So many great Grand Strand restaurants, so little time to try them all during your Myrtle Beach vacation. Guests at Bay View on the Boardwalk often say that their wish list of places to dine gets longer every time they return. Yet there are certain old standards that have become family vacation traditions, and a trip to Myrtle Beach wouldn't be complete without a visit.
Well, here's your chance to scratch a whole lot of restaurants off that list in one night — the 33rd Annual Taste of the Town, the highlight of the fall social calendar and the culinary event of the year on the Grand Strand. Featuring 40 participating restaurants all under one roof at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, the Oct. 18 food festival is a must-do for food-lovers and social creatures alike.
What started as a small fundraiser for the St. Andrew Catholic School in Myrtle Beach has blossomed into a celebration that attracts thousands of patrons annually to the convention center’s main ballroom. Rows and rows of food booths line the auditorium floor as folks line up to try tapas-sized portions of some of the Grand Strand's best cuisine. Participating restaurants compete for prestigious awards in various categories, so all the chefs are sure to put their best dishes forward.
Not only do you get to sample a wide selection of appetizers, main courses, desserts and more, you also get to be a judge. In addition to the highly trained palates of local culinary experts, who award the coveted Best Judged titles, Taste of the Town also features the People Choice and Kids' Choice categories to give casual foodies a vote for their favorite restaurants, dishes and displays.
Although participating restaurants usually keep their entry dishes a closely guarded secret, based on award winners from past years, savvy diners at the event could enjoy surf and turf dishes, take their taste buds for a culinary tour of international cuisine and top it all off with a tasty dessert … or two or three — all for the cost of a handful of tickets.
Taste of the Town is also one of the area’s best events at pulling off both a family-friendly and party-crowd environment. Children are welcome to join in all the fun, food and festivities, including a special kids’ section with pizza, ice cream and a play area, while adults looking for some grown-up time can escape the crowds to the Beer & Wine Garden for folks 21 and over.
Food tickets are available for $1 each at ticket booths throughout the building, and advance admission (available through Oct. 16) is $5 for ages 15 and over ($6 at the gate), or free for those ages 14 and under. The Paul Grimshaw Band will perform live throughout the event, which runs from 4 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 18, and the night is capped by the announcement of the award winners. There are also some great after-parties at various restaurants and bars around town to celebrate making it through another Taste of the Town. For more information, visit totmb.com.
After all that dining, dancing and perhaps a little drinking, catch a short cab ride back to your room at Bay View on the Boardwalk Resort and relax on the beachfront. Taste of the Town only comes once a year, so enjoy the festival and your stay.