The 38th edition of the Taste of Chicago kicks off Wednesday.
The celebration of Chicago food drew an estimated 1.6 million people last year — the most since Taste moved to a five-day format in 2012, according to the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
Here’s what you need to know about Taste 2018, from the dates to the food to the music.
When is it?
Taste of Chicago runs Wednesday through July 15 in Grant Park. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. both days next weekend.
Where is it?
Taste of Chicago has made its home in Grant Park since 1981.
Does it cost anything?
It’s free to get in — but you’ll need food and beverage tickets (strips of 14 tickets go for $10, with vendors setting the prices of their items) to buy anything.
What can I eat?
There will be 71 food vendors, including 36 stalls that will be there for all five days, 22 popup stalls and 13 food trucks.
New to Taste this year are:
- Aloha Wagon.
- Arun’s Thai Restaurant.
- Aunty Joy’s Jamaican Kitchen.
- bettyBOT Shop.
- Blackwood BBQ.
- CheSa’s Gluten Free Food Truck.
- Chiya Chai Cafe.
- Classic Cobbler.
- Frönen Foods.
- Garifuna Flava: A Taste of Belize.
- Get Off the Couch Catering.
- Grill City (Seafood City).
- Hakka Bakka Indian Kati Rolls.
- Josephine’s Cookin’.
- Output Lounge & Sports Bar.
- Papa Luke’s Gravy Balls.
- Premier Rollin BBQ.
- So Forking Great.
- Sun Way Barbecue Restaurant.
- These Wingz?
- Wood Fire Counter.
Who goes to the Taste? What are the fan favorites?
See what first-day attendees had to say about the annual fest:
There will be a concert at the Petrillo Music Shell every day at 5:30 p.m. Headliners include Brandi Carlile (Wednesday, with openers Martha Redbone Roots Project); Juanes (Thursday, with openers La Santa Cecilia); Yasiin Bey & Talib Kweli are Black Star (July 13, with opener Madame Gandhi); The Flaming Lips (July 14, with openers Le Butcherettes and Half Gringa); and George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic (July 15, with openers BJ the Chicago Kid and The Boy Illinois).
You can watch any of the five concerts at the Petrillo Music Shell (see below) for free from Butler Field. If you want to be closer to the stage and have a proper seat, you’ll have to buy tickets, which are $18 to $50.
What else is happening?
• Taste is introducing the “Taste Oasis,” an air-conditioned lounge where a $50 day pass will get you access to food samples, a private bar and free water.
• Chicago SummerDance will be performing at Buckingham Fountain every day. The events will be held 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
• There will be art installations, including an artist garden featuring work by artists Hector Duarte, Carolyn Ottmers, Juan Angel Chavez and Emmanuel Pratt.