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International flavors favored for top Taste of Buffalo awards

Taste of Siam won the Best of Buffalo Award for its Fried Ice Cream and Caribbean Experience landed accolades for the Best Overall Item, Jerked Chicken with Rice, organizers for the Taste of Buffalo announced late Saturday afternoon.

Judging took place during the first couple of hours of the festival, which continues through 9 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday in Niagara Square and nearby on Delaware Avenue.

A panel of representatives from the local media, political and business sectors – including Food Critic Andrew Galarneau of The Buffalo News – helped pick winners in most categories. Winners included:

Favorite Fermentation Award (given for the first time): A Gust of Sun Winery in Ransomville; Sweet Westies wine.

Chair’s Choice (chosen by Matthew Testa, 2019 Taste of Buffalo Chair): Hilltop Restaurant & Bar; Flying Bison Larkin Lager Braised Short Ribs.

Children’s Choice (chosen by Jacob Testa): Mineo & Sapio Street Eats food truck; Chorizo Po’Boy.

Lou Billittier Memorial “Rookie of the Year” Award: The Chocolate Bar; Chocolate Mousse Brûlée.

Veteran Restaurant Award: Danny’s Restaurant, Orchard Park; Peanut Butter Pie.

Best Meat Item: Caribbean Experience; Jerked Chicken with Rice.

Best Seafood Item: Flaming Fish food truck; Shrimp Po’Boy.

Best Dessert: Water Lily Café, Cheektowaga; Thai Tea Smoothie.

Best Sandwich: Souped Up food truck; Bacon Jam Cheddar Melt.

Best Red Wine: Three Brothers Wineries & Estates, Geneva; Red Jazz Infusion.

Best White Wine: Victorianbourg Wine Estate, Wilson; Pechette.

Independent Health Foundation’s Healthy Options:

First Place: Alex’s Place, Batavia; Grilled Garlic Shrimp Skewers.

Second Place: Local Kitchen and Beer Bar; Brussels Sprout Slaw.

Third Place: Cali Eats; Fiesta Black Bean Bowl.

Best Healthy Dessert: Chrusciki Bakery, Lancaster; Apple Cinnamon Pierogi.

Yelp’s Choice Award: T.C. Wheelers Bar & Pizzeria, Tonawanda; Stuffed Hot Banana Pepper Pizza.

Buffalo News Gusto Critic’s Choice Award: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que; Dinosaur BBQ Ribs.

The Taste of Buffalo is presented by Tops Markets and run by a nonprofit group with help from 1,000 volunteers. More than $500,000 has been raised over the years at the festival for local charities, in addition to five $1,000 scholarships awarded each year to local high school seniors pursuing a culinary or hospitality-related degree. For more information, visit

[Related: Look back at least year's winners at the Taste of Buffalo]

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