Taste of Atlanta remains the only feasible, fun, affordable way to sample fare from almost a hundred city restaurants in one glorious, gastronomical day (or two). From fried cheesecake (Max Lager’s) to Charleston crab bisque (Miltons), it’s all there for the tasting in Midtown this weekend. The festival, a favorite of the foodie crowd, turns 12 this year. The particulars:

WHEN: 6:30-10:30 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

mast_logoHOW MUCH: Tickets start at $30 for Saturday-Sunday (buying in advance saves $10 per ticket). Includes 10 taste coupons. Additional coupons are 10 for $10, and 20 for $20. Separate ticket ($95 VIP, $70 general) required for Friday’s “Taste Revival” festival kickoff party. VIP tickets on Saturday-Sunday are $75 ($10 more at the door) and include admission to the VIP Wine+Beer+Cocktail Experience and commemorative glassware. The first 300 VIP ticket holders each day receive a gift bag filled with special goodies. Must be 21 or older. IDs will be checked. Buy HERE.

WHERE: Tech Square in Midtown (Fifth Street from Techwood Drive to West Peachtree Street, and Spring Street from Biltmore Place to Armstead Avenue).

WHAT’S THERE: Nibbles from 90 metro eateries, from restaurants to yogurt shops, plus specialty fare and beverage tents, interactive cooking demos and family-friendly activities. Prime the taste buds by checking out this year’s restaurants and festival menu items HERE.

THERE’S MORE: Including a Family Food Zone, a bartending contest, a Big Green Egg Grilling experience, hands-on cooking lessons at the Kitchen Workshop, info galore Inside the Food Studio, a silent auction and music on the Sound Bites music stage. For those who want to up their gastro game, the VIP Experience offers access to culinary creations and restaurants not found in the main festival, along with specialty cocktails and 40 craft beers from around the world.

GETTING THERE: North Avenue is the closest MARTA station. Park your car in the Spring and Eighth streets lot and in the Centergy parking deck. There’s bicycle parking at Spring Street north of Fourth Street

THE NO’S: No pets. No admission for age 13 and under with a paying adult.

REMEMBER: The fest happens rain or shine.

About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

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