Your Guide to Chicago Food & Drink Events

May 2018

Chicago is a scorching hot spot for the culinary-inclined, food-obsessed, drinks-loving restaurant super fan. If this describes you in a nutshell, you’ll kick yourself for missing these upcoming Chicago food and drink events. 

But first, let's give a shout out to Mom!

Special Mother's Day Brunches

Sunday, May 13

Stan's Donuts Flower Donuts - Mother's DayCourtesy of Stan's Donuts

Brunch on the House at the Talbott Hotel

Moms and their families are invited to brunch on Mother’s Day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The best part: All moms eat free! Brunch entrees include soft scrambled eggs with chives, creme fraiche and avocado on Texas toast, avocado toast, egg white frittata, bacon benedict, and more. 20 E Delaware Pl. 

French at its Finest at Margeaux Brasserie

Chef Michael Mina’s restaurant at the Waldorf-Astoria Chicago has planned an indulgent Mother’s Day prix-fixe brunch menu, offering five selections for each of the first two courses, from lobster bisque to Alaskan king crab benedict, with a choice of dessert no less decadent to end the meal. To properly toast mom, Margeaux has partnered with Veuve Clicquot on a by-the-glass champagne menu, ranging from $13-$23 per glass. Brunch is $65 for adults and $45 for kids, and runs from 10 am-2:30 pm. 11 E Walton Pl. 

A Duo of Danishes at The Dearborn 

Pastry chef Julianna Westgor has created a savory danish, featuring housemade ricotta, roasted asparagus, crispy prosciutto and black pepper, as well as a complementary sweet version, combining ricotta, cherry conserve, vanilla and almond crumble. The pastries will be offered as a pair for $9 during brunch and dinner, while supplies last. Brunch is served from 10 am-3 pm. 145 N Dearborn St.

Outdoor Brunching at Gemini

One of the loveliest neighborhood patios in Chicago can be found at Gemini. Treat mom to brunch from 9 am-2 pm, and bring along the fur babies to join in on the celebration on the dog-friendly patio. Brunch specials include six varieties of the Lincoln Park Benedict, Strawberries and Cream Waffles, and Instagram-worthy cinnamon buns. 2075 N Lincoln Ave.

Flower Power at Stan's Donuts

Instead of a dozen roses, why not treat mom to a dozen “flower donuts” from Stan’s Donuts & Coffee. The scrumptiously glazed old-fashioned donuts are $1.95 each or $19.95 for a dozen, and are available at all nine Stan’s locations. visit 

Grab family & friends for these upcoming events!

May 3
Signature Room Bourbon Dinner

Signature Room Bourbon DinnerPhoto: Neil Burger​

Kick off Derby Day celebrations with a four-course bourbon dinner at the apex of one of Chicago's tallest skyscrapers — 875 N Michigan (formerly the Hancock Building). An hors d'oeuvres reception at 6 pm is followed by a seated dinner with dishes like TKTK paired with bourbon cocktails. Tickets are $90, all-inclusive of dinner, cocktail pairings and a gift bag. For an additional $35, take home a bottle of The Signature Room's hand-selected Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon. Call (312) 280-0472 for reservations. 875 N Michigan Ave.

May 5
Derby Viewing at Saint Lou's Assembly

Head to Saint Lou’s Assembly’s backyard patio for a Kentucky Derby-viewing extravaganza with food and beverage specials, an interactive horse-racing video game, best hat contest and plenty of TVs for spectators. Try the special Hot Brown benedict made with turkey and Tasso ham, poached egg and pimento mornay sauce washed down with a Mint Julep. The party kicks off at 2 pm with the first annual Run for the Rosé, an industry obstacle course around the block. Cheer on your favorite local servers, bartenders, and front- and back-of-house employees as they move through a Chicago-centric obstacle course, all while holding a tray of rosé without spilling a drop to win the crown of Rosé King or Queen. 664 W Lake St.

Through May 7

Eden RestaurantEats Week participating restaurant, Eden, Adam Alexander Photography​

More than 130 restaurants will celebrate James Beard's culinary legacy and Chicago's vibrant food scene from April 27 to May 7, 2018, during James Beard Eats Week. Each participating restaurant creates a customized dish or menu inspired by the James Beard Foundation's namesake chef, a pioneer of American dining. Various locations.

