The world's largest food festival kicks off its five-day stay in Chicago's Grant Park Wednesday, bringing some of the city's best grub to the hands of festival-goers and foodies alike.
But before you head out to celebrate Chicago's dining scene at the Taste of Chicago this week, there are some things you should know -- and we've got you covered.
SCHEDULE & LOCATION
The festival is located in Grant Park, at Jackson Boulevard and Columbus Drive.
It runs Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Ticket sales end at 8:30 p.m.
Admission to the festival is free, but seats to some events and concerts in the Petrillo Music Shell must be purchased.
Lawn seating in Butler Field is free for fans.
Food and beverage tickets are sold in strips of 14 tickets for $10, which will be available for purchase at the festival until 8:30 p.m.
CTA trains will be running to the festival. From elevated lines, commuters will want to exit at Adams/Wabash. From the subway, exit at Jackson and walk east.
Some buses will be rerouted due to closures in the area. They include:
#2 Hyde Park Express
#6 Jackson Park Express
#10 Museum of Science & Industry
#J14 Jeffery Jump
#26 South Shore Express
#28 Stony Island
According to the CTA:
Northbound #2 Hyde Park Express, #6 Jackson Park Express, #10 Museum of Science & Industry, #J14 Jeffery Jump, #26 South Shore Express, and #28 Stony Island buses will operate via Columbus, Roosevelt, and Michigan to Balbo.
#2 and #10 buses will resume their normal route on Balbo. #6, #J14, #26, and #28 buses will continue their normal route on Michigan.
From Balbo/Michigan, southbound #2, #6, #10, #J14, #26, and #28 buses will operate via Michigan and Roosevelt, then resume their normal route on Columbus.
Metra plans to offer extra trains and altered schedules on BNSF Line and Union Pacific Northwest Line for those heading to the foodie extravaganza.
The rail agency notes that no alcohol will be permitted on trains after 7 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday.
Uber is also offering to take riders to the event. Enter promo code METRA2017 for your first ride free up to $15. The offer is not valid on uberCAB.
Lyft is also available for commuters.
The following streets will be closed during the festival through July 10 at 4 p.m.
- Columbus, from Monroe to Balbo and from Balbo to Roosevelt (Balbo remains open to traffic)
- Jackson, from Michigan to Lake Shore Drive
- Congress, from Columbus to Congress Parkway semi-circle
Parking is available at Millennium Garages near Grant Park. Garage locations include the Grant Park North Garage at 25 N. Michigan Ave., the Grant Park South Garage at 325 S. Michigan Ave., and the Millennium Park Garage and Millennium Lakeside Garage located at 5 S. Columbus Drive.
Packages: Discounted parking rates and multi-day parking packs are available at www.millenniumgarages.com.
Parkers can pay at their parking location or pre-pay online at www.millenniumgarages.com/rates/.
SECURITY: WhAT YOU CAN AND CANNOT BRING
The following items are not allowed into the festival:
- Alcoholic Beverages
- BBQ Grills (Open Flames)
- Fireworks or Explosives
- Illegal Substances & Weapons
- Large Coolers or Bags
- Pop-up Tents/Canopies
- Beach/Picnic Umbrellas
- Flag Poles
- All Pets (except Service Animals)
Folding chairs are allowed into the event itself but will not be allowed in the seating area of the Petrillo Music Shell.
Sixty-seven restaurants will participate in this year's Taste, including five-day vendors, pop-up restaurants and food trucks. All 67 vendors will offer signature items, the city says, as well as the popular “Taste Of” portions priced at $3.00 or less.
See the full foodie lineup here.
MUSIC LINEUP AND SCHEDULE
Headliners for the Petrillo Music Shell include Alessia Cara, Cafe Tacvba, Passion Pit, The O'Jays and Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals. Local headliners will also be featured on the Bud Light Stage.
See the full music lineup and schedule here.