A Guide to Taste of Syracuse 2023: Central New York’s Best Food Festival
June 6, 2019
Last updated on June 2, 2023.
In Central New York, the Taste of Syracuse is the unofficial start to summer. This beloved festival unites the community over the universal love of food. Restaurants from around the area set up booths to showcase their most popular dishes.
I’ve been attending Taste since I was a kid. It’s an event I look forward to for weeks, plotting out what samples I want to try and in what order. And since the pandemic canceled the festival for the past 2 years, people are more eager than ever to attend.
There have been years of bad weather, years of mediocre music, and years of ridiculous crowds. But there’s a nostalgia factor that makes you forget all that. It’s always a guaranteed good time. Plus, it’s the best festival for foodies like me.
New Taste of Syracuse Vendors for 2023
Due to the global pandemic, the Taste of Syracuse was canceled in both 2020 and 2021. That meant that the festival returned with a vengeance and had an incredible 2022 turnout. New vendors last year included 3-1-fried, Danny’s Steaks, Decir Algo, Pawsitivitea, and Salt City Market. But there are always new restaurants opening up, and 2023’s festival is no stranger to newcomers. Check out some of this year’s new vendors:
Cake Bar – Cake Bar has quickly become a beloved spot in Syracuse for delicious drinks and baked goods. After having success inside Salt City Market, they’ve expanded into a second location all their own, next to Apizza Regionale. They’ve got some delicious creations lined up for the festival.
Congo Box – This African cuisine made a statement at the recent Food Truck Battle with their smoked lamb chops. Their presence at the Taste of Syracuse widens the city’s availability for authentic African food. And whatever they make this weekend is sure to taste – and smell – phenomenal.
SINBUN – It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Bri and Jake Lastrina’s sweet and savory buns. I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with them on a couple of projects already, and they continue to knock it out of the park! (They sold out of buns and bites at the Wandercuse Launch party last month.) I can’t wait to try their creations for the Taste of Syracuse.
Love the Taste of Syracuse? then you’ll love Taste of the Finger Lakes! This elevated festival features samples from Ithaca and surrounding areas. It all takes place on Tuesday, June 13th at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market. Instead of paying as you go, there is a flat entrance fee for the festival, and the money supports local food non-profits. But I’ve got you covered. Save $15 on your ticket with code WANDER15.
Taste of Syracuse Yearly Favorites
“Dizzy Pig” Donuts
Glazed & Confused Donuts debuted on opening day of Taste of Syracuse in 2017. Appropriately so, since the first Friday in June is National Donut Day. Their dish? The “Dizzy Pig”, a maple bacon bourbon donut. Yes, it is as good as it sounds. That first year, they were so successful it gave them the boost they needed to open up their brick & mortar shop. It’s now one of the most famous eateries in Syracuse and regularly has celebrity visitors.
Another favorite of mine are the risotto bombs from Peppino’s. Oh my goodness they are yummy, perfectly covered in marinara. Better yet, give me five. Please and thank you.
If you call a food item a “bomb”, it gets all the attention! This one is packed with meat and wrapped in bacon.
Garlic Parm Pierogies
Moose Shack has unexpected, yet fantastic, garlic parmesan pierogies. The Polish girl in me has to get these every year.
Pizza Frittes are so beloved in Syracuse that Villa held pop-up fried dough days to help us get through the roughest days of the pandemic. The sugar-coated treat is a staple of both the State Fair and the Taste of Syracuse.
With three separate stages located throughout the festival, there is plenty of live music to enjoy. Both local and national acts are ready to entertain yourself while you stuff your bellies. This year, enjoy local favorites like Sophistafunk, Jess Novak, My So Called Band, Just Joe, and a few dozen more.
The highlighted acts of the 2023 festival will be the alt rock bands The Spin Doctors and Eve 6. Find them on the main stages on Saturday night.
Visiting the Taste of Syracuse
The Taste of Syracuse only lasts for two days each year. Friday and Saturday of the first full weekend in June from 11am to 11pm each day. The event is FREE to attend, and if you look carefully, you can find free parking too. Don’t be tricked into paying just to be a block closer.
Go grab your closest friends and head downtown this Friday & Saturday. If you see me, please say hello!