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Taste of Chicago 2017 guide: Check out menus, maps, performances, more

Running July 5-9 in Grant Park, Taste of Chicago returns for its 37th year with more than 60 food vendors, two stages of daily musical acts, five chef-planned dinners, 35 cooking demonstrations and new arts areas featuring dancers, artists and performers. The event’s details, a map of the grounds, and Tribune critics and reporters’ highlights of the Taste follow below:

Location: Grant Park (between Lake Shore Drive, Monroe Street, Michigan Avenue and Balbo Drive)

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday

Tickets: Admission is free. General admission seating for performances at the Petrillo Music Shell range in price from $19 to $50 (lawn seating in Butler Field is free). Performances at the Bud Light Stage are free. Celebrity Chef du Jour presentations are $45 a ticket. Food and drink tickets are $10 for 14. (Ticket sales end at 8:30 p.m.)


Roads closed: Sections of Columbus Drive (from Monroe Street to Balbo Avenue and from Balbo Avenue to Roosevelt Road), Jackson Drive (from Michigan Avenue to Lake Shore Drive) and Congress Parkway (from Columbus Drive to Congress Plaza Drive) will be closed through Monday, July 10.

Parking: Millennium Park and Millennium Lakeside garages, $35 a day; Grant Park North and South garages vary by time parked.

Public transportation: CTA and Metra will provide additional service during the event. Some buses will be rerouted.

Bike parking: Available on the edge of Grant and Millennium parks.


Smaller portions are available at each food vendor for one to six tickets:

Find a restaurant

Location: Food trucks

At festival:


  • Pulled pork sandwich
  • Bread pudding
  • Mac and cheese ("Loaded" or regular)

Location: Food trucks

  • Bread pudding topped with vanilla ice cream
  • Peach cobbler topped with ice cream
  • Chocolate chunk deep dish cookie topped with vanilla ice cream

Location: Food trucks

  • Chicken or steak tacos (three per order)
  • Elote (sweet corn, mayonnaise, butter, cotija cheese, lime and chile)

Location: Booth 31

  • Two empanadas (beef, chicken, chorizo or veggie)
  • Veggie (vegan) burger
  • Tater tots

Location: Food trucks

  • Nine or 15 fresh mini doughnuts (cinnamon, powdered sugar, chocolate, s’mores, strawberry bella or turtle)
  • 35 fresh mini donuts (cinnamon, powdered sugar or chocolate)

Location: Booth 6

  • Single cheeseburger
  • Double cheeseburger
  • Ribeye steak sandwich

Location: Booth 20

Location: Food trucks

  • Spicy pork rice bowl
  • Bul-go-gi (beef) rice bowl
  • Fried dumpling

Location: Booth 25

  • Homemade chili coconut curry bowl with Midwest antiobiotic-free chicken (medium spice)
  • Homemade tahini ginger salad bowl

Location: Booth 28

  • Carne asada, fried chicken or tinga de pollo tacos (two per order)

Location: Food trucks

  • Beef- and duck-fat frites with Belgian aioli
  • Loaded baked potato frites
  • Braised oxtail poutine

Location: Both 38

  • Gelato cup or cone (two scoops): Peanut butter with brownie chunks or Italian vanilla with chocolate chips
  • Sorbet cone (two scoops): Lemon or strawberry

Location: Food trucks

  • Jumbo shrimp and grits
  • Lobster mac and cheese
  • Jambalaya

Location: Booth 13

  • Tequila lime marinated grilled chicken taco
  • Premium fire-grilled steak taco

Location: Food trucks

  • The Tenderizer
  • The Mac
  • Tendy tots

Location: Booth 10

Location: Booth 40

  • Churro
  • Funnel cake
  • Churro sundae

Location: Booth 32

  • Deep-dish sausage pizza slice
  • Deep-dish cheese pizza slice
  • Frozen chocolate-covered bananaItalian Ice (watermelon or lemon)

Location: Food trucks

  • Lobster mac and cheese
  • Traditional lobster roll (New England-style bun toasted with tarragon mayo and warm butter)
  • Chicago lobster roll (New England-style bun toasted with sriracha mayo and topped with spicy giardiniera peppers)
  • Hush puppies

Location: Booth 30

  • Slow-roasted Cuban pork tamale with Cuban fricase (gluten-free)
  • Roasted pepper and goat cheese tamale with red pepper crema (vegetarian and gluten-free)
  • Spicy black bean and corn tamale with salsa roja (vegetarian and gluten-free)
  • Buffalo chicken tamale with blue cheese, shredded carrot and celery (gluten-free)

Location: Booth 26

  • Bag of six dinky doughnuts with one sugar topping (cinnamon, old-fashioned sugar cream pie, chocolate or ancho Mamma’s chile)

Location: Booth 37

  • Bacon ranch mac and cheese grilled cheese
  • Chipotle chili beer cheese nachos (vegetarian)
  • BBQ pulled pork sliders

Location: Food trucks

  • Steak nachos
  • Pork burrito
  • Steak tacos (two per order)

