Happy 16th Birthday Taste of Atlanta and here’s to many more! This three-day festival packs 90 restaurants and more than 200 bites, sips and samples from Atlanta’s diverse culinary scene (including a number of newcomers and soon-to-open restaurants) into one massive event.
What a unique opportunity to try diverse cuisine (Italian, Indian, Mexican, Venezuelan, Persian, Mediterranean, Barbecue, Southern, etc.) from Atlanta’s restaurant scene. And the weather was just perfect. Its new and permanent home in the Historic Fourth Ward park, right across the street from Ponce City Market, is beyond spacious and easily handles the crowds leaving plenty of room for dancing and noshing.
The digital wristbands are in full force making paper tickets obsolete and purchasing effortless. Chefs work their booth, so determining the gluten-free status of a particular food is easy. And some of the restaurants added a “GF” to their signs making the process even easier. The gluten-free options were on point with choices of bratwurst, fried chicken, falafel, tacos, quinoa salad, grits, lamb meatballs, paella, meat and veggie bowls, gelato, and much more.
The event has space for a long list of sponsors serving up swag and free samples. Blue Diamond Almond Milk, Cook’s Warehouse, M&M Mars, Peach Dish, Sprouts, and Welch’s were my favorite stops. The quinoa salad from Peach Dish was my first bite of the day and it was glorious. The grits made with unsweetened almond milk topped with maple syrup from Blue Diamond was a creamy, sweet surprise. Sprouts sampled its homemade sausage free of fillers or additives, and Welch’s debuted its new line of coconut water juice in white grape and grape. I picked up some swag from the M&M Mars booth and entered to win pots and pans from Cook’s Warehouse.
Did you know Jamaican rum cakes from Wicked Jack’s Tavern are available gluten-free? These buttery cakes don’t skimp on the rum! I am a big fan of the gluten-free goodies from Marilyn’s Gluten-Free Gourmet and the Southern foods with a gourmet twist from Merrilily Gardens was a new find for me.
- Peach Dish was on hand with their meal kits and sampling quinoa salad bright with flavor and texture. Such a refreshing and light bite.
- I inhaled the homemade sausage from Sprouts Farmers Market before taking a photo – whoops. It is free of unnecessary fillers and additives and full of flavor.
- There was a long line at Revolution Gelato for a good reason. Their coconut-based vegan gelato is creamy, flavorful and no one was missing the dairy. The cardamom kisses is insanely delicious.