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The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

Taste of Iowa City

Both a great way to boost exposure in the community for a restaurant and satisfy people’s hunger, the 15th annual Taste of Iowa City on Aug. 29 served a fun, yummy event that left participants full and smiling.

Taking place on Aug. 29, over 50 restaurants in the Downtown district of Iowa City participated in the event Taste of Iowa City to celebrate the diverse menus from all over the area. Dishing up anything from sushi to frozen yogurt to pakora, the restaurants all came together to promote their foods to residents and the new influx of students. 

“New students are out in the city and the event is good to get people exposed to Iowa City.”

— Jacob Nelson, owner of Z'mariks Noodle Cafe

Taste of Iowa City takes place on Aug. 29 to correspond with The University of Iowa starting their term on Aug. 21. Instead of regular restaurant prices, Taste of Iowa City sells ticket strips for a dollar from booths scattered throughout the event. Customers can also purchase tickets beforehand on the Taste of Iowa City website. Along with that, a limited number of free tickets are given to University students to help allow them to explore the city, meet other students, and learn what type of food the downtown district is home to. 

Normally it’s hard for small businesses to get coverage due to the cost of advertising, but local events allow these businesses to gain customers without losing money. 

— Defne Bayman

Jacob Nelson, owner of Z’mariks Noodle Cafe, explains, “New students are out in the city and the event is good to get people exposed to Iowa City.” Along with creating connections between students, the event also serves as a way for all Iowa City residents to try out new restaurants. Sam Singh, manager of Masala Indian Cuisine, says, “The best part is getting to meet new people… also having regulars that build connections.” 

Not only does Taste of Iowa City serve as a way for new students to become more familiar with the Downtown district, it also helps to promote local restaurants. Masala and Z’Mariks all reported that they do see an influx of new faces after Taste of Iowa City takes place. Singh explains, “It’s one of the main opportunities since the items sold are quick bites.” Normally, it’s hard for small businesses to get coverage due to the cost of advertising, but local events allow these businesses to gain customers without losing money. 

Taste of Iowa City isn’t just for sit-down restaurants, either. Places like Molly’s Cupcakes and Yotopia set up fun displays that attract customers with their bright colors and sweet treats. The variety doesn’t end there! After picking up a slice of hot margherita pizza from Mesa, pedestrians can mosey over to La Tea for a refreshing drink to wash it down. All at the low cost of a few, or even just one, ticket. 

Each restaurant has their own story to tell with their food. Taste of Iowa, along with other events such as Top Chefs of Iowa City, which takes place every February, as well as Art Festival and Jazz Festival in the summer, allow these restaurants to cook up their tales.

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About the Contributors
Defne Bayman
Defne Bayman, Communications Coordinator, Artist, Reporter and Photographer
(they/she) Defne Bayman is a senior this year, and has been on Print for two years and joined Web this year. They are the communications manager for all of WSS, along with an artist, designer, photographer, and reporter. When they're not in school, they're at work, out shopping, or watching a new niche movie.
Jules Keranen
Jules Keranen, Entertainment Editor

(they/them) Jules is a senior and this is their second year on the West Side Story. They are the entertainment editor for the online publication. After school they spend most of the time with their cat, Baby, watching movies.

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