Location: Booth 18

Location: Booth 8

Location: Food trucks

  • Grilled cheese (Muenster cheese with caramelized onions and sauteed spinach on rustic sourdough bread)
  • Truffle fries
  • Spicy sesame fries

Location: Booth 21

  • Italian ice (lemon or watermelon)
  • Sea salt and caramel gelato
  • Nutella brioche gelato sandwich

Location: Booth 7

  • Italian beef sandwich
  • Italian sausage sandwich
  • Italian ice (lemonade or mango)

Location: Booth 15

  • Fudge sampler (one piece each of chocolate, chocolate walnut and maple walnut)
  • Milk chocolate-dipped strawberry
  • Dark chocolate-covered pineapple

Location: Booth 25

  • Panades (four per order)
  • Fried ripe plantains (six per order)

Location: Food trucks

  • Six-inch pizza (stuffed cheese, pepperoni or sausage)

Location: Booth 33

  • Chicago-style or plain hot dog
  • Chicago-style or plain jumbo hot dog
  • Maxwell Street or plain Polish sausage
  • Chicago-style or plain fries

Location: Booth 29

Location: Food trucks

Location: Booth 34

  • Jerk chicken with red rice and beans and plantain
  • Vegetarian greens and plantain
  • Jollof rice and ginger garlic wings
  • Coconut rice and sauteed goat meat

Location: Booth 27

  • Chap chae
  • Bulgogi (beef ribeye)
  • Kalbi (beef short rib)

Location: Booth 25

Location: Booth 14

  • Pierogi (potato, buffalo chicken, cheddar and jalapeno or Philly cheesesteak) with sour cream
  • Polish sausage on a bun with onion, kraut, pickle, tomato and mustard
  • Chicken and vegetable skewer with curry basmati rice
  • Potato pancake (latke) with bacon bits, sauteed onion, sour cream and pickle

Location: Booth 12

Location: Food trucks

  • The pork patacon (crispy plantain "sandwich" with pulled pork, queso fresco and spicy guava sauce)
  • Chicken tacos (three per order) with cheese and chipotle crema
  • Black bean and cheese arepa with Venezuelan avocado salsa

Location: Booth 5

  • Paleta (lemon-lime, mango, strawberry or watermelon)

Location: Booth 1

  • Shrimp (coconut, large or popcorn)

Location: Food trucks

  • Original or mango krozen kefir with two toppings (chocolate chips, granola, sprinkles or blueberries)

Location: Booth 28

  • Cauliflower hummus with toasted, gluten-free bread
  • Cucumber gazpacho with toasted marcona almonds
  • Spring garlic

Location: Booth 23

  • Malnati salad
  • Pizza (cheese, cheese and sausage or cheese and pepperoni)

Location: Booth 28

Location: Booth 35

  • BBQ pulled pork sliders and coleslaw
  • Roasted turkey leg with BBQ sauce (optional)

Location: Booth 36

Location: Booth 24

  • "Slipper" tail lobster with garlic potatoes
  • Grilled garlic butter skewered shrimp with garlic potatoes
  • Loaded BBQ brisket-style turkey nachos

Location: Booth 26

Location: Booth 39

Location: Booth 27

  • Savory puffs (bourbon BBQ pulled pork or jalapeno popper chicken)
  • Cookies and cream ice cream puff

Location: Booth 11

Location: Booth 4

  • Italian breaded steak sandwich
  • Beef and sausage combo sandwich
  • Boneless buffalo chicken wings

Location: Booth 28

  • Seafood gumbo
  • Shrimp ceviche
  • Shrimp pot

Location: Booth 17

Location: Booth 29

Location: Booth 26

  • Bulgogi steak tacos (two per order)
  • Spicy pork tacos (two per order)

Location: Food trucks

  • Glazed doughnut
  • Lemon pistachio old fashioned
  • Biscoff pocket

Location: Booth 22

  • Pot stickers (chicken and vegetables)
  • Pad Thai noodles (vegetarian)
  • Grilled chicken satay with peanut sauce and cucumber salad
  • Ice cream (coconut, mango or green tea)

Location: Booth 9

  • Brazilian sausage with roll
  • Chicken wrapped in bacon with roll
  • Garlic steak with roll
  • Combo platter (one of each)

Location: Booth 19

  • Sausage sandwich
  • Chicken vesuvio
  • Toasted ravioli

Location: Booth 3

  • Dumplings (shrimp and vegetable)
  • Yakisoba ramen (noodles with chicken and vegetables)
  • Tempura (shrimp and vegetable)

Location: Booth 16

Location: Booth 29

Location: Booth 27

  • Kimchi cheese fries
  • Pork belly steamed buns (two per order)

(Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune) (Earl Gustie / Chicago Tribune)

In a tribute to his late father, Jean-Claude Poilevey (shown above), the founder and chef of Le Bouchon and La Sardine, will cook a menu of French classics: sorrel vichyssoise, escargot vol au vent (that’s snails in buttery puff pastry, folks), roasted rabbit saddle and his dad’s apple tart with maple bacon ice cream.

