Around town it’s food fest time

 

Hey Chicago foodies, this weekend is about putting off the diet until Monday because there’s a yummy snack o scarf down or a different cuisine  to try out in the neighborhoods and downtown.

Taste of Chicago July 10-14 in Grant Park. (Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago, the city's visitor bureau)
Taste of Chicago July 10-14 in Grant Park. (Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago, the city’s visitor bureau)

TASTE OF CHICAGO

You know this is the biggie, the one that requires good walking shoes and lots of hollow-leg room to visit the dozens of restaurant booths lining Grant Park. Taste runs July 10-14. Hours are Wednesday – Friday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Admission is free but you have to buy tickets to use at the booths to get any food and beverages.

Along with the regular booths check out the food trucks, pop-up restaurants and chef demos. Also stop by the Petrillo Music Shell to hear who’s entertaining the day you’re there.

Some streets will be closed (or clogged with traffic) behind the Art Institute and around Jackson for Taste so take public transportation.

For the specific booth layout, chefs and entertainment schedule visit Choose Chicago/Taste

 

WINDY CITY SMOKEOUT

It’s about really good barbecue. Well, it’s also about good beer. And of course, it’s a about great country music.

What you need to know is that this year, Windy City Smokeout has moved from River North to the United Center Parking Lot at 1901 w. Madison St., that the dates are July 12 – 13, 2019 and that gates open at 2 p.m. Friday and at noon on Saturday and Sunday.

Also, get tickets ahead of time. For ticket information see Windy City Smokout FAQs. For entertainment and other information visit Windy City Smokeout.

 

Edgewater Greek Fest

The annual festival benefits and is at the 92-year-old St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Church on Chicago’s Northside in the Edgewater neighborhood. Celebrating Helenic heritage, it features Greek food, music, dancing and band plus has artisans and kids’ activities.

The festival is  July 12-14. Hours ate Friday 5-9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. at5649 N Sheridan Rd. For more information visit Events/GreekFest.

 

 

Roscoe Village Burger Fest

More than a block party but just as friendly is Roscoe Village’s Chamber of Commerce’s annual Burger Fest. The place to go for great burgers, music on two stages and artisan booths is 2000 W. Belmont at Damen Avenue, July 13-14 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. B TW you get to vote on Chicago’s Best Burger.

A suggested $10 donation supports the Chamber’s activities. Find more information at Roscoe Village Burger Fest.

 

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

 

Around Chicago – Festivals to know

 

Here are two places-to-go ideas for early May plus one for July. Chicago’s Riverwalk opens soon followed by Andersonville’s Annual Wine Walk. Then, skipping June which we’ll look at later, there is new info on Taste of Chicago.

Two representatives of Gordo's ice cream in back and a represenative of Luella's Gospel bird, front right ar listening as city officials including Mayor Rahm Emanuel talk about this year's Taste of Chicago at Seoul Taco. (J Jacobs photo)
Two representatives of Gordo’s ice cream in back and a represenative of Luella’s Gospel bird, front right ar listening as city officials including Mayor Rahm Emanuel talk about this year’s Taste of Chicago at Seoul Taco. (J Jacobs photo)

Yes it’s early to put Taste of Chicago on the calendar but the city just had a preview Taste and it was GOOD.

Who knew that a Korean restaurant would pair well with tacos. David Choy of Seoul Taco, did. He has figured out that two trends, Korean flavors and a taco-styled sandwich would be poplar. His version is so good it is now a chain with food trucks in St. Louis and a place near the Loop and in Hyde Park.

Seoul Taco was where the city held a Taste preview  this week. Mayor Rahm Emanuel  pointed out that though Taste had gone through a rough period a few years ago it was again drawing crowds and attracting many more of the city’s good restaurants including several ethnic places that Chicago’s foodie will want to try. “Taste is back,” he said.

“As the culinary capital of the world, the Taste of Chicago will give residents and visitors alike the opportunity to sample some of the greatest foods this city has to offer,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Since its inception, the Taste of Chicago has become a summertime staple and this year’s lineup of world-renowned restaurants, food trucks and pop-ups will be even more vibrant and diverse than ever before.”

To answer questions asked by folks who knew I went to the preview, yes it will be in Grant Park for five days, yes it will be the second week of July going from July 10 to 14 (2019), and yes, there will be a lot more new eateries: 11 five-day participants, 17 pop-ups serving one or two days and 9 food trucks. Adding the newbies to the roster equals 82 eateries at Taste.

Seoul Taco will be going from a pop-up the last two years to a five-day eatery this year. BTW, along with Seoul Taco, newbies Luellas Gospel Bird and Gordo’s Homemade Ice Cream Bars had yummy samples at the preview.

Other big news is that DoorDash, yeah that company Millennials have found to be a convenient way to do dinner at home, will be a new sponsor. In addition, Some chefs will be concentrating on Taste’s specialty of the day ranging from mac’n cheese to spicy/hot. But one day will bow to the healthy-eating trend.

So this year, put Taste of Chicago on the calendar. For more information visit Taste of Chicago.

 

Chicago Riverwalk celebration May 13, 2019 (Photo courtesy of Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs)

Chicago Riverwalk Celebration

Chicago will celebrate its spring re-opening with walking tours led by the Chicago Architecture Center, Fishing at the Jetty led by the Chicago Park District, some Year of Chicago Theatre programs and Art on the Mart,  May 13-19. Details will soon be up at ChicagoRiverwalk.us. Or just go down there to walk along the river, see art installations and dine at City Winery.

 

Andersonville Wine Walk

Sip your way through 28 Andersonville businesses on the neighborhoods’  Chamber of Commerce’s annual Wine Walk, May 19 from 3-6 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person in advance and $40 week Tickets available online

Tickets to Andersonville Wine Walk include admission, wine tastings, and a one of a kind commemorative wine glass. Check in for the Wine Walk will begin at 1:00 p.m. on  May 19 at the Swedish American Museum’s new storefront located at 5217 N Clark.

Jodie Jacobs

 

For summer fun do Taste of Chicago or Windy City Smokeout and Pitchfork or Lollapalooza

 

In Chicago, food and music just go together. Ergo, no surprise that two big food festivals also feature bands and two mega music festivals include food vendors. Even a free summer jazz series is steps away from a slew of food counters and restaurants.

 

Taste of Chicago shows off some of Chicago's best eats. (Photo courtesy of City of Chicago)
Taste of Chicago shows off some of Chicago’s best eats. (Photo courtesy of City of Chicago)

Taste of Chicago

Diet after Labor Day. Head over to Grant Park July 11-15, 2018, to taste more than 70 restaurant favorites that have made Chicago  a foodie town. The festival is free but tasting is by tickets. They are sold in strips of 14 for $10 (expect a $3 charge for Taste amenities). Also available are 1-6 tickets for smaller “Taste of Portions” from each food vendor. Look for pop-up restaurants, food trucks and five-day regular booths. New this year is the Taste Oasis tent, a cool AC place in the park’s Butler Field to hang out and taste. Taste Oasis is $50 for the day you choose.

Get a discount by visiting a participating restaurant before Taste begins.. See Taste of Chicago discount info. For hours, map and guides to all the Taste-Of activities visit City of Chicago/Taste update.

 

Windy City Smokeout

Great a great mix of country music and food at the Windy City Smokeout,  July 13-15, 2018. The event stretches between Grand Avenue and the Chicago River. What to expect: barbeque flavors and styles from all over including Nashville and Chicago plus such folks as Renee Blair and Brett Young. For tickets, hours and other info go to Windy City Smokeout.

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