Taste of Charlotte

by Alli

I was beyond thrilled on Mother’s Day when my daughters presented me with a girls weekend at Taste of Charlotte June 05-7th. They made reservations at the Omni Charlotte and the weekend finally arrived.

The Omni & Taste of Charlotte

Taste of Charlotte

Taste of Charlotte is a 3-day festival featuring over 100 samples from area restaurants.  There’s also live music and entertainment, interactive children’s activities, street performances, unique shopping and a large variety of  local, regional and national sponsors interacting with festival-goers, providing information, coupons and free stuff!  Dogs and kids are welcome!

Taste of Charlotte

Located on Tryon Street, Taste of Charlotte spans 5 city blocks from Stonewall to Trade.  

Admission to Taste of Charlotte is FREE.  You can purchase festival coins to use for restaurant samples, beverages and activities for the kids.  You can purchase your coins on site at booths located throughout the festival or pre-purchase them before arriving.  A large cup of coins costs $20.00 and contains 15 coins.  Most food items cost 2-3 coins.  

Taste of Charlotte

What’s not to like about spending the weekend sampling scrumptious food and enjoying live entertainment?

Taste of Charlotte

We arrived at the Omni on Friday evening around 5:30 PM.   Our coins had been preordered online, so we stepped out of the Omni lobby,  stopped by one of the coin tents, grabbed our coins and was soon on the lookout for food.

Taste of Charlotte pic

My oldest daughter and I had freshly made guacamole and chips from Cantina 1511 and it was delicious! A huge serving was only 3 coins.  For some reason, nothing else really caught my eye on Friday night. I knew we would be coming back for lunch on Saturday, so we mostly walked around, checked things out and listened to music, talked and laughed.

Taste of Charlotte

Several of the event sponsors were giving out free samples.  Our favorites were Dole Dark Chocolate Covered Pineapple, Mini Bundt Cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes (scrumptious)  and So Delicious Dairy Free mini frozen bars and sandwiches.  I didn’t miss the dairy at all!

Taste of Charlotte Mini Bundt Cakes

Taste of Charlotte

Since we were mainly just scoping out the different foods on Friday night, we later stopped in at Trade Restaurant & Bar located in the Omni.  Two of my daughters split a dessert, Chocolate & Peanut Butter Mousse Cake.  They said it was just OK, nothing special.

Taste of Charlotte

My oldest daughter and I had only eaten the guacamole & chips at Taste of Charlotte so we split an appetizer – Cheese Fries with gravy (did not like the gravy and am so glad we had it served on the side) and a grilled cheese sandwich.

Taste of Charlotte

The best food I had the entire weekend was the grilled cheese sandwich from Trade Restaurant.  It wasn’t your ordinary grilled cheese.  The sunflower bread was filled with cheddar and fontina cheeses, fig preserves, and a house-made pickle.  The fig preserves added a sweet note and was not overpowering at all. Holly and I agreed that it was the best cheese sandwich we had ever eaten!

Taste of Charlotte

My youngest daughter, Caitlin, participated in the Warrior Dash first thing Saturday morning.   It’s a 5K run with 12 world-class obstacles like Goliath and Great Warrior Wall.  She did great!  The rest of us enjoyed coffee and bagels while lounging in the room.  We met up with Caitlin a little past noon to try and use the rest of our coins at Taste of Charlotte.

Some of Our Favorite Foods – Taste of Charlotte

Fried Green Tomatoes from Imani’s Fusion Cafe

Taste of Charlotte

Veggie Rolls from Mai Thai II

Taste of Charlotte

Ribs from Sticky Fingers

Ribs from Sticky FingersNachos from Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina  (I had mine served without the beef – pictured below)

Taste of CharlotteThere was no way we could sample everything at Taste of Charlotte. There was crab cakes, shrimp & grits, brownies, ice cream, smoothies and everything in between.  And no southern event is complete without sweet tea!

Sweet Tea

To use up the rest of our coins, we all bought kettle corn and mini sweet potato & pecan pies to go.  We had a blast and we’re looking forward to our next girls weekend!

What did you do over the weekend?

31 comments

Robin Rue (@massholemommy) June 8, 2015 - 6:42 am

I haven’t been to Charlotte in many years, but the one thing I remember about when I went was the food. OMG, there is nothing like southern food! This sounds like an AWESOME event.

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Rosey June 8, 2015 - 7:03 am

Ah now that does look like an event to attend. I’d love to try the taste testing too! The pictures look great.

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Paris (My Big Fat Happy Life) June 8, 2015 - 9:17 am

Sounds like you guys had so much fun! I love girls trips – always a blast! I have been trying to find something like Taste of Charlotte close to me. But everything that I found was pay a couple hundred for an evening of food and alcohol – not what I was wanting. I’ll have to keep searching 🙂

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Megan Elford June 8, 2015 - 9:19 am

So many great dishes to try! I’d want to try them all, lol! It looks like a wonderful weekend mini-vacation, and a great time out!

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Kita June 8, 2015 - 10:39 am

I want them all which is why I will never lose weight lol. I love seeing what there is to eat in different cities so many places that you just have to try.

