Taste of Chicago boasts 26 newbies for 2018 lakefront food event

SHARE Taste of Chicago boasts 26 newbies for 2018 lakefront food event

Justin and Bianca Woods enjoy their food from Texas de Brazil while at the Taste of Chicago on July 10, 2016. | Kelly Wenzel/ For the Sun-Times

Seventy-three restaurants will be featured at this year’s Taste of Chicago, one of the most popular Chicago events of the summer. The lineup was announced Wednesday by Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). Among those, 26 will be first-timers at the lakefront food extravaganza.

The lineup of culinary crafters will include 38 five-day vendors, 22 pop-ups and 13 food trucks for the fest, which runs July 11-15 in Grant Park. Newcomers include Arun’s Thai Restaurant, Garifuna Flava: A Taste of Belize, Blackwood BBQ, Sun Wah Barbecue Restaurant (recently honored at the James Beard Awards), Josephine’s Cookin’ and So Forking Great. “Oldies but goodies” returning to the fest include Buona Beef and Original Rainbow Cone (returning after a three-year hiatus).


Taste of Chicago headliners include Flaming Lips, Juanes

Admission to the Taste is free. Food/beverage tickets are available in strips of 14 tickets for $10 (smaller “Taste Of” portions are priced at $3 or less). For complete information, visit tasteofchicago.us.

The 26 Taste newcomers

Arun’s Thai Restaurant

Aunty Joy’s Jamaican Kitchen

Esperanza’s Kitchen Delights

Garifuna Flava: A Taste of Belize

Output Lounge & Sports Bar

Premier Rollin BBQ

Turtle’s Bar & Grill

Yum Dum

Aloha Wagon

Bee Nana LLC

bettyBOT Shop


Blackwood BBQ

Chiya Chai Café

Classic Cobbler

Get Off The Couch Catering

Grill City (Seafood City)

Josephine’s Cookin’

Papa Luke’s Gravy Balls

So Forking Great

Sun Wah Barbecue Restaurant

These Wingz?

Wood Fire Counter

CheSa’s Gluten Free Food Truck

Lawrence’s Fish & Shrimp


Also new to the fest is the Taste Oasis, an air-conditioned lounge located in Butler Field featuring a cash bar, “taste bites” (prepared by students from the Washburne Culinary Academy), music, food and more. Day passes for access to the Oasis are $50 available at tasteofchicago.us

The new Taste Oasis will offer Taste goers the opportunity to enhance their festival experience with access to an air-conditioned lounge in Butler Field offering tasty bites, a private cash bar, music, refreshing water and much more. Classic cocktails created by CH Distillery include an Old Fashioned and Grey Hound. Day passes for this exclusive area are $50 and can be purchased at tasteofchicago.us. Also included in the cost are “Taste bites” prepared by Washburne Culinary Academy will be served Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 3 to 6 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. Taste Oasis will be open throughout normal Taste of Chicago festival hours, but it’s particularly a great spot to hang out before and after the Petrillo Music Shell concerts.

The Lifeway Foods Taste Kitchen at Buckingham Fountain, with daily cooking demos by local/national chefs, returns with this year’s lineup featuring: Chef Kevin Hickey of Duck Inn (July 11), Spiaggia executive chef and “Top Chef” season 15 winner, Joe Flamm (July 13), and Food Network’s “Sandwich King” Jeff Mauro (July 15). The full Taste Kitchen lineup will be announced in the coming weeks.

The 39 five-day restaurants

Arun’s Thai Restaurant (4156 N. Kedzie)

Aunty Joy’s Jamaican Kitchen (1217 W. Devon)

Beat Kitchen (2100 W. Belmont)

Billy Goat Tavern (1535 W. Madison)

BJ’s Market & Bakery (8734 S. Stony Island)

Buona Beef (613 N. McClurg Ct.)

Caffe Gelato (2034 W. Division)

Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill (300 W 26th St.)

Chicago’s Dog House (816 W. Fullerton)

Eli’s Cheesecake will once again be available at Taste of Chicago. | Sun-Times

Eli’s Cheesecake will once again be available at Taste of Chicago. | Sun-Times

Churro Factory (2214 S. Wolcott)

Connie’s Pizza (2373 S. Archer)

Dia De Los Tamales (939 W. 18th St.)

Doom Street Eats

Esperanza’s Kitchen Delights (2301 S. Lake Shore Drive)

Franco’s Ristorante (300 W. 31st St.)

Frannie’s Café Inc. (623 S. Wabash)

Garifuna Flava: A Taste of Belize (2518 W. 63rd St.)

Gold Coast Dogs (225 S. Canal)

Iyanze (4623 N. Broadway)

Kasia’s Deli (2101 W. Chicago)

La Bomba Restaurant (3221 W. Armitage)

La Mexicana (4171 S. Archer)

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria (805 S. State)

O’Briens Restaurant & Bar (45 E. Riverwalk South)

Original Rainbow Cone (9233 S. Western)

Output Lounge & Sports Bar (1758 W. Grand)

Porkchop (1017 S. Delano Court East)

Premier Rollin BBQ

Ricobene’s on 26th Street (252 W. 26th St.)

Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs (225 S. Canal)

Star of Siam (11 E. Illinois)

Texas de Brazil (210 E. Illinois)

The Eli’s Cheesecake Co. (6701 W. Forest Preserve Dr.)

Turtle’s Bar & Grill (238 W. 33rd St.)

Tuscany (1014 W. Taylor St.)

Ukai Japanese Restaurant (1059 W. Belmont)

Vee-Vee’s African Restaurant (6232 N. Broadway)

Yum Dum

The 24 pop-ups

Aloha Wagon (1247 S. Western Ave.)

Bee Nana LLC

bettyBOT Shop (7100 S. South Shore Dr.)

BITES (3313 N. Clark)

Blackwood BBQ (307 W. Lake St.)

Broken English Taco Pub (75 E. Lake St.)

Chiya Chai Café (2770 N. Milwaukee)

Classic Cobbler

Get Off The Couch Catering

Grill City (Seafood City) (5033 N. Elston)

Hakka Bakka Indian Kati Rolls (1251 W. Fullerton)

Josephine’s Cookin’ (436 E. 79th St.)

Just Salad Chicago (135 S. LaSalle).

MAD Social (1140 W. Madison)

Papa Luke’s Gravy Balls

Pork & Mindy’s (1623 N. Milwaukee)

Seoul Taco (738 N. Clark)

So Forking Great

Sun Wah Barbecue Restaurant (5039 N. Broadway)

These Wingz

Warm Belly Bakery (1148 W. Monroe)

Wood Fire Counter (131 N. Clinton)

The 14 food trucks

American Glory Food Truck Chicago

Auntie Vee’s

Aztec Dave’s Food Truck

Beavers Coffee + Donuts

CheSa’s Gluten Free Food Truck–NEW

Da Lobsta


Harold’s Chicken

La Cocinita Food Truck

Lawrence’s Fish & Shrimp–NEW


The Fat Shallot

The Lifeway Kefir Shop

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