For more than 30 years the Taste of Elmwood Park has been a signature event for our sister suburb to the north. After taking a pandemic related pause in 2020, the four-day food-focused celebration is back with a wide variety of dishes to please every palate. The Taste is free to attend and will be held at Central Park at 75th Avenue and Fullerton from August 5 to 8 in Elmwood Park.
“The Taste is a fun community event where local restaurants, businesses, neighbors and friends come together for a weekend of food, fun, and entertainment,” wrote Angelo “Skip” Saviano, Elmwood Park village president. “Participation by our village’s finest restaurants has been outstanding, and the crowds continue to grow as talk of the taste spreads.”
More than 20 unique food vendors will be showcasing signature menu items at the festival and several participants have their brick-and-mortar homes in Elmwood Park. Thanks to a stretch of “restaurant row” eateries situated on North Avenue and a cluster of establishments on “the circle,” Elmwood Park is known to many as a local dining destination — the Taste of Elmwood Park is an ideal place to enjoy affordably priced restaurant favorites.
A bevy of reputable Elmwood Park establishments including Donny G’s, Café Cubano, New Star, Gringo and Blondie and Armand’s are set to bring Italian, Cuban, Japanese, Chinese and Mexican fare to hungry festival goers next week.
“Send everyone you know to the Taste of Elmwood Park,” said George Diamond, manager of Eggsperience, 16 Conti Pkwy. “I am going to be there for four days. We’ll have gyros, kebabs, Greek fries and Baklava.”
In addition to Greek fare, the Taste of Elmwood Park is bringing New Star’s best loved eggrolls and crab rangoon to the masses. The crab rangoon will come two per order and the eggrolls feature a bounty of BBQ pork, shrimp, and vegetables in a pleasing peanut sauce.
“They are the best around because we use best quality meat, vegetables and peanut butter,” says Jinny Zhao, owner of New Star. “And our crab rangoon is made from real crab, too.”
Gringo and Blondie plans to offer elote style corn and their namesake tacos — “The Gringo” features slow roasted barbacoa beef, pickled onions, cilantro and cotija cheese. Angelo Lollino, chef-owner of Massa Café Italiano will be serving up scoops of his award-winning gelato to help attendees cool off on a hot day.
Folks looking for classic Elmwood Park fare can happily grab an Italian Beef with sweet or hot peppers from Johnnie’s or snag a junior sized pork sandwich from Russell’s Barbecue. Both restaurants are institutions in Elmwood Park and synonymous with dining in the area.
The 75th Avenue Market, featuring Sergio’s Seafood, made its debut at the Taste in 2019 and will return to the festival again this year. Attendees can expect to enjoy raw and baked clams, fresh shucked oysters, grilled octopus, and other Italian seafood specialties at the tent designed to mimic seafood markets in the Bronx.
The experienced fish handlers behind Sergio’s Seafood possess the skillset necessary to serve up seafood safely in a hectic festival environment. Baked clams, cooked on site, are expected to be crowd pleasers. They are topped with breadcrumb filling enhanced with garlic, Parmesan and butter while raw clams and fresh oysters will pair beautifully with fresh horseradish sauce and homemade cocktail sauce.
The Mayor’s Cup Bocce Tournament, The Taste Lounge and Yoga in the Park are also featured events during the family friendly experience. Several bands will entertain festival goers all weekend long with the event running Thursday, Aug. 5 and Friday, Aug. 6 from 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 7 from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 8 from noon to 10 p.m.