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Your guide to Chicago's Food Festivals

Don’t forget to bring your appetite when you visit Chicago this summer. Plan your trip around the city’s biggest foodie events like Taste of Chicago in July and Chicago Gourmet in September. And don't miss the culinary delights in the city's unique neighborhoods, which host food-centric street festivals nearly every weekend in the warm weather months.

HEADLINE EVENTS

Taste of Chicago
Taste of Chicago

TASTE OF CHICAGO

July 10 – 14, 2019
Grant Park, Jackson Street & Columbus Drive (Loop)

Chicago's biggest food festival and one of the largest outdoor food events in the country, Taste of Chicago is an epic five-day eating extravaganza in the city's downtown. Dozens of local restaurant set up shop in lakefront Grant Park, along with rotating pop-up restaurants, local food trucks, and live chef demos. And don't miss the free concerts featuring big-name acts at the Petrillo Music Shell.

WINDY CITY SMOKEOUT

July 12 – 13, 2019
560 W. Grand Ave. (River North)

Expect the hottest country stars and a whole lotta smoked meat at Chicago's annual Windy City Smokeout. This rockin' summer event does three things extremely well: barbecue, country music, and craft beer. In fact, Rolling Stone commented that this event shines “a light on the next generation of Nashville heavyweights," while Forbes called it, “one of the best BBQ events anywhere.”

CHICAGO GOURMET

September 27 – 29, 2019
Millennium Park (Loop)

This five-star culinary event is the quintessential fine-dining festival. Chicago Gourmet celebrates great food and wine, showcasing more than 150 of the finest restaurants in the city. The fest is set in Millennium Park, surrounded by the stunning downtown skyline, where visitors mix and mingle with top chefs, TV food personalities, master sommeliers, and winemakers.

International Food Festivals

Festival de La Villita
Festival de La Villita 

MOLE DE MAYO

May 24 – 29, 2019
18th Street & Ashland Avenue (Pilsen)

The annual Mole de Mayo in Chicago's historic Pilsen neighborhood put a spotlight on this traditional Mexican staple. This outdoor fest also features a number of the city's finest food vendors, and an open-air market brimming with the wares of local businesses and artisans. Take a break from eating and watch a ‘professional' wrestling exhibition at the lucha libre wrestling ring while you’re there.

LINCOLN PARK GREEK FEST

May 31 – June 2, 2019
Sheffield between Diversey & Schubert (Lincoln Park)

You don’t have to travel all the way to the Mediterranean to find authentic Hellenic cuisine. Experience live music, dance performances and authentic dishes – like zippy hummus, tasty gyros, and baklava galore — at this annual neighborhood event. Opa!

TASTE OF LITTLE VILLAGE: FLAVORS OF MEXICO

May 31 – June 2, 2019
26th & Sacramento (Little Village)

This annual fest brings the best of Chicago's Mexican cuisine into the streets of Little Village. Walk through rows of local vendors selling tacos, flautas, tamales, tortas, and so much more. Stick around for the live bands, carnival rides, and arts and crafts vendors.

LINCOLN SQUARE GREEK FEST

May 31 – June 12019
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 2727 W Winona (Lincoln Square)

Expect plenty of "philoxenia" (Greek hospitality and generosity of spirit) at this family-friendly happening on the grounds of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church. Highlights include classic Greek dishes prepared by parishioners, dancing, and an entertainment stage featuring a mix of both pop/rock tribute bands and Greek music and dance troupes. There's also beer, wine and other beverages, activities for kids, and arts and crafts.

GINZA HOLIDAY FESTIVAL

August 9 – 11, 2019
Midwest Buddhist Temple, 435 W. Menomonee St (Old Town)

The annual Ginza Holiday Festival celebrates all things Japanese with delicious food and spectacular cultural arts performances, including Japanese folk dance and Taiko drumming. Foodies should head to the huge teriyaki cookout, where they can dig into traditional teriyaki dishes that have been made with the same family recipes for decades.

TACOS Y TAMALES FESTIVALE

July 19 – 21, 2019
18th St & Peoria (Pilsen)

Chow down at the Tacos y Tamales Festival – a street fest based on a traditional Mexican market known as the Tianguis. Festival-goers are immersed in the sights and aromas of Mexico, with local vendors selling their unique take on traditional dishes. The two performance stages feature live music throughout the weekend, with traditional acts during the day, interactive dance performances, and high-energy Latin rock into the night. 

