I’m a HUGE foodie, so the Taste of Atlanta is an event that I look forward to every year! This amazing food festival returned to Historic Fourth Ward Park featuring over 100 Atlanta-area restaurants showcasing their best bites. The two day-festival held in October is every foodie’s dream come true. The Taste of Atlanta offers cooking classes, chef demonstrations, and beer and wine pairings, in addition to the plethora of restaurants offering delicious samplings.
With over 100 restaurants, three cooking stations, and a VIP experience, there's definitely something for everyone to enjoy. Taste of Atlanta guests have the option to purchase general admission ($30) or VIP ($80) tickets. I had a VIP ticket (shout-out to my job), which allowed me exclusive access to certain restaurants, as well as complimentary wine and beer tastings from around the world and craft cocktails from Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Bulleit Bourbon, Padre Azul Tequila, and many more. Honestly, the VIP area should’ve been called “the Drinks of Atlanta” since there was way more alcohol than food.
My favorite food samplings at the Taste of Atlanta were:
5Church – Located in Midtown Atlanta, this gem is a hip spot for American fare. I tried the lamb burger, and it was nothing short of amazing. The burger, made of lamb of course, was topped with a red onion marmalade, Gorgonzola fondue, arugula. Each bite was like a party in my mouth.
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken – If you know me, then you know I eat at Gus’s almost once a week anyways. It’s really THAT good. I love fried chicken, and I love spicy foods, so when you combine the two it’s Heaven on Earth. Gus’s serves spicy hot fried chicken, so I had two wings. It’s so addicting that I went back for two more before I left, and so I wouldn’t waste my points.
Woody’s Cheesesteaks – I love a good cheesesteak, so I had to give Woody’s a try since I’ve heard great things about it. I must admit it was very good. I had a traditional cheesesteak with steak, onions, peppers, and provolone cheese.
The point of a food festival is to try things that you wouldn’t normally try, right? Casi Cielo, which serves cuisine inspired from Oaxaca, Mexico using locally grown ingredients of Atlanta, had the most unique offering of the festival – grasshoppers! Being the daredevil that I am, I opted to try it. The thrill of eating a grasshopper made me feel like I was on Fear Factor, and I was quickly reminded why I never went on that show. I took a bite, chewed three times, and spit it out. Although, I unsuccessfully ate a grasshopper, at least I can say I tried it.
There was literally SO much food and not enough room in my stomach to eat it all. The good thing about the Taste of Atlanta is that each guest gets a wristband as their ticket. Each wristband comes with 10 points, and you’re able to load additional money (points) onto your wristband, so you can purchase items throughout the festival. This makes life easier for the guests and vendors, and if you run out of points, you can always add more. If you don’t use all of your points, you can donate them to The Giving Kitchen, a non-profit that provides emergency assistance to food service workers . At the conclusion of the festival, each guest with a registered wristband gets a customized email that shows everything that they ate along with information on the restaurants they tried.
The Taste of Atlanta literally had restaurants from Waffle House to STK and everything in between. I was definitely stuffed (and a little tipsy) by the time I left! Overall, I had a great time, and I'm glad to make the Taste of Atlanta one of my annual events. If you’re in the Atlanta area or if you just love food as much as I do, then you should plan to attend the Taste of Atlanta next year. The VIP tickets are definitely worth purchasing if you plan on drinking, and if you like to explore fine dining. Otherwise, you can still enjoy all the delicious Atlanta-area food offerings with the general admission tickets. Either way, the Taste of Atlanta is a must!
Be sure to check out the full list of restaurants at the 2019 Taste of Atlanta, so you can get ideas for your next date night, girl's night, or if you just need somewhere new to grab a bite to eat.
I didn't take many photos because I was too busy eating, but here are a few pics!