With pickup instead of dine-in, crowd sizes capped to meet current health restrictions, and a few more days to make it happen, San Diego’s food-centric Little Italy community is reimagining its annual foodie event for the COVID era.
Instead of its typical, one-night party for the palate, the 12th Annual Taste of Little Italy will span a whole week this year, planned for Oct. 4 through Oct. 8.
Each night, four to five local restaurants will offer multi-course tasting menus, meaning about 20 eateries will take part over the course of the week, including Ballast Point, Bencotto, Cloak and Petal, and Frost Me Bakery and Café, to name a few.
Now, usually, foodies would stroll Little Italy and sample the event's offerings inside participating restaurants. This year, however, attendees are asked to walk or drive up to the eateries and pick up their meals to go.
Tickets are priced at $50 per person or $80 for two people. Attendees will be given a specific time window to check into the event at the Piazza della Famiglia. During check-in, they will get a special tote bag that they can use to pick up their meals.
To keep crowds on the smaller side, organizers said a maximum of 300 tickets will be sold per night.
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For now, a slower, smaller event is better than no event at all.
“As Little Italy safely and slowly reopens, we are constantly looking for new ways to allow the community to experience a taste of San Diego’s top restaurants,” said Chris Gomez, district manager of the Little Italy Association. “Taste of Little Italy is one of the most anticipated events of the year. The redesigned Taste of Little Italy will follow new safety guidelines provided by the city and bring San Diegans together to enjoy a custom meal from their favorite Little Italy venues.”
The Taste of Little Italy isn’t the only foodie affair redesigned for the times.
The fall edition of San Diego Restaurant Week – normally set for later this month – will not run in its traditional form. Instead, something called “Dine Diego” will run in its place from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, also focusing on to-go options and outdoor dining.
Dine Diego – which is also supported by the California Restaurant Association and the San Diego Tourism Authority – has taken over SDRW’s longtime website and its social media platforms to promote the local restaurant industry and safe dining during Dine Diego.
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