There is too much good food in Chicago to fit it all in one visit. If you’re in town this weekend then you’re in luck because Taste of Chicago has all the Chicago food staples and more in one location.
This five-day, free food festival is not only one of the most anticipated events in Chicago but in the entire Midwest. Over 50 eateries including restaurants, pop-up shops, and food trucks will be serving delicious dishes in Grant Park. In addition, you can enjoy special meals made by celebrity chefs, learn some new skills at cooking demonstrations, and dance off the added weight with a lineup of renowned musicians.
The main attraction at Taste of Chicago is the lineup of five-day restaurants that offer taste portions and regular portions of their best dishes. If you’re looking to get some traditional Chicago food make sure to stop by Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria for deep dish, Billy Goat Tavern and Grill for a burger, Gold Coast Dogs for a Chicago-style hot dog, and Eli’s Cheesecake Co. for a slice of cheesecake. For mouthwatering foods that are just as Chicago but less well known make sure to try the slow-roasted Cuban pork tamale from Dia de Los Tamales, a meatball sandwich from Tuscany, and churros from the Churro Factory.
To add some variety to the festival there will also be Pop-Up restaurants that will be serving their staples for only a day or two. Try the pork belly bao’s from Yum Dum on Saturday and Sunday, the chicken and waffles from Mad Social on Friday, or fried Wisconsin cheese curds in beer batter from Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine on Wednesday and Thursday.
For a more upscale dining experience get tickets to the Celebrity Chef du Jour events. These three course-meals in the dining pavilion provide a comfortable atmosphere to enjoy dishes from chefs Graham Elliot, Kevin Hickey, Patrick Sheerin, Chris Macchia, and Abraham Conlon. The Celebrity Chef du Jours will also be sharing some tips at the Lifeway Foods Taste Kitchen Cooking Demonstrations along with other notable chefs like Tony Priolo of Piccolo Sogno, Stephanie Wambach of Formento’s, and Seamus Mullen’s from the Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef.”
When you’re done eating every possible bite make sure to head to the Petrillo Music Shell where The Roots, Kongos, The Decemberists, Billy Idol, and The Isley Brothers will be headlining.
Taste of Chicago runs until July 10 at Grant Park at Jackson St. and Columbus Dr. Admission is free. Food and beverage tickets are sold in strips of 12 tickets for $8.50, and taste portions are $2.50 or less. For more information visit cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/taste_of_chicago.