Emerald Queen Casino’s Taste of Tacoma comes to Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park Friday through Sunday.
Overall festival hours:
- Friday, June 22: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Saturday, June 23: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Sunday, June 24: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Event Highlights: More than 40 restaurant and food booths, South Sound Bites in support of Emergency Food Network, hand craft and commercial goods vendors, more than 90 live musical acts, The Taste Cooks! chef demos and cook-offs presented by Uber Eats and Albert Lee Appliance, The Rose Garden with wine tasting and craft beer tasting, beer gardens serving up local brews and local spirits, funtastic carnival rides and games, sponsor samples and activities, picnic areas and more.
Free Taste Express: With Metro Parks Tacoma Destination Point Defiance project underway, Emerald Queen Casino’s Taste of Tacoma, presented by BECU, has taken steps to ensure an easy and affordable option for guests by providing the free Taste Express service from Tacoma Community College to the festival. The freeTaste Express, operated by Pierce Transit, and sponsored by Xfinity, will run throughout the day starting at 10 a.m. to take guests to and from the festival. The last bus will depart Point Defiance Park 30 minutes after closing each day. Festival hours are Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Pets: A no-pet policy will be enforced in the food court at the Taste this year. The public is encouraged to leave dogs and other pets at home for the health and safety of both the animals and the public.
Special Features & Overview of Taste 2018
Taste it All!
The festival plays host to more than 40 local and regional restaurants and food booths. As always, the Taste of Tacoma showcases old favorites and new flavors throughout the weekend! Some of the notable newcomers at The Taste include KungFu Kianbing serving up Japanese Ramen and Chinese Crepes, Frytastic! with their Spicy Crab Kickers, and OSJ Puerto Rican Cuisine, adding some Puerto Rican flavor with Fried Pork Chunks and Pigeon Peas. New Food Trucks include Itty Bitty Schnitty with Pork Schnitzel & German Potato Salad, Incredibowls dishing up Bulgogi Beef Brisket and Kimchi bowls, and, Egyptian Mug, featuring Espresso, Smoothies and Italian Soda. For the brave foodies, try return-favorites, Alligator-on-a-Stick from New Orleans Cookery or the Krispy Kreme Bacon Burger from Deano’s Grill.
South Sound Bites
South Sound Bites is a local restaurant showcase featuring a unique five-course “large taste” plate meal offered to patrons for one price, each day between 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Taste of Tacoma, June 22-24. The attraction was driven by community interest to try top-notch restaurants in the Tacoma region. Patrons who visit South Sound Bites pay $17 to receive a plate featuring five different large taste menu items, one item presented from each of the participating restaurants featured daily. South Sound Bites, will serve as a platform to not only showcase local restaurants, but also support Emergency Food Network by collecting donations, both monetary & non-perishable food items, as well as volunteer outreach. Participating restaurants include Duke’s Seafood & Chowder, Stanley & Seafort’s, ChUch, The Table, Hello Cupcake, Miyabi Sushi Tacoma, Bruno’s European Restaurant, Steamer’s Seafood Café, Hob Nob Tacoma and Pasteles Del Angel.
The Taste Cooks! presented by Uber Eats and Albert Lee Appliance
The Taste Cooks!
Presented by Uber Eats and Albert Lee Appliance with media sponsors KOMO 4, KOMO 1000 Radio and Seattle Refined, The Taste Cooks! is the epi-center of the festival in Restaurant Row. The Taste Cooks! is an interactive and high energy live cooking entertainment showcase located at the north end of the festival. Join new emcee Thierry Rautureau, aka “The Chef in the Hat,” as he hosts a selection of Tacoma’s finest chefs and local culinary experts who will spice up the stage with creative programming segments and cooking demonstrations.
Local chefs will also compete in a Taste Cooks Cook-Off!, where they will be given three mystery ingredients, a small pantry of basic cooking staples and leave it up to the audience to judge their final entrée. The winner will be crowned The Taste Cooks Master! All demonstrations will be done on a fully-equipped stage by Albert Lee Appliance. Participating chefs include return crowd favorites, Jon Maley (ChUch), Saffron Hodgson (bushcooking.com), and Hudson Slater (Tacoma Yacht Club) and, new to The Taste Cooks! Shawn Tibbitts (Tibbitts@FernHill) and Jeff Pratt (Goodwill’s Neighborhood Bistro), and more. The Taste Cooks! will also feature local area chefs from Uber Eats restaurant partners including, Jacob Keil from WildFin American Grill, and Warnessa Victorian from Lizzio Lou’s Too. Special thanks to Charlie’s Produce for donating fresh produce to The Taste Cooks!
