OCEANSIDE — Oceanside eateries are readying for the first Taste of Oceanside Sept. 13. There will be more than a dozen taste and sip stops within the heart of downtown.
Participating restaurants will be serving a range of food from Mexican and Thai to Italian and fusion.
“It’s a little bit of everything — restaurants that have been here awhile, and newbies that just opened their door,” Gumaro Escarcega, MainStreet Oceanside program manager, said.
City Manager Steve Jepsen said it’s a great opportunity to try out a wide range of restaurants.
“You can try them all in one location without sitting down to a full meal,” Jepsen said.
In addition to downtown restaurants serving in front of their establishments, food tents will be set up in Artists Alley to allow restaurants and breweries beyond the downtown area to share samples.
Escarcega said the event’s goal is to introduce diners to Oceanside offerings.
Restaurants and breweries will be serving 3-ounce tastings and sips to a maximum of 750 ticket holders.
“Restaurants will give samples that make an immediate impact and make people want to come back for diner or lunch there,” Escarcega said.
Live entertainment will be performed on three stages along the eight-block-by-three-block tasting walk. The route also takes diners by downtown theaters, museums and businesses.
Another event highlight will be a 2 p.m. ribbon cutting by city officials to formally open Mission Avenue as a one-way street and celebrate the completion of roadway improvements that added wider sidewalks, landscaping and reverse angle parking.
Diners will be given souvenir stainless steel forks to dig into tastes and help minimize waste generated by the event. Providing the reusable forks keeps 15,000 plastic forks from going into the landfill, that otherwise would be used for the four-hour event. There will also be environmentally friendly recyclable paper plates at each stop and recycling containers en route.
Restaurant and business owners who serve on the MainStreet Oceanside Promotion Committee organized the event.
“With new restaurants opening up we thought it might be time,” Escarcega said.
There are a total of 57 downtown restaurants, seven of which opened this year.
Participating restaurants will donate their food and time. Event tickets sales aim to cover the cost of holding the event. Any additional funds raised will go toward MainStreet promotions of downtown businesses.
The Taste of Oceanside will be held from noon to 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by MainStreet Oceanside. For more information, an event map and tickets go to tasteofoceanside.com and mainstreetoceanside.com.