Arizona Taco Festival: a Recap of Saturday, a Preview for Sunday

Categories: Chow Bella

Katie Johnson
Chicken tacos from La Hacienda at the Arizona Taco Festival
Take note taco-lovers - the Third Annual Arizona Taco Festival is happening this weekend at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and for those of you that missed the opening day on Saturday, here's a recap of what you missed and what to expect if you make it out on Sunday.

See Also:
-Third Annual Arizona Taco Festival at Salt River Fields (Slideshow)
-Wait 'Til You See the Final Celebrity Baker Lineup for Pie Social 2012!
-Eating the Arizona State Fair: Red Velvet Funnel Cake, Gigantic Ribs, Pineapple Lemonade -- and the Hunt for the Cap'n Crunch Hamburger

Since the Arizona Taco Festival started in 2010 (originally taking place at a dirt lot outside Fashion Square mall) it has grown exponentially, requiring a larger venue to accommodate a much larger crowd. Festival planners as well as 50 plus vendors did their damnedest to keep lines at a minimum, and to their credit, they were pretty successful - minus a few exceptions.

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Katie Johnson
Arizona Taco Festival October 20-21 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
Despite having multiple tents for booze, (they offer a selection of domestic and import beers as well as Jose Cuervo margaritas that do not mess around) it seems that people should never underestimate festival-goers' undying love for getting their drink on.

Katie Johnson
El Santo serves up $2 tacos at the Arizona Taco Festival
There were also two distinct lines forming in the food arena, one for The Mission and one for Distrito- but those two poster children aside, all food vendors were fair and easy game.

In fact there were quite a few gems with absolutely no wait whatsoever: La Hacienda, Chelsea's Kitchen, and El Santo (the masterminds who had girls serving tacos in bikinis- well played El Santo, well played).

Another thing that kept the lines running smoothly -- tickets. After paying the $12 entrance fee ($100 if you prefer the VIP treatment) tickets are the main form of currency and can be purchased with cash only (the event is well stocked with ATMs).

Tickets are $2 a piece with one ticket getting you a taco, two tickets getting you menu items that are slightly more substantial, and three tickets getting you the booze of your choice.

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Big entrance fees for food festivals where you still have to pay for food are stupid!


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