Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories


Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops Friendly Markets Celebrates 40 Years of Food and Fun

Nation's largest two-day food festival returns July 8 & 9

Tue, Jun 20th 2023 05:00 pm

Buffalo, NY – June 20, 2023 – Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops Friendly Markets (Tops)  celebrates its 40th birthday when it returns to downtown Buffalo on Saturday, July 8 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, July 9 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Join the birthday fun at the nation’s largest two-day food festival, featuring culinary delights from 37 restaurants and food trucks, four New York State wineries, live music and more along Delaware Avenue starting at Chippewa Street and continuing into Niagara Square.

“For 40 years, the Taste has been bringing the community together to celebrate our diverse foods and the city we love,” said 2023 Chair Elizabeth Mamot. “This year is no exception as the menu includes a variety of Buffalo’s food favorites coupled with an eclectic mix of international, gluten free and vegetarian offerings, and of course, birthday cake! This is Western New York’s official invite to join us for plenty of 40th birthday fun.”

The Taste officially kicks off its 40th birthday on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Tops Markets Stage, located on Delaware Avenue in Niagara Square with an 80s dance party, giveaways and free birthday cake compliments of Tops Markets Bakery, while it lasts. Join the “Happy Birthday” singalong with the Singing Cops and local 80s band Invisible Touch. Meet Paisano, the mascot from Chef’s restaurant as the Taste honors this Italian staple as one of the event’s founding restaurants.

The birthday celebration continues with bands playing 80s music on the Tops Markets Stage all weekend. Snap a selfie with the 40 Buf-flamingos on the Federal courthouse lawn and post it to social media using #TasteofBuffalo, and you could win a gift card from Tops Markets. Don’t miss getting a free photo at Lab Entertainment’s 360 photo booth on Delaware in front of New Era Cap.

As a longtime supporter of FeedMore WNY, the Taste is encouraging festivalgoers to help celebrate its milestone by giving the gift of food to our neighbors in need. Each restaurant and winery will feature signage with a QR code to scan and donate. FeedMore will also have its Farm Market truck on site Saturday on Delaware at Mohawk where you can learn about their fresh produce offerings along with other educational information about the organization.

Ten restaurants are participating in their first Taste and include A’mano Fresh Pasta Kitchen, Anchi A La Carte, Avenue29Foods, Days Park Tavern, Genevieve’s Cheesecakes, Golden Hour Treats, Kith & Kin Gluten Free Bakeshop & Bistro, La Casa De Sabores, Milk and Tea, and New Jewel of India. New this year, the festival guide will feature a key designating which menu items are gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian at all 37 participating restaurants and food trucks.

Admission to the Taste is free. Food and beverage tickets can be purchased at the three festival ticket tents in $6 sheets. Cash, Visa and Mastercard are accepted.

Beginning Sunday, June 11, participating Tops locations will sell pre-sale Taste food ticket vouchers at the registers. Vouchers are available in $10 and $60 increments and are redeemable for food tickets at the festival ticket tents. Each $60 voucher comes with four free, non-alcoholic beverages.

Tops continues its support of the Taste of Buffalo as the presenting sponsor for the 20th year.

“There’s nothing quite like the Taste of Buffalo to kick off the summer event season in Western New York,” said John Persons, president, Tops Friendly Markets. “We are thrilled to be celebrating the Taste’s 40th birthday and our 20th year as presenting sponsor of this time-honored tradition that brings together all the best of what Buffalo has to offer.”

Tops will be “Heatin’ up Summer Fun.” Stop by their big, red-striped tent at the foot of Delaware Avenue and Niagara Square to try all your summer favorites. Menu items include Hanzlian chicken sausage, Sahlen’s hot dogs, pulled pork sliders on King’s Hawaiian rolls with Grillo’s pickles, corn on the cob, side salad with Craisins, mixed fruit cup, and Tops’ signature strawberry shortcake. While there, spin the Tops prize wheel. 100% of the proceeds from the Tops food tent and prize wheel will benefit Sleep in Heavenly Peace, an organization dedicated to building, assembling and delivering top-notch bunk beds to children and families in need.

Be sure to get free samples of delicious TOPS BRAND items at their other tent inside Niagara Square and stop by the Tops Pharmacy tent where you can “Build a Better Medicine Cabinet.” Tops is also bringing you somewhere to get out of the sun with shade tents located throughout the festival grounds.

The Taste’s Community Tent located in Niagara Square will be hosted by the International Institute of Buffalo. Learn about all the wonderful work they’re doing in our city and sit down and enjoy a meal and conversation with others in our community. Get to know your neighbor!

