Wednesday, May 16, 2018

35th Annual Taste of Chicago will feature 73 Restaurants and Food Trucks - 26 NEW, July 11-15 in Grant Park, FREE Admission




The number of restaurants includes 26 NEW vendors representing a 63% increase from 2017


Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced today the lineup of 73 restaurants that will participate at the 38th Annual Taste of Chicago – the world's largest free food festival – this July 11–15 in Grant Park. Showcasing Chicago’s diverse culinary scene, this year’s list of 38 five-day vendors, 22 pop-up restaurants and 13 food trucks will offer Taste-goers an endless variety of more than 300 menu items to suit every palate.

“Taste of Chicago brings together renowned restaurants from across the city to offer visitors and residents the opportunity to sample some of the greatest food in the world,” said Mayor Emanuel. “With both new restaurants and long-time favorites, it will be clear this summer why Chicago is the global culinary capital.”

Taste of Chicago is excited to welcome 26 newcomers to the event in 2018–as well as the return of two long time favorites Buona Beef and Original Rainbow Cone. The new food vendors include 8 five-day restaurants, 15 pop-ups serving for one to two days and 3 food trucks. They are as follows:

Arun's Thai Restaurant
Aunty Joy's Jamaican Kitchen
Esperanza's Kitchen Delights
Garifuna Flava: A Taste of Belize
Output Lounge & Sports Bar
Premier Rollin BBQ
Turtle's Bar & Grill
Yum Dum
Aloha Wagon
Bee Nana LLC
bettyBOT Shop
Blackwood BBQ

Chiya Chai Café
Classic Cobbler
Get Off The Couch Catering
Grill City (Seafood City)
Josephine's Cookin'
Papa Luke's Gravy Balls
So Forking Great
Sun Wah Barbecue Restaurant
These Wingz?
Wood Fire Counter
CheSa's Gluten Free Food Truck
Lawrence’s Fish & Shrimp

This year a record-breaking number of applications were received from vendors across the city and beyond (Australia!), representing a wide variety of cuisines. The Pop-up program is proving to be as popular as ever with a 114% increase of new pop-up vendors in the 2018 event versus 2017.  

"Taste of Chicago showcases the city’s stellar culinary scene by uniting a diverse set of restaurants, food trucks and pop-ups,” said Sam Toia, president and CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association.  “The Association has been a part of Taste since its inception, and we’re proud to welcome visitors to beautiful Grant Park year after year. It’s a time-honored summer festival that truly captures Chicago’s hospitable spirit and exciting range of culinary offerings.”

All 75 vendors will offer signature items, as well as the popular “Taste Of” portions priced at $3.00 or less, allowing guests the opportunity to sample an even greater variety of items. Many will also include healthier selections as well as gluten-free and vegetarian options. Admission to the Taste of Chicago is FREE, and tickets for food and beverages can be purchased in strips of 14 tickets for $10. Whether craving the robust flavors found in ethnic cuisine, epicurean delights, sweet treats, classic Chicago dishes – and more – Chicagoans and visitors won’t want to miss this year’s Taste!

NEW! Taste Oasis
The new Taste Oasis will offer Taste goers the opportunity to enhance their festival experience with access to an air conditioned lounge in Butler Field offering tasty bites, a private cash bar, music, refreshing water and much more. Classic cocktails created by CH Distillery include an Old Fashioned and Grey Hound. Day passes for this exclusive area are $50 and can be purchased at Also included in the cost are “Taste bites” prepared by Washburne Culinary Academy will be served Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 3 to 6 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. Taste Oasis will be open throughout normal Taste of Chicago festival hours, but it’s particularly a great spot to hang out before and after the Petrillo Music Shell concerts.


Concerts at the Petrillo Music Shell

Taste of Chicago will also present a diverse mix of national and international artists at nightly concerts at the Petrillo Music Shell that include Brandi Carlile, Juanes, yasiin bey & Talib Kweli are Black Star, The Flaming Lips and George Clinton Parliament Funkadelicplus the best of Chicago’s local music scene on the Bud Light Stage. Tickets for the seating area at the Petrillo Music Shell start at $18 and are on sale now at the Taste website, As always, admission to the Taste of Chicago is free, as is lawn seating during the concerts.


Arts and Family Programming
Taste of Chicago will present an assortment of local cultural programming that includes the Artist Garden featuring live painting by local artists, Chicago SummerDance with live music & social dancing on Buckingham Fountain Plaza (NEW this year), Kids Eat Chicago presented by Chicago Parent, the March of the Puppets daily musical procession through the festival grounds, pop-up performances by local artists in various locations and more.

CH Vodka Cocktail Lounge plus the Beer and Stella Rosa Wine Gardens
The CH Vodka Cocktail Lounge will offer mixology specials to enjoy by Buckingham Fountain. The specialty cocktail menu during the Taste of Chicago will include CH’s Fresh Ginger Mule, Tropical Rum Punch, Raspberry Lime Ricky, Bourbon Pineapple Smash and other specialty drinks. The Beer Hall and Stella Rosa Wine Gardens will offer additional scenic areas on Buckingham Fountain Plaza for Taste goers to enjoy unique beers and ciders from around the world and an array of wine varietals including Bodega Sangria, Stella Rosa, Mariella Rose and Maddalena from the Riboli Family Wine Estates.

Lifeway Foods Taste Kitchen
The Lifeway Foods Taste Kitchen dishes up a full menu of cooking demonstrations by local and national chefs on Buckingham Fountain Plaza. New this year, the area will feature a different theme each day. Highlights include, Chef Kevin Hickey of Duck Inn on Wednesday, July 11 during Chicago Neighborhood Day representing Bridgeport. Executive Chef and Bravo Top Chef Season 15 Winner, Joe Flamm of Spiaggia will be featured on Friday, July 13 as part of the lineup for Pairing Day. On Sunday, July 15 the Emmy Nominated Chef, Jeff Mauro–Food Network's "Sandwich King"–will be hosting Sandwich Smackdown Day featuring friendly sandwich showdowns with two chefs battling it out for sandwich supremacy. The full schedule of Chef demonstrations will be announced in June.

