We've always enjoyed food events and Taste of North Park is no exception. Heck, we've visited in 2017, 2015, 2014, etc so we are constantly revisiting to see what's new in the area! This year's event was on October 13 between 11am - 3pm. There were separate $20 beer and $40 food tickets, as well as a combined beer/food ticket for $50. My brother joined us for this crawl and we were all eager to eat and drink!
Once October rolled around, our minds had already drifted toward the annual Taste of North Park event. Due to travel and other things, we had not attended since 2014 (or 2015 if you count the mini taste) but this year was finally GAME ON. The event was held Saturday October 15, 2017 between 11-3am and we had a ticket that included beer and food ($45). There were also food only ($35) or beer only ($15) options when purchasing in advance. This new separation was a nice change especially since certain friends of mine admitted they only came for the beer! With ticket in hand, we walked between the various businesses in search of the best samples. Check out the highlights below!
It's been a decade since we first did our first Taste of Downtown in 2006! It's usually held on a Thursday evening for four hours, giving you freedom to choose which places you want to go. This year didn't seem too busy or maybe we managed to beat the crowds! I think there were 40+ restaurants participating this year! There were also several locations that served alcohol samples as part of the taste! It was already sounding like a fun night before we began!
One of the best samples was from Tender Greens. They always come up with very creative bites like this duck confit on brioche toast with a savory sweet pepper jelly and pickled fennel! What a glorious bite!
Whiskey Girl got their wings down pat with the sweeter Thai Chili sauce.
I'd like to think I've been to all the "Taste of" events by now but it's my first time attending Taste of Point Loma! Mary from This Tasty Life asked me to be her plus one for some tickets she had won. You wanna feed me yummy food for free? I'M GAME girlfriend.
It's always fun going with another food blogger too. We think and do things a certain way. Here's a sneak peek of how some of us food bloggers roll!
Ticket will-call was outside of The Portuguese Hall and we entered the building for our first samples. I got to try Portuguese cheese and TWO variations of octopus (pickled octopus and grilled octopus), all delicious! The pickled octopus had a great marinade that was not sour. I tried to convince her but Mary still would not partake in ANY pickled things. We also sampled refreshing Sumol fruit juice. I need to buy some for Dennis to drink!
I admit I get consumed by the idea of sampling EVERY location at a Taste event. I've conquered a few neighborhoods over the years but Hillcrest has eluded me 3 times (2015, 2014, and 2012). Nevertheless, it was time for attempt #4... Official info about the event is here.
This year, our tickets came with a lanyard/clip which meant no worrying about misplaced ticket (and yes, that has happened multiple times). Each participating location was assigned a number which was marked off the ticket to receive your sample.
Our first stop was Napizza with their delicious truffle porcini and margherita pizza with a crunchy crust. We also had two thin crust pizza slices from Wine Steals.
We've attended many "Taste of" events over the years but last week we had quite a difficult choice to make... Taste of Old Town or Taste of Downtown? They were unfortunately on the SAME night this year! In the end, we decided to eat, drink and be merry in historic Old Town San Diego. I suspect my interest in latin inspired food and alcohol has been increasing following events like Latin Food Fest San Diego and Tacos & Spirits at Harborfest.
The San Diego heat was still beating down on us at this event. I had gotten some kind of "flash flood" weather alert that morning, and came to find out it was only for INLAND San Diego. Old Town (as well as the rest of the city) was still hot and sticky but at least no umbrella was needed.
We came early enough to find great parking and pick up our wristbands and maps. There were 13 places to visit and 3 hours to do it. This year they seemed to be emphasizing the rules of two alcoholic tastes per person per station, even if there were more than two samples available. I thought we were able to try all varieties in the past. Most places remembered to mark off the map under the food and drinks columns.
Barra Barra Saloon has really amazing food based on the previous year trends.
Thirteen restaurants in Old Town are set to roll out tastes of their best Thursday, Sept.10, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Taste of Old Town will give food and spirit lovers the chance to blaze through the streets of Old Town sampling selections of spirits and wine paired with culinary specialties from the 13 participating restaurants. Oh-So Yummy attended last year and you can check out the Taste of Old Town 2014 recap here.
Produced by the Old Town Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Tequila Herradura, Taste of Old Town tickets are $35 online before the event or $40 the day of the event and can be purchased at the will call booth on San Diego Avenue, located next to the Old Town Market. A food-only ticket is available for $25. All of the restaurants will offer samples of their signature dishes, alongside a spirit or wine brand sampling its product.
“Last year’s sell-out Taste of Old Town was a spectacular success, but this year’s event is sure to knock your socks off,” said event chair Chuck Ross of Old Town Family Hospitality Corp., the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Fiesta de Reyes. “The restaurants are stepping up their game and are serving either specially created dishes for this event, or their signature favorites.”
If you think Taste of Hillcrest is spread out, then you haven't been to Taste of Adams Avenue! Luckily, this event includes complimentary trolleys to get you around. We had media passes for this year's event but the usual price is $35/person or $40 the day of. There's four hours to sample and you get one taste per location. More official event info is here. I'd consider this taste to have three main areas, west of the 805, east of the 15, and the big section in between! Let's explore!
This year we attended our first Taste of Little Italy via media passes. With all of our 'Taste of' experiences, it's a wonder how we've missed it! Technically, we attended Taste of Downtown 2007 (when downtown and Little Italy were in a single event). Since then, Little Italy has grown WAY too prominent as its own community to share the spotlight! In fact, they now split Little Italy into two routes, north or south ($30 each), or a combined route ($45) for the ambitious! And ambitious San Diegans must be as the combined route tickets sold out first! Or perhaps... it was too difficult to choose just one route!
In case you missed out on all of the fun, or even just a few stops of your map, we're here to give you the scoop on all the samples from this year's event!
We often attend the Taste of North Park around October so I was surprised to stumble upon a less publicized event called "Tuesday" Taste of North Park. This was a special 'mini' taste held Tuesday June 9, 2015 from 5-8pm in celebration of the HomeBrewers Conference that week! Curious, I picked up tickets for Dennis and me to check it out!
Will-call was available between 3-6pm in front of the North Park Main Street building located at 3076 University Ave. The sweet Dani and Alli were at the table helping me and other event-goers get our tickets! This smaller event was only $20 pre-sale or $25 day of and had 19 participating locations, 15 with food and 4 with beer.
Our first sample of the evening was a Mini Mini Corndog from Coin Op. Yes, mini is repeated twice, according to the server! It was served with a IPA mustard for a sharp kick of contrast to the pillowy dough and meat inside.