Fall food fests full of favorites

The fall food festival season gets going in September with Battle of the Burgers and the Atlanta BBQ Festival and continues in October with Taste of Atlanta and Taste of Roswell, among others. Plan your eating outings with these six picks:

Battle of the Burgers — Sept. 8

Once again, a whole bunch of burger lovers will flock to Virginia-Highland’s John Howell Park on Sept. 8 for the 3rd annual Battle of the Burgers. Last year, the judges chose the Nook, Deckard’s American Tavern and Atkins Park as the big winners, while Farm Burger took the people’s choice award. This year, look for chefs from Cypress Street Pint & Plate, Grind House, Highland Tap and many more at the grills. The heart-starting 5K race gets going at 9 a.m. with some of the more adventurous making the run in burger costumes. Whiskey Belt and Julie Gribble will be among the music makers. The tasting supports Embraced, a nonprofit organization that collects and shares gently used medical equipment with people in need. $25 general; $60 VIP; $10 kids under 10. Noon-5 p.m. John Howell Park, Virginia Avenue and Barnett Street, Atlanta. www.battleoftheburgers.com.

Atlanta BBQ Festival — Sept. 14-15

The 4th annual Atlanta BBQ Festival brings back another round of professional and backyard competition teams showing off their way with Texas, Carolina, Memphis, St. Louis and Kentucky-style barbecue. Thousands of fans will make the trip to Atlantic Station to sample the cue, learn barbecue techniques from the pit masters, and vote in the people’s choice contest. The teams will square off for $10,000 in cash prizes, trophies and bragging rights. Listen to live music from the likes of Mudcat and the Mosier Brothers, look at hot rods at the invitational car show, and browse the market for barbecue gadgets and goodies. Local barbecue restaurants, including Fox Bros., Jim ‘N Nick’s, Hottie Hawg’s, and Williamson Bros., will feed the hungry masses. 4-10 p.m. Sept. 14; noon-8 p.m. Sept. 15. Atlantic Station, 1380 Atlantic Drive, Atlanta. www.atlbbqfest.com.

Atlanta Greek Festival — Oct. 4-7

This four-day festival of food, fun and culture at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Atlanta has become a fall season staple. Feast on substantial portions of signature dishes such as moussaka, pastitsio, souvlaki and spanakopita. And try several unique varieties of Greek wine such as Retsina. Kick back at the Greek-style coffeehouse and sample baklava and other Greek sweets. Yell “Opa!” and swing with Greek bands and dancers. Shop for icons, jewelry and handcrafted items at the market. Learn about Greek Orthodoxy and religious art during lecture tours of the cathedral. $5; children under 12 free. 5-10 p.m. Oct. 4; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Oct. 5-6; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 7. Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 2500 Clairmont Road N.E., Atlanta. www.atlantagreekfestival.org.

Taste of Atlanta — Oct. 6-7

Now in its second decade, Taste of Atlanta continues to evolve. Part lively street festival around Tech Square, part local food and drink tasting event, this year’s schedule includes the popular VIP Barcraft competition, where bartenders compete and serve up samples, and the Home Plate Main Stage, where some of Atlanta’s best chefs do battle. More than 80 Atlanta restaurants will be there, including Double Zero, JCT Kitchen, the Optimist, Seed Kitchen and Bar and Sublime Doughnuts. Look for a Family Food Zone and a Georgia Specialty Foods Market. There’s a separate ticket ($60/$75) for the Big Grill evening block party on Oct. 5, with guest chefs, including Ford Fry, Jay Swift and Kevin Rathbun. General: $25 advance; $35 at event. VIP: $75 in advance; $85 at event. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 6-7. Tech Square at Spring Street and Fifth Street, Atlanta. www.tasteofatlanta.com.

Jazzoo at Zoo Atlanta — Oct. 13

The fifth annual Jazzoo at Zoo Atlanta promises to be another creative cocktail event with music, dancing and imaginative attire. Featured among the 30 Atlanta restaurants serving signature dishes are Bhojanic, D.B.A. Barbecue, H. Harper Station, One Flew South and Spice Market. Grab drinks all night long at 20 open bars, and party at four stages featuring a variety of live music and entertainment, including ’80s cover band the Breakfast Club. $125 all inclusive. All proceeds benefit Zoo Atlanta. 6:30 p.m.-late. 800 Cherokee Ave. S.E., Atlanta. www.jazzooatlanta.org.

Taste of Roswell — Oct. 20

With its walkable small-town feel, Roswell has grown into a great dining destination, with newish spots such as Table & Main and Little Alley Steak joining old favorites like Fickle Pickle. Taste of Roswell, which features only local restaurants, offers a chance to eat your way around the Historic Town Square while enjoying music, and winning prizes in the line dancing, Hula Hoop, beanbag toss and hokeypokey contests. Free admission. Tastes are 50 cents-$3. Noon-5:30 p.m. in the Historic Town Square, Roswell, corner of Ga. 9 and Ga. 120. 770-640-3253, www.visitroswellga.com.

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