It’s the beginning of summer and that means the beginning of festival season here in Bend! I don’t think there is a better way to kick it of then with the Bite of Bend food festival! This was our first year to attend the event, and the local restaurants and food trucks did not disappoint! Located in the center of downtown Bend, the streets were closed off to allow for free roaming amongst the many food and craft vendors on hand.
The beauty of this food festival is it allows you to sample various menu items from some of Bend’s most popular food carts and restaurants. At $2 per bite (more of a snack size then a single bite), it is a super way to try out as many tasty offerings your heart (or tummy) desires. Looking for something a little more substantial, no worries….the majority of the food vendors provide full menu items priced between $6-$10, in addition to their bite size samples.
Need something to wash it all down? No problem, you’re in Beer Town USA! Deschutes Brewery was on hand at several locations to quench your thirst with some of the best local craft brews around! Atlas Cider was also there offering samples of their tasty cider.
One of the newest food trucks here in Bend was causing quite a fuss showing off their BBQ skills on the grill! Cody’s Catering & Cook Shack did it right with their Tri Tip and Meaty Pork Rib bites. That’s saying A LOT coming from this Texas girl that grew up on all things BBQ!
Of course, I couldn’t pass on one of my favorite festival eats….Island Noodles bite size!
Live music filled the air all weekend long on the Oregrown Music Stage. Is there anything better than live music? Yes…FREE live music! A variety of musicians were selected to set the scene at the Bite of Bend and appeal to the masses.
Due to some last minute changes, there were no bounce houses at the festival as shown on the website. The promise of a bounce house was our secret weapon to get the kids excited to go. What 6 & 8 year old wants to walk around a food festival without the promise of endless bouncing as a reward for their patience? We distracted them with a root beer float from CuppaYo and shaved ice from Dakine Grindz. In the end, it all worked out when we found the bounce houses at the Free Summer Sunday Concert at the Les Schwab Amphitheatre. Quick note: look for a future blog post & tips about the awesome Free Summer Sunday concert series…they’re a blast.
Of course, this is Bend, which means there is usually a corresponding run of some sort to anchor the festival. The Beer Run (and Root Beer Run for the littles) is one of the most popular races here in Bend. Instead of just getting free beer at the end of the race, you get it at several stops along the way! You are actually racing from one beer stop to the next. And my favorite part is that some of the best costumes can be found at this race!
To round out the festival, there was the Top Chef competition! Yes, just like the popular Food Network series! Local chefs must create delicious meals with a twist for a panel of judges. It was fun to watch live on the streets of Bend! Must give a shout out to the chefs at Pronghorn Resort for their win!
Mixology is also a fun competition among the local bartenders!
The Bite of Bend is definitely not to be missed! Next year, we will get a sitter and hit up the festival on Friday night. We’ve heard this is the way to do it adult style! And then hit it again with the kids on Saturday or Sunday to keep on Living the Bend Life!