36th Annual Taste of Chicago Kicks Off in Grant Park

Taste of Chicago has been around since the 1980s and returns this Wednesday with food, drinks and performances

Get your taste buds ready. Taste of Chicago's five-day lineup starts Wednesday and will be open through Sunday in Grant Park.

Dubbed the world’s largest food festival, the 36th annual Chicago fete takes place between Lake Shore Drive, Monroe Street, Michigan Avenue and Balbo Drive. It remains open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  

Admission is free. Tickets for food and drinks are $8.50 for 12. Performances at the Bud Light Stage are free and the Petrillo Music Shell shows are priced $15 to $23.

Taste-goers can park at three locations including: Millennium Park Garage and Millennium Lakeside Garage, 5 S. Columbus Drive; Grant Park North Garage, 25 N. Michigan Ave.; and Grant Park South Garage,325 S. Michigan Ave. Millennium Garage prices start at $35 and regular rates apply for other garages.  

This year’s new vendors include Auntie Vee’s, Da Lobsta, Firecakes Donuts, The Happy Lobster Truck, La Jefa and La Patrona.

Alcoholic beverages, grills, fireworks, tents, beach or picnic umbrellas, flagpoles and pets are prohibited on fest grounds.

The Taste of Chicago originated in 1980 after a group of restaurant owners approached the mayor of Chicago with the idea of a large food festival, according to the city. The $150,000 budgeted event brought over 250,000 attendees and $330,000 in sales. The fest moved to Grant Park in 1981 to accomodate a larger crowd.

See the full food and music lineup below.

Five-Day Restaurants

Abundance Bakery, 105 E. 47th St.
Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave.
Billy Goat Tavern & Grill, 1535 W. Madison St.
BJ's Market & Bakery, 8734 S. Stony Island Ave.
Bobak Sausage Company, 4550 W. Jackson Blvd.
Caffe Gelato, 2034 W. Division St.
Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill, 300 W. 26th St.
Chicago's Dog House, 816 W. Fullerton Ave.
Churro Factory, 2214 S. Wolcott Ave.
Connie's Pizza, 2373 S. Archer Ave.
Dia De Los Tamales, 939 W. 18th St.
Dinky Donuts, Inc., located at markets throughout Chicago
The Eli's Cheesecake Co., 6701 W. Forest Preserve Dr.
Farmer's Fridge, 108 N. Lake St.
Franco's Ristorante, 300 W. 31st St.
Frannie's Café Inc, 623 S. Wabash Ave.
The Fudge Pot, 1532 N. Wells St.
Gold Coast Dogs, 225 S. Canal St.
Iyanza, 4623 N. Broadway
Kasia's Deli, 2101 W. Chicago Ave.
La Bomba Restaurant, 3221 W. Armitage Ave.
La Mexicana, 4171 S. Archer Ave.
Lou Malnati's Pizzeria, 805 S. State St.
Miller's Pub, 134 S. Wabash Ave.
Oak Street Beach Café, 5700 S. Cicero Ave.
O'Briens Restaurant & Bar, 1528 N. Wells St.
Porkchop, 941 W. Randolph St.
Punky's Pizza & Pasta, 2600 W. Wallace St.
Ricobene's on 26th Street, 252 W. 26th St.
Robinson's No. 1 Ribs, 225 S. Canal St.
Star of Siam, 11 E. Illinois St.
Texas de Brazil, 210 E. Illinois St.
Tuscany, 1014 W. Taylor St.
Vee-Vee's African Restaurant, 6232 N. Broadway

Pop-Up Restaurants

Armi, 1829 W. Chicago Ave.
BRGRBELLY, 5691 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Demera Ethiopian Restaurant, 4801 N. Broadway
Doom Street Eats, located at markets throughout Chicago
Garifuna Flava: A Taste of Belize, 2518 W. 63rd St.
Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken, 847 W. Fulton Market
Jin Ju Restaurant, 5203 N. Clark St.
MAD Social, 1140 W. Madison St.
nana, 3267 S. Halsted St.
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, 5212 N. Clark St.
Pork & Mindy's, 1623 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Puffs of Doom, located at markets throughout Chicago
Riva, 700 E. Grand Ave., Navy Pier
Rojo Gusano, 3830 W. Lawrence Ave.
Stan's Donuts & Coffee, 2800 N. Clark St.
Taco in a Bag, 4603 N. Lincoln Ave.
Yum Dum, located throughout Chicago

Food Trucks

Auntie Vee's
Beavers Coffee + Donuts
Bruges Brothers
Chicago Lunchbox
Da Lobsta
The Fat Shallot
Firecakes Donuts
Gino's Steaks Truck
The Happy Lobster Truck
Harold's Chicken
Jack's Fork in the Road
La Cocinita
La Jefa
La Patrona
The Lifeway Kefir Shop
Ms. Tittle's Cupcakes

Petrillo Music Shell Concerts

Wednesday, July 6 (Concert begins at 5:30 p.m.)

The Roots

Donnie Trumpet

Thursday, July 7, 2016 (Concert begins at 5 p.m.)


Elle King


Friday, July 8, 2016 (Concert begins at 5:30 p.m.)

The Decemberists

Shakey Graves

Saturday, July 9, 2016 (Concert begins at 4:30 p.m.)

Billy Idol

Sons of the Silent Age

Sunday, July 10, 2016 (Concert begins at 4:30 p.m.)

The Isley Brothers featuring Ronald and Ernie Isley

Sheila E.

Bud Light Stage

Wednesday, July 6 (Singer/Songwriter & Country Music)

12 Noon-1pm - Elk Walking

1:20-2:20pm - Daniel Wade

2:40-3:40pm - Lawrence Peters Outfit

4-5pm - Derek Fawcett

5:20-6:20pm - Righteous Hillbillies

6:40-8pm - Heartsfield

Thursday, July 7 (Cornucopia of Music!)

12 Noon-1pm - Chicago Latin Groove: Ladies Singing Salsa (Latin)

1:20-2:20pm - Zverse (Hip Hop)

2:40-3:40pm - ¡ESSO! Afrojam Funkbeat (World)

4-5pm - Rapperchicks (Rap)

5:20-6:20pm - Gilligan Moss (Electronic)

6:40-8pm - Ezra Furman (Punk/Rock) 

Friday, July 8 (Rock 'n Roll Will Never Die)

12 Noon-1pm - The Giving Moon

1:20-2:30pm - American Grizzly

2:40-3:40pm - King Mixer

4-5pm - The Ivorys

5:20-6:20pm - The Kickback

6:40-8pm - Fort Frances

Saturday, July 9 (Surf Pop, Synth Pop, Electro Pop and just Pop)

12 Noon-1pm - Clear Confusion (pop)

1:20-2:20pm - Isaiah Grass (pop)

2:40-3:40pm - Glass Lux (synth pop)

4-5pm - Impulsive Hearts (surf pop)

5:20-6:20pm - Celine Neon (electro pop)

6:40-8pm - Eight Bit Tiger (electro pop)

Sunday, July 10 (R&B and Soul)

12 Noon-1pm - Krystal Metcalfe

1-5pm - Chicago Made: Steppin' at the Taste - Featuring Steppin' dance lessonsand performances by Jay "Slique" Adams, Fel Davis, T.L. Williams, Casper ("The Casper Slide") and DJ Sam Chatman

5:20-6:20pm - Daryn Alexus

6:40-8pm - Nola Ade

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