Taste of Atlanta, the city’s much anticipated food and drink festival showcasing the local restaurant scene, is taking place this weekend on October 19, 20 and 21. Held at Historic Fourth Ward Park, the 17th annual festival will feature more than 90 of Atlanta’s favorite restaurants, offering their most craveable dishes alongside live on-stage cooking demos, hands-on group classes from top chefs, a beer garden and more. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of this year’s festival.

Kick Off the Weekend at Friday’s “World of Taste” Party: On October 19 from 6:30pm to 11pm at Historic Fourth Ward Park, the all-inclusive Friday Night “World of Taste” Kickoff Party will be hosted by acclaimed Atlanta Chefs Archna Becker of Bhojanic, Eddie Hernandez of Taqueria del Sol and Hector Santiago of El Super Pan. World of Taste will showcase international flavors from across the globe, bringing together over two dozen local chefs to prepare unique dishes representing a variety of cuisines. Friday night guests will also be treated to live music from funk and soul band Bumpin’ The Mango along with a special set from The Cordon Blues Band, which is made up of chef and foodie band members. Tickets to the event are $85 and can be purchased here.

Enjoy Can’t-Miss Bites and Bevs: This year’s festival will feature bites from restaurants across Atlanta neighborhoods, offering a variety of dishes to explore. Check out Char Korean Bar and Grill’s Bulgogi Philly Cheese Steaks with Spicy Aioli, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall’s Fried Chicken Sandwich with White BBQ Sauce, Barcelona Wine Bar’s Paella Salvje and Chicken Pintxos, and more. Craving something sweet? Batter Cookie Dough Counter, Four Forks and Smallcakes will be offering decadent bites.

Don’t miss the 10th Annual Barcraft Celebration, which will include Bulleit Bourbon cocktails from renowned Atlanta bartenders and past Barcraft Competition winners on Saturday in VIP Experience. On Sunday, the celebration will culminate with a panel on The Home Plate Stage called “Master’s Round Table: Atlanta Cocktail Culture – Where We’ve Come From and Where We’re Going.” Led by renowned cocktail connoisseur Greg Best, panelists will include Paul Calvert, Kellie Thorn, Miles MacQuarrie and previous Taste of Atlanta Barcraft Competition winners.

Explore What’s New at the Festival: For the first time, Taste of Atlanta will feature a Brunch All Day area at the festival on Sunday. Guests will taste dishes from some of Atlanta’s favorite brunch restaurants, enjoy Bloody Mary cocktails and attend chef demonstrations featuring brunch dishes at The Chef’s Table. Also new this year is a beer garden, welcoming attendees to sip pours from some of Atlanta’s favorite craft beer makers as well as cocktails and wine. Restaurants participating in Taste of Atlanta for the first time this year include Amélie’s French Bakery & Cafe, Four Forks, Bareburger and Root Baking Co.

Pick Up a Cooking Tip or Two: Sponsored by The Cooks Warehouse, PeachDish and Guy Gunter Home, The Kitchen Workshop offers free, hands-on cooking classes for home cooks. Led by Atlanta chefs, festival attendees will learn to cook a variety of cuisines, from Southern to Italian to vegan, with Hammer Stahl cookware. Featured chefs include James Beard Award-winning writer and cookbook author Cynthia Graubart, Food Network Star winner Tregaye Fraser and Chef Pano Karatassos of Kyma, among others. Sign up onsite for a coveted spot in these workshops. Spaces are first-come, first-serve on Saturday and Sunday, and classes fill up quickly.

Attendees will get an inside view into the Atlanta culinary world at The Chef’s Table Stage. Sponsored by Nissan, the stage showcases chef demonstrations, where attendees will learn a trick or two while sampling dish creations from presenting chefs. Sponsored by Northside Hospital, the Home Plate Stage will also host on-stage demonstrations from chefs and culinary experts sharing tips to take home.

Activate Your Wristband!: Single and multi-day tickets for the Friday ‘World of Taste” Kickoff Party and the weekend’s main events on Saturday and Sunday are available for purchase online here beginning at $25. Guests who purchased their tickets online before September 30 will receive their wristbands in the mail, and those who ordered after September 30 will pick up their wristbands at festival entrance gates. Activating your wristband before the festival or at one of the Taste Point top up tents onsite is strongly encouraged. Activated wristbands track tastes sampled and provide attendees with a post-event tasting list, serving as a customized roundup of restaurant recommendations for future dining out.

Additional Taste Points can be added to wristbands online before the event or at Taste Point Top Up tents located throughout the festival. Following this year’s festival, guests who have leftover Taste Points above the initial ticket balance can choose to easily donate them to The Giving Kitchen ($1 = 1 Taste point), or request a refund. To register a wristband and for further information, check out handy registration information here.  

Be a VIP: Upgrade to the VIP Experience, which provides access to an exclusive lounge area with tastings from 10 select restaurants and pours from Georgia craft beer, wine and cocktail makers from 12:30-5pm on Saturday and Sunday. The 18 featured Georgia craft breweries include Monday Night Brewing, Orpheus Brewing, Wild Heaven Beer, Second Self Beer Company and more. VIP ticket holders will also receive 20 taste points and a commemorative drinking glass. VIP tickets can be purchased here.

Walk, Pedal or Ride to the Festival: Located at Historic Fourth Ward Park adjacent to the Atlanta BeltLine, Taste of Atlanta is a convenient and walkable intown destination. Travel to the festival by car, bike, rideshare service, or MARTA, with complimentary Taste of Atlanta shuttles from the Civic Center station on W. Peachtree. Rideshare drop-off/pick-up points are located at North Avenue at Dallas Street and at Rankin St at Glen Iris Drive for general admission ticket holders and at the corner of Garden Park Drive and Ralph McGill for VIP attendees. Parking is available for $6 per day at the Atlanta Medical Center Parking Deck B (315 Boulevard NE, Atlanta, GA 30312), and Atlanta Beer Bus will offer complimentary shuttles from this deck to the festival on Saturday and Sunday from 9am – 7pm. See here for additional car and bike parking details, Lyft discount codes and more on riding MARTA.

Enter the Festival Here: Entry gates for general admission ticket holders are located on North Avenue (Gate 1), along the BeltLine Eastside Trail at Dallas Street and North Angier Ave (Gate 2), and at Garden Park Drive and Rankin Street (Gate 3). VIP ticket holders can enter at general admission gates or at the VIP entrance at Garden Park Drive and Ralph McGill Blvd NE.

Score a Souvenir: Grab a keepsake Taste of Atlanta t-shirt and other swag, including wine glasses, serving dishes and more, at the Taste of Atlanta merchandise tents throughout the festival.

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