I was invited to attend a preview of the 2013 Taste of Chicago, which will be held from Wednesday, July 10 to Sunday, July 14. Wednesday through Friday Taste of Chicago will run from 11am to 9pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 9pm.
Taste of Chicago is not just a food festival with the opportunity to taste food from nearly 50 Chicago restaurants all in one place. Though if it were, wouldn’t that be enough?
Admission is free to access any of the nearly forty booths where everything from Chicago staples like deep-dish pizza and bar-be-cue to Thai, Vietnamese, Italian, Southern, and just about any other type of cuisine available in a city as diverse as Chicago.
There are more than ten participating restaurants that are new to this year’s Taste of Chicago so there’s something new for everyone, even those who have attended every one of the previous 32 years of Taste of Chicago.
Admission is free, but of course the food is not. Food tickets will be available in strips of 12 for $8 at Taste of Chicago. If you’re a planner, take yourself to your local Dominick’s with your Fresh Values Card between July 1 and July 9 and get those same 12 food tickets for only $7.
On each of the five days of Taste of Chicago there will be chef demonstrations by local chefs from such restaurants as Piccolo Sogno, Blackbird, the Publican, and, of course, Frontera Grill.
This year’s Taste of Chicago will feature local food trucks for the first time. The food trucks will be placed near the lawn seating at the Petrillo Music Shell during concerts.
Admission to the Petrillo Music Shell lawn area is free, but if you want guaranteed seating, go to tasteofchicago.us. Seating is suggested, as the 2013 Taste of Chicago has pulled in some very popular artists such as fun., Robin Thicke, Robert Plant, and Jill Scott.
In addition, the Bud Light Stage will feature Latin, soul, funk, pop, jazz, indie rock, alternative rock, and country music. Musically, there’s something for everyone to enjoy while partaking in the dozens of different kinds of food Taste of Chicago has to offer.
There are activities for children in Family Village, and Saturday and Sunday are considered “Family Friendly Hours.” On Saturday there’s a kids’ footrace that includes a t-shirt hand medal for finishers.
As if that weren’t enough, the Mazda6 Celebrity Chef Du Jour Pavilion will offer attendees the opportunity to have a sit-down, three-course meal created by some of Chicago’s most well-known chefs, such as Paul Kahan, Carrie Nahabedian, Giuseppe Tentoi, and Rick Bayless. Tickets for these very special meals are $40 each, available at tasteofchicago.us.
For those of us concerned about all the calories available in one place, Humana Healthier Choices Guide highlights the dishes that are lower in calories, sodium, and saturated fat. Also on hand will be the Human Healthier Choices Passport Guide, which will allow participants to collect stamps by participating in activities and choosing from the dishes on the Healthier Choices Guide.
As you can see, there will be a lot going on around Buckingham Fountain between July 10 and July 14, 2013. If there are ticketed events you want to attend, get your tickets now at tasteofchicago.us, as Taste of Chicago is always well-attended.