Little Italy Festa

Aug. 15 – 18, 2019
Taylor Street & Ashland Avenue (Little Italy)

The Little Italy Festa is all about la dolce vita. Longtime family-owned restaurants and neighborhood newcomers serve up some of the best Italian food in the city. Not only that, but fest-goers can play Italian card games, compete in meatball and cannoli eating competitions (of course, not at the same time), and buy Italian-themed art, Christmas ornaments, and other merchandise.

TASTE OF GREEKTOWN

Aug. 23 – 25, 2019
400 S. Halsted St. (West Loop)

Taste of Greektown blends old world traditions with modern food trends. Delicious Hellenic cuisine from neighborhood eateries takes center stage at this acclaimed festival. Expect an array of spirits, dancing, live music, and family-friendly games throughout the heart of Chicago's Greek community in the West Loop. 

TASTE OF POLONIA

Aug. 30 – Sept. 2, 2019
Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave. (Jefferson Park)

Get your fix of all things Polish — polska kielbasa, pierogies, potato pancakes, cabbage rolls, blintzes, and more. This annual festival is the oldest Polish festival in Chicago, and the largest Polish festival in the United States. Each year, it takes over the grounds of the massive civic center in Jefferson Park, with not only authentic eats, but also a great selection of specialty beers, over 30 live bands on four stages, and traditional folk dancing and cultural performances. 

LITTLE VILLAGE FEST

Sept. 6 – 8, 2019
26th Street & Kostner Avenue (Little Village)

The annual Festival de La Villita (aka Little Village Fest) is one of the largest annual celebrations of Mexican culture in the Midwest. This fest marks Mexico’s independence and offers something for everyone: top local and regional musical entertainment, food from local eateries, carnival rides, and more. The fest culminates with the annual 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade.

SAM ADAMS LAKEVIEW TACO FEST

Sept. 21 – 22, 2019
On Southport between Addison & Roscoe (Lakeview)

Whether you prefer yours with a hard or soft shell, Sam Adams Lakeview Taco Fest in the bustling Southport Corridor is a popular addition to Chicago’s food fest scene. Sample your way through an array of local taco vendors, then cast your vote for Chicago's best taco. 

FOOD FESTS FOR MEAT LOVERS

Windy City Smokeout
Windy City Smokeout

WINGOUT CHICAGO 

June 1 – 2, 2019
St. Michael's Parking Lot, 1633 N. Cleveland Ave. (Old Town)

Celebrate (and feast on) the top chicken wings in town! Wingout Chicago in Old Town gives you the opportunity to taste what the best restaurants are serving up in the wing department. Discover your favorite flavor from sweet barbecue to spicy habanero, while enjoying adult beverages and live reggae music.

Ribfest Chicago 

June 7 – 9, 2019
Lincoln Avenue at Irving Park Road and Damen Avenue (North Center)

Ribfest attracts thousands of attendees every year, and features pound upon pound of fall-off-the-bone, mouthwatering ribs. Throw in some awesome indie music and you're in store for three days of nonstop summer fun.

WINDY CITY RIBFEST

June 4 – July 6, 2019
4700 N. Broadway Ave. (Uptown)

Dig into some of the best barbecue from top local and national rib pitmasters at the annual Windy City RibFest in Chicago's Uptown. Chow down and compare rib nuances — sweet or smoky, tender or charred, dry rubbed or dripping in sauce — while live bands provide the soundtrack for all your Fourth of July weekend.

ROSCOE VILLAGE BURGER FEST

July 13 – 14, 2019
2000 W. Belmont (Roscoe Village)

Savory patties and a rockin' musical lineup are in the spotlight for the annual Roscoe Village Burger Fest. In addition to flippin' good food and playing great music, arts & crafts and a "Kids' Zone" are on the weekend menu in Roscoe Village.

Chicago Hot Dog Fest

Aug. 10 – 12, 2019
Chicago History Museum (Lincoln Park)

The humble frankfurter is celebrated at this annual event, put on by the Chicago History Museum. Held outdoors on the museum grounds overlooking the beautiful gardens of Lincoln Park, the Chicago Hot Dog Fest also features a music stage, kids' activity area, and multiple vendors selling their specialty encased meats. 

