Photo Credit: Debby Wolvos
Back in 2009, the Arizona Taco Festival shook the foundation that food festivals were built on. All food would be an affordable $2, restaurants would compete for actual cash prizes, and the atmosphere would be one of excitement and anticipation. Now, in its 9th year, the Arizona Taco Festival is shaping up to be one for the ages. Taking place on October 13 & 14, this years' fest features an unbelievable lineup of 50 of the Valley's best taco joints, a dozen top mixologists shaking up their creative takes on the classic margarita, 30 of your favorite tequila brands, and a weekend you'll never forget. The 9th annual Arizona Taco Festival, presented by El Jimador Tequila and Estrella Jalisco beer, features a taco-making lineup that includes a spicy mix of past Arizona Taco Festival Champions, new restaurants, food trucks, and classic Phoenix destinations.
All participating taco vendors will vie for trophies and portions of a $10,000 cash prize purse in a heated culinary competition each day. Participating taco teams will roll out exclusive taco creations just for the festival, so don't miss your chance to taste one of these chef-crafted creations. Participating restaurants at the 2018 Arizona Taco Festival include Taco Guild, SOL Mexican Cocina, Ajo Al's Mexican Café (2017 Grand Champion), Pokitrition, students from Scottsdale Community College, Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup, and CRUjiente. New for 2018, get a worldly taste of tacos from new restaurants including Taste of Korea, Sr. Ozzy's Tacos y Mariscos, Joe's Tacos, Herb n' Smoke Tacos & BBQ, Arizona Tacos, and ice cream tacos from Nitro Live Icecreamery. For a full list of this year's Taco Teams visit https://aztacofestival.com/tacos/. All tacos are only $2 and will be purchased with Taco Tokens.
The Margarita Masters Tent will feature a dozen of the Valley's top mixologists competing for the ultimate prize of margarita supremacy on Sunday, October 14. Each will create their own margarita creation for thirsty patrons and judges alike. Additional tickets are required to enter the Margarita Tent.
Throughout the weekend, Chico Malo, Rubio's, and Topgolf will host taco lounges for a perfect escape of the heat and to relax while enjoying your tacos. Outside those lounges, shade tents will be provided by Chryler Jeep Dodge Ram Dealers. Sponsor activations abound. Don't miss a stop by the Bashas' Supermarkets tent, where the festival's Official Grocery Partner will provide giveaways and other activities. On Saturday, the Tequila Expo will feature 30 brands offering over 100 varieties of tequila for revelers to sip the afternoon away (additional ticket required). There will also be pop-up bars from Dos Gringos, El Hefe, Old Town Gringos, and Square One Concepts' Wasted Grain. Of course, lucha libre wrestlers, a Chihuahua Beauty Pageant, Kids Zone presented by Quick Quack Carwash, and live music will entertain guests throughout the weekend as they eat and drink their way through the festivities.
Tickets are available for both Saturday and Sunday, including tickets to the VIP Tent, presented by Talking Stick Resort. This ticket comes with 5 beverages, 10 tacos, and access to an exclusive area featuring private shaded seating, private bathrooms, and a Talking Stick Resort DJ. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.aztacofestival.com
When: Saturday, October 13, 2018 & Sunday, October 14, 2018 (11am-7pm)
Where: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick (7555 N. Pima Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85258)