Are you in a restaurant rut? Benicia Main Street’s annual Taste of First Street offers a chance to try something yummy and new from a variety of different eateries up and down the street. It’s a great opportunity to venture forth and finally try that Thai or Indian restaurant you’ve been wondering about, or to duck into a café. This year’s Taste of First, which also includes wine, will be held 6-9pm, Tuesday, Aug. 22, and will feature about 18 restaurants. Main Street Executive Director Nancy Martinez said the new Bella Siena Italian restaurant in The Tannery building might also participate.

The inaugural Taste of First Street came about in 2008, and was the brainchild of the Benicia Main Street Program fundraising committee as a way to give the public a chance to sample from different downtown restaurants, Martinez said. The first event was so successful the program has staged it every year since. “Most of us are creatures of habit and tend to go to the same restaurant all the time. This gives people a way to find a new restaurant to frequent,” Martinez said. In prior Taste events participating restaurants included Aroma Indian Cuisine, Camellia Tea Room, Dianna’s Bakery & Café, Double Rainbow Café, Elviarita’s Mexican Grill, First Street Café, Forever Sala Thai, Kinder’s BBQ & Meats, Lucca Bar & Grill, Pacifica Pizza, Rookies Bar & Grill, Sailor Jack’s, The Rellik Tavern, Union Hotel Restaurant & Bar and Venticellos. Martinez said these eateries are expected to take part on Aug. 22, too.

Taste of First Street volunteers

Participating is easy. Simply buy tickets beforehand and then stroll up and down First Street and sample bites from eateries in various blocks. In addition to the food, event-goers also receive two glasses of wine and a souvenir wine glass. Tickets can be purchased at Benicia Main Street, 90 First Street, or online at Tickets can be purchased the day of the event but are slightly higher than advance prices. The evening of food and wine also includes a chance to win Downtown Dollars. For more information, call 707.745.9791.