Taste Of Marietta- Food, Fun and More

Taste of Marietta logo

Taste of Marietta logo used with permission

[This is the latest installment of “Cobb Cuisine, Culture and Community” by Brian Benefield]

One of Atlanta’s biggest and most attended food festivals is just around the corner, on April 28, 2024, from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. It offers an abundance of food tastings from numerous local eateries, but there’s much more for all to enjoy. Taste of Marietta has been doing this for over twenty-five years, so they know a thing or two about throwing down a Southern food shindig. My advice is to go early to beat the crowds, don’t eat any breakfast whatsoever, and try new things that you haven’t eaten before. Some vendors will accept card payments, but most encourage cash to buy your tastings, and there will be ATMs all around the square.  

That’s one of the things I appreciate about Taste is the diversity in food offerings from over fifty different stalls and food trucks. Being that we live close to Marietta Square, I always like to see their representation, and this year did not disappoint. Piastra, Hamp & Harry’s, House of Lu, Mac’s Chophouse, Mac’s Raw Bar, and Two Birds Taphouse are just a few of the places we love and frequent often. There are too many to list them all, but nearby places I have written about in previous articles will also have a good showing.  

Dave Poe’s BBQ is award winning que, and I dream about their Redneck lasagna, which unites Brunswick stew and ooey-gooey mac n cheese to form a perfect marriage of flavor. I will keep my fingers and toes crossed they offer that as a tasting. Lolita’s Parlor will have churro bites with several flavors of decadent ice cream, such as key lime pie and strawberry cheesecake, to cool you down on a warm Spring day. I chatted with chef Greg Lipman at Piastra and found out his friendly team will be serving a fried four-cheese lasagna bite with their signature Pomodoro sauce. Trust me, you will want to swing by the Piastra booth for that! Several local chefs will be doing a cooking demonstration in front of Marietta’s NEW Theatre in the Square, and seeing them do what they love in front of a crowd will make your heart and belly smile.   

Music will be a big part of the event, so you can hang out in Glover Park, licking the sauce from your fingers while hearing some groovy tunes. Mildly Aggressive Folk on the Cobb Life stage will soothe your ears with melodic versions of classic tunes like Me and Bobby McGee. When the 80’s tribute band Forever Young hits the stage in the early evening, I may break out parachute pants and don my piano key tie to do a little dancing for everyone’s delight. I grew up in that era and know their style of high-energy tunes will have the crowd doing the cabbage patch or maybe even some poppin’ and lockin’.  

Food trucks of all kinds will be located on the side streets around the square, and a Kids Alley will have moonwalks, face painting, and all the fun stuff for the youngins’. Adult beverages of all types will be served at many booths surrounding Taste. There will be plenty of porta potties surrounding the event, but sometimes, ewww. However, if you want a more civilized, clean, and, most importantly, air-conditioned area to do your business, then the Marietta Visitors Center is the place to be. Another pro tip is after walking around a while and getting your fill of tasty bites, head into Johnnie Maccracken’s on the whiskey bar side and cool off a bit while sipping an old-fashioned or one of their many great beer selections. Tell Eric we sent ya. 

I am honored and humbled to have been chosen as a food-tasting judge at this year’s event. I am already shopping for larger-sized short pants. Am I too young for the elastic waistband? Hmm. If you don’t mind a short ten-minute walk through a historic, picturesque neighborhood, then park your car at Lewis Park (FREE) and take a leisurely stroll on the M2R Trail to the square to enjoy all that Taste of Marietta has to offer.  Don’t forget to bring Tums, Rolaids, or whatever helps you get through this fantastic, gastronomic, glorious food festival.  


Brian Benefield is an Atlanta native born in Dekalb County, who has lived in Cobb since 2003. He has worked in Hospitality, Marketing, Real Estate, and most recently Food Tourism. Married to Cecilie Benefield for 12 blissful years. They have a dog, Miss Pickles. Hobbies are mountain biking, running, gardening, and trying new recipes in the kitchen. Member of Les Marmitions cooking club since 2016, where we cook 5-course meals with local Atlanta chefs.