Atlanta Food & Wine Festival shifts from Southern regional focus to “all about Atlanta”

Early bird tickets go on sale July 11

A chicken dish at the 2022 AFWF

Courtesy of Rafterman Photography

The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is trying something new this year. Instead of highlighting chefs, mixologists, food, and drink from 13 Southern states, it’s going to emphasize primarily Atlanta-based restaurants, bars, people, and products. “The overall theme is ‘All roads lead to Atlanta,’” says Maribel Chaluja, vice president of event operations for a21, the organization that puts on AFWF. “We love Atlanta. It’s the culinary hub of the South.”

Held September 20-24, AFWF is comprised of tasting tents and intimate chef-driven meals around town. For the first time, this year’s event includes Friday night tasting tents, in addition to Saturday and Sunday afternoon sessions in Historic Fourth Ward Park. Friday’s tents will focus on beverages—not just wine, while the weekend tents feature more food, as well as drink. Participating local restaurants include Ladybird, Tiny Lou’s, Che Butter Jonez, Roshambo, Chi Chi Vegan, Le Bon Nosh, and Sugar Shane’s. There will, however, still be 10 to 15 non-Atlanta-based chefs, such as John Tesar of Knife in Dallas, Texas, and Giorgio Rapicavoli of Eating House in Miami.

Pouring cocktails at a 2022 AFWF event

Courtesy of Rafterman Photography

Served at a ticketed AFWF Talat Market dinner in 2022

Courtesy of Rafterman Photography

DJs will play and chefs will offer demonstrations, while attendees sip and sample at their leisure. All food and drinks are included in the cost of admission. Early bird tickets go on sale July 11. A single day of general admission to tasting tents costs $110, or $125 after July 24. VIP tickets and weekend passes will also be available. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit Children of Conservation’s school lunch program, which provides nutrient-dense meals for children in Africa.

“The best way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach, so we truly believe there’s something for everyone. There’s no better love language than that,” Chaluja says.

AFWF is also adding ticketed brunches and lunches to the lineup; in the past, these meals were in the evening. “We’ve never been able to showcase the restaurants focused on those meals,” Chaluja says. “We’re trying to show the wide variety of all aspects of hospitality this year.” The exact lineup has not been released yet.

Samples at the Sunday Tasting Tents in 2022

Courtesy of Rafterman Photography