Regular Scout readers often point to our “What’s New” section as one of their favorite parts of the mag because it neatly collects the changes happening in Somerville—many of them restaurant openings—in one tidy, four-page package. But with many new eateries opening in this city, we sometimes struggle to fit them all in this section. And if we can’t even find a place for them in the magazine, it begs the question: How does anyone have the time to try the delicious food at all of these new spots?
One option for time-crunched foodies is Taste of Somerville, which this year takes place on Wednesday, June 3. This annual outdoor festival brings more than 60 of the city’s best restaurants to Davis Square (50 Holland St.), where a $50 ticket ($75 for VIPs) gives hungry patrons a chance to sample all kinds of fare, from Korean to BBQ to Mexican to Italian. (Also, there’s beer.)
The food-palooza has grown in popularity as Somerville’s restaurant community has swelled, and the event sold out last year. Morgan Bigley, who is heading up this year’s celebration, says that there are several factors that have made the festival so successful year after year, including the fact that it’s located in Davis Square, which some would consider the “heart of Somerville,” and that it takes place outside. And then, of course, there’s the fact that people love good food—and Somerville has a whole lot of it.
“There’s a lot of excitement about the restaurant and nightlife community in Somerville,” explains Bigley, who you may know from his day job as general manager of Highland Kitchen. “There’s a lot of growth happening right now in the Somerville restaurant community, so every year there are new restaurants that weren’t even there last year.”
Among the additions to this year’s Taste of Somerville event are La Brasa, from East Somerville, and Meju, from Davis Square, but there are plenty of returning favorites as well, including longtime participants like Redbones and The Burren. And Taste of Somerville isn’t just about feeding hungry ‘Villens (though that’s certainly a plus). The festival is also for a good cause. This year, proceeds from ticket sales will go to benefit the Somerville Home, a residential community for seniors.
Being able to bring the city’s residents and restauranteurs together to support the efforts of the Somerville Home is a point of pride for Bigley, who is heading up the festival for the first time in 2015 after representing Highland Kitchen in previous years.
“I feel, having been at Highland Kitchen for the past two and a half years or so, there is a lot of pride in the Somerville restaurant community,” Bigley says. “Even though we’re not necessarily all right next-door to each other, we all do feel great pride in being in Somerville.”
Learn more about Taste of Somerville 2015 and grab your tickets at tasteofsomerville.com.