets and get four free nonalcoholic beverages when you redeem it for tickets at any Taste ticket tent. Presale food ticket vouchers are also sold in $10 certificates and are on sale at the register at participating Tops Markets. Cash, Visa and Mastercard are accepted at any of the ticket tents during the Taste.

"The Taste of Buffalo has become a western New York tradition and Tops is proud to be a part of the excitement surrounding the event," said Frank Curci, chairman & CEO, Tops Markets.

Pick up a festival guide before the Taste at all Erie and Niagara County Tops locations in July. The guide contains a complete listing of restaurants, menu items, sponsors' activities and the event map. It's also free to download at tasteofbuffalo.com and available at the Taste ticket tents.

In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Taste's participation in the "Healthy Options" program, which requires all participating restaurants to offer a healthy menu item, Independent Health Foundation is bringing the world's first kale eating competition to the Taste. Come watch professional eaters consume massive quantities of raw kale on Saturday at 2 p.m. on the steps of City Hall. Independent Health Foundation is also providing free trays to help festivalgoers easily carry and enjoy their food. Pick one up, while they last, at their tent located on the inner ring of Niagara Square near Court Street.

Catch Florida slide guitar player Bill "Sauce Boss" Wharton as he plays the blues and cooks gumbo in the Taste's Culinary Stage both Saturday and Sunday. It's a soul-shouting picnic of rock n roll and everyone gets some gumbo at the end of the show. In addition, get up close and personal with the finest chefs, artisans and mixologists in Buffalo as you watch cooking demos and competitions and enjoy free samples at the Culinary Stage all weekend long. Check out tasteofbuffalo.com for complete demonstration schedule.

The Niagara East Beer Tent is open until 11 p.m. on Saturday and features live music on the Tops stage by Buffalo's best bands throughout the weekend including 22 Calibre, Ultraviolet, More Than Me, Katie Mallaber and the Krash Party, The Doyle Brothers and Hit n Run. A complete schedule is available at tasteofbuffalo.com. The AT&T DJ Music Stage, located on Huron and Delaware is a weekend long dance party with Buffalo's favorite DJ, Spooky Stephen along with special guests. The new Hometown Beer Tent will feature Acoustified Duo at 2 p.m.

In partnership with the City of Buffalo, the Taste is also proud to offer recycling stations throughout the event. Recycling Rangers will be present to help you place items in the right bins and learn more about the City's recycling programs. For the first time, restaurants and festivalgoers can also recycle their food waste. The Taste has partnered with Natural Upcycling, Western New York's premier food scraps/organics recycling collection company. Each recycling station at the event will have an orange Natural Upcycling tote for guests to place their food scraps in, and every Taste restaurant will be recycling their food scraps all weekend long as well. Natural Upcycling will utilize this food waste to create dependable renewable energy through the biological process of anaerobic digestion at its farm-based digester in Pavilion, NY.

"The Taste of Buffalo is about a weekend of food but it's also about the culture of Buffalo," said Mayor Byron Brown, City of Buffalo. "Thousands of people will come to our city and taste great food, hear a diverse array of music from our city's talented musicians, see historic buildings that are newly renovated, as well as improved streets and streetscapes that enhance the quality of our neighborhoods citywide. Buffalo's great festivals, including the Taste of Buffalo, have a way of lifting up our community and creating permanent benefits economically for our residents. We are proud to partner with the Taste of Buffalo on one of our city's best summer festivals."

National and local sponsors will offer samples, demonstrations and interactive activities throughout the two-day event including:

  • Visit all four of the Tops Markets tents this year. Start with the big tent located at Delaware Avenue and Niagara Square to enjoy their burger bar, pork sausage with peppers and onions, steamed clams, juicy corn on the cob or their signature strawberry shortcake. Spin the wheel for a chance to win great prizes each day with all donation proceeds benefiting People Inc. Then visit the Tops Pharmacy tent, the Tops Natural/Organic tent and their new Tops Brand product tent and try samples all weekend long.
  • AT&T is the Official Mobile Sponsor for the Taste. Visit the AT&T van inside Niagara Square to experience virtual reality and charge your phone. Stop at any of the three AT&T Photo Spots and have your picture taken to be a part of the giant digital photo mosaic.
  • New Era Cap brings you SHADE SPACES located throughout the festival so that you can get out of the sun, people watch and enjoy your food comfortably at a cocktail table.
  • Visit the Taste of Fun KidZone presented by Rolly Pollies inside Niagara Square for plenty of activities for kids of all ages open until 6 p.m. both days. Enjoy the Rolly Pollies obstacle course, make-and-take projects from Stutelage Innovations, free samples and a giant coloring mural. You can also have your picture taken with some princesses and enjoy face painters and balloon artists.
  • ADPRO Sports will have an on-site store selling official Taste of Buffalo apparel along with One Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills apparel.
  • The Ford Experience Tour and the Ford Ride & Drive. Stop by the Ford display in Niagara Square on W. Eagle and register for your chance to win a Ford vehicle of your choice, valued up to $30,000 as well as other great prizes including a customized t-shirt. Plus, test drive a Ford vehicle to receive $5 in free Taste of Buffalo food tickets.
  • Stop by the Martin's Famous Potato Rolls tent and sample their soft, sweet, Party Potato Rolls. Spin their prize wheel and win free stuff.

Other sponsors include: CIR Electric, Cracker Jack, Dole Mixations, Dunkin' Donuts, Fruit Shoot, Frito Lay Stax, Fruitocracy, Go Go Squeez, GEICO, I LOVE NY, Milk-Bone, Nature Sweet Sweetener, Northtown Automotive Companies, Nutella, Newman's Own Dressing, Ricos, Sahale Snacks, Smithfield, Smucker's Toppings, Smucker's Uncrustables, 360 PSG, Bond and Schoeneck & King.

Check out tasteofbuffalo.com for a complete listing of Taste restaurants, menu items, event map and entertainment schedule.

The Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops is the nation's largest two-day food festival, attracting more than 450,000 people to Buffalo. The not-for-profit Taste, celebrating 33 years in 2016, has more than 1,000 volunteers. More than $315,000 has been raised at the festival for local charities. In addition, five $1,000 scholarships are presented annually to local high school seniors pursuing a culinary or hospitality-related degree. Festival hours are Saturday, July 9, from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., with the lawn-fete style beer tent in Niagara Square open until 11 p.m., and Sunday, July 10, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. There is no admission fee and food prices range from $2 - 4. Cash, MasterCard and Visa are accepted at the event. For more information, visit www.tasteofbuffalo.com,or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.