I find people generally fall into one of two camps when it comes to food festivals: you either love em’ or you hate em’. And generally speaking, festivals in the city can be overcrowded, feel like a battle for tiny samples of food, and (since most take place during the summer months), really HOT.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the food festival I attended this month, New Taste of the Upper West Side, was the exception to all the above. While the line to get in was long (wrapping around the block!), it moved seriously fast, and we were inside in less than 10 minutes. (Kudos, staff!) The food tastings from 42 UWS restaurants were generous (after making the tent round we were seriously full–some tables, such as Shake Shack, even gave full sized burgers!) And best of all, the festival was located inside a tent, so attendees were saved from the June heat. Gold stars all around, New Taste of the UWS!
My favorite part of the festival was discovering new restaurants to dine at after the festivities were over. Based on the tastings, here’s the 5 UWS restaurants I can’t wait to try:
- Momofuku Milk Bar (because those birthday cake truffles BLEW ME AWAY)
- Papparedella (a fluffy little pasta stuffed with cheese and pear, drizzled with black truffle and parmigiano makes for a delightful summer pasta)
- Ellla Kitchen and Bar (veggie empanadas stuffed with spinach and corn and lots of manchego cheese, drizzled with a chipotle aioli is RIGHT up my alley)
- Communal Oven & Earth (my hubby raved about the mini lamb sliders all night long)
- Birdbath Bakery (a pretty dessert wins lots of points in my book, and the adorable blueberry-lemon tart with edible flowers was an Instagram waiting to happen)
Would love to know…are you a food festival fan? Any favorite restaurants on the Upper West Side we should add to the list? Let’s talk below!