Taste of Syracuse 2022: What to expect as the food & music festival returns

Syracuse, N.Y. — Two years without the area’s biggest food festival has worked up quite an appetite for Central New Yorkers. On Friday, we’re finally going to fill our tummies with inexpensive food samples while listening to live music.

The annual Taste of Syracuse festival in downtown’s Clinton Square returns this weekend after a two-year Covid-induced hiatus. The free event that usually draws nearly 200,000 people runs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

“It’s going to be bigger and better than ever,” said organizer Carrie Wojtaszek. “We need this.”

So far, 76 vendors have committed to sell food samples for $1 or $2. Vendors at past Taste of Syracuse festivals sold food for $1, but organizers gave them the option to go up to $2 because of rising wholesale food prices.

One noticeable change this year: No Bonefish Grill and its Bang Bang Shrimp. The national chain restaurant that used to create long lines of people craving the deep-fried sweet shrimp is not among the vendors.

Throughout the festival, 33 local and national musical acts will perform on one of three stages, the biggest being the main stage by the National Grid building. Alternative rock band Everclear will be headlining act on the main stage at 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

Streets around the festival will be blocked on Thursday through Sunday.

Here is a list of the samples available for $1 or $2. Some vendors had not submitted their offering as of Tuesday afternoon.

Food Samples

3-1-Fried/Walking Taco: Tater tots

A Touch of Soul: Jambalaya rice, lemon pound cake or sweet potato pie

Ayvaco Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Free olive oil Samples with bread

Baghdad: Baba ganoush and pita or chicken shawarma sandwich

Big Mama’s Cheesecakes: 2 oz. cheesecake sample

Birdsong Cafe: Lavender lemonade with kiwi bubbles

Brancato’s Catering & Sicilian Breeze Italian Ice: Chicken riggies or Italian ice

Byblos Cafe: Falafel patties or sambousek (fried meat pies)

Cake Bar: Chocolate chip cookie

Carvel: Soft ice cream

Cue-Dogs: Fries with cheese or nachos with cheese

Danny’s Steaks: Danny’s loaded fries

Decir Algo: Chips and queso

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: Tomato cucumber salad

Erma’s Island: Jerk chicken

Eva’s European Sweets: Chocolate chip cookie sandwiches with vanilla cream

Gilligan’s Ice Cream: Homemade ice cream

Glazed and Confused: Dizzy Pig donut

Grub On The Run: Chicken “chunks” and fries with original sauce & ranch dressing

Henry’s Hen House: Jamaican jerk chicken with rice and beans or curry chicken with rice and beans

Humane CNY: Cold water or homemade dog biscuits for $2 and homemade soaps for $1

Ippoliti Street Food: Deep-fried mozzarella on a stick or funnel cake or deep-fried Oreos

It’s A Utica Thing!: Chicken riggies or tomato pie

It’s Cookie Season: Cut-out emoji cookie or chocolate sugar cookie

Johnny Gee’s BBQ and Catering Services: Greens or baked beans

Juicy Freeze: Strawberry smoothie

Kaneb Orchards: 3 mini cider donuts

Kasai: College bowl

Kiki’s Authentic Greek: Dolmades (grape leaves)

Las Delicias Restaurant: Empanadas

Limp Lizard: Smoked wings

Luff Farms: Cookie bomb

Luna Cat Cafe: BBQ meatballs or onigiri

Ma & Pa’s Kettle Corn: Kettle corn or caramel-coated cheese balls

Macarollin: Classic mac & cheese

MacDaddy’s Ultimate Mac N Cheese: Buffalo mac & cheese or BBQ pulled Pork mac & cheese or Boom Boom shrimp mac & cheese

Mamma Hai: Cassava strips with coconut

Miss Prissy’s: Macaroni & cheese or boneless honey Hennessey wings

Moose Shack: Bacon cheddar ranch fries or tots, garlic parm perogies or fried ravioli, cheeseburger mac & cheese, orange sun tea or loganberry