Read all about Eats Week and participating restaurants on the Chicago Like a Local blog.

May 7
James Beard Foundation Awards

The James Beard Foundation Awards, dubbed "the Oscars of the food world" by Time Magazine, celebrates the best and brightest culinary professionals in America. Chicago is proud to host the nation's preeminent honors on May 7, at the stunning downtown Civic Opera House.

Read all about the James Beard Foundation Awards on the Chicago Like a Local blog.

May 8
Speed Rack Season 7 National Finals

Speed Rack Season 7 National FinalsIvy Mix and Lynnette Marrero, courtesy Speed Rack Season 7 National Finals

Sample cocktails and punches at the national finals of this all-female bartending competition at Revel Market in the West Loop. Sponsors like Four Roses Bourbon, Ketel One Vodka, Ford's Gin and Bacardi will supply the booze. All proceeds from the competition go to breast cancer education, prevention and research, with the $30 ticket price benefitting SHARE Cancer Support.1215 W Fulton Market.

May 9
Travelle Farmer's Market Dinner Series

Travelle Farmer's Market DinnersCourtesy of Travelle

Every Wednesday night through the end of October, Travelle's Chef Ricardo Jarquin and Pastry Chef Scott Green bring the freshest ingredients at the peak of ripeness from farm to table. The dinner series features ingredients the chefs picked out that morning at Green City Market for a one-off four-course menu for $55, with optional $20 wine pairings. Ten percent of proceeds from the menu directly benefit the Green City Market, Chicago's year-round sustainable farmers market. 330 N Wabash Ave.

May 21
BLVD Caviar & Champagne Tasting

BLVD Caviar & Champagne Tasting@ BLVD​

On Monday, May 21 beginning at 5:30 p.m., BLVD will host an intimate caviar and champagne tasting ($75), during which guests will sample three caviar varieties in their purest form—au naturel—and then as three composed bites (think oysters topped with caviar and crème fraîche). Each type of caviar will be paired with a 3oz pour of champagne. Executive Chef Johnny Besch, Beverage Director Kolin Juckins, and Sasanian Caviar representative Masha Zhauniak will be in attendance, educating guests about the products and answering any questions. Guests will also receive 20% off food and beverage that evening—a perfect excuse to try the new spring menu. 817 W Lake St.

May 21
Fire Cocktail Competition at Arbella

Fire Cocktail Competition at Arabella

Photo: Uyen Tran, courtesy of Arbella

Bartenders are invited to play with fire at Arbella's Battle of the 'Hoods: Fire Cocktail Competition. Three competitors are given a Bernzomatic torch, spirit and secret ingredient to make the most impressive, tastiest drink. Ryan Hoffman of Entente, Katie Renshaw of GT Prime and Josh Davis of Bureau Bar – South Loop will duke it out in the third installment, using Cutwater Spiced Rum. Guests and fans will vote for their favorite, and the winners from all three rounds will receive an invitation to the championship round on June 18. No tickets or RSVPs needed. All spectators will enjoy complimentary welcome punch, samples of the competition cocktails and passed appetizers. 112 W Grand Ave.

May 28
National Burger Day!

National Burger Day 2018The Portland Burger, courtesy of The Moonlighter.​

Explore the elevated burger offerings from some of Chicago’s top eateries, from vegan and vegetarian friendly to unique twists on the classic burger.

  • Dusek's Board & Beer: The Juicy Lucy, featuring an American cheese-filled beef patty. 1227 W 18th St. 
  • The Moonlighter: The vegan-friendly, plant-based Portland Burger made with Beyond Meat™. 3204 W Armitage Ave.
  • Mindy’s HotChocolate: The Slagel Farms Burger from James Beard Award winning pastry chef Mindy Segal. 1747 N Damen Ave.
  • Publican Anker: The Turkey Burger, a light and fresh poultry-centric patty. 1576 N Milwaukee Ave.
  • The Promontory: The hearth-fired Pimento Cheeseburger, featuring 6 oz of premium beef bathed in savory cheese. 5311 S Lake Park Ave West.

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