Flavors of the West

A Culinary Experience in the West Valley - 2014

© Flavors of the West

Arizona loves food. That is evidenced by the fact that we a myriad of food festivals, from the glamorous and expensive to the simple and cheap (or not). Most of these culinary events are located in Scottsdale or Phoenix, but now there's one that's more convenient for people who live on the west side of town. The inaugural Flavors of the West took place in 2013. Some proceeds of this event will be donated to Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

See pictures from the 2013 event. Of course, participants and activities at the festival will change from year to year.

When is Flavors of the West?

February 23, 2014 from noon to 6 p.m.

Where will it take place?

In downtown Litchfield Park, across from the Wigwam Resort. Here is a map with directions. Street parking is available, no charge.

How do I get tickets and how much are they?

Tickets are $45 general admission, and may be purchased online, in advance. Service charge and tax will be applied. Tickets will also be available at the gate. Your admission includes unlimited stops at the restaurant stations, and ten drink tickets you can use to purchase bottled water, soft drinks, beer, wine, and spirits. Drinks are priced between 1 and 3 tickets each. A Wigwam VIP ticket (21+ only) is $100, and entitles you to catered desserts, access to shaded seating, open bar and other benefits.

Kids 12 and under are $20, which includes drink tickets, access to a fun zone, ice cream and hot dogs. Yes, of course they can participate in the regular food sampling, too.

Are discounts to Flavors of the West available?

An early bird price of $75 for two adult admissions is offered online through January 10, 2014. That's a savings of $15.

What else should I know?

This event takes place outdoors. There will be live music, a Sub-Zero/Wolf Cooking Demonstration Stage, and a Kid’s Zone. All these activities are included in the admission price.

The participating restaurants have a presence on the west side of town, and want you to experience their creations. Scheduled to participate: Betty’s Nosh, Caballero Grill, Eest Asian Bistro, Flavors of Louisiana, India Garden, Gigino’s, Gourmet Command Center (food truck), Ground Control, Max's Sports Grill, Rubio’s, Soleil at The Renaissance, Soul to Soul Café, TAPS, and Verrado Grille.

What if I have more questions?

Page 1: Festival Overview, Dates, Tickets
Page 2: Ten Tips to Know Before Your Go

All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.

I attended the inaugural Flavors of the West food festival in Litchfield Park in February 2013. While I am sure that there will be some changes in future years, here are some comments about the event that you might find useful before you buy your tickets. Here are some pictures of the Flavors of the West festival that I took while I was there. The weather was perfect and everyone seemed to be having a good time.

  1. Unlike many culinary events, the entrance fee here is higher, but once you are in you are invited to partake of as many food samples as you would like. Your entrance fee also comes with drink tickets, which cover you for water and soft drinks, a few beers or a couple of glasses of wine or well drinks. Additional tickets are for sale if you need them. Bring cash.
  2. There are children's activities here, no extra charge. Ball tossing, hoops, bouncy houses, make a chef's hat. There were video games, too, but they weren't working when I was there. Hopefully the glitch got corrected later in the day.
  1. Parking in downtown Litchfield Park is free, but it can be a walk of a few blocks if you don't get there early in the day.
  2. I like to get to culinary events early; those who know me know that I don't like to fight or push or wait for scraps of food! We arrived at about 12:15 p.m., a quarter hour after opening. The good news is that at that time there are no lines. The bad news is that if you go early, there are always some participating restaurants who aren't quite ready.
  3. By about 1:15 p.m. the lines were starting to get long at some restaurant booths.
  1. I was very impressed with the amount of food that most restaurants provided as a sample. I have been to some culinary events where I actually went out to eat after the event, I was still so hungry. At this event, I would say that I probably had samples from about eight restaurants and I was full for the rest of the day!
  2. As the name indicates, this foodie festival shines the spotlight on restaurants located in the West Valley. Not always known for fine cuisine, this event shows us that there are worthy eateries outside of Phoenix and Scottsdale!
  1. There did seem to be a focus on barbecue and tacos here. There were even a few food trucks, making the items as they were ordered.
  2. The VIP ticket is a hefty one, and affords an open bar and a private area with tables and live music. There were some tastes supplied by The Wigwam here, but it wasn't special enough, in my opinion, to warrant the additional cost unless you are a big drinker.
  3. I especially appreciated not having to walk around to find tickets and plan which sample bites at how many tickets each I am interested in purchasing. That's just annoying to me, and, of course, at those other events I always have tickets left over that I give away because I don't like standing on long lines. Not the case here -- this was a lovely and tasty event!

    Page 1: Festival Overview, Dates, Tickets
    Page 2: Ten Tips to Know Before Your Go

    All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.

    As is common in the industry, the writer was provided with complimentary tickets for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy. All prices and offerings mentioned herein are subject to change without notice. 02/13