After suspending its 2020 self-guided tour of Trenton restaurants, Taste Trenton has announced that it will curate an appropriately socially-distanced excursion to the capital city’s restaurants this summer during the weekend of June 11 to 13.
This not-for-profit effort, initially begun in 2016, is designed to introduce Trenton residents and guests from across the region to the vast culinary and eating options available in many corners of the city. What began as a day-long event with just a dozen restaurant in the Chambersburg region, evolved to three days and 40 establishments across the city in June 2019.
“We’d been on the fence about offering the tour this summer,” said Taste Trenton coordinator Bernard McMullan, “but we decided to give our local restaurants a boost by getting people across their thresholds as soon as possible. We applaud their efforts to stay open during the past 15 months.”
He continued, “As more and more persons in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are being vaccinated, and with state guidelines allowing more guests, we believe it is time to champion Trenton’s restaurants. We will be actively encouraging the wearing of masks and social distancing.”
Invitations are being sent this week to restaurants to participate including to the almost 20 new restaurants that have opened since June 2019. Taste Trenton aims for a mixture of “old favorites” and “new-to-the-city” venues, and especially seeks to reflect the diversity of cuisines in the city.
The format remains the same. Guests or “food tourists” purchase wristbands ($7 per day; $10 for entire weekend) from Taste Trenton and receive a guide (on-line this year) that describes participating restaurants (address, contact information, website, type of cuisine, alcohol license status). For their part, restaurants offer a tasting menu of their specialties that guests can sample for a reduced price ($2-$5). Food tourists may purchase wristbands at Artworks on Hanover street (across from the Trenton MVC) and visit as many of the restaurants as they wish (or can) during the weekend. Some restaurants offer a special Taste Trenton dinner option and many also have developed special “Taste Trenton” drinks and beverages that guests might enjoy. The Taste Trenton website maintains its restaurant listings throughout the year so patrons can learn about those places they missed during the tour weekend
“Our goal is to introduce Trenton’s amazing restaurant fare to as many people as possible.” said McMullan. “We are trying to reduce the anxiety in trying out a new place, of tasting a cuisine you aren’t familiar with, or simply giving you an excuse to relish eating in a food-friendly town.”
This year’s event coincides (on Saturday) with the Mill Hill Garden Tour and an open house at the Mercer Cemetery at Trenton located across from the Trenton Transit Center.
Restaurants interested in joining Taste Trenton 2021 can contact Mr. McMullan at TasteTrenton2021@gmail.com to receive a registration packet. Sample menus from participating restaurants in 2019 can be reviewed at TasteTrenton.com.
Wristbands and other information about Taste Trenton 2021 will be posted at TasteTrenton.com. Wristbands go on sale May 17.