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Zan June 8, 2015 - 11:29 am

Looks like it was a lot of fun. I don’t think I have heard of this event before. How cool that they had all these different foods to sample so you figure out which ones taste better!

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Sam @ PancakeWarriors June 8, 2015 - 12:37 pm

Oh I live right outside of Charlotte and have never been to taste of Charlotte!! I need to go after reading this. That grilled cheese sounds like I need to replace it ASAP

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Nadeen June 8, 2015 - 1:12 pm

I love a taste of anything! Lol. I love attending food festivals and just did the Atlanta food & wine festival last weekend. This was a great Mother’s Day gift and the food pics are amazing! That grilled cheese w fries does look yummy and the ribs and dessert-yes please!

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Miranda (myrabev) June 8, 2015 - 2:16 pm

This sounds like my kind of festival, such lovely food all looking so delicious. Guacamole looks very yummy.

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Valerie June 8, 2015 - 2:27 pm

i have been to the Taste of Chicago and had s great time! I can imagine with all those Southern foods Charlotte’s taste would be even better! My weekend was pretty normal- baseball games and dance recital pictures, church, etc.

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Jeska June 8, 2015 - 2:58 pm

Food festivals are my favorite! I didn’t know that Nothing Bundt Cakes had travel that far already either!

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Fi Ní Neachtáin June 8, 2015 - 3:42 pm

What a lovely Mother’s Day gift you got. So many delicious looking foods at that festival, I’d have been sampling the desserts like there was no tomorrow 🙂

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Kristen from The Road to Domestication June 8, 2015 - 4:06 pm

Looks like an amazing event! I did nothing so grand over the weekend…but I did hang two sets of window treatments! LOL

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Liz Mays June 8, 2015 - 4:08 pm

Wow so many different things to try. This festival sounds enormous! Those ribs look super tender!

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Kimberly June 8, 2015 - 4:10 pm

This surely looks like a decadent way to spend a relaxing weekend. Looking forward to Taste of Atlanta this Fall.

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Carmen Perez (listen2mama) June 8, 2015 - 4:56 pm

Wow, I saw so many delicious things in this post! My mouth is watering and now I’m hungry! I love Nothing Bundt Cakes, and I order them for parties and teacher gifts all the time!

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Lisa K June 8, 2015 - 7:39 pm

I am now drooling for some guacamole! That’s awesome that it was free to get into such a cool event!

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celebbabylaundry June 8, 2015 - 8:15 pm

This sounds super cool, what an amazing way to spend the day! I would so love to try all the amazing food.

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Tanj from A Travelogue June 8, 2015 - 8:58 pm

The food looks delicious. Looks like you guys had a fun day, I would too especially if my trip is centered around food!

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Angelic Sinova June 8, 2015 - 9:04 pm

Wow, I’m from Chicago so I know of our famous food festival, The Taste of Chicago but I wasn’t aware other cities had something similar! That’s awesome <3

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Erin June 8, 2015 - 10:50 pm

Wow! What an awesome event! We used to have small-scale food festivals in my hometown, but it was never as big as this. I’m glad you guys had a good time. If I ever make it to Charlotte, I’m totally going to go during the food festival.

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Joanne T Ferguson June 8, 2015 - 11:07 pm

What an absolutely fun way celebrating Mother’s Day! Sounds like a very unique festival! It is always great making memories with family!

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CourtneyLynne June 9, 2015 - 12:01 am

Oooo I just love events like these! They have one in Buffalo that we go to every year! So fun and tasty 😉

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ricci June 9, 2015 - 8:54 am

I haven’t eaten breakfast yet so all of this food looks amazing!!! I love your pics and I really want that cupcake right now! HA!

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Shirley Wood June 9, 2015 - 11:04 am

We lived in Charlotte until I was almost 9 years old. I have been back a few times, it has grown exponentially. Taste of Charlotte seems to have created a wonderful weekend trip for you ladies. I know ALL of that food looks fabulous but that grilled cheese sandwich sounds the best!

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Julie Witers June 9, 2015 - 12:11 pm

Alli,
I came across your blog post today as I was doing festival recap. I am so happy to see that you enjoyed your stay in Charlotte and also enjoyed Taste of Charlotte! It sounds like you had the experience that we want each festival guest to have. The pictures you’ve shared in your post are wonderful also! We appreciate your review of our event and hope that you will return again next year!

Sincerely,
Julie Witers
Taste of Charlotte

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K. Elizabeth (YUMMommy) June 9, 2015 - 7:10 pm

Glad you had fun at the Taste of Charlotte! Sadly I didn’t get to make it Uptown this year to check all of the vendors. But we have a few other food events coming up this year though that I hope to attend.

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Pascha June 9, 2015 - 7:34 pm

While Atlanta does a lot, this post made me miss Charlotte. Lived there for 7 years. Great city. Your pictures are so vibrant and I felt the energy. Thanks for sharing.

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HilLesha June 10, 2015 - 3:10 am

How fun and exciting! I always enjoy going to festivals. It has been ages since I have been to Charlotte, though.

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Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen June 11, 2015 - 6:23 pm

Oh my gosh! You just had my dream weekend! I hope I get to attend Taste of Charlotte in the futire.

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Reply

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