Craigie On Main was among the first restaurants to sign up for the 2021 version of Taste of Cambridge. (Photo: Craigie On Main via Facebook)

In other years, the Taste of Cambridge and Taste of Somerville events were big business with 60 stations to stop for food and drink samples – the last Cambridge event in 2019 was a $ 65 deal at University Park . After the pandemic, Cambridge and Somerville Chambers of Commerce and taste organizations took a different direction, creating a “Diner Passport” program from July 1 to August 15, the proceeds of which will be donated to restaurant workers and organizations. non-profit.

A $ 30 donation allows the purchase of a restaurant passport worth $ 100 to use at participating restaurants in Cambridge and Somerville. Visit four and spend at least $ 25 for each and they’ll stamp the passport; four stamps allow you to redeem four $ 25 vouchers to use at participating restaurants in the future. The details were explained in a June 3 chamber press release.

There are 35 restaurants registered on Saturday. Among the first to agree to participate were Craigie on Main, Hong Kong and Puritan & Co in Cambridge; and Foundry on Elm, Saloon and The Independent in Somerville.

“The passport program is a win-win initiative that directly benefits restaurants, hotel workers and local diners,” David Maher, president and CEO of the Cambridge Chamber, said in a press release.

The program is part of a four-month Covid Resilience & Recovery urban partnership between chambers funded by a $ 160,000 economic revitalization grant from the state.

More money from the grant – one of 37 statewide – will be used for career fairs and a community forum focused on post-pandemic lessons for the workplace, according to a publicist working with the chambers. These events are expected to be announced this month.

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