Royal Oak Taco Fest

Royal Oak Taco Fest: Worth the hype in 2023?

My take on the Royal Oak Taco Fest.

Let me start by saying I am not a food blogger or a food critic. I just really enjoy tacos and want to give my perspective on the Royal Oak Taco Fest that is happening from June 30 until July 4.

My friends and I went to the Taco Fest on opening day June 30, around 5 p.m., it was not super crowded. Our tickets were bought in advance and staff were able to just scan our QR codes, give us a wristband and let us in. Straightforward process, with no lines.

As we walked in, my friends and I noticed that it was quite empty but we were also quite early. The Taco Fest started at 4 p.m.

Our first effort was to scan the area and see what there was to offer. The majority of the food trucks were set up, but a few had a late start.

There were a variety of trucks selling your typical beef and pollo tacos, bbq stands, or lemonade and funnel cake stands for a delicious treat or drink. The event is packed with tacos but also a lot of other foodie finds. There’s something there for everyone.

This isn’t for cheap taco lovers though

Royal Oak Taco Fest

However, we began to look at prices and quality of food and it just began to not make sense. Some food trucks were selling $20 combos for two tacos that would come in two small shells. Plus add-ons were extra, of course.

Small drinks were $5 or $12 if you wanted to add a shot of tequila. It was a realization for us that “this is going to get pretty expensive”.

We settled with the idea of maybe trying one taco per how many trucks we wanted to try. Sadly, once I had my first taco and it didn’t live up to the expectation, I was over it. My friends didn’t find any tacos and settled for elote and burritos.

One taco cost me $5, and a container of rice was around $2. My total was about $7 and some change. I also bought some fried pickles and lemonade for $5 apiece.

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Too hot to handle?

Now there are a lot of factors that played into our “just okay” experience besides expense. One factor was how hot it was, the heat was almost impossible to handle. While there were seating in shaded areas, walking along the festival was just tiring because all the trucks were in the middle of the street. No shade, no trees, nothing. I know the food truck cooks had to be sweating and hotter than us.

With the temperature being so hot, it made us make the decision to also not want to drink any alcohol or think of a cocktail.

Some booths were offering tequila sampling but we couldn’t stomach the idea of drinking and walking in that heat.

The Taco Fest is missing something

I am not sure if it’s the lack of culture or if they need better food trucks but it was just not what I expected.

Maybe my expectations were more authentic taco food trucks, and fewer places that are already established like Imperial and Mezcal in Ferndale.

Plus I am still confused as to why it cost $12 to get in the event. It’s just not worth that if you are already paying for tacos inside.

I am not sure I will go next year because I definitely feel that if I want good tacos I might as well go to Southwest Detroit for a better experience.

However, this event is not entirely bad and it’s really up to how much you want out of it.

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