On Thursday, June 27th more than 5,000 taco-enthusiasts walked the festival grounds at Stanley Marketplace in search of the perfect bite.
Top Taco 2019 included more than 45 different restaurants battling for the category titles alongside dozens of signature tequila cocktails, live music, entertainment, free samplings, first-tasting opportunities, and an exclusive VIP lounge.
A handful of Auroras’ taquerias were invited to compete this year, including Comdia and Stanley Beer Hall. “We’re sticking to what we do best,” said Rayme Costello owner of Comida inside Stanley Marketplace and previous Top Taco winner. Comida served up menu classics including Tender Belly Jalapeno Bacon Griddle Taco alongside a Pineapple Habanero Margarita.
Other local contenders included Stanley Beer Hall who decided to give tacos a try after winning judge’s favorite at the 2018 Burger Battle. Head Chef, Nick Howard, explained Bison and Beef Lengua Tacos braised for 24-hours and were paired with avocado and roasted tomatillo salsa verde. “It’s the balance of being edgy and creative,” said Howard. Stanley Beer Hall placed second in the people’s choice traditional taco.
Festival-goers also taste-tested Stanley Beer Hall’s Smoked Tri-Pepper Mango Margarita, complete with smoked jalapeños, habaneros, and serranos.
Attendees enjoyed dozens of bite-sized tacos and were encouraged to vote for their favorite traditional, creative, vegetarian, and tequila cocktail. With plenty of live entertainment, lounge chairs, and other boozy beverages on-site, guests mingled on the grounds after dust to enjoy the event.
“This [Top Taco] is a great time! They’re great people, great atmosphere, great food – it’s like the start of summer,” said Victoria McConnell, Top Taco attendee. This sold-out event is scheduled to take place next year at The Field at Stanley Marketplace.