Get hungry: Taste of Cincinnati celebrates 40 years with these good eats

CINCINNATI – Turning 40 never sounded so delicious.

On Tuesday, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber revealed the Best of Taste winners and runner-ups for the 40th annual Taste of Cincinnati. The chamber organizes the food festival, which will take place May 26-28 along Fifth Street, Downtown, from Main Street to the ramps of I-71 and Columbia Parkway.

Thirty-three area restaurants and 18 food trucks will participate in this year's Taste. A panel of anonymous judges selected the Best of Taste winners in five categories for both food trucks and restaurants. Those categories included best appetizer, best soup-salad-side, best entrée, best dessert and Best go Vibrant healthy dining option.

Here are the 2018 Best of Taste winners:

Food trucks

Best appetizer
Winner: Adena's Beefstroll – The Stroll
Second place: Red Sesame – Mini Quesadilla

Best soup, salad or side
Winner: Packhouse – Jalapeno Mac & Cheese
Second place: Wicked Hickory – Brisket Mac

Best entrée
Winner:
Adena's Beefstroll – Ma's Meatball Sub
Second place: Slice Slice Baby – Ballpark Sausage Pizza

Best dessert
Winner:
SugarSnap! – Make it a Sundae Brownie
Second place: Marty's Waffles – Belgian Sugar Waffle with fresh strawberries and whipped cream

Best go Vibrant
Winner:
streetpops – Pineapple Passionfruit Streetpop
Second place: Hungry Bros. – Chicken Schwarma Slider

Restaurants

Best appetizer
Winner:
Island Frydays – Jerk Chicken Pasta
Second place: Thai Taste – Crab Rangoon

Best soup, salad or side
Winner:
Tickle Pickle – Mac & Cheese with crushed BBQ Grippo's
Second-place tie: Market Street Grille – Sidewinder Fries; Delicio – Pepperoni Pasta Salad

Best entrée
Winner:
Alfio's – Veal Short Rib Ravioli
Second place: Island Frydays – Caribbean BBQ Wings with yellow rice and mixed vegetables

Best dessert
Winner:
Alfio's – Chocolate Raspberry Tiramisu
Second place: Market Street Grille – Creme Brulee

Best go Vibrant
Winner:
Silver Ladle – Silver Ladle Salad
Second place: Market Street Grille – Spicy Chicken Wrap

Brendon Cull, senior vice president and chief operating officer with the chamber, also announced two new Taste of Cincinnati partnerships. Kroger will be the primary partner of this year's Taste, Cull said. The chamber also has partnered with Independent Mobility Services to increase accessibility to the food festival for those with mobility issues.

Organizers previously revealed the B-52s and Rick Springfield, along with special guest Loverboy, will co-headline the first ever Music Bash at the Taste of Cincinnati. The ticketed Music Bash will take place in the area of Sentinel Street on May 27. Tickets for the concert start at $29.99 and are on sale now at www.tasteofcincinnati.com.

Here are all of the food trucks and restaurants participating in this year's Taste:

Restaurants

  • Alfio’s Buon Cibo
  • Bridges
  • Buona Terra
  • Chicago Gyro
  • Delicio Coal Fired Pizza
  • Dewey’s Pizza
  • Eddie’s Southern Style BBQ
  • El Vaquero
  • Eli’s BBQ
  • Frisch’s
  • Habenero
  • Island Frydays
  • Izzy’s
  • J Gumbo’s
  • Joella's Hot Chicken
  • Keystone Bar & Grill
  • LaRosa’s
  • Market Street Grille
  • Mazunte
  • McCormick & Schmick's
  • Mecklenburg Gardens
  • Melting Pot
  • Oasis Grill
  • Palomino
  • Pompilios
  • Sammy’s Craft Burgers & Beers
  • Sawasdee Thai Cuisine
  • Silver Ladle
  • Sis's
  • Thai Taste
  • Tickle Pickle
  • Tom + Chee
  • Washington Platform

Food trucks

  • Adena’s Beefstroll
  • Best Thing Smokin’
  • The Chili Hut
  • Empanadas Aqui
  • Hungry Bros.
  • Just Jerks
  • Marty’s Waffles
  • Packhouse
  • Quite Frankly
  • Red Sesame
  • Rovey’s Turkey
  • S.E.A. Cuisine
  • Slice, Slice, Baby
  • streetpops
  • SugarSnap! Sweet Treats
  • Sweets & Meats BBQ
  • Texas Joe Tex Mex
  • Wicked Hickory
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