It was a casual affair that lasted only a day when it was first launched In 1980 by a group of Chicago restaurateurs.
Today, Taste of Chicago has become the nation's largest outdoor food festival drawing almost 4 million people each year.
Taste of Chicago (locally known simply as "The Taste") celebrates its 39th anniversary in 2018 as the city gears up to welcome visitors from metro Chicago, around the U.S., and worldwide.
Sights, Smells and Sounds
The big attraction? The food, of course!
Chicago-style pizza and hot dogs as well
polish sausage and dozens of other ethnic specialties are the star of the show as over 70 restaurants from around Chicagoland offer up more than 300 of their menu's best dishes to an appreciative audience.
Admission is free to Taste of Chicago, although "Taste Tickets"
must be bought to purchase food and drinks during the 10-day bash (cash is not accepted.)
2018 Concert Lineup
Other events during the annual summer festival include
free performances of live music at the Petrillo Music Shell.
The official Taste of Chicago concert lineup was announced in May with tickets going on sale soon after at the Taste of Chicago website and TicketWeb.com. This year, major headliners include Grammy nominee Brandi Carlile, Latin pop star Juanes, Blackstar's Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli, The Flaming Lips, and George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic.
Wednesday, July 11, 5:30 p.m. Brandi Carlile Thursday, July 12, 5:30 p.m. Juanes Friday, July 13, 5:30 p.m. Black Star Saturday, July 14, 4:30 p.m. The Flaming Lips Sunday, July 15, 4:30 p.m. George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic
Getting to Grant Park by car is problematic (though not impossible, with nearby parking available), but the summer crush makes public transportation the far more attractive option (for directions, see above). Hotels most convenient to the festival are the Hilton Chicago (720 South Michigan Avenue) and the Chicago Essex Inn (800 S Michigan Avenue).
With the sights, smells and general delights associated with festival, Taste of Chicago has grown to become one of Chicago's biggest events of the year, and if you're in town it definitely should be at the top of your must-do list!
Taste of Chicago features gourmet dishes, street fare food, kids' activities, and top music performances.