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What you can expect this weekend at the 34th Annual Taste of Buffalo

Sample from 59 restaurants and food trucks, while enjoying live music and entertainment from local artists, as well as Emmy-Award winning Lidia Bastianich live on the Culinary Stage

The largest food festival in the U.S. will be held this weekend in downtown buffalo.

The Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops Markets hosts approximately 450,000 guests and showcases culinary delights from all over Western New York. This year’s event will return to Delaware Avenue and Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo on Saturday, July 8 from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday, July 9 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

“As Western New York continues to grow, so too does the diversity of restaurants and breweries emerging in our area,” said Ralph Basile, 2017 Taste chair. “Western New York is home to some of the best food and beer in the country, so bringing together this variety of establishments is our goal every year. This year’s Taste will also feature offerings from our national and local sponsors as well as a number of talented entertainers, giving us all the makings for yet another memorable weekend of fun courtesy of the Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops.”

The 34th annual Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops Markets will feature 59 restaurants and food trucks, five New York State wineries, Coca-Cola products, Labatt and the return of the expanded Hometown Beer Tent featuring local craft beer on tap from Flying Bison, New York Beer Project, and 12 Gates Brewing Co.

“We’re proud to once again be the presenting sponsor of this time honored Western New York tradition,” said TOPS president and chief operating officer, John Persons. “Not only do we look forward to seeing everyone who stops by the TOPS tent to sample the delicious offerings we will have for you, but we encourage it as TOPS donates 100% of its proceeds every year to a local charity. We believe in giving back to the communities in which we serve, so this year the proceeds will benefit the Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight.”

You can feel good when you eat at the Taste, as you are not only supporting your local restaurants, you are helping make possible donations to numerous charitable organizations in our community,” added 2017 Taste chair, Ralph Basile. “To date the Taste has awarded more than $360,000 in both donations and scholarships.

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

Food & Beverage:

A full list of participating restaurants, along with menu selections, can be found here. Along with annual favorites, new participating restaurants and food trucks will include:

  • Amici Ristorante
  • Black & Blue Steak and Crab
  • Local Kitchen and Beer Bar
  • New York Beer Project
  • Pasion Latin Cuisine
  • Patina 250,
  • SEAR
  • Vin-Chet Gluten Free Bakery
  • Water Lily Café
  • #getfried Fry Café
  • Cheesecake Guy
  • Healthy Scratch
  • Original Crunch Roll Factory
  • Rolling Cannoli Truck.

Participating wineries include:

  • Merritt Estate Winery
  • Niagara Landing Wine Cellars
  • Spring Lake Winery
  • Three Brothers Wineries & Estates
  • Victorianbourg Wine Estate

Every restaurant at the Taste serves an Independent Health Foundation Healthy Option. It’s a delicious menu item that is lower in fat, cholesterol and sodium and is marked with a sticker on each restaurant’s menu. Visit an Independent Health tent near the Chippewa Street ticket tent or the Court Street ticket tent and pick up a tray to help carry your food around the festival. Sample Smucker’s Toppings on your ice cream at the Anderson’s Ice Cream tent.

Cooking Demos & Friendly Competitions:

As the Taste’s presenting sponsor, Tops Markets has invited Emmy Award-winning television host, best-selling cookbook author, and restaurateur, Lidia Bastianich to the Taste of Buffalo Culinary Stage in the New Era Cap parking lot at noon on Saturday. Lidia will prepare one of her Italian specialties and the lucky audience will get to sample it. After the show, she’ll hold a Q & A and will have copies of her book available to sign.

Some other Culinary Stage highlights are:

  • A grilled cheese battle where two kids between the ages of 8 and 12 and their adult will be invited to compete for an impromptu cooking contest. A panel of kid judges will choose the winner.
  • Homebrewing 101 will include a panel of local brewers and homebrewers who will answer questions and demonstrate how to make a batch of beer at home. Tops Brand Products will be sampled to the audience.
  • 4th Annual Lockhouse summer cocktails competition where mixologists will compete using local Lockhouse spirits.

Check out the complete schedule here.

Buffalo Loves Ed Sheeran!

Bring your concert ticket to the Taste on Sunday, July 9 from 3-6 p.m. before his performance at the KeyBank Center and get a FREE sign to show your love for Ed! Look for Taste of Buffalo volunteers near the Niagara West Street ticket tent by Niagara Square – in between City Hall and the Federal Courthouse.

Art & Entertainment:

There are three music stages located through out the event featuring live music and Djs, there’s an additional tent dedicated to Karaoke. The Tops Stage in the Niagara East Street Beer Tent is open until 11 p.m. on Saturday. The AT&T DJ Music Stage located at Huron and Delaware is a weekend long dance party and the Hometown Beer Tent located by City Hall and Niagara West Street features live acoustic music all weekend. A complete schedule is available here.

Artist MJ Myers will create a live chalk mural inside Niagara Square facing Court Street. He’ll be working on his masterpiece all day Saturday and you can take your picture with the finished design on Sunday.

Fun for the whole family: visit the Taste of Fun KidZone inside Niagara Square for plenty of activities for kids of all ages open until 6 p.m. both days. Enjoy make-and- take projects from Stutelage Innovations and get free samples of delicious kid-friendly products like Go Go Squeez, Smucker’s Uncrustables and Cracker Jack!

Congratulations to the 2017 TOPS Poster Art Contest Winner! Olivia Zackey, Grade: 9, Rivendell Study Center

In partnership with the City of Buffalo, the Taste proudly recycles. Look for the green totes throughout the festival grounds and do your part.


Visit www.tasteofbuffalo.com for a complete list of restaurants, menu items, event map and entertainment schedule. Presale food ticket vouchers are on sale now at the registers at participating Tops Markets. Now through July 9, buy a $50 presale food ticket voucher and get a coupon good for four free nonalcoholic beverages at the Taste. Presale food ticket vouchers are also sold in $10 certificates. Cash, Visa and Mastercard are accepted at any of the ticket tents during the Taste.

2017 Festival Guide & Map is now available for download. Pick up a full size guide at your local TOPS Friendly Markets and at any of the ticket booths during the festival. Download – 2017 Festival Guide Including Restaurants and Map –  PDF (14.3 MB file).  Download – 2017 Restaurants and Map – Restaurant listing with menu items and site map only; for your convenience to bring with you to the Taste! PDF (4 MB file)

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 34 years in 2017, has more than 1,000 volunteers. More than $360,000 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 8, 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 9, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. There is no admission fee and food prices range from $2 -5. Cash, MasterCard and Visa are accepted at the event. For more information, visit www.tasteofbuffalo.com, or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

Photos courtesy of Taste Of Buffalo.

Written by Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli is a WNY native, born and raised in the Lincoln Park area of Tonawanda. She has been involved in local politics from an early age and is currently a Tonawanda Democratic Committee Member. As an avid equestrian and animal-lover, she trained and re-homed over 40 horses. For over a decade, she was an event planner with the law firm, Hodgson Russ LLP, and now owns her own marketing and event management company. She has worked with international and national organizations on large and small scale events. Jessica writes on politics and local events, as well as working with Buffalo Rising as a social reporter.

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