BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Taste of Buffalo is happening virtually this year, and organizers of the biggest two-day food festival in the country had to reimagine what it would look like, while making sure to support local restaurants that are hurting from COVID-19.
"The purpose of Taste of Buffalo at home is to provide much needed support for the local restaurant community," said Erin Collins, 2020 Chair of Taste of Buffalo.
Here's how it's going to work: restaurants that were supposed to take part this year will instead prepare full-sized food specials at their locations for takeout - starting July 11 and 12.
So you can place your order and pick it up when it's ready.
Bill Panzica, owner of the Chocolate Bar in downtown Buffalo, said it's the first time he's participated in the festival, and he can't wait for people to try his food.
"The amount of people, the interaction with our customers and people that never experienced a chocolate bar...it's hard to explain. I was so excited to be part of this," he said.
Another thing you can do is give back, by buying virtual food tickets online to benefit FeedMore WNY.
"We've added nearly 1,900 new clients to Home Delivered Meals program alone. And we are delivering about 54 percent more meals each week through that Home Delivered Meals program compared to our baseline average," said Catherine Shick, Communications Director for FeedMore WNY.
You can join the virtual festival live on Facebook and Instagram to at least sort of feel like you're at the festival. You can watch the entertainment, the virtual culinary stage and learn new recipes from experts.
"I'm so excited to be a part of the culinary stage, so I'll be joined by a lot of local chefs making a lot of summer dishes, nice fresh and delicious," said chef Darian Bryan with The Plating Society.
Here's the list of all the participating restaurants in this year's virtual Taste of Buffalo.
A Gust of Sun Winery, Ransomville
Alex's Place, Batavia
Applebee's, Any WNY location
Babcia's Pierogi, Buffalo
Bavarian Nut Company, WNY
Big Ditch Brewing Company, Buffalo
Buffalo Soul, Buffalo
Caribbean Experience, Buffalo
Carmine's, East Amherst
Casa Azul food truck, Buffalo
The Cheesy Chick, Williamsville
Chiavetta's BBQ Takeout, Lockport & Brant
The Chocolate Bar, Buffalo
Chrusciki Bakery & Simply Pierogi, Lancaster
Clarence Center Coffee Co. & Café, Clarence Center
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Buffalo
Eli Fish Brewing Company, Batavia
India Gate, Buffalo
Lloyd Taco Trucks, Buffalo
Local Kitchen and Beer Bar, Buffalo
Melloni's Meats & Catering, Tonawanda
Merritt Estate Winery, Forestville
Mineo & Sapio Street Eats food truck, Parked at Boulevard Mall
Osteria 166, Buffalo
Papi Grande’s, Amherst
PhatCatz of WNY, Buffalo
Pizza Amoré The Wood Fire Way, Grand Island
Share Kitchen & Bar Room food truck, Williamsville
Sidelines Sports Bar & Grill, Buffalo
Souped Up! food truck, Buffalo
Spring Lake Winery, Lockport
Stack Burger, Lackawanna
Sweet Life Dessert Experience, Tonawanda
Sweet Melody's, East Amherst
Three Brothers Wineries and Estates, Geneva
Tops Markets, Any WNY location
Venus Greek & Mediterranean food truck, Buffalo
Victorianbourg Wine Estate,
Wilson Water Lily Café, Cheektowaga