The Ultimate Guide to Taste of St. Louis

This year, Taste of St. Louis attendees will also get a taste of Downtown (again).

Five years after moving to Chesterfield, the annual food festival is returning to its roots.

“This is an event that consistently brings people from across the region to taste St. Louis’ award-winning cuisine,” said Missy Kelley, President & CEO of Downtown STL, Inc. “We are excited for the new, family-centered programming and look forward to celebrating with families and foodies in Downtown St. Louis.”

The fifteenth annual event, which is free to attend, will be held September 13-15 at the Soldiers Memorial. From top notch food to live music to a Chef Battle Royale, there will be tons to see (and eat) at Taste of St. Louis, so we created the ultimate guide to help you make the most of your weekend.

The Food (Of Course)

The undisputed highlight of Taste is Sauce Magazine’s Restaurant Row, which will feature 40 elite eateries. There will be representation from the entire Metro Area, including Downtown favorites such as The Midwestern, Sugarfire Smokehouse, and Park Avenue Coffee.

In addition to serving standard menu selections, each restaurant will offer two “Taste Bites,” which are smaller portions of their cuisine, so you can try more without filling up. Don’t worry about standing in line to purchase tickets. All of the restaurants take cash (and most take credit cards).

Pro Tip: When you vote for your favorite eatery on Restaurant Row, you’re automatically entered to win a $75 gift certificate to one of the participating restaurants. You can vote here between August 20 and September 10.

Chef Battle Royale

Each year, Taste’s organizers select eight of St. Louis’ top chefs for the festival’s Chef Battle Royale.

Over the course of three days, the chefs take the culinary stage to compete in seven “battle” categories. Each chef has 40 minutes to produce his or her best dish in front of a live audience on a massive LED video wall. By the last day, one chef is crowned the champion.

Here’s a preview of this year’s participating chefs:

  • Thu Rein (Returning Champion, The Crossing)
  • Cassy Vires (Winslow’s Home & Farm)
  • Austin Hamblin (Cork Wine Bar)
  • Matt Birk (Union 30/Hotel Saint Louis)
  • Jason Sparks (Layla)
  • Matt DuBois (The Scottish Arms)
  • Matthew R. Dawson (Cafe Coeur)
  • Emily Novotny (Eleven Eleven Mississippi)

Read more about the participating chefs here.

The Drinks

When it’s time to wash down all that food, you’ll have plenty of options.

Beer lovers can bask in Taste’s craft beer selection featuring some fan favorites, such as 2nd Shift and Goose Island. There will also be bartenders on hand if you’re in the mood for a cocktail.

Don’t forget your ID.

The Music

What pairs best with amazing local food? Amazing local music, of course.

Taste of St. Louis will feature original music acts throughout the entire weekend on its Local Music Stage. Whether you’re into rock, pop, soul, or country, this eclectic lineup will provide the perfect playlist to complement your weekend-long culinary excursion.

Here’s a look at the lineup:

Friday, September 13

Saturday, September 14

Sunday, September 15

New In 2019: Healthy@Home

In addition to showcasing the region’s best eateries, chefs, and hand-crafted beverages, Taste of St. Louis will feature its first-ever Healthy@Home area.

Specifically designed for Families, Healthy@Home will be packed with family-friendly activities focused on healthy eating, getting kids involved with cooking, and more. You’ll also be able to burn off calories by testing your wall-climbing and ninja course skills.

Educate, Elevate, Celebrate

The theme of this year’s Taste of St. Louis is: Educate, Elevate, Celebrate—and from the previews, it looks like the festival will deliver on all three.

For 14 years, Taste of St. Louis has played an integral role in unifying our community, and we’re thrilled to see this iconic event return to Downtown.

Come hungry. Leave happy (and full).

About the author

Dominic Vaiana

Dominic Vaiana is a writer in St. Louis.


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