Mr. Squeeze: Fresh batch tea

Oompa Loompyas: Crispy chicken adobo with garlic fried rice

Pascarella’s Catering & Bakery: Cannoli cheese with cannoli chip

Pawsitivitea CNY Cafe & Cat Lounge: Happy paws iced tea or half-moon minis

Peppino’s: Risotto bombs

Pita Dream: Falafel or baklava

PressRoom Pub: Chicken riggies

R & R Takeout & Catering: Riblets or chicken bites

Razzle Dazzle Italian Ices/Our Vegan Corner: Italian Ices or vegan fried chicken

Skippy’s Soft Serve: Two berry shake

SOULutions: Not Your Utica Greens

Spud Shack: Cheese fries

Strong Hearts: Buffalo Mac Roll or Reuben Roll

Syracuse Halal Gyro: Gyro Bowl

The Angry Pig BBQ: Brisket and cheddar tots

The Bacon Bomb: Pork and bBeans

The Baked Potato Express: Mac & Cheese Potato

The Soul Food Extension: Bang Bang lemonade

Theo Petros Food Truck: Tzatziki teaser

Tommy C’s Mac & Cheese: Mac & cheese or Cheeto mac & cheese

Tommy C’s Steakhouse: Chicken apeidi or Bada Boom shrimp

TOPS Friendly Markets: Chantilly Cupcake

Trita Treatz: Banana pudding

Twin Trees: Pizza slices

What the Fudge: Assorted fudge flavors

Who Want Smoke BBQ & Catering: Mac & tuna salad, or smoked chicken skewer or Berry Very Munch Lemonade

Wildcat Pizza: $1 chicken wings

Winnie’s Soul Delicious: Mac & cheese or fried chicken winglets

Wrap It Up!: Pasta Salad or Wrap It Up’s famous chocolate chip cookie

Zeppole King: Baby Zeppole

Zespri Kiwi: Free samples of Kiwi

Smash Mouth performs at the Taste of Syracuse, Syracuse, NY, Saturday June 2, 2018. Scott Schild | [email protected]

Friday Entertainment

Main Stage

Noon-1:30 p.m.: Wicked Awesome

5:30-7 p.m.: Brownskin Band with Joe Driscoll

7:20-8:50 p.m.: Dangerous Type

9:20-11 p.m.: Hard Promises

Clinton Square Stage

Noon-1:30 p.m.: Just Joe

5-6:15 p.m.: The Malcontents

6:30-7:30 p.m.: Jess Novak Band

7:50-9:10 p.m.: Prime Time

9:30-11 p.m.: Stroke

Erie Boulevard Stage

Noon-1:30 p.m.: McCardle & Westers

5-6 p.m.: Chris Eves & the New Normal

6:15-7:25 p.m.: The Old Main

7:45-9 p.m.: Skunk City Hip Hop Show

9:30-11 p.m.: Sophistafunk

Saturday Entertainment

Main Stage

1:30-2:30 p.m.: JES Sheldon & the LBE’s

2:30-3:30 p.m.: Kid Roscoe

4-5:30 p.m.: Custom Taylor Band

6-9 p.m.: Vinyl Albums Live: Alt Rock Mix Tape

9:30-11 p.m.: Everclear

Clinton Square Stage

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Youth Talent Showcase

1:45-2:30 p.m.: AMP

2:45-4 p.m.: The Real Raw Breed

4:20-5:35 p.m.: Simple Life

5:55-7:25 p.m.: Menage a Soul

7:45-9:10 p.m.: Steven Call

9:30-11 p.m.: Off The Reservation

Erie Boulevard Stage

Noon-1:15 p.m.: Colin Aberdeen

1:30-2:40 p.m.: My So Called Band

3-4 p.m.: The Ditch Daises

4:20-5:35 p.m.: The Barndogs

5:55-7:10 p.m.: Little Queen

7:30-9 p.m.: Scars & Stripes

9:20-11 p.m.: Country Swagg

Charlie Miller finds the best in food, drink and fun across Central New York. Contact him at (315) 382-1984, or by email at [email protected]. You can also find him under @HoosierCuse on Twitter and on Instagram. Sign up for his free weekly Where Syracuse Eats newsletter here.


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