CHICAGO BOURBON & BARBECUE FEST

September 14 – 15, 2019
Belmont & Damen (2000 W. Belmont Ave.) (Roscoe Village)

Southern hospitality, meet Midwest festival fun. The Chicago Bourbon & Barbecue Fest features smoked meats and barrel-aged Southern bourbon whiskeys in the Roscoe Village neighborhood. Taste your way through varieties of bourbon and load up your plate with barbecue dishes from around the world, including Australia, Austin, and of course, Chicago

OKTOBERFEST CHICAGO

September 27 – 29, 2019
St. Alphonsus Church, corner of Lincoln, Wellington, and Southport (Lakeview)

Celebrate Chicago heritage, German style. One of Chicago's most popular celebrations of fall and all things Bavarian, Oktoberfest Chicago is held in and around the stunning St. Alphonsus Church in Lakeview. Get your fill of traditional German specialties, like brats, pretzels and, of course, beer.

SEAFOOD LOVERS

The Great American Lobster FestGreat American Lobster Fest

GREAT AMERICAN LOBSTER FEST

Aug. 30 – Sept. 1, 2019
Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. (Downtown)

Live lobsters, live music, and plenty of libations define the Great American Lobster Fest, the Midwest's largest seafood festival. And you get all that, surrounded by the sweeping lakefront views at Navy Pier.

SHAW'S OYSTER FEST

TBD 2019
Rush St & Hubbard St (River North)

Shaw's Oyster Fest features shell upon shell of glorious fresh oysters. And it's more than just oysters. Seafood lovers flock to this festival for seafood favorites like king crab bites, lobster rolls, clam chowder and fish tacos. This annual food festival also features live music from four local bands and Midwestern craft beer from Founder's Brewing Co. in Michigan. 

FOOD TRUCK FESTIVALS

Lincoln Park Food Truck SocialLincoln Park Truck Social

Food Truck Social at Lincoln Park Zoo

May 11, 2019
2001 N. Clark St. (Lincoln Park)

Lions, tigers, bears — and food trucks. Dig into the city's finest meals on wheel, while exploring the zoo after hours. Order bites from almost 30 different food trucks, including donuts, gourmet grilled cheese, fried chicken, deep dish pizza, pierogis, ribs, and more.

PILSEN FOOD TRUCK SOCIAL

June 8 – 9, 2019
18th Street & Allport Street (Pilsen)

The Pilsen Food Truck Social features dozens of Chicago-based mobile eateries, serving up everything from tamales to Kobe beef and mac n' cheese to cupcakes. Grab the Sampler Ticket to try bite-sized portions from any food truck or local restaurant onsite. You can also sample from Revolution Brewing brews, wines, and spirits. 

CHICAGO FOOD TRUCK FEST

June 22 – 23, 2019
South Loop Green Space, 2400 S. Dearborn St. (South Loop)

This family-friendly food festival highlights Chicagoans' growing obsession with food trucks. Expect to see in more than 50 trucks catering to every type of craving. 

NEIGHBORHOOD Food Fests

Taste of River North
Taste of River North

TASTE OF RANDOLPH STREET 

June 14 – 16, 2019
900 W. Randolph St., Randolph at Peoria (West Loop)

Located in the culinary hotspot dubbed "Restaurant Row" in the West Loop, the six-block stretch features some of the city's best-known chefs and top-rated restaurants, including Girl and the Goat, Publican Quality Meats, La Sirena Clandestina, City Winery, and many more. This is a bucket-list fest for any foodie.

TASTE OF RIVER NORTH

July 19 – 21, 2019
Ward Park, 630 N. Kingbury St. (River North)

Head to the banks of the Chicago River to enjoy this alfresco event in a neighborhood known for outstanding dining options. Along with an extensive list of renowned restaurant vendors offering sizable tasting portions, this event features non-stop live music highlighted by an electrifying party and tribute bands, kitchen demos, local artisans and plenty of cold Goose Island beer.

TASTE OF LINCOLN AVENUE

July 27 – 28, 2019
Lincoln Avenue & Fullerton Parkway (Lincoln Park)

One of the city's largest and most popular summer celebrations, this trailblazing fest celebrates has been a Chicago staple for decades. Taste of Lincoln Avenue features the neighborhood's top restaurants, as well as more than 30 music acts on three stages, and activities for the kids.

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