Local and national sponsors will offer samples, demonstrations, and interactive activities along with plenty of entertainment and fun. Here’s a taste of some of the experiences to check out this year:

  • In partnership with the Independent Health Foundation, each participating restaurant will again offer a “Healthy Option” menu item that is lower in fat and sodium. The Independent Health Foundation tent in Niagara Square is the only place to pick up a free tray to help you carry all your delicious food and drinks, while supplies last. Right next door, Independent Health is bringing, “Healthy to You” with a summer sweepstakes, free giveaways and a variety of ways you can stay active and have fun this summer, including bike demonstrations from Reddy Bikeshare.
  • Quench your thirst with all your favorite Coca-Cola beverages at five locations around the festival. Get a free Coke backpack when you buy two Coke products at the festival, while they last.
  • Welcome Genesee Brewing Company to the Taste! The Taste is thrilled to have the world’s 32nd favorite beer at the festival. Enjoy all your favorite nostalgic Genny brands and Ruby Red Kolsch and Brewhouse IPA - ice cold and on tap plus other summer favorites from Seagram’s, White Claw and Four Mile Brewing.
  • Sad Boys Brewing, a new brewery in Buffalo, will be serving up tasty craft beer.
  • Stop into Niagara Square and relax in the new lounge. Enjoy a Taste of Buffalo Birthday Bellini, Prosecco cocktails, Resurgence brews on tap and signature slushies from Tipsy Trailer, while you listen to live music.
  • Dance or just sit back and listen to live music on five stages located throughout the festival. 80s bands and DJ Dark Matter, a former Taste of Buffalo chair, will be lighting up the Tops Markets stage in Niagara Square. DJ P-Nasty will be spinning dance tunes on Mohawk. From rockabilly, Cajun and Celtic music, to Caribbean, Gospel and more, there is something for every musical taste provided by Starstruck Productions.
  • The Culinary Stage in the New Era Cap parking lot, sponsored by Buffalo Spree and Artisan Kitchens and Baths, is packed with demonstrations both days starting at noon. Featuring summertime recipes from Tops prepared by Chef Darian Bryan and on Saturday, joined by Mercedes Wilson with Sadie’s Relish and Making Porchetta at Home with Michael Parkot of Always Something Farm presented by the New York Pork Producers. Enter the “Cook with Spree” contest to become a sous chef and assist Chef Skylar Pratt as she prepares chevre and seasonal fruit dessert pizza. Lean into the mocktail movement and learn how to make a zero-proof charred pineapple and jalapeño mockarita with Bri from Breezy Burrito Bar. Watch the talented and hilarious Moe Badger, his wife who cooks and his mom that doesn’t, make a chicken and tomato pasta with Bertolli’s New Rustic Cut Pasta Sauce. Be sure to get a seat and enjoy a taste of the finished chef dishes and a free Buffalo Spree magazine.
  • Explore & More Children’s Museum is hosting the Taste of Fun KidZone again this year. Kids 10 and under can enjoy fun activities and free samples of Cracker Jack, Lay’s Stax, SweetTarts and Chocolate Craisins, while supplies last.
  • I LOVE NY invites you to take a trip through New York State with their immersive getaway pods. Experience the great outdoors with virtual reality, discover the best of art & culture on a giant coloring wall, strike a pose in a hot air balloon, and more! Spin the prize wheel, and don’t forget to take a selfie with their iconic I LOVE NY sculpture.
  • A blast from the past, be sure to check out the two giant digital screens at the festival to watch the Taste’s throwback video vignette series featuring film footage from the Taste of Buffalo archives sponsored by Batavia Downs and Chef’s Restaurant.
  • Volkswagen invites you to check out their vehicle lineup in Niagara Square. Tour your favorite vehicle with a product specialist and get a complimentary gift, while supplies last.
  • Visit the Urgent Dental Care tent to learn how they can help you with your dental emergencies. While you’re there, play a game, win a prize and pick up free Sensodyne toothpaste samples, while they last.
  • Let the kids climb aboard the full-size First Student school bus. Pick up some swag and talk with recruiters – they’ll have all the information you need to know to be a school bus driver.
  • Arm yourself with TUMS from Tops, because at the Taste, the TUMS man-on-the-street dressed as a taco will be looking for you. If you have TUMS with you, you’ll win cool TUMS merchandise and food tickets.
  • Stop by the New Era Cap flagship store on Delaware Avenue. They’re open all weekend with the coolest caps from the NFL, NBA, MLB, Golf and more.
  • Erie County Department of Health will provide a private nursing area for moms with infants. Learn life-saving CPR all weekend.
  • Salsa in the Park’s dancers will spice up the inside of Niagara Square throughout the weekend. Join in or just watch, but don’t miss it.
  • Additional sponsors include NFTA-Metro, AdPro, 360 PSG, Bond, Schoeneck & King Attorneys and the NYS Troopers.

Mayor Byron W. Brown stated, “This year we will celebrate 40 years of The Taste of Buffalo. That’s forty years of one of Buffalo and Western New York’s largest and most popular summer events. Forty years of welcoming some of the best restaurants and beverage makers to downtown Buffalo. And, forty years of adjustments and creativity, especially in recent years as the Taste adapted to the COVID pandemic and other challenges. I thank Taste of Buffalo organizers, past and present, Taste sponsors, as well as John Persons and the Tops team, for all their hard work over the years as we look forward to another great festival in 2023, and many more in the decades to come.”

Click here to view the digital festival guide featuring participating restaurants and their menu items, the festival site map, the Culinary Stage and live music schedule, and more.

About the Taste 

The Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops is the nation’s largest two-day food festival. The 40th annual Taste will take place on July 8 and 9, 2023 along Delaware Avenue in downtown Buffalo. Named winner of USA Today’s 2023 10BEST Reader’s Choice Travel Award Contest for “Best City Food Festival,” the Taste is a not-for-profit organization with more than 1,000 volunteers helping to put on the annual event. More than $575,000 has been raised at the festival for local charities in addition to scholarships awarded annually to local high school seniors pursuing a culinary or hospitality-related degree. For more information visit tasteofbuffalo.com and find us on Facebook and Instagram.