Things to Do: Taste of Chicago 2016

July 8, 2016 | By Lauren Schechtman
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Walking through the arch under the warm July sun, the driving beat of a popular song matches step with the patrons arriving as the smell of the city’s best food wafts through the air. This is Taste of Chicago, the biggest street festival the lakeside city hosts during the busy summer season, running from July 6th-10th from 11am-9pm.  This year’s festival has a record-high 69 vendors. There is no shortage of food for any craving one may have: ribs, pizza, lobster rolls, tacos, and savory sweets are offered throughout the park until they meet the free Bud Light day performance stage.

While the festival itself is free, one must purchase tickets for the food and in order to attend the headlining concerts running throughout each evening. This year’s headliners include The Roots, Kongos, Elle King, The Decemberists, Billy Idol, and a surprise performance by Chicago native Chance the Rapper.

If you prefer a more gourmet food experience, purchase tickets for the Celebrity Chef Du Jour. Each day a new celebrity chef creates a fresh and innovative three-course meal to be enjoyed in an exclusive air-conditioned dining pavilion.

Tips and Tricks:

Tickets: When first entering the festival there will be a solid block of people waiting to purchase tickets. Although it’s tempting to buy tickets right away, avoid this line and walk further into the park as there are many other ticket tents where the line is shorter.

Beverages: The festival is sprinkled with beer and wine tents, but if you want more variety for your drink options, opt to walk to Buckingham fountain, where there are larger tents with more extensive wine, beer, and cocktail choices.

Food: Rather than spending all of your tickets at once on one large meal, try a few different tents with the taste option. Some tents give big portions, so spend your tickets wisely.

My Favorite Tastes:

  • Watermelon Paleta popsicle from La Mexicana
  • Jibarito from from La Bomba
  • Upside Down Caramel Cake from Abundance Bakery
  • Korean BBQ Taco from Rojo Gusano

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