20 Dishes to Try at Taste of Arlington

Ballston's annual street festival turns 30 this year.

Taste of Arlington, 2016.

Mark your calendars and save your appetites. Taste of Arlington, the annual food-sampling extravaganza, arrives on May 21 in Ballston. From 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., attendees can sample ice cream, smoked ribs, craft brews and everything in between from more than 50 food trucks and restaurant tents clustered along Wilson Boulevard.

General admission is $10 until May 21 and $15 the day of the event, or $10 through the BallstonConnect mobile app. Individual tastes are $1 to $5, and customers can pay vendors with cash or credit cards. Full 8-ounce pours will be given for a single drink ticket. Low on cash? ATMs will be stationed throughout the festival.

Also on tap: a beer and wine garden featuring more than 25 breweries and wineries; carnival games, face-painting and a rock-climbing wall for kids; four live bands; and a fenced-in dog park.

All the eating goes to a good cause: BallstonGives has pledged a substantial donation from the event to the Arlington Food Assistance Center, a local nonprofit that provides groceries and fresh produce to county residents in need.

Taste of Arlington, 2016.

Think of it as a chance to dip into Arlington’s diverse dining scene without having to make a reservation weeks in advance.  Here are some of the dishes you’ll find among the offerings:

1. Pork Bao Buns from Bar Bao

Try a steamed bun from this Clarendon restaurant, which opened just a few weeks ago and specializes in dishes modeled on Chinese and Taiwanese street food.

2. Collaboration Burger from Big Buns

What else but a signature piece of 3 oz. Angus beef on a brioche bun with cheddar cheese, lettuce, beefsteak tomato, housemade bacon jam and house pickled red onions from this popular Ballston burger joint?

3. Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters

Grab a cup of the local roaster’s claim to fame—an iced coffee infused with nitrogen gas, which looks like a stout beer.

4. Reuben rolls from Courthaus Social

You could make a meal at the booth of this Taste of Arlington’s sponsor, whose brick-and-mortar location (as the name suggests) is  in Courthouse.

5. Peruvian rotisserie chicken from DC Pollo

It’s no wonder this food truck has a cult following. Try its chicken marinated in olive oil, garlic and spices, then roasted until tender with crispy skin.

Categories: Food & Drink