Mar 14 2017

Final Lineup Announced for Top Taco New Orleans Festival

By: Staff

Press Release - The 1st annual Top Taco New Orleans Festival, presented by Paddlewheeler Creole Queen, will be a festive evening and culinary competition benefitting One Heart NOLA; a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the city’s foster children. The event showcases over 40 of New Orleans’ acclaimed restaurants; 24 spirits and beverages; live entertainment by Los Poboycitos and Afro-Cuban jazz and groove band Otra; a silent auction; and the chance to crown winners in four categories: Top Creative TacoTop Traditional TacoTop Creative Cocktail and Top Traditional Margarita. The event takes place on Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 6:30PM, but 5:30PM entrance for 1st Tasting and VIP ticketholders at the Riverwalk's Spanish Plaza. 

The event's judges have been announced and they are as follows:
  • Jose Ralat – Author of American Tacos: A History and Guide to the Taco Trail North of the Border
  • Alon Shaya – Executive Chef and Partner of Domenica, Pizza Domenica and Shaya
  • Ian McNulty – Food writer for New Orleans Advocate
  • Abigail Gullo – Head Bartender of Compère Lapin
  • Liz Williams – Founder and President of the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SoFAB)
  • Emily Coleman – Director of Partnerships of Tales of the Cocktail®
  • Frank Brigtsen – Owner of Brigtsen’s Restaurant
  • Andrew Marin – Food and cocktail writer for Where Y’at Magazine
  • Dominique Macquet – Chef
  • Charles Divins – WDSU Morning Anchor
  • Michael Durbin – Texas Taco Council
  • Alessandra Madrid and Maggie Robert – Bloggers, Babes & Beignets
  • Kimberly Patton-Bragg – Owner/Operator of Three Muses Maple
  • Leroy Mitchell – Whistle Monsta
  • Aaron Wilkinson – Lead vocalist of Honey Island Swamp Band
  • Jason Rogers Williams – New Orleans City Councilman
  • Linda Green – “Yakamein Lady” and winner of Food Network’s Chopped: Pride of New Orleans
  • Hank Staples – Proprietor of Maple Leaf Bar
  • Sal Agnello – Beverage Director of Ace Hotel

Participating restaurants include:

  • Johnny Sanchez
  • Superior Grill
  • Jacques Imo’s
  • Canal Street Bistro
  • Velvet Cactus
  • Nacho Mama’s
  • Mizado
  • Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant
  • Felipe’s Mexican Taqueria 
  • Barcadia
  • Kingfish
  • Bourbon House
  • Blue Oak BBQ
  • Drago’s
  • Butcher
  • Juan’s Flying Burrito
  • Patois
  • bacobar
  • Rum House
  • The Backyard
  • Carreta’s Grill
  • Del Fuego
  • Tequila House
  • Araña
  • Bayou Burger & Sports Company
  • Tacos and Beer
  • La Casita
  • Brugger’s Barbecue & Barrel Proof
  • Lula’s  
  • Masquerade
  • PF Chang’s
  • El Paso Mexican Grill

Participating spirits/beverage companies include: 

  • Tres Generaciones
  • Hornitos
  • Barefoot Wine & Bubbly
  • Evamor Water
  • El Tesoro
  • Sauza Blue
  • Lunazul
  • Casa Noble
  • Patron XO
  • Maestro Dobel
  • 1800 Tequila
  • Cuervo Tradicional
  • Gran Centenario
  • Tito’s Vodka
  • El Silencio
  • Fortaleza
  • Espalon
  • Peligroso
  • Ghost Tequila
  • Casamigos
  • Hussong’s
  • Patron
  • Don Julio
  • Exotico
  • El Mayor
  • Tequila Ocho
  • Corona Beer
  • Negra Modelo
  • Modelo Especial
  • Dekuyper
  • 03
  • Patron Citronage

In addition to tasty bites and libations, Top Taco will also feature a curated silent auction with one-of-a-kind packages, laser tag, and a VIP Lounge aboard the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen – with culinary creations from ten exclusive VIP restaurants: Vincent’s, Cowbell, Chiba, Horn’s, Tracey’s, Pirogue, Feeling’s Café, Namese, Norma’s Bakery and Midway; live music by Muevelo, private Extra Anejo tequila tastings, premium open bar provided by Jim Beam Global and a Patron XO-infused dessert station featuring La Boulangerie and Laurel Street Bakery.

The event pricing is as follows: 

General Admission passes are $65 per person 

First Tasting tickets are $85 and include early entry

VIP discounted tickets are $125 per person which includes early entry plus the VIP Lounge experience on the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen

To purchase tickets visit

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