Chicago Food & Drink Events

September 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. 

September 3, 11, 18 & 25

This battle of the meats features a signature PQM burger alongside two dueling specialty burger creations from some of Chicago’s most notable restaurants, bars, and personalities. A PQM tradition since 2012, each installment in the series is sure to deliver an epic evening of culinary competition with ample amounts of bourbon and beer on hand. The bestselling burger will be crowned champion! Held 5:30-9pm, competitors are 3 Floyds vs. Big Star (Sept. 4), Kim Leali of One Off Hospitality vs. Chef/Partner John Manion of El Che Bar & La Sirena Clandestina (Sept 18), Boka Restaurant vs. Pacific Standard Time (Sept 18) and Middlebrow Beer Co. vs. The Moonlighter (Sep 25). 825 W. Fulton Market.

September 5 & 27  
Meet the Makers at Dusek's Board & Beer

©Dusek's Board & Beer

Chicago's top brewing experts from local breweries regularly hang at Dusek's for casual meet-and-greets to introduce their newest and limited edition brews. On September 5, Adam Cieslak and Adam Smith of Maplewood will introduce their Fizzle Dizzle with Pomegranate, a tart IPA dry hopped with El Dorado hops. Moody Tongue's head brewer, JT Rey, will visit on September 27.Events are free to attend and the makers will offer specials on the beers that they are featuring for purchase each night. 1227 W 18th St.

September 8-9

Perhaps we should call it a little bit of country in the city! Last year, Chicago Bourbon & Barbecue Fest made its debut as Chicago’s newest street happening, with barrel-aged Southern bourbon whiskeys and finger-lickin' meats to entice visitors. You can expect more of the same this year. So boot scoot your way over to Roscoe Village this September. 2000 W Belmont Ave.

September 9, 18 & 30
Diorama at The Whistler

Whistler Field Pop UpCourtesy James Toftness, Field Museum

For the whole month of September, cocktail haven The Whistler (famed in Logan Square for its mixology artistry) hosts Field Museum pop-ups with glass dioramas inspired by museum collections on display in the bar itself and in its storefront windo gallery. On September 9, it’s all about the Biology of Beer, with Field researcher Matthew Nelsen and brewer Marty Scott of Revolution Brewing diving into the science of alcohol. For September 18's pop-up, Hard Stuff, Field Anthropologist, Ryan Williams and Art Institute Scholar Lucas Livingston will give a complimentary talk on esarly brewing practices in Peru and Egypt, what ancient societies drank, and the science behind ancient brewing. And on September 30, Birds Collections Assistant Kayleigh Kueffner and Staff Scientist Holly Lutz explain how and why some animals are preserved in alcohol for the aptly titled event, Pickled. Lectures are free and begin at 7 pm. Noe that The Whistler is famed for its mxiology artistry, and Head Bartender Julieta Campos will be curating cocktails based on ancient ingredients and historic recipes. 2421 N Milwaukee Ave.

September 14-16
Fulton Market Harvest Fest

Fulton Market Harvest Fest

The Fest brings together some of the country's best chefs, fantastic craft beer, live music and Chicago's leading restaurants, and hosts special charity dinners, food and beverage classes, cooking demonstrations, kid-friendly activities, and a neighborhood street fest. Proceeds benefit a variety of charities, including Pilot Light, Greater Chicago Food Depository, and Share Our Strength. Check out ticket options here. On Fulton Market between Halsted and Peoria, in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood.​

September 15-16

Sam Adams' Lakeview Taco Fest

Back for tis 5th year, the glorious taco again gains the spotlight. Whether you prefer yours with a hard or soft shell, and filled with meat, poultry, guacamole, fish or some imaginative ingredient, Sam Adams Lakeview Taco Fest in the bustling Southport Corridor is a mega-hot addition to Chicago’s food fest scene. You’ll also enjoy special beer and taco pairings, crowd-pleasing Mexican wrestlers, and a vote for Chicago's "Best Taco." On Southport between Addison & Roscoe.

September 17
International All-Star Night at Scofflaw

Scofflaw International Take Over@Jude Goergen

Drink around the world at Scofflaw’s International All-Star menu takeover, from 5am-2pm. From Stockholm to Shanghai, enjoy creative and globally inspired cocktails, like caper and pistachio leaf-infused gin with piney Mastiha liqueur and beetroot-infused vodka with coconut syrup and okra juice. Featured cocktails include Mare Nostrum: Oriole, London, England — Gin infused with caper and pistachio leaves, Mastiha liqueur, jasmine and lemon juices, pinch of spiraling powder; Parmigiano Sour: Speaklow, Shanghai, China — Pisco, Sauternes Black Tea Honey, lemon, egg white; Clumsy Martini: The Clumsies, Athens, Greece — Grey Goose Vodka, Amontillado Sherry, pickled rhubarb juice, orange bitters; and  Beets by Tjoget: Linje Tio, Stockholm, Sweden — Beetroot-infused vodka, coconut syrup, lemon and okra juices, grated nutmeg. 3201 W Armitage Ave.

September 21
SeptemberFest at Eataly Chicago 

EatalyCourtesy: Eataly, Chicago

For one night only, indulge in unlimited food, drinks and entertainment at Eataly Chicago. In addition to signature Eataly dishes, guests will also enjoy creations from beloved Chicago establishments like Blackbird, Bohemian House and CH Distillery. Wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano will be cracked open and you can watch cheese mongers make mozzarella. Large format bottles of vino will be poured to pair with Neapolitan pizza, arancini and artisanal pasta. Tickets are $78. 43 E Ohio St. 

