If you’ve ever attended Taste of Atlanta without a game plan, you might been smacked in the stomach with a such a colossal bevy of food and drink options that you ended up leaving full, overwhelmed, and wondering if you missed something great. This year, we’re helping you plan ahead. Get your tickets now, and come October 21-23, you’ll be armed with a plan to eat and drink to your stomach’s content.
- Kick off the weekend right. Hosted by Nick Melvin of Venkman’s, the Friday night kickoff party offers unlimited bites inspired by the favorite songs of top-notch chefs around the city. The Optimist’s Drew Belline will bring grilled oysters with fennel butter. Colletta’s Michael Perez will whip up black truffle semolina gnocchi with pecorino romano, chives, and poppy seeds. St. Cecilia’s Craig Richards will cook sweet potato cappellaci with caviar. Admission is $65 ($80 for VIP) and includes drinks.
- Cheer on pint-sized chefs. Dubbed the Future Chef Food Fight, the kids cooking competition takes place Saturday and Sunday on the Family Food Zone stage. Three kids (aged 11-15) will have 30 minutes to create and plate their favorite peanut butter dish, which will then judged by their peers. The competition is open to anyone who wants to watch.
- Attend the Blues Brunch. Blues, bubbly, and brunch—what could be better? Hosted by Ladybird, this Chef’s Table demonstration includes tastes and sips for 60 seated attendees. The best part: the brunch is open to all General Admission and VIP ticketholders, so get there early.
- Sample the city. As always, one of the best parts of the festival is the opportunity to sample food from numerous restaurants around the city. This year, you can look forward to Bellwoods’ gangsta fries, Bon Glaze candied bacon donuts, Livingston’s blackened scallops with lime-cilantro aioli, Smoke Ring’s smoked chorizo corndog, and more.
- Indulge in libations. With 180 beers alone, this year’s VIP tent has more beverage options than ever. “That makes us the largest craft beer festival in the state!” festival founder Dale DeSena says. Not a beer person? There will be plenty of wine and cocktails to go around. Try the Choya Tokyo Mule made with Classic CHOYA, ginger beer, and lime juice.