Your guide to West Orange County’s top foodie event of the year.
Nearly 30 years ago, when I moved to Orlando, my dining location options were limited to mostly downtown Orlando, International Drive or Disney. As our community grew, so did our dining options. Recognizing that fact, in 2002, the chamber introduced a novel concept for our region: a food and beverage expo called Best Fest – The Taste of West Orange.
This event has grown in popularity and content from a couple of hundred people to nearly 1,500 and nearly 80 food, beverage and assorted vendors. Naturally, population growth has enabled it to grow, yet the fabulous samplings of food and beverage, the attractive venue and the atmosphere of fun are truly why it thrives.
Thriving is what we want for all of our West Orange Chamber member businesses – those in the food and beverage industries as well as others. This consumer event allows the product to be tested and tasted. We all know the value of good reviews and the expression “word of mouth,” yet this event has the added bonus of “food in mouth.” There is no better way to get customers to try your food than to give away samples.
Once you pass through the welcome area at Bill Breeze Park overlooking Starke Lake in downtown Ocoee, you will be tempted by the aromas as you venture from one vendor to another. Samples will be a plenty and, honestly, you will likely be full before you can sample something from each Best Fest vendor. You can go back for seconds and thirds for favorites or try to make it to all the vendors.
By the time we reach April 11, the list of vendors will have grown. Yet, to tempt your appetite, here are just a few of the vendors you can expect: 4Rivers Smokehouse, Crooked Can Brewing Company, Ellie Lou’s Brews & BBQ, Hagan O’Reilly’s, Kings Bowling & Dining, Pilars Martini, RusTeak and SeaWorld.
As with last year and in partnership with Healthy West Orange (HWO), a movement to make West Orange the healthiest community in the nation, there will be many healthy food choices. You get to vote on your favorite healthy food choice using Carrot, a new app developed by HWO. Of course, you will also vote on your favorite and perhaps more decadent choices for best food, drink, dessert and best booth.
I hope you will join us on Thursday, April 11 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. as we showcase our fabulous options for food, beverage and so much more that makes West Orange County the best place! To showcase your restaurant, buy tickets, learn more about this event and see the growing list of vendors, visit wochamber.com.