10 Must-Taste Chicago Foodie Fests

Taste dishes from around the world at a summer Chicago food fest.

Chicago is a renowned foodie town. So it’s no surprise that the locals celebrate eats from around the globe with a number of summertime food fests. Throughout August, you can taste everything from Chicago-style hot dogs to Polish pierogies and Japanese sushi in neighborhoods around the city. Check out these 10 upcoming Chicago foodie fests.

Food Bowl

WHEN: August 8-26

WHERE: Various Chicago locations

THE DETAILS: This innovative new food festival features more than 100 events at restaurants and lounges in neighborhoods throughout the city. The three-week celebration culminates in the exciting Night Market, held August 24-26 on the Lakefront Green at Theater on the Lake, featuring bites and cocktails from various restaurants and bars, along with live entertainment and interactive foodie events.

Chicago Hot Dog Fest

Crowd of people at Chicago Hot Dog Fest

WHEN: August 10-12

WHERE: Chicago History MuseumLincoln Park

THE DETAILS: This year’s festival honors the debut of the Chicago-style hot dog at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, which celebrates its 125th anniversary. Live bands, a kids’ activity area and wieners from Chicago’s own Vienna Beef (also marking 125 years) prepared in a variety of styles by some of the city’s top hot dog vendors make this a tasty fest you won’t want to miss.

Ginza Holiday

Performers on stage for Ginza Holiday Festival in Chicago

WHEN: August 10–12

WHERE: Midwest Buddhist TempleOld Town

THE DETAILS: During this three-day celebration of Japanese culture sample authentic fare like sushi, udon noodles and the festival’s popular chicken teriyaki.  Also, catch performances of Japanese arts (including taiko drumming and folk dancing), take a temple tour to see bonsai exhibits and check out the Waza, a revered group of Japanese artisans flown in from Tokyo to demonstrate centuries-old skills and sell their crafts.

Tastemaker Chicago

Chef Graham Elliot

WHEN: August 17-18

WHERE: Revel Space at Fulton MarketWest Loop

THE DETAILS: Admission to this awesome foodie happening includes food and drink from more than 40 restaurants, wineries, breweries and artisan producers. A dream team of Chicago’s best chefs, including Graham Elliot of Gideon Sweet (now closed) and Abe Conlon of Fat Rice, will pair up to create culinary masterpieces in the open Tastemaker kitchen.

Sangria Festival

Sangria cocktails in Chicago

WHEN: August 18-19

WHERE: Humboldt ParkHumboldt Park

THE DETAILS: Sip a handcrafted sangria on the sprawling lawn in Humboldt Park during this fun fest. Choose from more than 20 different sangrias whipped up by local mixologists, grab a bite from a pop-up food station (where dishes range from paella to flan), see the samba parade and enjoy live entertainment that includes Latin bands and flamenco dancers.

Taste of Greektown

Chef grilling at Taste of Greektown in Chicago

WHEN: August 24–26

WHERE: 400 S. Halsted St. at Van Buren St., Greektown

THE DETAILS: Hellenic pride is celebrated at the annual Taste of Greektown, held at the epicenter of Chicago’s Greek restaurant scene. Immerse yourself in Greek culture and cuisine with this weekend-long celebration featuring Mediterranean food and drink, Greek bands and dancing, and fun games for both young and old.

Logan Square Food Truck Social

WHEN: August 24-26

WHERE: Humboldt Blvd., between Armitage and Bloomingdale Ave., Logan Square

THE DETAILS: More than 25 local food trucks and restaurants offer up everything from empanadas to lobster rolls and cupcakes at this lively street fest. Sample spirits, peruse arts and crafts booths, and catch national acts and live DJs on two stages. 

The Great American Lobster Fest

Lobster dish at The Great American Lobster Fest in Chicago

WHEN: August 31-September 2

WHERE: Navy PierStreeterville

THE DETAILS: Navy Pier is one of only three locations to host the Midwest’s largest lobster and seafood festival. Dig into lobster flown in fresh from the East Coast (prepared in a variety of ways, from grilled to deep fried), groove to live music, play family-friendly games, shop for unique crafts and cool off with a cold drink along the waters of scenic Lake Michigan.

African Festival of the Arts

Performers at the Chicago African Festival of the Arts

WHEN: August 31-September 3

WHERE: Washington ParkHyde Park

THE DETAILS: Over the course of this immersive four-day event, Washington Park is transformed into a vibrant African village. Visitors are transported across the African Diaspora through interactive areas that showcase everything from heritage drumming to fine arts, storytelling and much more. But gourmands will want to head over to the Bank of the Nile food court, where they can sample authentic African goat and fish dishes, along with Cajun and soul foods.

Taste of Polonia Festival

Chefs serving food at Taste of Polonia in Chicago

WHEN: August 31-September 3 

WHERE: Copernicus CenterJefferson Park

THE DETAILS: The largest Polish festival in the country does not disappoint, offering authentic eats that include sausage and sauerkraut, pierogies, potato pancakes, cabbage rolls, blintzes and a large selection of craft beers. Catch the cooking classes and watch ethnic groups (including more than 30 live bands and folk dancers) perform on four stages.

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