√ Highlights include 26 restaurants and food trucks, New York state wineries and plenty of ‘fun by the forkful’ both onsite – with live music and sponsors – and online via virtual culinary stage
The nation’s largest two-day food festival, Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops, returns to downtown Buffalo on Saturday, July 10, and Sunday, July 11. Enjoy culinary delights from 26 restaurants and food trucks, two New York state wineries, and live music along Delaware Avenue from Huron into and throughout Niagara Square.
“We are excited to bring the Taste back in-person to downtown Buffalo,” said Amber Hartman, 2021 chair. “Our commitment to bringing back the city’s premier summertime festival for you to enjoy, while showcasing Western New York’s diverse food offerings, is unwavering. We encourage you to purchase your admission tickets now to enjoy a weekend of food, fun, and to show your support for our local restaurants that have endured quite a year.”
Admission Tickets Required for Entry
To safely control crowd size – and for one year only – the Taste of Buffalo will be a ticketed event, with four, four-hour sessions throughout the weekend. Guests must purchase admission tickets in advance for any session they plan to attend as they will not be sold at the event. The four sessions include:
√ Saturday, July 10, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets for the Tops Markets Session are only available at Tops through the store registers. This ticket is $20 and includes $15 in food tickets (a $5 bonus).
√ Saturday, July 10, 4:30-8:30 p.m.
√ Sunday, July 11, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
√ Sunday, July 11, 3:30-7:30 p.m. Tickets for these three sessions can be purchased online via tasteofbuffalo.com. Tickets are $20 each and includes $10 in food tickets.
Tickets for all four sessions are on sale now. Children 3 and under are free.
Admission tickets will direct guests to enter at one of three gates. Gate A is at Delaware and Huron. Gate B is at Court and Franklin. Gate C is at Delaware and West Eagle. Gates will open for admission 30 minutes prior to the start of each session.
Guests will receive their food tickets when redeeming their admission ticket at the gate. Additional food tickets may be purchased at the ticket tents inside the festival. Cash, Visa and Mastercard are accepted. Tickets at the festival will be sold in $5 increments.
Per current New York state COVID-19 guidance, fully vaccinated guests will not be required to wear a mask. Unvaccinated individuals are asked to wear a mask. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will not be required upon entry, but all guests must complete a short online health questionnaire 24 hours prior to arrival. Social distancing will remain in effect.
Organizers said, “Designated eating areas will also be available throughout the footprint for guests to safely and comfortably enjoy food and beverages. These include a variety of tented and open-air seating and standing tables and grassy areas.”
Get a Taste of Food & Fun with Tops Friendly Markets and Other Sponsor Experiences
Tops Friendly Markets continues as the Taste of Buffalo’s presenting sponsor. In addition to the special Tops Markets Session on Saturday, Tops will also be serving up a variety of options at the food tent, including Tops Italian sausage with peppers and onions, locally grown corn on the cob, mixed fruit cup and their freshly baked fudge brownies.
Visitors can spin the Tops prize wheel for a chance to win a $500 Tops gift card and other prizes. All proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Buffalo.
Stop by the Tops Pharmacy tent on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the Tops Markets Session or Sunday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to learn about all that area Tops pharmacies have to offer. Tops pharmacists will also be hosting a COVID-19 vaccination clinic right on site during these times. In addition, the Tops brand tent will offer a variety of products to sample.
“We’re excited to continue to serve for the 18th year in a row as presenting sponsor of the Taste of Buffalo,” Tops Friendly Markets President John Persons said. “We believe in giving back to the communities we serve and are thrilled to be back in person at Niagara Square for this, the 38th annual event.”
Several sponsors will also offer samples, demonstrations and interactive activities along with plenty of music and fun. Here’s a taste of some of the experiences to check out this year (per the organizers):
√ It’s easy to eat healthy at the Taste. Every restaurant serves an Independent Health Foundation healthy option. It’s a delicious menu item that is lower in fat and sodium and is highlighted in the Taste festival guide. Make a $2 donation to the “Healthy Options at Home” program to help feed the underserved in the community and receive a tray to carry all your delicious Taste food and drinks!
