BUFFALO, N.Y. — The festival aspect of this year's Taste of Buffalo will be virtual, but the food is still very real.
"We had about 60 or so restaurants signed up for the traditional festival, we've got 35 or so participating in the virtual event," 2020 Chairperson Erin Collins told 2 On Your Side in the days leading up to the event.
As the restaurant industry recovers from the COVID shutdowns, the re-imagined event is putting the focus on take out, rather than serving thousands of people at once in Niagara Square and Delaware Avenue.
"We bring half a million people to be able to visit restaurants that they might not normally visit," Collins described. "So in this way, with each business offering takeout, we're encouraging people to go visit those places, don't wait for them to all be together."
Each participating spot will offer special menu items and prices just for this weekend. The guys at Stack Burger in Lackawanna will be serving up sliders and bite sized portions of their award winning deep-friend peanut butter & jelly.
"We're sorry we can't be down there with everybody, it's a tradition for us, we know it's a tradition for a lot of people. Trust me, if we could we would. We're happy to be able to do it, people can come out," said Chef and Co-Owner Anthony Giangrosso. "But, go see all the other restaurants too. This is a thing so everybody can get out safely, social distance, eat some food and have a good time. I think it's a really good thing for the community."
Speaking of community, the weekend will also raise money for FeedMore Western New York. You can make a donation to the non-profit by purchasing virtual food tickets. You'll also be able to follow along on social media with live cooking demos and performances online all weekend.
For a list of the participating restaurants, their menus, and how to place an order, click here.