Barbecue and Country Music Rule at Windy City Smokeout

Photo by Anjali Pinto

When summer hits Chicago things tend to get a little country. Bub City knows this and is bringing back all the flavors and music that make you want to strap on some boots and take a bite out of a rib with the return of Windy City Smokeout.

This country music and barbecue festival strips River North of its corporate atmosphere with some down home cooking from some of the best barbecue restaurants and pit masters from Chicago and across the country. There are 16 participating barbecue joints along with five other eateries, 23 bands playing country music, and 21 breweries serving their best brews all in three days.

The food is definitely the highlight of Windy City Smokeout especially when you have pit masters like four-time World Champion Mike Mills of 17th Street BBQ, three-time World Champion Myron Mixon of Jack’s Old South, and 75-time Grand Champion John David Wheeler of Memphis Barbecue Co. Expect to have some mouthwatering tri-tip from Lillie’s Q, flavorful chicken wings from Dinosaur BBQ, and more. For a change of pace grab some char-broiled oysters from Drago’s. a New England lobster roll from Lobster Shack, or elotes from The Salsa Truck. Wash it all down with beers from Pipeworks, Ale Syndicate, Founders, Moody Tongue, and other craft breweries from other states.

There will also be special food events during the festival. Myron Mixon will be giving some tips in a cooking class, a lobster and Moet brunch will add some fanciness to your day, and a Jack Daniel’s family tasting will keep you asking for more.

Get over the food coma by listening to top-notch country bands through the festival. The Headliners include Billy Currington, Old Dominion, and Chase Rice.

Windy City Smokeout takes place July 15–17 at 560 W. Grand Ave. For tickets and more information visit

Written By Joel Mora

Joel Mora is editor at Concierge Preferred. Born and raised in Miami, Fl., Joel has slowly ate, drank, and explored his way up north refining all his senses to prepare for the stampede of delicious dining, notorious nightlife, stellar shopping, and captivating culture that calls Chicago home. In the wild he’ll be the red-bearded Cuban with a Lagunitas IPA in his hand.

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