Start summer off scrumptiously with the 35th annual Taste of Cincinnati — the nation's longest running culinary arts festival. Six blocks of Fifth Street (from Race to Broadway) will be filled with eats from dozens of local signature restaurants, including a Food Truck Alley on North Broadway, and continuous live entertainment from Saturday through Monday.
To survive the extremely popular and packed weekend of feasting, drinking and dancing, you need to make a plan.
First, get a feel for what vendors and bands will be there. Find food vendors here and an entertainment schedule here. Food covers all appetites ranging from gyros at the Andy's Mediterranean Grille booth and Crab Rangoon at the Bangkok Bistro booth to pulled pork from City Barbeque and fig pizza from M Wood Fired Oven. You'll also find Cincinnati classics like LaRosa's, Mecklenburg Gardens, Pompilio's, Busken Bakery, Graeter's, Gold Star — the list goes on and on. There are more than 100 dishes to try, and a ton of beverage booths.
The Christian Moerlein Brewing Company — the official beer of Taste — will host a Moerlein Beer Garden on Fountain Square where you can gab brand-new styles and specialty craft beers like the Moerlein Original Golden Helles.
Check out the map for where each vendor will be.
And then there's also an app for iPhone or for Android where you can make a schedule and strategize. Find restaurants, food, entertainment and create an agenda for your trip. And here's CityBeat Music Editor Mike Breen's preview of weekend music at the fest: Eat to the Beat.
Noon-midnight Saturday-Sunday; noon-9 p.m. Monday. Free. Fifth Street (Race to Broadway streets), Downtown, tasteofcincinnati.com.