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Events Worth the Splurge at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

Three events that won’t bust the budget at this weekend’s Atlanta Food & Wine Festival in Midtown

Raftermen Photography/AFWF
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for 12 years.

The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is back for an eighth year at the Loews Hotel in Midtown with chef hosted dinners, kitchen and bar demos, learning sessions, and three days of tasting tents at Piedmont Park. The festival kicks off on Thursday, May 31 and runs through Sunday, June 3.

While last minute ticket prices for weekend passes to the festival are pretty steep, these three events give attendees the most bang—and food—for their buck.

Destination Delicious, Thursday, May 31, 7:30 p.m., Stave Room--American Spirit Works One of the most budget-friendly events is the festival’s kick-off on Thursday evening, Destination Delicious. This three-hour mini tasting acts like a preview of what’s to come throughout the festival weekend and features food and drinks from dozens of chefs and restaurants from around the South. $55 per person.

Raftermen Photography/AFWF

Nightly party package
A pretty sweet deal for those seeking nightly events during the festival while getting the most out of the weekend’s offerings. The package includes Thursday’s Destination Delicious, Friday evening’s tasting tents, and Saturday night’s Ingredients of Taste at Atlanta Decorative Arts Center with chefs cooking up their favorite dishes from home. $230 per person.

Tasting Tents, Friday, June 1 - Sunday, June 3, Greensward Promenade-Piedmont Park
The tasting tents are likely the festival’s most well-attended and popular event. They return to the Greensward Promenade at Piedmont Park on Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. A daily, rotating list of 35 chefs, over 25 food companies, 80 spirits brands, 70 wine producers, and 60 plus breweries are included this year. A day at the tents is basically three hours of non-stop overindulging, rain or shine.

Navigating the tents through the densely-packed and often sweaty crowds can be challenging. It’s good to have a game plan. Unlike previous years, wine, beer, and spirits stations are scattered throughout the festival grounds. Pack sunscreen and an umbrella. And, possibly a change of shoes, too. $100 per day. Saturday is sold out.

The following list of restaurants and chefs is subject to change.


Upper Oval Tents

Amex (access limited to Amex pass holders)

  • Two Urban Licks, chef Michael Bertozzi
  • The Lawrence, chef Perry Griffith

Cocktail Garden

  • Woodford Reserve Bourbon
  • Tito’s Vodka
  • Charleston Bloody Mary Mix
  • Rosé All Day
    Gerard Bertrand Cote des Rosés
    Bieler Père et Fils rosé
    Maison de Grand Esprit rosé
    Matua Pinot Noir rosé

Creature Comforts

  • Chef Shay Lavi, Atlanta

Improbable Pairs

New to the festival this year, the Improbable Pairs tent features unusual food and beverage pairings like bon bons and beer or hot dogs and Champagne.

  • French Broad Chocolates (Friday)
  • Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
  • The Spotted Trotter, chef Kevin Outzs
  • Art Eatables, Kelly Ramsey
  • Oyster South

Ingredient Spotlight

Another new addition, this tent shines the spotlight on specific ingredients like peaches or Vidalia onions.

  • American Cut, chef John Adamson (Friday)
  • Mission & Market, chef Ian Winslade (Friday)
  • Juleps Catering, chef James Moran (Friday/Saturday)
  • Richard’s Southern Fried, SOUL: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes, chef-author Todd Richards (Friday/Sunday)
  • Love, Lydia Bakery & Café, baker Lydia Clopton (Saturday)
  • Chef Jennifer Hill Booker, Atlanta (Saturday)
  • The 502 Bar & Bistro, chef Ming Pu (Saturday)
  • 5Church, chef Scotley Innis (Sunday)
  • Bar Vetti, chef Andrew McCabe (Sunday)
  • Sweet Potatoes (well shut my mouth!!) - a restaurant, chef Stephanie Tyson and Vivian Joiner (Sunday)
  • Bistro Hilary, chef Hilary White (Sunday)
  • PeachDish, chef Seth Freedman and chef Zu (all)

