Food & Drink

Food Towers Are All The Rage at Baltimore Restaurants

We spotlight the tiered Taco Tower at La Food Marketa in Pikesville, an architectural creation stacked with specialties like tacos, dips, and street corn.
—Photography by Justin Tsucalas

From seafood towers to pasta towers to cupcake towers, stacked foods served on tiered trays are the newest version of vertical cuisine.

In Baltimore, one tower that soars above the rest is the Taco Tower at La Food Marketa in Pikesville. With three tiers of tacos, tortilla chips, and fixins’, this $125 architectural creation that feeds four is loaded with tacos (level 3), seven-layer dip, queso, street corn, and hot sauce (level 2), and Buffalo chicken taquitos alongside house-made cheese bread (level 1).

La Food Marketa executive chef Johntay Bedingfield invented the concept a few months back—and it’s been a restaurant bestseller ever since.

“[La Food Marketa owner-chef] Chad Gauss and I always like to do fun plays on food,” says Bedingfield, “and we also like to play with words. I texted him that I had this great idea for a taco tower—and he loved it.”

Within days, the duo was on Amazon shopping for towers and soon settled on a metal stand with three tiers. “We plated the first one,” says Bedingfield, “and
people went berserk.”

Bedingfield makes some 70 of these architectural wonders a week, but sales really spiked when food influencer Chris Franzoni of @EatMoreBeMore posted a reel of the creation, which went viral, leading patrons to flock from all over the state to see it—and to sample it—for themselves.

“Everything that’s on that tower has been on the menu for years—it’s nothing new,” says the former Chopped champion, “but when we presented it all on the tower, it became trendy.”

Bedingfield is hardly complaining. Instead, he smiles when he sees it served. “People have their phones out,” he says. “Here, we’re all about hot food, but they spend five minutes taking photos and spinning the tower before they eat it.”