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Taste of Buffalo presented by TOPS Announces 2018 Restaurant and Winery Award Winners as part of 35th Birthday Celebration

by Ann Hackett
Sat, Jul 7th 2018 04:00 pm

July 7, 2018 – BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops today announced that several local restaurants were named award winners in a variety of categories at the 35th annual festival. The judging took place this morning by a panel of representatives from the local media, political and business sectors.

This year’s festival includes several new awards, including the Yelp's Choice Award, which was given to Fat Bob’s Smokehouse for their Smoked Watermelon. The Buffalo News also awarded their new, Gusto Critic's Choice Award to SEAR for their Guajillo Roasted Hog Taco. Lastly, the Independent Health Foundation added a “Healthy Options - Best Healthy Dessert” Award, which went to Sweet Melody’s for their Red, White & Blue Sundae.

Additional Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops winners include:

  • Chair’s Choice (chosen by Rich McDermott, 2018 Taste of Buffalo Chair): Carmine’s, Crab Cake Stuffed Shrimp
  • Children’s Choice (chosen by Estelle & Louis Roma): Paula’s Donuts, Donut Holes
  • Pat Sardina Memorial Award for Best Comfort Food: Dirty Bird Chicken N’ Waffles, Chicken N’ Waffle on a Stick
  • Lou Billittier Memorial “Rookie of the Year” Award: Ru’s Pierogi, Pierogi
  • Veteran Restaurant Award: India Gate, Chicken Butter Tikka Masala
  • Best of Buffalo Award: Rolling Cannoli, Sponge Candy Caramel Cannoli
  • Best Overall Item: Stack Burger, Demon Burger
  • Best Meat Item: Stack Burger, Demon Burger
  • Best Seafood Item: Black & Blue Steak and Crab, Tuna Tartar
  • Best Dessert: Taste of Siam, Fried Ice Cream with Sweet Berries
  • Best Sandwich: Mineo & Sapio Street Eats - Chorizo Po'Boy
  • Best Red Wine: Spring Lake Winery, Cabernet
  • Best White Wine: Victorianbourg Wine Estate, Pechette, Blend
  • Independent Health Foundation’s Healthy Options:
    • First Place:  Lloyd Taco Truck, Black Bean Tacos
    • Second Place: Osteria 166, Arugula Salad
    • Third Place: Bravo! Cucina Italiana, Chilled Grilled Shrimp & Couscous    

In addition, the Taste inducted Louie’s Hot Dogs, Chrusciki Bakery, Caribbean Experience, and Merritt Estate Winery into the inaugural class of the Taste of Buffalo Silver Fork Club. The club was introduced as a way to honor restaurants and wineries that have been involved in the Taste for 25 years or more.

The Taste continues tomorrow, Sunday, July 8 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. along Delaware Avenue and Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo.

About Taste of Buffalo

The Taste is a not-for-profit organization with an all- volunteer board, a festival coordinator and more than 1,000 volunteers helping to put on the annual event. Each year, the Taste partners with various non-profit groups to staff our ticket and beverage tents with their volunteers in return for a donation. And, after all the expenses are paid, the Chairman donates the remaining monies to the Food Bank of WNY and other charities. The festival also offers five annual $1,000 scholarships to local high school seniors pursuing a culinary or hospitality-related degree. To date, more than $500,000 has been donated back to the community thanks to purchases made by Taste festival-goers. New this year, two additional one-time scholarships were made possible thanks to Smithfield Foods and a generous Taste partner.