Real Taco Fest to Serve up Tacos, Margaritas and Beer at Smale Riverfront Park This Weekend

Organizers hope that Real Taco Fest will be the antidote to the "underwhelming" Taco Festival Cincinnati held at Sawyer Point in 2017.

click to enlarge Real Taco Fest to Serve up Tacos, Margaritas and Beer at Smale Riverfront Park This Weekend
Photo: Condado Tacos

A brand new taco festival is hoping to right the wrongs of a previous festival dedicated to the popular food staple held back in 2017.

Real Taco Festival, taking place on May 14 at Smale Riverfront Park, is aiming to be the opposite of the "underwhelming" Taco Festival Cincinnati held at Sawyer Point in 2017. At the time, organizers received quite a bit of criticism from angry customers after they ran out of tacos during the event.

"Back in 2017, an out-of-town promoter put on a taco festival at Sawyer Point that was...underwhelming, to be polite ...  Being taco lovers and being in the events industry ourselves, this was very hard to watch. So we vowed then to make a better taco fest for downtown Cincinnati, on the river, make it a great experience, and most importantly, TO NOT RUN OUT OF TACOS," Real Taco Fest organizers wrote in a Facebook post.

To ensure that every customer is able to indulge in their fair share of tacos during the event, Real Taco Fest organizers divided the event into two separate sessions — 12-4 p.m. and 6-10 p.m.  — and limited attendance to 1,000 people per session.

A variety of tacos will be available from multiple establishments in the Cincinnati area, including:

  • Bakersfield
  • El Barril Mexican Sports Bar and Grill
  • Carnitas Vergel
  • Condado Tacos
  • Erybody Eats Tacos (erybodyeatsb)
  • Mazunte
  • Mesa Loca
  • Nomad
  • Olla Taqueria
  • Pata Roja Taqueria
  • Texas Joe Tex-Mex Food Truck
  • We Do BBQ
  • What The Taco
Karrakin Spirits Company will also be serving up margaritas, while Fifty Best Brewing Company will be providing beer to pair with your armfuls of tacos.

Though the vast majority of the festival is dedicated to tacos, some vendors might also be selling side items, desserts and specialty drinks.

Tickets must be purchased beforehand on Real Taco Fest's website to gain entry to the festival and are $10 per person. Children 10 years old and younger get in for free. The evening session, from 6-10 p.m., is currently sold out.

Once customers enter the Real Taco Fest, they will be able to purchase food/drink tickets for $4 each that will be redeemed by vendors once they've ordered their food and drinks. One ticket will get you one taco. A "Super Taco Pack," consisting of 11 food/drink tickets, can be purchased ahead online for $40.

Aside from indulging in the best tacos that the Cincinnati area has to offer, customers will also have another incentive to purchase tickets to the Real Taco Fest. Proceeds from the Real Taco Fest will benefit The Ion Center for Violence Prevention, a non-profit providing free, confidential services to victims of "power-based personal violence," such as domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, in the Northern Kentucky area.

Smale Riverfront Park is located on W. Mehring Way in Downtown. More info:

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