Imagine this: you’re eating the best bites in Atlanta, washing them down with the finest wines and cocktails, and you’re soaking in the sunshine of a beautiful May day on the rooftop terrace at Loews Atlanta Midtown. Sounds like a dream come true, right?! So it goes with the fabulous (and delicious) Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. I am no stranger to this must-attend event, and you must familiarize yourself with it if you haven’t already!
As you might recall, I’ve attended the AFWF in 2018 and 2017, so I couldn’t wait to eat and sip my heart out at the sixth annual event this year! Since this wasn’t my first (or second) go-round at the AFWF, I am happy to share all of my best tips for those of you who want to hit the festival like a pro in 2020. Below are a few hotspots to hit up at AFWF, plus my best tips for each activation.
8 Ways to Experience the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival
1. Check Out the Connoisseur Lounge
This experience is designed for the serious food and drink lover, so if that’s you, keep reading! The 6,000 square foot Connoisseur Lounge is a stunning area on the 14th floor of the Loews Atlanta Midtown (the festival’s home base) featuring a chef’s kitchen, a dining area, multiple bars, and a gorgeously-designed lounge for relaxation and chatting. If you’re a Connoisseur badge holder, you’re welcome to socialize, eat, drink, and interact with top chefs and media all weekend long in this exclusive lounge.
2. Visit Destination Delicious
To kick off opening night, this year’s “Destination Delicious: Night Market” tasted like the ultimate road trip through the South. We indulged in street food, late night bites, and beverages from each Southern state as we rocked to live music under the twinkling lights. It was truly so beautiful and fun!
3. Broaden Your Breakfast Palate
Consider yourself one of Atlanta’s biggest foodies? Then don’t miss the chance to broaden your breakfast palate with one of the several breakfast-related events each day of AFWF. Whether you’re an adventurous eater or simply value “the most important meal of the way,” be sure to browse the breakfast event options on the first day of the fest.
4. Experience Food with a View
At the Loews Hotel, there is a gorgeous rooftop terrace that makes you feel like a celebrity. Up here, cooking and mixology classes and demos take place, offering the perfect setting to imbibe and vibe. If you love a great atmosphere just as much as a great plate of food, you’ve got to head up to the events on the Loews rooftop. Trust.
5. Go to Class
At the Loews, learn everything from special cooking techniques to cocktails and pairings in the many foodie classes offered during AFWF. These unique classes are led by award-winning Southern chefs, mixologists, distillers, authors, and sommeliers, making the experience truly one of the best you can get!
6. Dine out at a special evening dinner party
Fellas, if you’re looking for a date night idea, this could be it! The Connoisseur Dinner series was “designed to entertain, educate and wow” guests, and it certainly delivers on all three fronts!
During this intimate and immersive dinner, you get the chance to be up-close-and-personal with award-winning talent while diving deep into the delicious Southern food and drink traditions we love so much in our city. Each meal focuses on a key theme and is hosted at a unique venue for a truly one-of-a-kind experience you’ll remember forever.
7. Take in the Tasting Tents
Get indulgent at the tasting tents with #NoRegrets. These all-inclusive activations take you on a tasty journey through some of the region’s best flavors, highlighting international flavors (and talent) that have become Southern favorites. You get unlimited food samples at this experience, so if you love trying new things and eating ‘til your food baby turns into twins, this is definitely the AFWF event for you!
8. Brunch on the Rooftop
On the final day of the festival, Sunday, The Loews Hotel hosted a brunch series on the rooftop terrace where featured chefs and mixologists could show off their culinary chops one last time before the festival ended.
Of course brunch is always a good idea, and when it’s being served on a rooftop by all-star chefs, it is obviously a no-brainer! There’s no better way to wrap up a weekend of eating and drinking than with a Southern-style brunch.
We sipped, we savored, and we conquered the AFWF fest again, like absolute eating and drinking pros. I can’t wait to attend the AFWF 2020!!!