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 38th anniversary in 2017 as the city once again 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.)
2017 Concert Lineup
Other events during the annual summer festival in Grant Park include
free performances of live music at the Petrillo Music Shell, and other stage venues featuring local and nationally-known big name performers.
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.
Wednesday, July 5, 5:30pm
Eryn Allen Kane
Headlining at Taste of Chicago in 2017 are (from top left)
Alessia Cara, Café Tacvba, Ben Harper &
The Innocent Criminals, and Passion Pit.
Thursday, July 6, 5:30pm
¡Esso! Afrojam Funkbeat with Los Vicios de Papá
Los Vicios de Papá
Friday, July 7, 5:30pm
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
Saturday, July 8, 4:30pm
Sunday, July 9, 4:30pm
Maurice Jackson's Independents
NOTE: Concert admission prices have recently jumped to $50 for tickets in front of the Petrillo Music Shell. A majority of seats on the lawn beyond, with a capacity of 30,000, remain free.
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.