Exploring The Taste of Chicago Festival

  • 0
  • July 13, 2016

“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. 

Chicago's Most Popular Summer Food Festival

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.



Chicago's Most Popular Summer Food Festival

Sweet treats:

Chicago's Most Popular Summer Food Festival


Chicago's Most Popular Summer Food Festival

Some adventures choices from Chicago’s Dog House: Alligator smoked sausage and Rattlesnake, rabbit and pork sausage

Chicago's Most Popular Summer Food Festival

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!

Chicago's Most Popular Summer Food Festival

Some of the food trucks in attendance:

Chicago's Most Popular Summer Food Festival

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.

Chicago's Most Popular Summer Food Festival

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.

Chicago's Most Popular Summer Food Festival

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:

Chicago's Most Popular Summer Food Festival


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!

Chicago's Most Popular Summer Food Festival

There were a number of brands showcasing their products for attendees to learn about and take advantage of promotions:

Chicago's Most Popular Summer Food Festival


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!



  • Alli says:

    My daughters and I had a girls weekend at Taste of Charlotte. We had so much fun. Taste of Chicago looks like a really fun event. I would want to try it all.

  • We have something similar here in the “Festival city” but we defiantly don’t get the food for free. Looks like you could spend the entire day at this event and have a really great day. Glad you had a great time!

  • Jeanette says:

    I have never gone to the taste of Chicago, but I’ve been to the taste of Minnesota and it was a lot of fun to try all those different places. Is a great way for restaurants to get known, and the food is always outstanding.

  • Pam says:

    I have been wanting to go to Taste of Chicago. It looks like so much fun. That alligator smoked sausage sounds like something fun to try.

  • Michelle says:

    I have never visited Chicago or participated in a food festival. I think I am definitely missing out by looking at your photos. I’m adding a trip to Chicago and a food festival to my bucket list!

  • Jeanine says:

    This looks like such a blast. All that food, I wish I could try it all! Need to get myself to Chicago! This looks enjoyable.

  • Liz Mays says:

    That must have been so fun. I’d definitely have a blast trying out some new dishes. Learning about some of the brands would be great too.

  • adriana says:

    You must have had so much fun! I love events like this, they’re the best – and I live in NY so we have them down in the city a lot!

  • Sarah says:

    Looks like a really fun festival to attend. Chicago really knows how to put on a show, loving the taste selections you shared,

  • Bella says:

    Chicago is such a great city so this would have been a very fun event. I am drooling just imagining all the food from those trucks!

  • Jenn says:

    What a great event. Nothing beats great food and music. I love the way Humana is inspiring people to be healthy too.

  • Helena says:

    Wow, what a diverse mixture of tastes, ethnicity and cultures! My eyes were lingering on the sweet treats, which goes to show where my weakness lies! Those sausage choices, though! What an adventure indeed!

  • Anosa says:

    The taste of chicago sounds like such an amazing event and one not to be missed. I wish I lived close so i could visit but for nice will live via your blog

  • Bonnie @wemake7 says:

    Look at all that yummy food! I really love all those sweet treats!

  • Mimi Green says:

    Everything about this screams EAT ME! I love to eat, food is a huge part of my life. I’ve got to get to Chicago some day.

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