ATLGuide

The 8 Best Things To Eat & Drink At Shaky Knees

We can't get you into the pit for Weezer, but we can make sure your food choices rock.
A pile of crinkle french fries topped with chicken and pickles.

photo credit: Joseph Woodley

For more than a decade, the Shaky Knees music festival has helped Atlanta rock out by bringing in musical lineups that stretch from indie bands to arena-worthy headline acts. And while we can’t wait to scream-sing with Noah Kahan and jam with the Foo Fighters this year, we’re most looking forward to the impressive lineup of food offerings. With more than 30 vendors providing a nice mix of local restaurants and out-of-town options, here are the spots we’re hitting first when we work up an appetite.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Tabia S. Lisenbee-Parker

Seafood

Virginia-Highland

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerWalk-InsQuick Eats

When you’re maneuvering through a thick crowd, you don’t want to be worried about spilling food down your t-shirt. Go for a good handheld, like a fish sandwich from Fishmonger. And if it's on their festival menu, we highly recommend the locally loved juicy blackened grouper sandwich, which is still just as good as it was back when Obama made it nationally famous.

photo credit: Courtesy of Island Noodles

Island Noodles  image

Island Noodles

Island Noodles is always our festival food MVP. As soon as we spot the steam coming from huge woks, we start salivating for their delicious soy-drenched soba noodles mixed with broccoli, peppers, and snap peas. Plus, you get a generous portion of noodles, which are served in Chinese takeout containers that make it easy for us to walk and eat without missing a beat. Get these noodles to gear up for a high-energy set like Matt and Kim, so you can feel somewhat full without the regrettable after effects of greasier food options.

If you can handle the heat, get Hattie B’s hot chicken sandwich with the Shut the Cluck Up spice level—which is like a fire drill for your mouth. Since the fried chicken chain opened locations in West Midtown and East Atlanta, their food has been a must-have unlike that $40 glow stick you know you’re gonna regret buying.

With four locations in Atlanta, this seafood-focused Cajun and Creole restaurant offers a taste of New Orleans without leaving Georgia. We're not sure what's on Louisiana Bistreaux's festival menu. But note that heavier options like their spicy and thick jambalaya or crawfish étouffée are good, hearty choices but may also make you want to cuddle up for a nap after. So be strategic and eat here during a lull in the action.

photo credit: Juli Horsford

This Glenwood Park restaurant combines Southern barbecue and Vietnamese flavors for some of the best pho in the city. This year marks their Shaky Knees debut, so we aren’t sure what’ll be on the menu. But we have our fingers crossed that their tasty smoky brisket pho along with their wings, brisket egg rolls, and pulled pork bánh mì will make an appearance.

The tender, hearty dumplings at Gu’s have made it a longtime favorite stop at Krog City Market. When you’re not in the mood for the usual hot dog or burger, it’s a solid choice that won’t leave you feeling too heavy to jump around during the Foo Fighters’ set.

When you're hot, sweaty, and in need of a second wind, find the stall for Arden’s Garden, the city’s most popular juice chain. Get the Green Energy Machine—which mixes cucumbers, celery, apple juice, spinach, kale, and a kick of ginger—and will get you right back to the mosh pit.

In order to dance and sing for hours and hours over the span of three days, we'll need coffee. This Avondale Estates-based coffee spot Banjo got its start selling cold brew, which is exactly what we'll be snagging when we need a pick-me-up in the afternoon.

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