The Adams Avenue food experience

Posted: June 15th, 2018 | Feature, Top Story | No Comments

By Jordan Damond

‘Taste of’ event to host its largest on June 24

Donuts, beer, ramen. Whether it be a hearty breakfast, greasy pub food or decorative desserts, Taste of Adams Avenue gives Uptowners the opportunity to try it all.

The annual event, which is always held on a Sunday at the end of June, will land on June 24 from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. With nearly 50 restaurants participating — ranging from sushi bars to coffee shops to wineries — attendees will be given a plethora of options to choose from.

Guests enjoying a noodle stand at last year’s Taste of Adams Avenue event (Photo courtesy of Craig Burns)

After last year’s rousing success, executive director of Adams Avenue Business Association Scott Kessler is focusing on spreading the word for the 18-year-old event.

“The goal for this year is to promote the variety of offerings that exist on Adams Avenue and in the restaurants,” Kessler said. “We have five new restaurants and we’re up to 48 overall.”

One of these new restaurants is Nomad Donuts, which opened its second location on North Park’s University Avenue in August 2017. Owner Brad Keiler previously attended the event as a consumer.

“The Uptown neighborhood is just a part of where I work, live and play,” Keiler said.

With all of the buzz surrounding the new eatery, one of Keiler’s goals is to remind people of its original Normal Heights location, that now focuses primarily on coffee. He is looking to make a lasting impression as a vendor this year.

“It’s a unique thing in [Uptown] that we all tend to cluster around the places close to us,” he said. “For the two and a half or three years we were up [at 30th Street], not a lot of people south of University Avenue knew we existed and now that we’re here we have this presence [in North Park].”

“It’s kind of a struggle to get known in that [Normal Heights] neighborhood and I think Taste of Adams Avenue does a great job of helping with that,” Keiler continued.

Other new restaurants include Tanuki, An’s Dry Cleaning, Thai Joint and Kensington Brewery. This year’s vast roster of restaurants shows a significant amount of growth in comparison to five years ago, when there were only 30 restaurants participating in the event.

As the options have grown, so has the attendance.

“We have sold out this event for the last four years,” Kessler said. “We’re expecting a sellout again this year. We only print 11,000 tickets and we end up having to turn away people. We sell out 90 percent of the tickets before the events and 10 percent during the event.”

Kessler suggested that new participants buy tickets online or at a nearby eatery that is included in the event. Guests should prepare and plan accordingly to maximize their experience.

“People should map out the options and start at either end of the avenue,” he said. “Wear comfortable running/walking shoes and something with an expansive waistline. We have free trolley systems for anyone who doesn’t want to walk. Come with a good appetite and comfortable attire.”

Tickets can be purchased online at for $35 in advance or $40 on the day of the event, available for pickup at the will call at Smitty’s Auto Service, located at 3441 Adams Ave.

— Jordan Damond is an editorial intern for SDCNN, parent company of San Diego Uptown News, and a graduating senior at High Tech High School who will be attending University of Redlands in the fall.

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