For the past 12 years Taste of Atlanta has taken over Tech Square, in the heart of Midtown, for the city’s premier food, wine, beer and cocktail festival. Comprised of tasting tents, live demos and interactive cooking experiences, the weekend-long festival is perfect for the pickiest of eaters or the self-described foodie.
1. Look at the offerings beforehand. Each restaurant has two or three offerings each costing 1 to 3 tickets. Each regular entry ticket includes 10 tasting tickets. There are also several kiosks throughout the festival with additional tickets to purchase. Know what are your “must try” dishes prior to going is a good way to budget your tickets.
2. Splurge on the VIP status. If you really want to maximize the amount of food and drinks you get to try, I would recommend upgrading to a VIP ticket. There are exclusive food and drink experiences inside the VIP tent in addition to the options available with the 10 tasting tickets in the general admission area. You will also receive a commemorative glass, Taste of Atlanta goodie bag and, best of all, access to the Nuloo premium mobile washrooms with air conditioning.
3. Bring the whole family. Taste of Atlanta is a very family and kid friendly food festival. Since all of the alcoholic beverages, in the general admission area, are for purchase the crowd was not as rowdy as other food based festivals where it is freely poured. The aisles are also wide enough to easily accommodate a stroller if need be. Kids under 13 do not need a ticket to enter, but will still need tasting tickets to get food. Dogs however, are not allowed per city of Atlanta rules.
4. Take advantage of public transportation. As it is with many events in Downtown Atlanta, MARTA, our public transportation system, is the most convenient and practical way to get there. The North Avenue station, on all lines, is approximately a 5 min walk from Tech Square. There are several paid lots within the Midtown area if you choose to drive.
5. Keep an open mind. An event such as this is a great way to step outside of your comfort zone when it comes to new foods, cuisine and restaurants. With over 80 restaurants spotlighted, this is a perfect time to try a new food, or finally get to sample something from a local celebrity chef.
General admission tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. VIP tickets are only available for advance purchase and cost $75. I would highly recommend the VIP experience to get the most out of the event. Both can be purchased through Taste of Atlanta’s website.
About the Author: Elizabeth Levy has true southern roots. After spending four years in the loveliest village on the plains attending Auburn University, she decided to make her hometown of Atlanta her home again. When she isn’t training for her next 5k or half marathon, Elizabeth likes to spend as much time on St. Simons Island, preferably drinking a local craft beer (Stout please!). Her favorite southern city to visit is a toss up between Charleston and Nashville , and hopes to visit New Orleans very soon.
The author was hosted by Taste of Atlanta, but all opinions and photos are her own.