√ Independent Health is bringing healthy to you this summer! Visit them for free giveaways (while supplies last) and a variety of ways you can stay active and have fun this summer, including bike demonstrations from their partners at Reddy Bikeshare.
√ Enjoy Coca-Cola beverages and quench your thirst at various locations around the festival.
√ Ice cold Labatt and other local craft beers available at three beer tents.
√ Free samples of Ocean Spray’s new cran-watermelon and new fruit medleys – tasty combinations of craisins and dried fruits that deliver key health benefits – will be offered during the Tops Markets Session.
√ Play games, get a commemorative photo, and meet Buffalo team members at the Citizens tent.
√ The Bubble Bar is Buffalo’s first mobile wine trailer and is powered by Alchemy Wine & Beer, a wine bar in the Village of Hamburg. They will be serving up brunch cocktails like white peach bellini and mimosas for the early session attendees as well as dry prosecco and rosé throughout the day. Just follow the floating bubbles!
√ New Era will be selling merchandise at their satellite store at the Taste.
√ NFTA is providing free roundtrips tides to the first 1,000 ticketholders who take advantage of the offer.
√ Get a free bottle of Evolve plant-based protein shake on your way out of the Taste.
√ Stop by the campus dining and shops at the University at Buffalo food truck and get a sample of delicious vegetarian spinach farro salad and hear about the many career opportunities at one of the highest-rated dining services programs in the state.
√ WellNow Urgent Care-sponsored hand-sanitizing stations will keep guests safe and healthy.
√ Stop by the Equitable Advisors tent to register to win prizes for kids and adults and talk with advisers about the state of the market.
√ Enjoy live music from local acoustic artists stationed throughout the event.
City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said. “I am thrilled to welcome the Taste of Buffalo back to Niagara Square for its 38th celebration of Buffalo and Western New York’s culinary community. Being able to hold this beloved event in person is another step forward and out of the pandemic. I applaud the creativity of the organizers in coming up with a way to control crowd flow and other COVID-safety plans to make sure everyone can attend and have a great time.”
Cook from Your Kitchen
Cook at home with Taste’s virtual culinary stage demos sponsored by Buffalo Spree and Artisan Kitchens and Baths.
Whether or not you attend the Taste in-person, all are welcome to participate in this year’s virtual culinary stage with chef demos happening on the Taste’s Facebook and on chef Darian Bryan’s Instagram on July 10-11. Bryan was recently featured on “CBS This Morning Saturday’s” James Beard award-winning segment, “The Dish.” Pick up all your groceries at Tops Friendly Markets and chop, sizzle and sauté along with chefs from the comfort of your own kitchen!
Other virtual culinary stage highlights include:
√ Guests can play Tops Taste Trivia every Tuesday in June on Tops Friendly Markets’ Instagram to win an ingredient box that will include everything needed to cook along with Bryan during the Tops segment on Sunday, July 11.
√ The New York Pork Producers Cooperative Inc. presents two mouth-watering pork recipes prepared on the virtual culinary stage by chef Krista VanWagner on both Saturday and Sunday.
√ Bryan will prepare a fresh and delicious lemon berry summer featuring ingredients from Tops Friendly Markets and Newman's Own Lemon Basil Vinaigrette.
“People really enjoyed cooking along with Buffalo’s best chefs during last year’s virtual event, so we decided to bring back this fan favorite to complement our in-person live event,” Hartman said.
Visit tasteofbuffalo.com to purchase admission tickets, see the list of participating Taste restaurants, food trucks, wineries and menu items. Guests can also view and download a festival guide that will help plan their time at the Taste, along with information on the virtual culinary stage and more.
Taste of Buffalo Participants
√ Restaurants, food trucks, wineries and bubbly
The complete list of individual restaurant menu items is now available at tasteofbuffalo.com.
The Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops is the nation's largest two-day food festival. The organizing not-for-profit has more than 1,000 volunteers helping to put on the annual event. Approximately $541,000 has been raised at the festival for local charities, including three scholarships awarded last year to local high school seniors pursuing a culinary or hospitality-related degree. For more information, visit tasteofbuffalo.com.