Taste of Downtown Glendale may be one of the most interesting and best-value food festivals that most of Los Angeles hasn’t yet heard of. This annual event truly integrates food festival and food tour—instead of myriads of restaurants hosting booths in one central area, they host booths outside [or in some cases inside] their physical establishments.
What does this mean? For one day every year, Brand Blvd becomes a stop-and-go foodie heaven, allowing guests to both partake in delightful tastes and immerse themselves in each restaurant atmosphere. Additionally, the event’s incorporation of The Americana at Brand, The Galleria, the Alex Theater and other venues showcases beautiful destinations that a non-Glendale local wouldn’t otherwise stumble upon.
And of course, Taste of Downtown Glendale is quite successful in showing off the town’s slew of spectacular eateries. Downtown Glendale restaurants run the gamut from casual to fine dining, old-school to new-age, and the area houses its own native establishments as well as made-in-LA favorites and nationwide chains.
The iconic Porto’s Bakery was doling out some of its classic dishes. Tumanyan Khinkali Factory served up its namesake dish, a spectacular Middle Eastern dumpling, among other novelties that most guests likely tried for the very first time. Trattoria Amici’s prosciutto ravioli was perhaps one of the richest, most decadent pasta dishes out there, and Lao Sze Chuan’s lineup of far east classics were yet another highlight.
Add in Sprinkles Cupcakes, Sugarfina, Pizza Rev, Lemonade and Tender Greens, as well as BJ’s, Menchie’s and the like, and you still don’t have half of Taste of Downtown Glendale lineup. Thankfully the event’s quarter-mile stretch and beautiful weather allowed guests to walk off the food coma and ready themselves for the next great stop.
Wine and beer stations popped up along various areas, as did music venues that included performances from local choirs and jazz clubs. It’s amazing to think that this kind of event sells for less than a box of sprinkles cupcakes. For more information, visit TasteofDowntownGlendale.com
Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.