Your Guide to Chicago Food & Drink Events

July 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. 

July 9 

MFK Charity Chef Takeover With Chef Sarah Rinkavage

MFK Charity Chef Takeover

Courtesy of mfk

Lakeview's neighborhood favorite mfk has launched a Monday night Chef Takeover series where some of Chicago's top female chefs collaborate with mfk's executive chef Alisha Elenz for a one-night-only menu. This time around, Chef Sarah Rinkavage of Lula Cafe and Marisol will be featured for a Spanish vermouth dinner. All profits from the dinner will be donated to No Kid Hungry. Tickets for the all-inclusive dinner are $125 and are available through Brown Paper Tickets. 432 W Diversey Parkway.

July 11
South African Wine Dinner at Publican Quality Meats

Interior of Publican Quality Meats in Chicago

Clayton Massy Photography, courtesy Publican Quality Meats

Since the 17th century, South Africa has been producing some of the world's most interesting and food-friendly wines. Explore these diverse wines paired with traditional South African dishes during a six-course dinner at Publican Quality Meats, prepared by Chef de Cuisine Joe Frietze and Executive Pastry Chef Erika Chan. Tickets are $95 plus tax and gratuity and can be purchased online or by calling (312) 496-0012. 825 W Fulton Market St.

July 11-15

Taste of Chicago

Andrew Miller Photography

Chicago's biggest food festival and one of the premier outdoor food events in the country, Taste of Chicago is an epic five-day eating extravaganza downtown in the Loop. Food booths set up along the lakefront daily, together with rotating pop-up restaurants, local food trucks, and Celebrity Chef du Jour dining tents. Admission is free, although food tickets must be purchased for samples. Grant Park, Jackson St & Columbus Dr.

July 13-15

Windy City Smokeout barbeque dish

Jeff Marini Photography

Expect mega country stars and a whole lotta smoked meat at Chicago's annual Windy City Smokeout. This rockin' summer event along the river does three things extremely well: BBQ, 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.” General Admission tickets are $130 for a three-day pass, $50 for Friday or Sunday, and $55 for Saturday. VIP tickets are also available. 560 W. Grand Ave.

July 14-15

Savory patties and a rockin' musical lineup are in the spotlight for the 11th 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. Your $10 donation benefits the Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce. 2000 W Belmont.

July 19
Green City Market Chef BBQ

Green City Market's annual Chef BBQ is one of Chicago’s most anticipated summer food events. More than 100 of the city's best chefs and beverage purveyors collaborate with their favorite Green City Market farmers to highlight the freshest local and sustainable summer produce and heritage meats in flavorful new ways. The event is held rain or shine in a walk-around style, with tasting size portions. All proceeds from the fundraiser support GCM’s programs, including its year-round markets, edible education programs, and food access initiatives like Link Matching and the Produce Box. General admission is $125 and VIP tickets $250; VIP tickets with reserved seating are $275. Tickets are available online1817 N Clark St.

July 20-22

Line up along 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. Ward Park, 630 N Kingsbury St.

July 21
Rosé Brunch at The Signature Room

The Signature Room hosts its first ever rosé brunch on Saturday, July 21 from 11 am – 1 pm, with stunning city views and wines flowing from Moët & Chandon, Erath Winery, Charles Smith Band of Roses and Smoke Tree Wines. Guests are welcomed with a glass of sparkling rosé and passed hors d'oeuvres, including American sturgeon caviar, baby lamb chops with tomato chimichurri, and artichoke beignets. The sumptuous buffet spread features fresh seafood, seasonal salads, breakfast pastries and made-to-order eggs Benedict. Save a little room for the decadent desserts and fosé to conclude the feast. Tickets are $95 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity, with an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet and five different rosés. Call (312) 280-0472 for reservations. 875 N Michigan Ave. 

July 22
Girls & Grills Patio Cookout at Big Star

Big Star Grilling Series

Courtesy of Big Star

This summer girls (with grills) just want to have fun at Big Star. From 5-9 pm, a lineup of Chicago's top female chefs and bartenders will grill up savory and sweet bites al fresco in the restaurant's Wicker Park parking lot. The lineup includes Big Star’s Julie Warpinski, Nico Osteria’s Leigh Omilinksy, Split Rail’s Zoe Schor, Baker Miller’s Megan Miller, Bixi Brewery’s Bo Fowler and The Whistler’s Julieta Campos. A portion of proceeds will benefit Sarah’s Circle, a refuge for women who are homeless or in need of a safe space. All food and drink specials will be available a la carte in addition to Big Star's regular menu. 1531 N Damen Ave.

July 22
Glenwood Sunday Market Wine Stroll 

From 11am.-2pm you can stroll Rogers Park's cobblestone arts district and sample more than 60 different wines from around the world, all while benefitting the Glenwood Sunday Farmers Market’s local food access programs. Wine aficionados will begin their tasting tour at Rogers Park Social, where they will pick up a souvenir tasting glass before strolling along Glenwood Avenue for outdoor wine samplings, guided by wine experts set up along the route. Pre-event tickets are $25, $30 the day of the event. Must be 21 years and older to purchase. 6920 N Glenwood Ave.

July 27
Lincoln Park Zoo Summer Wine

Filling a glass of wine at Lincoln Park Summer Wine

Courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo

Enjoy the beautiful Lincoln Park Zoo gardens on a tour with horticulture experts, all while sipping a glass of wine and mingling with wine experts from the American Wine School. General admission includes 20 wine tastings from more than 35 different wineries at this after-hours event. Tickets are $49 ($44 for Lincoln Park Zoo members) for the walk-around tasting, and $79 for the tasting plus Ape Advantage package, which includes private access to the Regenstein Center for African Apes and a zookeeper tour of the gorillas and chimpanzees. 2001 N Clark St.

July 27-29

For its 69th year, expect plenty of "philoxenia" (Greek hospitality and generosity of spirit) at this family-friendly happening on the grounds of 89-year-old 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 (inflatables and kiddie rides), and arts & crafts. St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 2727 W Winona.

July 28-29

One of the city's largest and most popular summer celebrations, this trailblazing fest celebrates its 35thanniversary in 2018. 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. $10 at the gate for all-day entry. Lincoln Ave & Fullerton Pkwy.

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