September 21-23

As the Cubs play the White Sox downtown at Guaranteed Rate Field, Big Star brings the South Side to Wrigleyville with a weekend-long pop-up collaboration with Birrieria Zaragoza, the family-run Mexican taco spot famous for its expertly roasted goat shank. Big Star Chef de Cuisine Julie Warpinski will team up with Chef Jonathan Zaragoza to sling up some goat meat dish specials inspired by the beloved Archer Heights taqueria. Friday-Sunday from 11:30- 2am and Saturday from 11:30- 3am. Big Star Wrigleyville (3640 N Clark St).

September 22

Oyster Fest Chicago

Shaw's Oyster Fest returns to River North in 2018, featuring shell upon shell of gloriously fresh oysters! What else is on the menu? Crowds of over 3,000 seafood lovers come for festival 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. Rush St & Hubbard St.

September 23
World Music Festival Meets World Dumpling Fest


Produced by the Chicago Cultural Alliance in collaboration with World Music Festival Chicago at Navy Pier’s Polk Bros Park, this event will feature dumplings of the world prepared by 10 Chicago neighborhood-based ethnic restaurants, including Pierogis from Kasia’s Deli, Gyozas from Kamehachi, Empanadas from Café Tola, Spatzle from Himmel’s, Saku Sai Moo from Herb, Bao and Sui Mai from Friendship Restaurant, Sambusas from Ethiopian Diamond, Tamales from Dia de los Tamales, Coxinha de Galinha and Bolinho de Aipim from Sinhá, and Varenyky from Tryzub Ukrainian Kitchen. World Dumpling Fest also will feature a number of international bands curated by World Music Festival Chicago, from1-7:30 pm. Music highlights include Jupiter and Okwessplaying the Congolese rhythms, funk and rock; Delgres from Guadeloupe, combining their native Caribbean rhythms with delta blues for a deep roots sound of their own; East Meets Middle East, a musical collective across continents, celebrating the rich traditions of the Middle East and South Asia; and the Zhou Family Band from China. General Admission to World Music Festival Meets World Dumpling Fest is FREE, although passes are required for tastings: $10 for a 3-Dumpling Tasting Pass, and $25 for a 9-Dumpling Tasting Pass. Navy Pier Polk Bros Park (600 E Grand Ave).

September 25


To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Blackbird (Executive Chef Paul Kahan and Chef de Cuisine Ryan Pfeiffer) is inviting a handful of the best chefs in the country into the kitchen with a collection of special dinners, titled Blackbird at 20. The fourth installation of the series will feature a coursed out dinner presented by acclaimed West Coast chef Chris Cosentino, co-owner of San Francisco’s Cockscomb restaurant, Jackrabbit in Portland, OR and Acacia House at Las Alcobas hotel in Napa Valley. 619 West Randolph St. 

September 26-30 
Chicago Gourmet

Chicago Gourmet

Sip and savor the best of Chicago's food and drink at Chicago's premier food and wine event. Crowd favorites like Hamburger Hop and the grand cru wine tent are back and the grand tasting runs Saturday and Sunday with different restaurants and chefs participating each afternoon. This year, a Rock the Fork theme combines food with music in several specialty events. There's an Italian feast and concert, Blues, Booze & Bites at River Roast and a Battle of the Masters where nine master sommeliers will compete to pair dishes with not just the best wine, but also the best song. Millennium Park.

September 27
International Museum of Surgical Science Cocktails & Cure-alls with The Violet Hour

Spend the evening in an 1850s apothecary shop. The Violet Hour, one of Chicago’s mixology leaders, concocts cocktails, bitters and tonics, and hosts a multi-sensory demonstration stations, within the stately halls of the International Museum of Surgical Science, right on Lake Shore Drive.

This is equal parts education and hedonism, as The Violet Hour’s pros tell you all about where cocktail bitters come from, and why we mix gin with tonic. The price of admission gives you three cocktails created by The Violet Hour and inspired by the Museum's collection. You’ll also get to explore the medical collections of this landmark museum after dark. Tickets range from $40-$50. 1524 North Lake Shore Drive.

September 28-30

Oktoberfest Chicago at St. Alphonsus

“Celebrate Chicago heritage, German style.” One of Chicago's most popular celebrations of fall and all things Bavarian, Oktoberfest Chicago at St. Alphonsus returns for its 16th year. It takes place both in and outside the iconic St. Alphonsus Church. Indulge your taste buds with traditional German brats, pretzels and, of course, beer. St. Alphonsus Church, corner of Lincoln, Wellington, and Southport.

September 30
Grand Cochon National Championship

Cochon 555

Cocoon 555 – the piggest festival around – celebrates its 10thanniversary this year. The national tour culminates in Chicago, with eleven winning chefs from cities across the U.S. and Canada competing for the ultimate prize of the “King or Queen of Porc.” The event began with a mission of pioneering nose-to-tail cooking and eliminating food waste, celebrating and supporting heritage breed pig farmers, including many small family farms. The grand finale will include delicious pork dishes from participating chefs along with a pop-up whole hog butcher demonstration. General admission is $150 including tastings of food and beverages while $225 VIP ticket holders receive early entry and exclusive extra tastings. 1200 W Randolph St.

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