Just a brief interruption to my (hopefully) inspiring and mouth-watering posts about my recent trip to Finland – to remind you about the upcoming Taste of Calgary festival!
The festival runs August 15-18, 2013 at Eau Claire’s Festival Plaza. The festival runs from 11am-9pm each day.
If you haven’t been to Taste of Calgary before, it’s a pretty simple structure. Just visit one of the ticket-selling booths (there are usually several around the Plaza) and purchase sampling tickets for $1 each. (Grab a menu/map there too!) Then the different booths, trading your tickets for snack-size samples of the food they offer. Don’t forget to take a business card or two as well so you can re-visit the restaurants and delis you like best after the festival! Some items will cost one ticket, but most cost 3-5 tickets.
There is a menu on the festival website, so you can even pre-plan your spending and sampling. (Gluten-free and vegetarian items are well marked, though you’ll have to ask if you’re concerned about dairy, eggs, or other allergens. It’s best visited with a friend, because at the end of your visit you can combine your leftover tickets to share something… plus it’s just a fun afternoon or evening out.
Some of the items I might try this year…
The Canadian Brewhouse – Booth # 2
1 Deep Fried Pickle (2 tickets) – can you believe I’ve never tried deep-fried pickles before?
Crepes & Cravings – Booth # 20
Sweet Nutella Crepe (4 tickets)
Double ELLE Bakery – Booth # 15
World Famous Poppycock (3 tickets) Though I’ll want to look at it first!
What about you? What will you be trying at Taste of Calgary this year? What would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!
And for the 18+ set
There is also an adults-only alcoholic beverage garden, featuring beers, wines, and spirits. They cost 2-3 tickets each, and all drinks are sample sizes – maximum four ounces, 2 ounces for wine and 1/2 an ounce for spirits.
In my previous posts I’ve mentioned some tips to have a great time at the festival…
- Around noon the festival can be really crowded and uncomfortably hot. Maybe this year I’ll try to go Thursday evening instead of going during the middle of the day again.
- Not all of the samples are good deals – and you can end up spending a lot of money. Check out what you’re getting before you order, especially if you’re on a budget. I’ve noticed that a lot of the delis have better ‘deals’ than the restaurants in terms of the amount of food you’ll get for your tickets.
- There are usually lots of freebies at the festival too – wander around (usually close to the east side of the plaza) and look for special booths set up with taste tests and give-aways. Apparently food trucks will be parked near the festival as well if you’re keen to try one of Calgary’s food trucks and you haven’t been to a lot of festivals yet this summer or don’t work downtown.
- BYO… Consider bringing your own bottle of water (every vendor sells it, but you might as well bring a reusable bottle and save the money and the plastic!) and refilling it at the water fountain. Also, in the past few years the vendors have almost all used Styrofoam plates and plastic disposable cutlery. If you want to minimize your impact, consider bringing a reusable dish and cutlery/chopsticks. I keep meaning to, but every year since I thought of it… I’ve forgotten. At least re-use your plastic cutlery! (At least that one I’ve remembered!)