About 35,000 people attended the Taste of Bethesda in 2019, the last time the event was held. Credit: Jenifer Morris

Downtown Bethesda’s annual food festival will return Oct. 1 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 31st annual Taste of Bethesda will highlight the community’s restaurants while also featuring live entertainment and an activity area for children from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in downtown Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle.

For the first time in the event’s history, participating restaurants will be offering beer and wine, according to Stephanie Coppula, director of marketing and communications for Bethesda Urban Partnership, which organizes the event and others in downtown Bethesda. “In the past, restaurants did not sell beer and wine and they will be selling beer and wine this year as well in addition to all the great food that they have,” she said.

In 2019, the event attracted about 35,000 visitors and BUP officials said they hope to draw the same amount this year.

As many as 50 restaurants have participated in past years, according to Coppula. This year, the organization anticipates 35 to 40 restaurants will participate.

Some of the participating restaurants include Chaia Tacos, which will feature its braised mushroom tacos, creamy kale and potato tacos and hibiscus iced tea; MoMo Chicken + Grill, whose offerings will include wings, bulgogi with rice bowl, and spicy pork with rice bow; and Paris in Town, which will feature its cookies, donuts, cupcakes, “cheezy” breads, mini quiche and challah bites. For the full list of participating restaurants, visit BUP’s website.

Kadhai, an Indian restaurant in Bethesda, offered a number of dishes at the 2019 event. Credit: Jenifer Morris

Although the application deadline for restaurants has passed, Coppula said BUP is still accepting rolling applications.

Admission to the event is free but tickets must be purchased for the food samples offered by participating restaurants. Four tickets cost $5 and ticket sales end at 3:30 p.m. on the day of the event.

The entertainment schedule is packed with talent from throughout the Washington, D.C., area, according to BUP. There will be five stages providing entertainment throughout the day. For the full schedule of performances, visit BUP’s website.


The children’s activity area will offer face painting, which costs one ticket; balloons; and free arts and crafts.