Bon Appétit! Taste of DC Makes a Culinary Comeback

Eating contest

Full of it: Taste of DC’s chili-eating contest will span two days: Saturday is for the amateurs, selected from the crowd, while Sunday is strictly for the professional “athletes.” (_PaulS_ via Flickr)

Hungry? How about a Taste of DC? You can get your fill on October 8, 9 and 10.

Yes, the Taste of DC is back after an eight-year hiatus on Columbus Day weekend, this time run by a private company (Taste of DC, LLC for those keeping score at home).

One of two tastes we’re highlighting this month, the Taste of DC “is the region’s largest and most anticipated food, wine, beer, and cultural festival,” according to their site.

It really is huge, featuring 60-plus restaurants and/or catering outfits, 40-plus breweries and 40-plus wineries. To borrow a line from George Orwell, I’m sure the Taste of DC will be doubleplusgood. If you use all of your alcohol tickets, you’ll not only be feeling doubleplusgood but seeing 40/40 by festival’s end. This all dovetails quite nicely into the issue of tickets.

[ Related: Eastern Market’s Two Halves Make for One Heck of a Whole ]

Taste tickets for alcohol and food are sold separately, and if purchased online ahead of time, you’ll get 20 tickets for $25. If you buy them the day of the event, it’ll cost you $15 for 10 tickets. The sale runs out at midnight on the 8th though, so if you’re going, log on now before you forget.

And, oh, the flavors.

  • Want Mexican? Try out Guapo’s Restaurant.
  • How about Thai? No fewer than seven such restaurants are scheduled to appear at the event.
  • All American grub more your fare? The Front Page Restaurant & Grille may be more to your liking.
  • What about soul food? TT’s Caterers is there for you.

The site even has a selection tool that lists participants by cuisine.

Brewers on hand include Flying Dog Brewery, Samuel Adams Brewery and the Abita Brewing Company.

As a gesture of fiscal fairness, organizers assure that all restaurants/breweries/wineries will have something on the menu costing two tickets or less.

[ Related: Tabaq Bistro on U Street Packs a Mediterranean Punch ]

OK, on to the entertainment.

There will be some pretty big names to assist in your eating and libation activities. On the Mission Foods Main Stage, the Taste of DC will feature Styx (though without the voice of Denis DeYoung, maybe they should change their name to Styk), Rusted Root and that king of melodrama himself, Ed Kowalczyk. Country fans will also appreciate a chance to see Big & Rich perform. In addition, there’ll be a dozen or so (maybe more) local bands on-hand to fill out the festival’s sound.

The concerts aren’t free and vary in price, including VIP passes.

There will also be a Culinary Stage, the Amstel Light Bier Garden and a Family Stage. Also on the Main Stage, in what might be the most anticipated event of the festival, revelers can pay to witness the Taste of DC World Chili Eating Championship, presented by Ben’s Chili Bowl.

If you haven’t guessed, there are myriad sponsors in an event this big, including Groupon, Coca-Cola and PNC Bank.

The Taste of DC will be located on Pennsylvania Avenue between 9th and 14th streets in Northwest. The most convenient Metro stops are Federal Triangle (Blue/Orange Lines), Metro Center (Red, Blue/Orange Lines) and Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter (Green/Yellow Lines).

So come out and enjoy the food, drink and music, all the while reminding yourself what a thrill it is to rent an apartment in Washington, D.C., a city good enough to taste. If you decide to make the move, visit Apartment Showcase to find a place.

Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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