Organizers for Top Taco, the annual taco and tequila-centric festival, announced the event will return this fall at a new location in Jefferson Parish. This year, Top Taco will take place at Lafreniere Park in Metairie on Sept. 23.
Now in its fourth year, the popular taco and tequila throw-down debuted on the New Orleans festival scene in 2017 and has previously been held at Woldenberg Riverfront Park. Last year, Top Taco was postponed just one week before the festival in March 2020 due to COVID-19.
“Top Taco is back in a new, spacious location that allows us to put on the type of festival people expect from us,” festival producer Shane Finkelstein said. “Top Taco would have been difficult to put on if our fans had given up on us; more than 1,500 ticket holders had faith and held on to their tickets instead of requesting a refund last year. We plan to reward them with an amazing night of tacos, tequila and entertainment.”
At the festival, local restaurants and mixologists compete for top honors in four categories: Top Creative Taco, Top Traditional Taco, Top Creative Tequila Cocktail and Top Traditional Margarita.
Organizers confirm nearly two dozen restaurants are set to participate in this year’s festival, spanning newcomers to returning champions.
Some returning champions include 2019 winners Johnny Sanchez, Tacos & Beer, Barracuda, Los Jefes and Velvet Cactus.
Newcomers to this year’s event include El Cucuy, Hotel Fontenot’s Peacock Lounge, Way of the Taco, Palm & Pine, Pedro’s Taco & Tequila Bar, Mama’s Cantina, and Seither’s Seafood. Metairie favorites like Zócalo, Tacos del Cartel, Mawi Tortillas and El Paso Mexican Grill will also compete for the awards. Other returning competitors include Justine, Casa Borrega, Flamingo A Go-Go, Espiritu, and Felipe’s Taqueria.
Festival-goers will also enjoy creative pop-up bar areas, DJ lounges, tequila tastings, live Latin music by Otra and Muevelo and eye-popping visual elements.
Top Taco will also feature a VIP lounge with food and drink by Dickie Brennan & Co. restaurants: Acorn Café, Bourbon House, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, Palace Café, Tableau and Dickie Brennan & Co. Catering. Their culinary team will create gourmet tacos to serve in the VIP area. Andrew Bates, bartender of the Palace Café Black Duck Bar, will also create the tequila cocktails for the VIP lounge.
The one-night-only event will benefit the PLEASE Foundation, a non-profit that provides education opportunities to at-risk teens. This year’s class includes thirteen new students placed in college preparatory high schools around the city and six high school graduates moving on to college. Since the festival’s launch in 2017, the event has raised more than $50,000 for local non-profit organizations.
Top Taco 2021 will offer only 300 tickets at each of the following levels at the same price as last year: $75 general admission tickets, $95 early entry/first tasting tickets and $125 VIP tickets. Once inside the festival, all food and drinks are included.
Organizers say ticket holders with 2020 tickets will be issued new tickets for 2021.
Lafreniere Park is located at 300 Downs Boulevard in Metairie.
For more information, visit the Top Taco website.
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