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Taste of Atlanta

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Taste of Atlanta
Image courtesy of 360 Media
Taste of Atlanta
Image courtesy of 360 Media

About Taste of Atlanta:

Taste of Atlanta is a premiere Atlanta food festival featuring signature dishes from top Atlanta restaurants. Booths line the streets of Atlanta for food fans to try out small tastes of some of the best food in Atlanta.

In addition to the two-day tasting festivals, attendees can enjoy chef demonstrations, an interactive family food zone and learn about food issues like sustainable farming.

Taste of Atlanta 2013 Details:

When: October 25 - 27, 2013, Pre-party Friday night, festival 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Where: Tech Square, Midtown Atlanta (5th Street from Techwood to West Peachtree Street and Spring Street from Biltmore Place to Armstead Avenue)

Cost: $30 for general admission, $75 for VIP with Cocktail Experience. Kids under 13 are free with a paying adult, but they must still purchase tickets to taste. Prices go up by $10 if you buy day-of event.

How it Works: Admission includes 10 taste coupons which can be exchanged for food from participating restaurants. Tastes cost 1 - 3 coupons each. Additional coupons can be purchased at the event (10 for $10 or 20 for $20).

Friday Night Pre-Party:

Taste of Atlanta is kicking off the weekend with a Friday night block party called Taste Revival. Hosted by local "Angry Chef" Ron Eyester, joined by top Atlanta chefs including Ford Fry, Kevin Rathbun, Jay Swift, the block party will feature live music, cold beer, and tasty food. Tickets are $70 for The Big Grill plus one Sunday Taste of Atlanta ticket or $95 for VIP at Taste Revival plus one Sunday Taste of Atlanta ticket. The event will benefit Georgia Organics.

Beer, Wine and Cocktail Tasting:

VIP ticket holders get exclusive access to the Beer, Wine and Cocktail experience. You'll get to sample unlimited tastes of wine, beer and a limited selection of liquors from around the world (and trust me, the pours are generous). You'll also get a front row seat to the semi-finals round of the Barcraft competition, where you can sample creative cocktails from some of Atlanta's top mixologists.

Seminars:

The Taste of Atlanta also hosts chefs on stage for cooking demos and educational seminars. This year's lineup includes a number of sessions bar-based sessions, and fun topics like offal, breakfast from around the world, and condiment creation.

Kids at Taste of Atlanta:

Young foodies are welcome to attend Taste of Atlanta, and kids under 13 are free with adult tickets. You'll just need to purchase them tasting tickets (or share your own - but who are we kidding?!). There is even a Family Food Zone with kids cooking competitions and activities to each healthy eating habits.

More than 80 restaurants will set up tasting booths at Taste of Atlanta this year. VIP ticket holders also get exclusive access to some restaurants that aren't available in the general tasting area.

Guide Review

In 2010 I attended the Taste of Atlanta and also took part in the VIP experience*. First things first, if you enjoy beer and wine, the VIP experience is a great value. You get all of your taste tickets, plus unlimited beverage tasting and VIP bites (which in 2010 didn't require you to use your tickets) for $75. You also get access to on-site beverage seminars on topics like stocking your bar and creating crazy cocktails. The VIP tents also provide a shady area to escape the crowds.

You may think that your 10 tasting tickets won't be enough - but we had our fill and more of tasty plates at a variety of restaurants. You'll find everything here, from chain BBQ joints to gourmet Atlanta institutions. The tastes vary greatly in size, so it's smart to take a peek at what other people's plates look like before you hop in line. Speaking of lines - while the tasting area was mega crowded, the lines for most restaurants didn't take long at all.

Some of my favorite tastes in 2010 included the housemade pretzel from 5 Seasons and a burger from Grindhouse (always one of my favorite Atlanta burgers).

Here are some tips I'd recommend based on my experience at Taste of Atlanta:

  • Wear comfortable shoes!
  • Don't forget the sunscreen.
  • If you can, it's smart to take Marta to the Midtown or North Avenue station and take a short walk to the festival. This can save up from the parking fees which can be up to $20 and is a safer choice for those visiting the VIP tents.
  • Kids are welcome (remember, kids under 13 are free!) , but it gets very crowded to keep that in mind when packing your mega-stroller.
  • Once you have a tasty bite or two, pull back from the crowd and find a shady bench in Tech Square to enjoy your food.
  • Leave the dogs at home
  • Don't miss the killer farmer's market and plan on bringing home some veggies to continue your culinary adventure.
*Disclosure: I participated in this event as a member of the media and was granted free entry.

 

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