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2018 Taste of Cincinnati Highlights Diversity; Announces Winners

Michael Zhao
2017's Taste of Cincinnati attracted an estimated 550,000 people.

The Taste of Cincinnati is about food. And the food at this year's festival is about diversity, according to the Regional Chamber's Brendon Cull.

"This is who we are as a community and it's who we want to be. When a visitor comes to see Taste of Cincinnati they'll see all the diversity that this region has to offer. That's a really special part of the weekend," Cull said at a preview event Tuesday.

He says it's not an accident that nearly half of the 18 food trucks and 33 restaurants participating are either minority- or immigrant-owned.

"We have more restaurants than we can fit in the event. What's great is we have an incredible high-quality selection of restaurants from all over the region that want to participate in this. It's certainly something that we know that to attract a wide variety and diversity of people to Taste of Cincinnati we have a lot of different food options available."

Cull says a diverse festival is a reflection of a diverse community.

"If you come to Taste you see all of the diversity that Cincinnati has to offer. You see that in the people that are there, and you see that in the food options that are available. It showcases us as a city that has international roots and is welcoming and has a great variety of options."

This year's Taste of Cincinnati is May 26 through the 28, on Fifth Street, between Main and Sentinel Streets.

taste of cincinnati 2018
Credit Provided


On Tuesday, the Chamber announced the Best of Taste winners:

Food Truck Best Dessert:

Third Place: Hungry Bros. – Fried Cheesecake

Second Place: Marty’s Waffles – Belgian Sugar Waffle with fresh sliced strawberries and whipped cream

First Place: SugarSnap! – “Make it a Sundae” Brownie

Food Truck Best Appetizer:

Third Place: Best Thing Smokin’ – Smoked Pulled Pork Sliders

Second Place: Red Sesame – Mini Quesadilla

First Place:  Adena’s Beefstroll – The Stroll

Food Truck Best Soup-Salad-Side:

Third Place: Hungry Bros. – The Kevin Bacon Ranch

Second Place: Wicked Hickory – Brisket Mac

First Place: Packhouse – Jalapeno Mac & Cheese

Food Truck Best go Vibrant!:

Third Place: streetpops – Pineapple Strawberry Swirl Streetpop

Second Place: Hungry Bros. – Chicken Schwarma Slider

First Place: streetpops – Pineapple Passionfruit Streetpop

(go Vibrant! menu items adhere to the American Heart Association per-serving standards of 6.5 grams or less of total fat, 1 gram or less of saturated fat, a half gram or less of trans fat, 20 milligrams or less of cholesterol, and 480 milligrams or less of sodium.)

Food Truck Best Entrée:

Third Place: Empanadas Aqui – Bad Girl Empanada

Second Place: Slice Slice Baby – Ballpark Sausage Pizza

First Place: Adena’s Beefstroll – Ma’s Meatball Sub

Restaurant Best Dessert:

Tied for Third Place: Pompilios – Tiramisu Cannoli

McCormick & Schmick’s - Cinnamon and Sugar Shubert Roll

Second Place: Market Street Grille – Crème Brulee

First Place: Alfio’s Buon Cibo – Chocolate Raspberry Tiramisu

Restaurant Best Appetizer:

Third Place: Market Street Grille – Crab Cake

Second Place: Thai Taste – Crab Rangoon

First Place:  Island Frydays – Jerk Chicken Pasta

Restaurant Best Soup-Salad-Side:

Third Place: McCormick & Schmick’s – Watermelon Gazpacho

Tied for Second Place: Market Street Grille – Sidewinder Fries

Delicio – Pepperoni Pasta Salad

First Place: Tickle Pickle – Mac & Cheese with crushed BBQ Grippo’s

Restaurant Best go Vibrant!:

Third Place: Tickle Pickle – Black Bean Burger

Second Place: Market Street Grille – Spicy Chicken Wrap

First Place: Silver Ladle – Silver Ladle Salad

Restaurant Best Entrée:

Third Place: Tickle Pickle – Jalapeno Jam Burger

Second Place: Island Frydays – Caribbean BBQ Wings with Yellow Rice and Mixed Vegetables

First Place: Alfio’s Buon Cibo – Veal Short Rib Ravioli

Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.