Any Chicago native will tell you the best time to visit Chicago is in the summer. Aside from the amazing weather, the summer in Chicago brings out the vibrant cultures of the Windy City in dozens of festivals. Ryan Hunter Bluestone’s favorite type of festival is one focused on the amazing food Chicago has to offer. If you are a foodie looking to explore the culinary scene of Chicago, then you will definitely want to check out the city’s top food festivals. From authentic cuisine to live music, Chicago’s food festivals offer something for everyone. In this blog post, we will explore many of the delicious food festivals in Chicago, covering ten of Chicago’s Best Upcoming Annual Food Festivals. So, let’s get started and discover the best of the best.
Experience the Culinary Delights of Chicago at Annual Food Festivals
Looking for a unique way to explore Chicago’s culinary scene? Look no further than the city’s top food festivals. Whether you’re looking for authentic Italian cuisine, Greek dishes, Polish delicacies, tacos, German-style eats, or BBQ ribs, there’s something for everyone at Chicago’s top food festivals. Here are some must-attend upcoming food festivals in Chicago:
- The Taste of Chicago is one of the largest outdoor food events in the country, and the premier Chicago Food Festival. This event features some of the city’s most beloved and iconic local restaurants, rotating pop-up restaurants, local food trucks, live chef demos, and free concerts from big-name acts. Established in 1980, this iconic festival is a great way to experience all that Chicago has to offer when it comes to dining. This traveling event offers free admission on Saturdays, June 24 (Humboldt Park), July 15 (Pullman Park), August 5 (Marquette Park), as well as Friday-Sunday, September 8-10 (Grant Park). Ryan Bluestone would recommend going to Grant Park for the main event.
- If you’re looking for a five-star culinary experience, Ryan Bluestone suggests you check out Chicago Gourmet, an event showcasing some of the finest restaurants in the city at Harris Theater Rooftop, featuring Hamburger Hop and other themed events. This year Chicago Gourmet will take place on September 21-24. You’ll be treated to gourmet dishes from acclaimed chefs while enjoying music and other entertainment throughout your evening.
- Ginza Holiday Festival is celebrated annually in August to pay homage to all things Japanese through delicious food and spectacular cultural arts performances like Minyo dancers, Taiko drumming, handmade crafts, etc. The festival offers various types of ramen noodles as well as a variety of street foods like charcoal grilled chicken teriyaki, onigiri rice balls, or okonomiyaki pancakes, which make this festival very popular among locals. After a three-year absence, the 65th annual Ginza Holiday Festival will return August 11 – 13.
- The Little Italy Festa this event celebrates family-owned Italian restaurants in the city. Visitors can indulge in delicious Italian food and participate in card games and competitions, such as meatball and cannoli eating contests. Craft artisans will also be showcasing their handmade creations – making this a great spot to pick up unique souvenirs from your visit! The Little Italy Festa will be held this year on Taylor Street, from August 15- 18.
- Taste of Greektown combines old-world traditions with Hellenic cuisine from neighborhood eateries. As you chow down on tasty treats like gyros and baklava, take in performances by local dance troupes or lively Greek bands at this beloved festival, held each August! Make sure to bring the kids as the music and games are fun for all ages! This year, the festival will be held at 315 S Halsted St, from Friday, August 25, to Sunday, August 27th.
- Taste of Polonia offers attendees an opportunity to sample authentic Polish dishes such as kielbasa, pierogies, potato pancakes, cabbage rolls, and blintzes. There are also more than 30 live bands on four stages throughout the festival grounds. Guests can check out martial arts demonstrations or take part in traditional folk dancing, making this one-of-a-kind event truly unforgettable! Make sure to stop by the Taste of Polonia, September 1 – 4.
- The Lakeview Taco Fest celebrates tacos from local vendors with music stages featuring various genres – from rock & roll to salsa music. Mexican wrestlers will also be performing throughout the day, making it perfect for families looking for fun kid-friendly activities! Plus, there are plenty of margaritas if you’re 21+. The fest takes place at 2200 S. Wentworth from August 4 – 6.
- Wingout Chicago gives attendees a chance to try out some of the city’s top chicken wings while taking part in a block party atmosphere filled with musical performances. This event takes place every September and is definitely worth checking out if you love chicken wings! This year the event will move to Gallagher Way, on September 2nd and 3rd.
- Ribfest Chicago features amazing rib flavors from visiting pros. The ribs are judged by celebrity judges at this event held each August, set against the North Center neighborhood backdrop near Lincoln Avenue & Irving Park Road. While guests enjoy all kinds of delicious ribs, they can also listen to rocking musical lineups too. This year’s Ribfest will take place from August 18th – August 20th.
- The Great American Lobster Fest, located at Navy Pier, is considered the Midwest’s largest seafood festival! Here, you will find 40+ lobster vendors, as well as stunning views of Lake Michigan. This year, it will be held from August 19th – August 20th, during the Chicago Air & Water Show Weekend!
In conclusion, Ryan Bluestone notes that Chicago is a vibrant city with an amazing culinary scene highlighted through its numerous food festivals. From traditional Mexican fare to Greek dishes and BBQ ribs, there’s something for everyone at these events. These festivals also offer the opportunity to explore different neighborhoods, listen to live music, and taste unique cuisine from around the world. So join Ryan Bluestone in exploring Chicago’s culinary scene and prepare yourself for a delicious adventure!