Fans are ready and the date has been circled on calendars
across the region. After months of preparation, the competition gets real on Sunday,
That’s the day that area restaurants will take to the streets for Meatball
Street Brawl III, the third annual rendition of Buffalo’s tastiest food competition.
Hosted and organized by Osteria 166, the Italian restaurant that has become
one of downtown’s most popular dining destinations since opening in 2013, Meatball
Street Brawl III will take place on West Mohawk Street between Delaware and
Franklin, starting at 11:30 a.m.
“Meatball Street Brawl is a Buffalo event through and through,” said Nick
Pitillo, Osteria 166 owner. “It’s part street party, part food competition and all about
coming together, having fun and supporting some great causes. I think that’s why
the event has taken off like it has. But, don’t get me wrong – the restaurants
definitely want to win and show up our friends a little bit.”
A total of 19 area restaurants will participate in the event, competing in two
categories: Best Traditional Meatball and Best Freestyle Meatball. The contest will be
judged by a panel of celebrity judges, who will help crown Buffalo’s Meatball Street
Brawl champion. Hungry attendees will also have the opportunity to let their tastes
be known in the Fans’ Choice vote for Best Overall Meatball.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Make A Wish Foundation, Meals on
Wheels Foundation of Western New York, and the Michael Donald Perry Fund at the
Response to Love Center. In addition, the organizers are creating a Hospitality
Scholarship Fund for the New York State Restaurant Association Educational
Foundation to assist area students who aspire to have a career in the restaurant
The 2018 Meatball Street Brawl challengers are: Amici Ristorante, Bada Bing,
Belsito, Bobby J’s, Cabaret, Canal Club 62, Chocolate Bar, D-Tour Martini Bar, Deep
South Taco, Finnerty’s Tap Room, Frankie Primo +39, Marco’s, Molinaro’s, Osteria
166, Patria, Ristorante Lombardo, Siena, Tempo, and This Little Pig.
Last year, more than 1,700 people came out to soak up Buffalo’s sauciest
new food-centric event. This Little Pig took home the championship belt for Best
Overall Meatball, as chosen by the fans, as well as Best Freestyle Meatball.
Meatball Street Brawl has raised more than $30,000 for local charities in its
first two years, and has quickly become a local favorite in a town that knows how to
“It’s still amazing to think about,” Pitillo said. “The whole idea started with
some friendly trash talk between me and some other local restaurants. The first
year, we didn’t know what to expect, and we had more than 1,000 people out on
West Mohawk Street on a drizzly Sunday. Now, it’s like a family tradition for the
restaurants and our customers – everybody looks forward to this day every year.”
In addition to the area’s best meatballs, patrons will be able to enjoy a wide
selection of local beer and wine, as well as sweets by Cupcaked! There will also be
activities for the entire family, as well as the Bills-Ravens season opener shown on a
large outdoor screen.
Tickets for Meatball Street Brawl III are available for $15 pre-sale or $20 on
the day of the event. Pre-sale tickets can be purchased at any of the participating
restaurants or online at meatballstreetbrawl.com.
Meatball Street Brawl III is being supported by a host of local sponsors,
including Presenting Sponsor Dansa D’Arata Soucia LLP. For sponsorship and event
information, visit meatballstreetbrawl.com, or call (716) 858-3118.
Located at 166 Franklin Street across from the Buffalo Niagara Convention
Center, Osteria 166 specializes in relaxed Italian dining, with a robust menu
featuring pastas, sandwiches, seafood, daily specials and an extensive wine list. The
restaurant is open Monday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m.
– 11 p.m., and Saturday from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. For more information visit