Chicago has a lot to be excited about this spring, especially for those that love food. From Chicago Chef Week to farmers markets and food truck fests, here are the best Chicago food events to look forward to.
Thursday, April 14, 6–9pm
The Montgomery Club, 500 W. Superior
Tickets: $50 with promo code "foodiechats"
Food enthusiasts are invited to indulge all five senses at Sensory Overload, a first-of-its-kind event designed to explore Chicago's culinary scene in an entirely new way at The Montgomery Club. This special evening will showcase 20 unique Chicago restaurants and brands that will delight each of the senses: sight, smell, taste, sound and touch. This event is a collaboration between The Chicago Tribune and #Foodiechats wanting to create a new kind of Foodie event where attendees mix together the 5 senses, 3D activations and social components.
Chicago Gourmet Tickets on Sale
Thursday, April 14, 10am
The countdown begins! The highly anticipated Spring Pre-Sale for Chicago
Gourmet 2016 opens April 14 at 10am CST at chicagogourmet.org. While
supplies last, tickets will be available at $148 per person, per day, or
$250 per person for a Weekend Pass. Save big as regularly priced tickets are $185 per person, per day, or
$295 per person for a Weekend Pass. Coming up to its ninth year this fall, Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet is one of the nation's premier culinary celebrations and promises a thrilling lineup of celebrity chef talent and new programming for the weekend-long showcase (September 23-25). Just announced is famed chef Rick Bayless as inaugural host chef and the theme, Food Is Art!
*NOTE: Regularly priced tickets will immediately become available as pre-sale tickets sell out. Tickets for Hamburger Hop/other ancillary events will be announced in the near future.
Chicago Chef Week
Lunch $22, Dinner $44
Everyone buzzes about Chicago Restaurant Week and rightly so — it's the perfect opportunity to try many of Chicago's best restaurants at a price that can't be beat. A spin-off of that annual promotion, just a few short months later, is Chicago Chef Week. Chicago Chef Week focuses on providing affordable 3-course lunches for $22 and 4-course dinners for $44 at Chicago's best chef-driven restaurants. Hurry up and get your OpenTable reservations — they book up fast!
Pastoral's Artisan Producer Festival
Saturday, April 30, 11am–3pm
Chicago French Market, 131 N. Clinton Street
Tickets: FREE, $5 suggested donation towards a scholarship fund for cheese professionals
Chicago blogger Erika Kubick says Pastoral's Artisan Producer Festival is her favorite event of the year and she never misses it. Attendees have the chance to sample small-batch food, beer, wine and spirits from nearly 100 culinary artisans. As if that wasn't enough, this year there will also be a stage show featuring several James Beard nominated chefs due to the awards ceremony around the same time.
Green City Market Outdoor Season Opener
Saturday, May 7, 7am-1pm
Lincoln Park, 1817 N. Clark Street
After nearly 20 years, this sprawling outdoor market is still both a visitor and chef favorite. Green City Market bills itself as Chicago's first year-round and only truly "green" farmers market. Enjoy the lakefront, stroll through the park, sample everything from local cheese and fruity jams to spicy tofu and hot sauce. Check the weekly schedule - you can catch chefs doing cooking demonstrations, or just rub elbows with the local chefs there to shop for their farm-to-table restaurants. Visit the Green City Market outdoors this season every Wednesday and Saturday through October (7am-1pm).
Logan Square Farmers Market Outdoor Season Opener
Sunday, May 15, 10am–3pm
Logan Boulevard, 2755 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Food and fun combine at the Logan Square Farmers Market. Located in the ever hip hood Logan Square, the market spreads out across the grassy boulevard to showcase not just local goods farm raised and handmade in the Midwest, but also boasts local talents performing throughout the day and kid-friendly activities. Stop by on the opening Sunday, or throughout the outdoor season through October (10am–3pm).
Daley Plaza Farmers Markets Season Kick-off
Thursday, May 12, 11:30am
Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington Street
Many of Chicago's best city run farmers markets start in May, including the Daley Plaza Downtown Market. This foodie gathering is incredibly convenient for Chicago visitors staying in the Loop or River North and is also the longest running farmers market in Chicago. In addition to fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers and tasty prepared foods, take part in a day of activities, and come early for a free, reusable shopping bag to tote your goodies (while supplies last). Stop by the the Daley Plaza market throughout the season, which runs every Thursday, May 12 to October 27 from 7am-3pm.
Key Ingredient Cook-off
Friday, May 20, 7–10pm
Venue ONE, 1034 W. Randolph Street
Tickets: $40 with a price increase after May 6
Chicago's best chefs compete for the title of favorite dish at this event that challenges each chef to create something using one of four specific ingredients. This year's theme at the Chicago Reader Key Ingredient Cook-off is "South of the Border," so definitely make an appearance if you're a fan of this type of cuisine. Beer, wine, and coffee are included with tastings!
Lincoln Park Zoo Food Truck Social
Saturday, May 21, 6:30–10:30pm
Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark Street
Tickets: $10 for admission ($5 for Lincoln Park Zoo Members)
What Chicago food events will we find you at this Spring? Let us know in the comments!