Southern Road Trip

  • CAET Winebar (MS), chef Meredith Pittman (Friday)
  • City Grocery Restaurant Group (MS), chef Ralph Taylor (Friday)
  • Southside Smokehouse & Grille (SC), chef Sarah McClure (Friday)
  • The Charleston Grille, chef Michelle Weaver (Friday)
  • City Grocery Restaurant Group (MS), pastry chef Austin Agent (Saturday)
  • The Refinery (FL), chef Greg Baker (Saturday)
  • Kiki’s Chicken and Waffles (SC), owner Kiki Cyrus (Saturday)
  • Hook & Barrel (SC), baker-author Heidi Vukov (Saturday)
  • Walker’s Drive-In (MS), chef Michael Greenhill (Saturday/Sunday)
  • One Hot Mama’s American Grille (SC), chef Orchid Paulmeier (Sunday)
  • Rustic Table (SC), chef-owner Adam Kirby (Sunday)
  • Tusk & Trotter American Brasserie (AR), bar manager Scott Baker and chef-sommelier Katherine O’Leary Cole (Sunday)
  • Montage Palmetto Bluff (SC), chef Nathan Beriau (all)
  • Ouita Michel Family of Restaurants (KY), chef Ouita Michel (all)
  • Fan & Johnny’s (MS), chef Taylor Bowen-Ricketts (all)
  • Restaurant Tyler (MS), chef Ty Thames (all)
  • Delta Meat Market (MS), owner Cole Ellis (all)

Lower Oval Tents

Big Green Egg

  • Pulled pork and pimento cheese quesadillas (Friday)
  • Crawfish boil potato salad (Saturday)
  • Egyptian Dukkah wings with quick sour pickle and flatbread (Sunday)

Connoisseur (must have connoisseur pass to enter)

  • Art Eatables, Kelly Ramsey, bourbon chocolates and confections (Friday)
  • The Lawerence, Taylor Blackgrave, cocktails (Friday)
  • Haven, chef Chad Johnson (Friday)
  • Lockbox, chef Jonathan Searle (Saturday)
  • Oysters XO (Saturday/Sunday)
  • Apron Restaurant (Sunday)
  • Braise, chefs Tanya Jimenez and Michael Le (Sunday)
  • Atomic Lounge, Feizal Valli and Rachael Roberts, cocktails (Sunday)

Palate Pleasers

  • Country Club of the South, chef Matt Albertario (Friday)
  • Atlanta National Golf Club, chef Urban Mason (Friday)
  • Life Raft Treats, pastry chef Cynthia Wong (Friday)
  • City Pharmacy, chef Christian Perez (Friday)
  • Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours, chef Deborah VanTrece (Friday)
  • Commerce Club, chef Drew Kirkland (Saturday)
  • Brenner Pass, pastry chef Olivia Wilson (Saturday)
  • White Column Country Club, chef Dylan Temple (Saturday)
  • Soby’s New South Cuisine, chef Shaun Garcia (Saturday)
  • Chef Martha Wiggins, New Orleans (Saturday)
  • Maypop, chef Michael Gulotta and pastry chef Katie O’Hara (Sunday)
  • The Buckhead Club, chef Daniel Andre (Sunday)
  • Polo Country Club, chef Darrel Wright (Sunday)
  • Chef Mark Ford, Louisville (Sunday)
  • Parish, chef Chavéz Hernandez (all)

Southern Marketplace (shopping)

Springer Mountain Chicken

  • Knox Mason, chef Matt Gallaher (Friday)
  • The Stanley, chef Paul Verica (Friday)
  • Poogan’s Hospitality Group, chef Daniel Doyle (Saturday)
  • Aix, chef Nick Leahy (Saturday)
  • KR Steakbar, chef Jessica Gamble (Sunday)
  • The White Bull, chef Pat Pascarella (Sunday)

Wine Riot

This preview to the August Wine Riot event at the Fairmont Hotel in Westside features hundreds of new wines from around the world paired with bites from restaurants like Thip Khao (Laotian) in D.C. or Lehja (Indian) in Richmond.

  • Lehja Restaurant, chef Sunny Baweja (Friday)
  • Nicky’s Coal Fired, chef Tony Galzin (Friday)
  • Thip Khao, Padaek, chef Seng Luangrath (Saturday)
  • Poke Burri, chefs Seven Chan and Ken Yu (Saturday/Sunday)
  • Tansuo, chef Matt Gillie (Sunday)

Tasting tents: Friday, June 1, 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 2, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, June 3, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Visiting Atlanta this weekend for the festival from out of town? Here’s the latest Eater Atlanta city-wide dining and drinking guide. This highly opinionated listing includes intel on the hottest restaurants in the city right now, Atlanta’s most essential dining destinations, a cocktail map, where to grab coffee, burgers or barbecue, and a breakdown of dining options in neighborhoods around the ATL.

And please, don’t call the city “Hot-lanta”.

Festival headquarters, Loews Atlanta, 1065 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta.

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