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A Gustatory Quest At Chicago’s Food Fests

Mar 26, 2018
by Danny Brown

Summer is undeniably the time for flip flops and tank tops, but for many, it’s also time for savoir-faire events. It’s all about heart-pounding entertainment, worldly pleasures of the city’s best food and drinks, jam-packed markets and streets of homemade foodstuff vendors and participants, and a cornucopia of bargain buys and homemade foodstuff.

With so many events coming right up during summer, you’re both spoiled for choice and could be caught in a bind about which one to attend. Well, the good news is that they are worth planning for. NOW is the perfect time to get your act together, call your friends, set up a Facebook event page or start a group message on your favorite app. Put your heads together and start planning and here are some events to ponder over. 

bbq food fest in Chicago IL

1. Wingout Chicago

June 2018
(312) 579-3635
www.greencurtainevents.com/wingout-chicago
It is time to mark your calendars and get ready for all the best chicken wings that you’ve ever dreamed of at Wingout Chicago. Held in June, dates TBA, at St. Michael’s parking lot in Old Town, the event is focused on celebrating the best chicken wings that Chicago has to offer. The outdoor block party is known for its gastronomical amount of awesome jerk, BBQ, chipotle maple, umami, hot buffalo, sesame ginger, soy and spicy wings from this corner of the country. If the pictures on Instagram and Google are anything to go by, you’ll be spending the entire day at the festival meeting up with fellow foodies, pampering yourselves to delicious on-tap beers and wine, and chill out till the sun sets with live reggae music playing from the makeshift stages. 

2. Taste of Greektown

August 2018
400 S. Halsted St. @ Van Buren, West Loop
(773) 868-3010
www.chicagoevents.com/events/tasteofgreektown
Hoisted together by its perfect blend of old world traditions together with the modern Chicago dining scene, the Taste of Greektown would have neighborhood eateries and restaurants coming out in droves to offer the best from their kitchens. They step up the tempo by combining a wide selection of wine, beer and other spirits, dancing, live entertainment and family-friendly games. So, even if you’re participating in the event with kids and teens, they’ll be equally enamored. Along Halstead street in downtown Chicago lives the age-old Greek community and it is the time of the year that they share local traditions and amazing food with everyone who is even remotely palatably-enthused. The event kicks the gates of the epicenter of the Greek community wide open with delectable Mediterranean cuisine, lively entertainment, traditional activities, and games, so holla if you’re going to be around for it!

3. The Windy City Smokeout

July 2018
Follow social media accounts for the latest updates and info
www.windycitysmokeout.com
When some of the world’s best pitmasters are pitted against each other, expect mayhem in your mouth! It is one of Windy City’s top food events and they have been deservingly called ‘one of the best BBQ events anywhere’, as mentioned in the Rolling Stones. Perpetuating the traditions of good food, amazing beer, and out-of-this-world entertainment, you’ll leave the event licking your fingers with the best-smoked meats around. With live entertainment provided by country music heavyweights like Brett Eldredge, Midland, Aaron Lewis, Turnpike Troubadours, Ashley McBryde, Cody Johnson and Alex Williams and best brews from brewers like Virtue Cider from Fennville, MI, Evil Twin from Brooklyn, NY, Elysian Brewing from Seattle, WA, and Shiner Specialty Beers from Shiner, TX, it’s a straight-up tonic for your Chicago tour. 

4. Chicago Hot Sauce Fest

August 2018
West Belmont Avenue & North Elston Avenue
If you like to give your food a little bit of heat, this event is a fire in the hole for you. Offering swashbuckler delights like Cajun Devil, Desert Devil Premium Hot Pepper Sauce, High-Pressure Habanero, Internal Combustion, Flashover Jalapeno Hot Sauce and Southwest Pepper Smoky Chipotle, just to name a few, you know you won’t be disappointed with your find. It will be a mouthful of a challenge on top of savoring delicious local cuisine and drinks from the best of the Chicago dining scene. 

5. Taste of Polonia

August 2018
Copernicus Center, 5216 W Lawrence Ave
www.topchicago.org
There’s something about the uniqueness of Polish cuisine that adds a touch of flavor to life and we’re talking about exotic stuff like pierogies, potato pancakes, cabbage rolls and Polska kielbasa. Never heard of them? Worry not because this is a cuisine that has even won over the hearts of the harshest of food critics. The Taste of Polonia takes place at the huge Jefferson Park’s civic center every year and in with the food comes specialty European beers, live bands and, spellbinding traditional folk dancing and cultural performances. It is the oldest Polish festival in the country and a must-do family event. Entertainment covers genres like rock, pop, jazz, classical, good ole 80’s favorites and dance. 

6. Tacos Y Tamales Festivale

August 2018
Pilsen, IL
www.chicagotacofest.com
The street fair is not just your typical taco taste fest because it is found on the traditional Mexican market of Tianguis in Pilsen. If you’ve ever walked along any of the streets, you would have encountered one or more of the bold, authentic and inspiring murals in alleyways, railway overpasses and platforms, homes and the business district. The artful vibe is taken up a few notches during the festival and you’re transported into a whole new world while, of course, you’re chowing down on your favorite tacos. Lining the streets are vendors offering yummy little titbits, souvenirs, gifts, wares, paintings and organic homemade cuisine while music blares on from the stage areas. Bring home amazing gifts from merchants, enjoy handmade tortillas, and dance to the masscult of strong Latin music and dance performances. You might have thought that you’ve eaten the best tacos in town until you sample those offered at Tacos Y Tamales Festivale.

No Time, No Problem

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