After a smashing, sold-out success in March at the inaugural Top Taco Festival Presented by Paddlewheeler Creole Queen, the festive taco and tequila extravaganza will return to New Orleans on Thursday, March 15, 2018 in a bigger, better space at Woldenberg Park. For a limited time, early bird discounted tickets are available at only $45. Tickets include unlimited tacos, cocktails, beer, soft drinks and tequila samples.

“The first Top Taco Festival exceeded our expectations,” says festival director Shane Finkelstein. “We had to turn away folks because we were at maximum capacity, so we’re moving to a bigger space, but we’ll still have the Mississippi River as our fabulous backdrop and the same intimate and free-spirited vibe that makes this event so unique.”

A collaborative effort by Finkelstein and the team behind the highly successful Top Taco Denver, Top Taco NOLA will feature an array of tacos from some of the city’s best restaurants, paired with handcrafted tequila cocktails and incredible live entertainment. A portion of the proceeds will benefit One Heart NOLA, a charitable organization that raises funds and awareness for New Orleans’ foster children.

In its larger locale, Top Taco will expand its restaurant roster to allow for additional chefs and mixologists to come out and compete in four categories: Top Creative Taco, Top Traditional Taco, Top Creative Cocktail and Top Traditional Margarita. Winners last year included Johnny Sanchez, Blue Oak BBQ, Mizado and Tequila House; and Chilango’s, which earned the Ultimate Top Taco award. In memory of Chilango’s owner David Montes de Oca, who passed away earlier this year, the Ultimate Top Taco Award is dedicated in his name. Other additions to the festival will include a series of tequila pairing receptions at several participating restaurants.

Confirmed restaurants to date include last year’s favorites Velvet Cactus, Araña, Rum House and Del Fuego along with newcomers like El Pavo Real, Sac-A-Lait and Barú Bistro & Tapas. Restaurants will be paired with returning tequilas including Tequila Ocho, Patrón, Hornitos and Don Julio, along with new participants Avión, Milagro and Blue Nectar to create tantalizing cocktails.

A limited number of Early Bird Tickets are now available at discounted prices. General Admission discounted passes are $45 per person; First Tasting tickets are $65 and include early entry; and VIP discounted tickets are $95 per person which includes early entry plus the VIP experience on the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen, featuring signature tacos from ten of the city’s best Chefs, delicious desserts, private tequila tastings, exclusive live entertainment and open bar. To purchase tickets—and view full list of participating restaurant and spirits—please visit  

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