(Abel Uribe / Chicago Tribune)

The kati rolls at Hakka Bakka are so good they made our book of 101 things to eat right now in Chicago. Try the chicken tikka kati roll or lamb shammi burger.

(Chuck Berman / Chicago Tribune)

Beginning with cinnamon rolls, the way a brunch should, and heavy with the season’s fresh strawberries (from strawberry and fromage blanc salad to strawberry shortcake, natch), the American Girl Cafe Brunch will please the young gourmands in your house.

(Courtesy The Little Beet Table)

Plant-based eating is all the rage. Join the movement at The Little Beet Table, with cauliflower hummus and toasted gluten-free bread or cucumber gazpacho with Marcona almonds and spring garlic.

(Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

A Michelin-starred meal in the middle of Taste? Seek out this three-course menu from the chef-owners of Avondale restaurant Parachute: pork belly and mung bean pancake, grilled swordfish with tomatoes and nam prik, and pavlova with sweet corn, coconut and blackberries.


Drinks are available throughout the grounds, including Pepsi and Anheuser-Busch products. Buckingham Fountain Plaza also includes a beer hall, wine garden and cocktail lounge.

(Chicago Tribune photo)

Acts chosen by Tribune critics:

(Allysa Pointer / Chicago Tribune)

The Chicago by-way-of Detroit R&B singer oozes rhythm and blues. Her soulful, powerhouse vocals have a worn-in rasp to them, not unlike Ms. Tina Turner — with just the right moves and a whole lot of energy.

(E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune)

The rapper is not only releasing his own infectious tracks, but has joined forces with local mash-up machine The Hood Internet to form the stellar Air Credits. There’s no telling what he’ll have in store for his Taste set — it could be anything from rhymes about pizza, to actual pizza.


Bow down in the presence of rock royalty in Cafe Tacuba. No, not rock en espanol. These giants hath not time for your semantic shenanigans. This band, around since the late 1980s, was super cool in the U.S. for a while, when rock en Espanol was all the rage. Sonically, it moved through punk, rock, a little bit of ska before conceiving the epic double album "Reves/Yo Soy." The band, nor its music, has been the same since. Frontman Ruben Albarran is a magnificent showman. Do. Not. Miss. This.

(Handout photo)

Conveniently, this is the opener for Cafe Tacuba. It’s a big band that merges Latinate flair with oh, so tasty funk. Lyrics are en Espanol, but your feet won’t care a whit once the polyrhythms take over your soul. Start screaming "Sabrosa" as soon as they show up, and hope your request is honored.


If an outdoors food and drink festival just screams rock ‘n’ roll with a driving groove that’s good to dance to, you shouldn’t miss Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals. Harper, who you may remember for the song "Steal My Kisses" (a staple on late-’90s college radio), also plays a mean slide guitar. Who doesn’t want to watch the sun set to a mean, slide guitar solo with a giant slice of pizza or plate of tacos in hand?

(Chicago Tribune)

Friday is "folk and country day" on the Bud Light Stage and if you can catch one set there, let it be Jonas Friddle & The Majority. The band’s take on bluegrass Americana has a decidedly "down home" feel for a band that calls Chicago home, but hopefully they decide to break out a Beatles’ cover or two. The group does a groovy rendition of "Come Together" that’s just begging for more jug!

(Handout photo)

Chicago’s answer to the swirling, glam-bomb, psych-pop a la the Flaming Lips — but The Gold Web is much more fun. In addition to the tunes, where else will you be able to see such righteous garb such as black and gold wings, face masks and metallic fringe in the middle of the day?

(Handout photo)

Pop-punk like a sucker-punch to the face — when Split Single lets it rip, it really rips. "It" being Jason Narducy’s blend of The Replacements’ Paul Westerberg’s effortless cool and big riffs that hit like a crashing wave and have been a mainstay in the city’s ever-changing (but always reassuringly familiar) rock and roll landscape.

(AP) (Akili Visual)

Tovi Khali’s blend of R&B, jazz and funk, paired with her rich, soothing vocals, draws on her native New Orleans roots and is worth a walk to the Bud Light Stage in the early afternoon. Her sophomore release, "The Groove" captures the spirit of artists like Bill Withers and Betty Davis but is 100 percent Tovi.

Art (new)

Street art and graffiti live painting: Local artists — including Bunny XLV, ZORZORZOR, Miguel Aquilar aka "Kane One" and Tyrue "Slang" Jones — work on-site each day from noon to 6 p.m.

Stomping Grounds Chicago: Performances from local dance companies during the day, and dance lessons followed by live music nightly. Click here for a schedule.

March of the puppets: A daily procession through the festival of artists, performers and puppets starting at 3 p.m. at Buckingham Fountain Plaza.

(Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune)

Sources: City of Chicago, CTA, Divvy, Millennium Garages, Tribune reporting, The Noun Project

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