Celebrated by Black Americans since the latter part of the 19th century, Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Sometimes referred to as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, June 19, 1865 marks the date Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston to declare the end of enslavement in Texas, despite the Emancipation Proclamation being issued two years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln.
From backyard barbecues with family and friends to block parties and citywide festivals, food plays a vital role in the annual celebration, especially red foods such as red velvet cake, strawberry pie, and hot links paired with strawberry soda and hibiscus tea to drink. Below are just a few Juneteenth food events, festivals, dinners, and Atlanta restaurant specials to consider this year.
Heritage Supper Club Juneteenth dinner at Georgia Boy
Chef Demetrius Brown serves an 8-course dinner Sunday, June 19, at Poncey-Highland tasting menu restaurant Georgia Boy exploring the evolution of Southern food. Born into a Trinidadian family, Brown often celebrates the diverse ingredients, dishes, and culinary traditions found in Caribbean, Afro-Latin, and Afro-American cuisine through his dinners. $100 per person. Seatings at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Juneteenth wine flight at 3 Parks Wine Shop
The Glenwood Park wine shop, owned by Sarah Pierre, is offering weekend wine flights, Friday through Sunday, featuring all Black-owned wine brands in celebration of Juneteenth. $15 per person for three half-glass pours. Outdoor seating.
Black-owned Atlanta restaurants offering Juneteenth specials
For the third year, Black-owned restaurants across Atlanta and Chicago will take part in a Juneteenth celebration hosted by Black People Eats offering weekend specials on the menu for $6.19 and $16.19. Check out the full list of participating restaurants here.
Veganish Food Truck Park Juneteenth celebration
The vegan and vegetarian food truck park in Jonesboro is hosting a Juneteenth celebration featuring multiple food trucks and live music, starting Friday, June 17.
UniTea Coffee Cafe Juneteenth brinner party
The Evans Street coffee cafe at 640 West is hosting brinner (breakfast for dinner) Friday June 17, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., complete with live music to kick off Juneteenth weekend.
Watermelon & Red Birds x The Plate Sale
This collaborative lunch between cookbook author Nicole Taylor and Mike and Shyretha Sheats of the Plate Sale takes place Sunday, June 19, at Athens restaurant the National. 2 p.m. seating still available. $85 per person, which includes a signed copy of Watermelon & Red Birds and a selection of a la carte drinks.
Juneteenth festival and parade at Centennial Olympic Park
This weekend-long, family-friendly festival includes a Black history parade on Saturday, with musical acts, speakers, food, and artist vendors throughout the weekend at Centennial Olympic Park. The downtown Atlanta festival is said to be the largest Juneteenth event in the Southeast. Follow on Instagram for updates and schedule of musical acts, which begin Friday, June 17.
Multiple metro Atlanta city Juneteenth festivals and events
Multiple cities around metro Atlanta are planning festivals and events filled with food, music, and fun throughout Juneteenth weekend. Check here for a list of events.