Taste of Atlanta

Akila McConnell, licensed to About.com

In 2016, Taste of Atlanta will be held from October 21 to 23, 2016.  Tickets can be purchased at tasteofatlanta.com.

Taste of Atlanta is Atlanta's biggest food festival featuring exclusively Atlanta area chefs, restaurants, and producers.  The three day event sprawls across four city blocks in Midtown Atlanta, with over 90 restaurants bringing out close to 300 different tastes, at the very reasonable price of $25 per person.

In addition to two belly busting days of food tasting, the event also includes chef demonstrations, kid's activities, and interactive cooking sessions.  Dale DeSena, President and Founder of Taste of Atlanta explained that in 2014, "The Kitchen Workshop was very popular and continues to be a crowd favorite. Bravo TV’s Top Chef Season 10 winner Kristen Kish was a huge hit as a culinary instructor during her free cooking class. We are so fortunate to work with The Cooks Warehouse to create amazing, live cooking class experiences."

The Basics:

The festival has tickets for three major events:

Friday night kickoff party: The festival begins with a kick off party on Friday night with all inclusive drinks and tastings.  In 2014, the kick off party was priced at $65 per person with VIP admission for $80.  Guests with allergies and food restrictions should note that there are very limited choices at the kickoff party and it is primarily an event focused on drinking and eating small appetizers.  DeSena said she hopes they have more options in future years.

VIP Experience:  On Saturday and Sunday, VIP tickets cost $75 which includes the general admission and grants visitors access to the VIP tent.  The VIP tent includes unlimited tastings from around 10 restaurants and unlimited drinks, including wine, beer, and cocktails.  Lastly, VIPs may use the NuLoo, which are very nicely cleaned and air conditioned bathrooms, rather than using PortaPotties.  Children under the age of 21 are not allowed in the VIP area.

General Admission:  General admission tickets cost $25 and lets visitors into the main tasting tent area.  Each general admission ticket comes with 20 tasting points.  Tastes cost between 1 to 3 tickets meaning that, on average, 10 tasting points will equal around 4 tastes.  Though designated "tastes," I found some of the tastes to be as large as a small meal.  If you purchase general admission tickets, you should expect to purchase at least another 10 tickets for $10. 

What's On Tap For 2016:

DeSena said that she "want[s] to make sure we continue to showcase the city’s fantastic restaurant scene and chefs."  DeSena wants to hear from Atlanta to find Atlanta's favorite restaurants, food opportunities, and chefs.  G.Garvin will be presenting at the Chef's Table, while Holly Firfer will be heading up the Kitchen Workshop.  The Chef and the Fatman will be presenting at the Big Green Egg Grilling Stage and the Future Chef Food Fight will pit three kid cooks against each other.  

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