Food blogs, celebrity chefs, cooking shows… we simply can’t get enough of good-quality food! However, if you want to experience a true foodie experience, there is no better event to attend than Taste of Chicago. An annual event, Taste of Chicago is not just the biggest festival in Chicago; it is the biggest food festival in the world.
About Taste of Chicago
Taste of Chicago is the ideal destination for those who want to experience the best dining options in Chicago. An event that has been around for more than 30 years, Taste of Chicago continues to grow each year, and the event brings in anywhere from 2 to 4 million visitors. The festival takes place in Chicago’s beautiful Grant Park on the city’s lakefront, and invites favorite Chicago restaurants to set up booths and serve some of their most popular dishes. Visitors are able to enjoy these dishes by purchasing food and beverage tickets. The 2013 festival will also feature plenty of music, Celebrity Chef de Jour (an air-conditioned dining experience that invites guests to sit down and enjoy a three-course meal prepared by renowned chefs), and a Family Village, which offers special activities for children.
The main activity at Taste of Chicago is, of course, the tasting. Three dozen restaurants will be participating in the 2013 festival, including Eli’s Cheesecake (which has yet to miss a Taste of Chicago festival), Abbey Pub (serving Irish Egg Rolls and Fries with Curry), and Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs (offering, of course, dishes like Rib Tips and Boneless Rib Sandwiches). Those with a sweet tooth won’t want to miss Original Rainbow Cone, where you can try treats like the Original Rainbow Cone Waffle, or The Fudge Pot, home to delicious snacks like the Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana. There are restaurants that serve cuisines from all around the world, including the Caribbean, Poland, China, Vietnam, Italy, and Africa. For a real Chicago experience, though, check out Gold Coast Dogs, where you can try a Chicago-style hot dog and fries.
The festival also includes “pop-up restaurants”, which are booths that give certain restaurants the chance to participate in Taste of Chicago for just one or two days. Among this year’s pop-up restaurants, there will be Punky’s Pizza and Pasta, the Korean restaurant Jin Ju, and the vegetarian restaurant Inspiration Kitchen.
In addition to experiencing local cuisine, guests are also able enjoy numerous musical performances. The Bud Light Stage is set up to host 30 bands during the festival, with talent ranging from up-and-coming performers, to established Chicago musicians. Each day has a different musical theme, with themes including “Sax in the City”, “We’ve got the Blues”, and “Indie Rock”. Performances take place from noon to 8pm each day, and all shows are free to attend.
Plan Your Visit
Taste of Chicago 2013 will be taking place from July 10th to July 14th in Grant Park. The festival runs from 11am to 9pm each day, with food and beverage ticket sales ending at 8:30pm. Entrance into the festival is free, and food and beverage tickets cost 12$ for 8 tickets. Big plates usually go for 9-10 tickets, with side portions going for 6-7 tickets. Please note that it is prohibited to bring in alcoholic beverages, picnic umbrellas and portable BBQs onto the grounds. There is a parking area for bicycles, and, if you are driving, the Millennium Garages are available for a daily parking fee. (An all-day parking pass can be purchased for $30). Remember that this is a popular event, so it’s always a good idea to book your accommodations early! The Hyatt Regency Chicago on the Riverwalk is an official partner of the festival, and is only a short distance from the park.
Have a great time at Taste of Chicago! Remember to save room for dessert!