Taste of Cincinnati 2022: Everything you need to know, from the 50+ food venders to music

Taste of Cincinnati 2017
Posted at 2:06 PM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-28 11:43:11-04

CINCINNATI — Get ready to indulge in lots of food and listen to some music because Taste is back!

The beloved Taste of Cincinnati is returning to the Queen City after the 2020 and 2021 festivals were canceled due to the pandemic. For the 2022 celebration, Taste is promising "the largest selection of restaurants and food trucks in the event's history."

The Memorial Day weekend tradition is returning with more than 30 live music acts and more than 50 food vendors setting up on four blocks of Fifth Street between Main and Sentinel streets in downtown Cincinnati. The festival will take place May 28-30 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday.

The festival began in 1979 and is the nation's longest running culinary arts festival bringing approximately 550,000 attendees to the streets of downtown.

The Cincinnati staple is bringing a variety of food choices to satiate every attendee's appetite. The festival had a record number of vendor applications, but only a select amount were chosen to dazzle taste buds throughout the weekend.

There are 36 restaurants and 18 food trucks in attendance serving up everything from street tacos and meatball subs to salmon nuggets and frozen cheesecake on a stick.

The festival provides a "money making machine" that local businesses rely on, and Spencer Mapes, the lead event producer with the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, knows how heartbreaking its been to have to cancel it the past few years.

"Some of the vendors really bank on this weekend, not only to sell, but also to get their name out into the community," Mapes said. "It gives them a platform to showcase to hundreds of thousands of people, 'hey we're here, our food's delicious, come down and visit us soon.'"

You can check out the full list of food vendors and their menu items with prices here. Most menu items range from $5 to $8, but there are options cheaper than that.

During "Best of Taste" — a preview for Taste of Cincinnati — a select number of food vendors were judged at Findlay Market and Longworth Hall in the categories of appetizer, soup/salad/side, entree and dessert.

Here are the top restaurant and food truck winners from Best of Taste that you can enjoy this weekend:

Restaurant Gold:

  • Soup/Salad/Side — YouYu (Hard Rock Casino) — Bulgogi French Fries
  • Appetizer — Council Oak Steak and Seafood (Hard Rock Casino) — Wagyu Meatball
  • Entree — Alfio's Buon Cibo — Veal Short Rib Ravioli Creamy Truffle Marsala Sauce
  • Dessert — Pompilio's Restuarant — Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cannoli

Restaurant Silver:

  • Soup/Salad/Side — Thai Express — Papaya Salad, Sticky Rich with/without Chicken
  • Appetizer — Alfio's Buon Cibo — Korean Barbecue Pork Empanada
  • Entree — Sweets & Meats BBQ — Smoked Pork Rib Tips
  • Dessert — The Cheesecakery — Salted Caramel Truffle Cheesecake Cupcake

Restaurant Bronze:

  • Soup/Salad/Side — Herban Vegans — Gumbolaya
  • Appetizer — Sawasdee Thai Cuisine — Tod Mun
  • Entree — Sweets & Meats BBQ — BBQ Slider & Side
  • Dessert — Alfio's Buon Cibo — Chocolate Caramel Tiramisu

Food Truck Gold:

  • Soup/Salad/Side — Texas Joe Tex Mex — Nopales & Calabaza Vegan or Vegetarian Bowl
  • Appetizer — Dine-In Hawaiian — Fried Musubi
  • Entree — Buffalo's Best — Chicken Wings
  • Dessert — House Cafe and Catering — Cannoli French Toast

Food Truck Silver:

  • Soup/Salad/Side - House Cafe and Catering — Truffle Mac & Cheese
  • Appetizer — Wicked Hickory — Smoked Meat Nachos
  • Entree — Off the Hook — Cod Nibbler
  • Dessert — SugarSnap! — Salted Caramel Brownie Sundae

Food Truck Bronze:

  • Soup/Salad/Side — Wicked Hickory — Dirty South Shot
  • Appetizer — Off the Hook — Shrimp Fritters
  • Entree — MamaBear's Mac — Bruschetta Grilled Cheese
  • Dessert — Streetpops — Strawberry Rose Cream Streetpop

Other than the scrumptious food options to enjoy that are sure to make you loosen your belt a notch or two, Taste also has a variety of music acts that attendees can listen too all weekend long.

There are four stages across the festival — the Beer garden at First Financial Plaza, Beer Garden at P&G Gardens, Rhinegeist Food Truck Alley and Taste of Findlay Market — for the 36 musical acts performing.

Whether you enjoy listening to country, rock, R&B, pop and more, there will for sure be an artist you can enjoy at the festival. For a full list of the acts, set times and stages, you can check out here.

For those wanting to attend Taste, there are a number of street closures beginning Friday, May 27 at 6 p.m. that don't reopen until 5 a.m. on Tuesday, May 31.

Here are the roads closed for the event:

  • Fifth Street between Main and Sentinel streets
  • Sycamore Street between Fourth and Sixth streets
  • Broadway between Fourth and Sixth streets (no access to I-71 or I-471)
  • Sentinel Street from Eggleston to Fifth Street
  • Columbia Parkway West must exit at either Third or Sixth Streets for Downtown Access
  • No parking will be permitted on any of those streets, but access will be provided to parking garages and hotels

There are many parking garages along Third, Fourth and Sixth streets, but Taste also recommends the Uber, Lyft, the Metro system, Cincinnati's Red Bikes or the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar which has multiple stops that will get you close to the fun.

For more information about Taste of Cincinnati's menu, music acts and more you can check out the festival's website here.

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