Dates

June 29-30, 2013

Cost

Free entry to festival; food varies in price; $15-30 for specialty events.

Highlights

Top Chef competition, live music, beer garden, Beer Run and food booths.

Insider Tips

Since more than 40 food vendors fill the Marketplace, survey the stalls in a first lap and then plan out how you want to eat your way through the bites. 

The Scoop

This summer marks the 11th year of the Bite of Bend, a festival of flavors from local restaurants in Bend, Ore. The event caters to families with a children’s area offering face-painting and funhouses, but also ups the adult-appeal with beer, wine and cocktail tastings. 

Several downtown streets close off for the festival, but you’ll find the Marketplace hosting the main action. Specialty foods with international flair as well as local favorites come in taster-size portions and full plates. The array spans fine foods to kiddie treats.  

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The Bite of Bend offers a beer garden, wine tasting and lemonade stands. Photo by Chenin Gilles/Flickr.

A makeshift stadium in the street features two full-sized kitchens where the Top Chef Competition takes place. Two chefs have one hour to create a winning dish with meat or fish and a required mystery ingredient. The round-robin competition throughout the weekend whittles down to the winner on Sunday.

For the over 21 crowd, the annual Bite of Bend Beer Run combines a five-kilometer race through two parks with three beer stops. Cascade Lakes Brewery and Deschutes Brewery contribute the beer, and participants get a commemorative growler. Register for the Beer Run here

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Outdoor grills at the Bite of Bend provide places for chefs to cook up fresh specialties. Photo by Chenin Gilles/Flickr.

The Northwest Spirits and Mixology Show adds tastings of more than 75 liquors from Northwest distilleries. Competition between mixologists heats up in the Bartender’s Brawl with judges choosing the most original cocktail. 

Live music ramps up the action in the streets, too. Local bands and nationally-known recording artists fill the stage with back-to-back performances. Headliners include Hot Buttered Rum on Saturday night and Jackstraw on Sunday evening. 

This year, the festival seeks to raise funds for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Oregon. Donation boxes will flank entrance stations. 

Catch some of the action from the 2011 Top Chef final competition between the Jackalope Grill and Amalia's:

 

 

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