Note: Top Taco has been postponed to May 16, 2019, due to weather forecast for its original date, March 14. Agave Week events will continue as scheduled.   

Tacos get people's attention, and Top Taco has certainly proven to be a head turner.  

Back for its third year, and again along the riverfront at Woldenberg Park, this festival and competition draws local taquerias, modern Mexican restaurants and plenty of others looking to put their own stamp on the taco.

The event has brought big crowds in years past too, with its promise of unlimited taco eating and plenty of tequila-based drinks around the grounds.

At last year's event, some stands resembled their own party patios with DJs and lights and elaborate decor. Others, however, were hard to discern from the distance of the long lines that stretched on from their tables.

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Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Watermelon tequila cocktails at the inaugural Top Taco festival in New Orleans.

This year, event producer Shane Finkelstein of Harahan restaurant Nacho Mama's said Top Taco has a plan to address the crowding issues. Stands will be arrayed across a larger swath of the riverfront park and the event also sell fewer tickets, while organizers are ensuring participating restaurants have enough tacos on hand for demand.

"The whole point is to get people to try new and different restaurants out there, so we’re hoping people will come and want to explore,” he said.

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Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Members of a bar team were dressed for the occasion at the inaugural Top Taco festival in New Orleans.

The festival is the headliner event for Agave Week, a series of related tastings and liquor brand promotions held this year at the Ace Hotel in downtown New Orleans.

Resembling a mini conference around tequila, mezcal and Mexican drinking culture, its five-day schedule of tasting rooms and seminars are aimed at industry pros and aficionados.

Agave Week also has a number of festive events leading up to Top Taco, including a burlesque show and a bar-hopping scavenger hunt based from Barcadia. 

The events also include a lucha libre, or a bout of Mexican- pro wrestling, with luchadores brought in for the night. That match is scheduled for Wednesday (March 13) on a lot adjacent to the Ace Hotel. 

Various ticket levels. See toptaconola.com.


Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.