“Summer, fun and food” could only mean Taste of Chicago, the world’s largest free food and music festival held in Grant Park along the gorgeous lakefront. 69 restaurants including food trucks and pop-up restaurants from across Chicagoland offered their signature dishes in full size and Taste portions. The Petrillo Music Shell hosting musical artists The Roots, Kongos, The Decemberists, Billy Idol and The Isley Brothers each evening of the fest.
As the culinary scene expands so do the diverse items being offered. You will find everything from classic food festival items, ethnic cuisine, sweet treats and gourmet choices.
Some adventures choices from Chicago’s Dog House: Alligator smoked sausage and Rattlesnake, rabbit and pork sausage
In case you thought food was brought to the festival already made…..Vee Vee’s African Restaurant is grilling the chicken in front of you!
Some of the food trucks in attendance:
This year, the mixology space was well represented with CH Distillery Cocktail Lounge along with beer and wine gardens selling a wide variety of beverages.
While the festival is just 5 days long, there is an abundance of activities to enjoy. Different pavilions offering pop up restaurants, cooking demonstrations, celebrity chefs, culinary podcasts and local as well as well known musical artists.
Here are Chefs Graham Elliot of Graham Elliot Bistro and Masterchef Junior Season 4 Winner, Addison, teaching us some tips and tricks at the Lifeway Pavilion:
We all know how easy it can be to eat unhealthy at food fests. Who doesn’t love fried and sugary treats?! But it’s all about balance when it comes to our diets. Humana health company, a sponsor of this year’s Taste of Chicago, worked with the restaurants to offer a healthy option dish making it easy to sample the restaurant’s items while totally enjoying the food festival. There were 49 vegetarian as well as 6 gluten-free options. Humana also offered rewards to attendees to learn about ways to make better decisions for their lives when it came to stress and eating healthy. So many fun ways to relax that many don’t even think about. Remember coloring as a child or jumping rope? Laughing and doing a little cardo without realizing you are actually de-stressing. Smart!
There were a number of brands showcasing their products for attendees to learn about and take advantage of promotions:
There are so many reasons to visit the Taste of Chicago each year from the diverse food options to the glorious scenery to the lively music to spending time in the sunshine with your friends. The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events outdid themselves making this festival a fun and safe place for attendees. We look forward to seeing you next year at this culinary experience known as the Taste of Chicago!