Started In
The Bite of Seattle is a popular annual food festival held in Seattle, Washington. It’s one of the oldest culinary events in Seattle history. With the exception of a few pandemic-era cancellations, 2023 marks 41 years of The Bite of Seattle. The event was first introduced in 1982 by Alan Silverman, owner of restaurant Barnaby’s in the Seattle Area. Silverman and other local restaurant owners were struggling with the impact of a recession during President Reagan’s administration, resulting in low customer turnouts.
Street Fair
Silverman had recently participated in two major food festivals, The Taste of Chicago and the 72nd Street Fair in Manhattan. Silverman came up with the idea to hold a similar food fair in Seattle to encourage the public to dine out again. Locals in the restaurant industry were on board with the plan. The next step was to gain the approval of city park officials. After speaking with then mayor Charles Royer directly and receiving a favorable response, The Bite of Seattle was created.
The festival was originally held at Green Lake Park, where 25 restaurants were part of the action. They expected to see maybe 25,000 guests, but ultimately it was such a hit that 75,000 were in attendance. Since 1986, the event has been held at The Seattle Center. In 2016 and 2017, The Bite of Seattle was voted “Best Food Festival” in the United States. For over 40 years, The Bite of Seattle has brought the community together with the best food and drink, and unforgettable memories. Today, the festival brings in 425,000 attendees for three days of celebrating the food culture in the city.