Craft Beer & Wine Tasting
Sip and sample some amazing local wines and craft beers in The Rose Garden. The Craft Beer & Wine Tasting will give guests a relaxed and beautiful atmosphere to sample some Washington wines & craft beers. The Wine Tasting sponsored by The News Tribune, will host local wineries, including Silver Lake Winery, Samson Estates Winery, Vino Aquino Winery, and more.
In conjunction with the wine tasting, The Rose Garden will also host a Craft Beer Tasting, sponsored by 96.5 JACK FM. Both the Craft Beer Tasting and Wine Tasting package cost $18 and each package includes five pours (beer or wine) and a commemorative tasting glass. If you’re looking for more tastes, you can purchase additional tasting tickets for $2! Participating breweries include Harmon Brewery, Gig Harbor Brewing, Chainline Brewing Company, Hellbent Brewing Company and Schooner Exact Brewing Co.
To experience the best of the Craft Beer and Wine Tasting, you can use your tasting tickets to sample wines and beers at any winery or brewery in the Rose Garden. Guests can purchase additional tasting tickets and bottles of which will be available for purchase and consumption onsite, with prices depending on the wine varietal. Admission to the Taste is free, however, guests must be 21 or older to enter the Craft Beer and Wine Tasting area and to purchase tasting packages and bottles of wine.
Beer Gardens: Cool Brews & Local Spirit Cocktails
Back by popular demand, Gig Harbor’s Heritage Distilling Co. (which is the “Most Awarded Distillery in the U.S.” four years in a row) will be the featured spirits provider at the Taste of Tacoma®, and will be serving both Classic and Signature drinks in the Beer Gardens sponsored by Hot 103.7. The Beer Gardens will also feature brews by Budweiser, Bud Light, Shock Top, and 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
There are two great ways to save money at these venues including our Taste Happy Hour from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day. Happy Hour gets you $3 off a Craft Beer or Wine Tasting package in the Rose Garden, and $1 off beers and mixed drinks in the beer gardens. BECU Card members can get $5 off Craft Beer and Wine Tasting Packages or free corking on a bottle of wine, a $5 savings, at The Wine Tasting all day, every day of the event, with proof of membership. (Must provide debit card and/or a bank statement; only one discount can be applied at a time & deals cannot be combined.)
The Taste of Tacoma offers the best in family fun and the ultimate summer picnic experience. Located in the Bowl surrounding the Pond at Point Defiance Park, come experience the Family Fun Stage sponsored by 100.7 The Wolf with non-stop entertainment daily and the always-popular Funtastic Carnival and Amusement Rides for parents and kids alike. Collect your Funtastic Coupon from the South Sound Proud Booth near the main entrance – $16 for six rides! Picnic tables and grassy areas are also available so grab some delicious food and enjoy the fun! Featured performers include local singer-songwriters Ava Adams and Ainsley Costello, country artist Brandon Paul, dance groups, Timeless D4You and Freedom Dancers, plus hula-hooping and dance contests for children 12 and under, with prizes.
Entertainment is an essential part of the Taste, and with more than 90 live acts in all, there is always something for everyone! Guests can enjoy everything from classic rock to pop to kids’ entertainment. Stages include The Bowl stage presented by BECU with media sponsor KZOK 102.5 FM, The Rose Garden Stage sponsored by 95.7 The Jet, The Pond Stage sponsored by 106.1 KISS FM, and The Family Fun Stage sponsored by 100.7 The Wolf.
Play, sample, explore and more at the Taste! Learn more about your favorite brands or find new ones to love with our featured partners.
Emerald Queen Casino: Stop by the Emerald Queen Hotel & Casinos booth and see what’s new and coming up soon at The Entertainment Capital of the Northwest! Be sure to ask about the incredible promotions awarding cash prizes we’ve got going on year-round.
Sahale Snacks: We’re pleased to have Sahale Snacks as a proud supporter of this year’s event. Sahale Snacks are exceptional combinations of premium dry-roasted nuts and fruits. The Nut Blends are carefully crafted with the most flavorful ingredients and include only those that are pure, natural, and of the highest quality. Stop by the Sahale Snacks booth at the today for delicious free samples. Sahale Snacks – Beyond Ordinary.
AT&T PrePaid: Visit the AT&T PrePaid booth and try your hand at classic Midway carnival games. AT&T PrePaid offers affordable unlimited phone plans starting at $30 a month with no annual contract on the nation’s best data network.
Washington Lottery – WIN A $1000 VISA GIFT CARD! Join us at the Washington’s Lottery Trailer for our exciting Promotion! Purchase $10 in scratch tickets and receive an entry for your chance to win. You get to spin the prize wheel too!
Western Washington Toyota Dealers: Taste of Tacoma is brought to you by your Western Washington Toyota Dealers. Be sure to check out the sporty and aggressive new 2018 Toyota Camry – America’s bestselling car! And the adventurous new Toyota RAV4 is ready for anything anytime! For all Toyota offers, go to buyatoyota.com.