The Taste of Chicago has seen a surge in popularity since it was shortened to five days and new elements added, including the Taste Oasis private lounge, pop-up restaurants, food trucks, chart-topping musical acts and cultural programming. In 2017, Chicago's iconic festival served culinary delights to 1.6 million visitors. Additionally, up to 3,000 people were employed by Chicago restaurants and vendors, and more than 600 artists and performers were hired to entertain Taste-goers over the five-day festival. The event contributes an estimated $106 million annually in total business activity to the Chicago economy.

Taste of Chicago is produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in coordination with the Illinois Restaurant Association, which manages food and beverage operations. The festival is sponsored in part by 93XRT, Bud Light, CH Distillery, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Tribune, CLTV-Chicagoland’s Television, Communications Direct, Eli’s Cheesecake, IL Lottery, Lifeway Foods, Pepsi, Shoreline Sightseeing, Southwest Airlines and WGN-Television.

The 38th Annual Taste of Chicago is July 11–15 in Grant Park with hours 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Wednesday–
Friday, and 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. For more information on the FREE admission festival, visit To plan your trip to Chicago, visit Join the conversation on Facebook at Taste of Chicago and follow us on Twitter, @TasteofChi (#TasteofChicago) and Instagram, @ChicagoDCASE (#TasteofChicago).

Illinois Restaurant Association
Founded in 1914, the Illinois Restaurant Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, protecting, educating and improving the restaurant industry in Illinois. The Association manages the food and beverage portion of Taste of Chicago for the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.


Arun's Thai Restaurant–NEW
4156 N. Kedzie Ave.

Aunty Joy's Jamaican Kitchen–NEW
1217 W. Devon Ave.

Beat Kitchen
2100 W. Belmont Ave.

Billy Goat Tavern
1535 W. Madison St.

BJ's Market & Bakery
8734 S. Stony Island Ave.

613 N. McClurg Ct.

Caffe Gelato
2034 W. Division St.

Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill
300 W 26th St.

Chicago's Dog House
816 W. Fullerton Ave.

Churro Factory
2214 S. Wolcott Ave.

Connie's Pizza
2373 S. Archer Ave.

Dia De Los Tamales
939 W. 18th St.

Doom Street Eats
Available at Markets and Festivals

Esperanza's Kitchen Delights–NEW
2301 S. Lake Shore Drive

Franco's Ristorante
300 W. 31St.

Frannie's Café Inc
623 S. Wabash Ave.

Garifuna Flava: A Taste of Belize–NEW
2518 W. 63rd St.

Gold Coast. Dogs
225 S. Canal St

4623 N. Broadway

Kasia's Deli
2101 W. Chicago Ave.

La Bomba Restaurant
3221 W. Armitage Ave.

La Mexicana
4171 S. Archer Ave.

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
805 S. State St.

O'Briens Restaurant & Bar
45 E. Riverwalk South

Original Rainbow Cone–WELCOME BACK
9233 S. Western Ave.

Output Lounge & Sports Bar–NEW
1758 W. Grand Ave.

1017 S. Delano Court East

Premier Rollin BBQ–NEW
Available for Catering

Ricobene's on 26th Street
252 W. 26th St.

Robinson's No. 1 Ribs
225 S. Canal St.

Star of Siam
11 E. Illinois St.

Texas de Brazil
210 E. Illinois St.

The Eli's Cheesecake Co.
6701 W. Forest Preserve Dr.

Turtle's Bar & Grill–NEW
238 W. 33rd St.

1014 W. Taylor St.

Ukai Japanese Restaurant
1059 W. Belmont Ave.

Vee-Vee's African Restaurant
6232 N. Broadway

Yum Dum–NEW
Available at Markets and Festivals


Aloha Wagon–NEW
1247 S. Western Ave.

Bee Nana LLC–NEW
Available at Markets and Festivals

bettyBOT Shop–NEW
7100 S. South Shore Dr.

3313 N. Clark St.

Blackwood BBQ–NEW
307 W. Lake St.

Broken English Taco Pub
75 E. Lake St.

Chiya Chai Café–NEW
2770 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Classic Cobbler–NEW
Available for Catering

Get Off The Couch Catering–NEW
Available for Catering

Grill City (Seafood City)–NEW
5033 N. Elston Ave.

Hakka Bakka Indian Kati Rolls
1251 W. Fullerton Ave.

Josephine's Cookin'–NEW
436 E. 79th St.

Just Salad Chicago
135 S. LaSalle St.

MAD Social
1140 W. Madison St.

Papa Luke's Gravy Balls–NEW
Available at Markets and Festivals

Pork & Mindy's
1623 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Seoul Taco
738 N. Clark St.

So Forking Great–NEW
Available for Catering

Sun Wah Barbecue Restaurant–NEW
5039 N. Broadway

These Wingz?–NEW
Available at Markets and Festivals

Warm Belly Bakery
1148 W. Monroe St.

Wood Fire Counter–NEW
131 N. Clinton St.


American Glory Food Truck Chicago
Auntie Vee’s
Aztec Dave's Food Truck
Beavers Coffee + Donuts
CheSa's Gluten Free Food Truck–NEW
Da Lobsta
Harold's Chicken
La Cocinita Food Truck
Lawrence's Fish & Shrimp–NEW
The Fat Shallot
The Lifeway Kefir Shop

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments that include hidden links or URLs to other sites will not be posted and reported as spam.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.