Our recipe for a fantastic food festival? Top Chefs and Grammy winners, combined with several thousand tasting servings of Chicago favorite bites.
The quintessential summer event in the city, Taste of Chicago appeals to all the senses. Eat from the best of Chicago's local restaurant scene, watch culinary experts at cooking demos and listen to award-winning artists as they take to the stage. Iconic Buckingham Fountain, dazzling Lake Michigan and the magnificent skyline form the backdrop to the free, five day event in Grant Park, taking place Wednesday through Sunday, July 10-14.
Exciting new elements to the 33rd annual Taste of Chicago add to the tradition of celebrating Chicago's culinary community. With the city's renowned status as a dining destination, the Celebrity Chef du Jour and Pop Up program that debuted last year will return and amp up the foodie focus even more.
The four-star feastival event dishes out not just tastes of Chicago classics — the hot dogs, pizza, Italian beef, cheesecake — but also the international influences that are tied to the city's history as a melting pot of cultures. Delicious and diverse, menu items from Chicago's ethnic restaurants make their way downtown from neighborhoods such as Chinatown and Little Italy.
The full list of 35 participating restaurants and menu items is out now so prepare your plan of attack with a dining itinerary packed with multiple mouth-watering stops.
In addition to the rows and rows of food vendor booths set up daily, you'll find some newer twists on the Taste menu including 12 Pop Up restaurants setting up booths for just one or two days, local food trucks and three-course, sit-down dining experiences.
For the first time ever this summer, food trucks will be welcome at Taste of Chicago and they'll be serving up fresh eats at each evening's concert at Petrillo Music Shell. Stay tuned for details on which ones will be parked on site.
At the Celebrity Chef du Jour, it will be a foodie frenzy as Chicago's noted chefs prepare dishes in dining pavilions for a special three-course brunch, lunch or dinner each day. Ticket-holders will be treated to menus prepared by famed culinary masters Rick Bayless, Carrie Nahabedian, Giuseppe Tentori, Gale Gand and The Hearty Boys, and Paul Kahan. But tickets are selling out fast so buy online now to get seats while you still can! The seated Celebrity Chef du Jour experience costs $40 per person (limit 4 tickets per person). If you miss your chance to get tickets in advance, you can still watch the pros at work as each of the celebrity chefs will demonstrate their skills at the Dominick's Cooking Corner located on the Buckingham Fountain Plaza.
At the Dominick's Cooking Corner, get tips from the culinary experts as chefs and cookbook authors take the stage and share their techniques and recipes. Stay tuned for the full star-studded schedule of free daily demos to be announced soon!
MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT
Take a break from your culinary adventures with entertainment options for all ages. Petrillo Music Shell concerts are packing in major headliners on the 2013 lineup:
Wednesday, July 10 at 5:30pm
• Delta Spirit
Thursday, July 11 at 5:30pm
• Robin Thicke
Friday, July 12 at 5:30pm 93XRT presents
• The Lone Bellow
• Robert Plant Presents The Sensational Space Shifters
Saturday, July 13 at 11am Radio Disney AM 1300 presents a
• Chloe and Halle
Saturday, July 13 at 5:30pm
• Maxi Priest
• Jill Scott
Sunday, July 14 at 4pm Bud Light presents
• The Mowgli's
• Neon Trees
Lawn seating for all concerts is FREE and available on a first come/first serve basis, but score the best views from the seated pavilion area where tickets are being sold in advance at $25 per ticket. Buy tickets online
now (limit 10 tickets per person for each show and there are no additional fees/surcharges added to the $25 price). But act quick as seated tickets are going fast: the fun. performance on July 10 is now sold out.
Also plan to check out the live music playing daily on the Bud Light Stage — a dynamic showcase of local talent featuring 30 bands ranging between up-and-coming and established Chicago artists — or let loose with the kids at Family Village with interactive games, play areas, lively performances and hands-on crafts.
Every summer since 1980, downtown Chicago has been home to the world's largest food festival. The scene is impressive — colorfully decorated tents fill the streets, the smoke and aroma of freshly grilled foods rises from the outdoor kitchens, the sprawling lawn at Grant Park's Petrillo Music Shell turns into a massive picnic during music performances, and millions of visitors from all over the city, suburbs, U.S. and world partake in the eating extravaganza.
Nothing brings people together like food and music. Come out to Grant Park, known as "Chicago's front yard," and celebrate the diversity that Taste of Chicago brings to both.
Pack your bags — and your appetite — and head to downtown Chicago's Grant Park. When it comes to Taste of Chicago hotels, a number of accommodations for all styles and budgets are conveniently located near Grant Park and in the nearby Loop and surrounding areas. Click here to book Chicago hotels for Taste of Chicago.
Visit the official Taste of Chicago website at tasteofchicago.us to help plan your trip and get more details on concert lineups, food & beverage tickets, public transportation options and more.