What does it take to move one of the world’s largest food festivals? Apparently, a NASCAR Race. Supplanted from its usual Fourth of July weekend by the NASCAR Chicago Street Race, the Taste of Chicago (or “The Taste” if you’re a local) will move the extravaganza to the other end of summer this year — after Labor Day weekend. Despite some debate, the beloved Chicago festival, along with all of its food vendors and live music, will remain in Grant Park. It is still expected to line up over a million people at dozens booths run by local restaurants over its three-day run.
With a name like Taste of Chicago, you can expect a little of everything, including Chicago’s Doghouse, Connie’s Pizza, Haire’s Gulf Shrimp, Doom Street Eats and more. Last year, Taste of Chicago went ticketless for the first time. Admission was free, leaving booths to charge each patron individually and reportedly leading to some very, very long lines. Hopefully, with another year under their belt, things will run more smoothly this time around. If you do get bored waiting, beginner, intermediate and professional dancers at the Chicago SummerDance join together in the center of Grant Park for dance lessons and some unapologetic foot tapping. If you’d rather skip the chaos of the weekend altogether, there will be smaller, pop-ups at Humboldt Park, Pullman Park and Marquette Park leading up to this year’s Taste of Chicago.
The Taste is a music festival, too. It hosts a bunch of non-food events during its run each year, including music performances and rides. This year’s music comes courtesy of a smattering of local DJ’s as well as headliners Proyecto Uno, Whitney, Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh. Lawn seats at the concerts are free; pavilion seats are ticketed.
- Check out some of Fifty Grande’s best things to do in Chicago.
- Over 1 million people attended in 2019.
- Admission to the festival is free.
When does the event start and end?
Friday, September 8 and Sunday, September 10, 2023, respectively.
What vendors will be selling food?
Cumin Club Indian Kitchen, Sapori Trattoria, Arun’s Thai Restaurant, The Original Rainbow Cone, Healthy Substance Kitchen, LC Pho Restaurant, Yum Dum Churro Factory (Xurro), African Food Palace, Porkchop, The Eli’s Cheesecake Company, Esperanza, Robinson No. 1 Ribs, Classic Cobbler, Baked Goods Company, Tacotlan, JJ Thai Street Food, Doom Street Eats, Badou, Senegalese Cuisine, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, Billy Goat Tavern, Chicago Eats, Gaby’s, Funnel Cakes, Frannie’s Café, Prime Tacos, The Sole Ingredient Catering, BJ’s, Market & Bakery, Connie’s Pizza, Seoul Taco Chicago, Chicago’s Doghouse, Tandoor Char House, Pies of London, Banato, Mr. E Chef Catering, Josephine’s Cooking, Yvolina’s Tamales, and more.
Are the performances free?
Chicago SummerDance and Taste of Chicago Concerts are free.
Who is performing?
Selah Say, Slique Jay Adams and Mamii, Meagan McNeal, Masters of the Mic: Hip Hop 50 featuring Doug E. Fresh, EPMD, KRS-One and Slick Rick; DJ Janesita, ÉSSO, Lupita Infante with Mariachi Sirenas, Proyecto Uno, DJ Mike P, Nola Adé and Cloud Farmers, White Mystery, Whitney.
Can I use a credit card?
Cash and card are accepted.
Where is Grant Park in Chicago?
Grant Park is a 319-acre lakefront urban park located in Chicago’s central business district. It includes Millennium Park and Buckingham Fountain. It is bordered on the north by Randolph Street, on the south by Roosevelt Road, on the west by Michigan Avenue and on the east by Lake Michigan. (Yes, it’s lakeside.) If you need an address for Google Maps, try the below.
331 E. Randolph St. (Columbus Drive)
Chicago, Illionis 60601
Where is parking available?
Parking is available at the Millennium Garages near the park.
What is the schedule for the pop-up events?
The pop-ups will be held: Saturday, June 24 in Humboldt Park’; then Saturday, July 15 in Pullman Park; followed by Saturday, August 5 in Marquette Park, and then the main event is September 8-10 in Grant Park.
Why is The Taste in September this year?
Taste of Chicago, one of the iconic and historic summer events in the city, like Lollapalooza and Chicago Air and Water Show, typically takes place in early July or the last week in June. This year, a NASCAR street race will be held in Grant Park on July 1-2. After considering a move to Navy Pier, which brought a new set of challenges, organizers moved it to the new September timeframe and kept it at Grant Park.
Who produces the Taste of Chicago?
The City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events puts on the festival and others like the Chicago Blues Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Air and Water Show.