Taste of Cincinnati started in 1979 as the brainchild of Karen Maier of Frisch’s, the Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky chain. When the festival began, it was only a one day affair and featured mostly high-end fare. As it continued to expand to two, then three days, it moved around the city until settling on its current location, Fifth St. in downtown Cincinnati. It begins in Fountain Square and ends just past P&G Gardens, the park near the foot of Proctor & Gamble, about four blocks east of Fountain Square.
The three-day and four-block event brings approximately 500,000 people each year. More than 50 vendors set up to serve food and drink to attendees. In addition to the restaurants set up on 5th Street, festival-goers could pop into the Taste Experience, a tent located adjacent to the P&G Gardens to get a taste of the more high-end options. In the Taste Experience tent, restaurants rotated every three hours so the food is always fresh, and a variety of restaurants are involved. Cincinnati’s only four-star restaurant, Orchids at Palm Court, was on hand serving coconut yuzu sherbert and pork belly sliders.
On the easternmost end of Taste of Cincinnati was Food Truck Alley. Nine food trucks lined up to serve guests a variety of dishes, as well as a stage providing entertainment from local bands. Some dishes served included Korean BBQ, ice pops, a chipotle chicken taco, pesto pizza, waffles, and the decadent frozen chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick from SugarSnap!
To kick off Taste of Cincinnati weekend, local non-profit Go Vibrant hosted their second annual Soap Box Derby-style veggie races. Contestants (members of local television, radio, and print media) were to create cars made from 11 different vegetables, using an eggplant as the body. Pictured here are the winners, Bridget and Fin from local radio station 96 Rock.
Any native Cincinnatian will tell you they grew up on Busken's smiley face cookies, so naturally they're a staple at Taste of Cincinnati.
Jane Bruce is the Photo Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @janeebruce.