A Guide To The Taste Of Chicago 2019

The 39th annual Taste of Chicago takes place July 10-14

Shannon Blum
July 11, 2019 - 8:25 am
Categories: 

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Trying to decided what to taste at the Taste? 

The 39th annual Taste of Chicago kicked off Wednesday and continues through Sunday, July 14.

The five-day festival is known as "the world's largest, free-admission food festival" includes 82 eateries, with 37 of those being new participants, along with 24 pop-ups and 17 food trucks.

Here's a guide to help you decide where to eat and what to do at the Taste of Chicago 2019.

When:

July 10–14; Wednesday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Where:

Grant Park (Jackson & Columbus) 

Cost:

Admission to the Taste is free. Food and beverage tickets are sold in strips of 14 tickets for $10. Smaller "Taste of" portions" are available for 3-6 tickets. Ticket booths accept cash, credit and debit. Ticket sales end at 8:30 p.m.

Getting There

Parking: There is parking available directly under the festival at the Millennium Garages. Garages include Garage locations are Grant Park North Garage at 25 N. Michigan Ave., Grant Park South Garage at 325 S. Michigan Ave., and Millennium Park Garage and Millennium Lakeside Garage located at 5 S. Columbus Drive.

Public Transportation: 

CTA - From the elevated lines: exit at Adams/Wabash. From the subway: exit at Jackson and walk several blocks east.

Metra - Metra is adding trains and making changes to the schedules on some lines this weekend to accommodate people. The commuter rail agency said there will be extra trains on the BNSF line starting Wednesday in downtown Chicago. Additional inbound trains will also be operating along the Union Pacific West Line on Saturday. The changes will remain in place throughout the five-day event.

Street Closures:

The following streets will be closed during the Taste of Chicago until 4 p.m. Monday, July 16.

  • Columbus, from Monroe to Balbo. Then, from Balbo to Roosevelt. (Balbo will remain open to traffic)
  • Jackson, from Michigan to Lake Shore Drive
  • Congress, from Columbus to Congress Parkway semi-circle

Food

Restaurants:

  • Arun's Thai Restaurant
  • Aunty Joy's Jamaican Kitchen
  • Beat Kitchen
  • Ben's Bar-Be-Cue
  • Billy Goat Tavern
  • BJ's Market & Bakery
  • Brazilian Bowl Inc.
  • Buona Beef
  • Buscia's Bacon Buns
  • Caffe Gelato Soiree
  • Chicago's Dog House
  • Churro Factory
  • Connie's Pizza
  • Doom Street Eats
  • Esperanza
  • Franco's Ristorante
  • Frannie's Café Inc
  • Frönen
  • Garifuna Flava: A Taste of Belize
  • Gold Coast Dogs
  • Hakka Bakka Indian Kati Rolls
  • Iyanze
  • Josephine's Cooking
  • Kasia’s Deli
  • La Mexicana
  • Lao Sze Chuan
  • Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
  • Premier Rollin BBQ
  • Rainbow Cone
  • Ricobene's
  • Robinson's No 1 Ribs
  • Seoul Taco
  • Texas de Brazil
  • The Cookie Crate
  • The Eli's Cheesecake Company
  • The Slab Bar-B-Que
  • The Star of Siam
  • Ukai Japanese Restaurant
  • Vee Vee's African Restaurant
  • Yum Dum
  • Yvolina's Tamales

Pop-Up Restaurants:

  • 90 Miles Cuban Café 
  • A Place by Damao 
  • Bar Takito 
  • Barangaroos Aussie Pies
  • BettyBop Shop
  • BITES Asian Kitchen + Bar
  • Black Dog Gelato 
  • Classic Cobbler
  • Dmen Tap 
  • Dog Haus
  • Egg Rolls Etc. 
  • Gordo's Homemade Ice Cream Bars
  • Jason's Deli
  • Jeannie's Flan Inc.
  • Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams 
  • Jus Sandwiches 
  • Kitchen 17 
  • Luella's Gospel Bird 
  • Madame VanderKloot's Weiner Emporium
  • Nourish Catering 
  • Seafood City Supermarket (Grill City)
  • These Wingz?
  • Warm Belly Bakery
  • Wood Fire Counter

Food Trucks:

  • American Glory
  • Aztec Dave's Food Truck
  • Beavers Coffee + Donuts
  • Big Wang's Chinese Street Food 
  • Coastline Catering
  • Da Pizza Dude 
  • Giordano's
  • Harold's Chicken
  • La Cocinita
  • Lawrence's Fish & Shrimp
  • Mr. Quiles Mexican Food 
  • Ms. Tittle's Cupcakes 
  • Pink Flamingo (Flamingo Rum Club) 
  • Pink Taco 
  • The Lifeway Kefir Shop
  • Three Legged Tacos 
  • Whadda Jerk 

Beverages:

Beverage tents are located throughout the event and feature Pepsi soft drinks, over 20 types of beers (including Goose Island, Budweiser and Stella Artois), wines and specialty drinks. Beverage purchases can be made with Taste tickets or credit cards.

Arts & Entertainment

If you want to take a break from tasting all the good eats, you can jam out and dance to some music. There will be a different artist performing each day of the Taste with daily concerts at the Goose Island Stage, and nighttime concerts at Petrillo Music Shell.  Lawn seats are free or you can purchase tickets for seated sections. You can also enjoy the nighttime concerts at the Taste Oasis that offers a prime concert viewing experience in a lounge setting complete with private cash bar, complimentary bottled water, small bites and more for $50.

Goose Island Stage:

Wednesday, July 10

  • Noon–1 p.m. - Katie Kadan (R&B)
  • 1:20–2:20 p.m. - The Feeders (Rock)
  • 2:40–3:40 p.m. - Rachel Sarah Thomas (Alt/Folk)
  • 4–5 p.m. - Mother Nature (Hip Hop)
  • 5:20–6:20 p.m. - ODE (Rock)
  • 6:20–8 p.m. - DJ Mike P (DJ Set)

Thursday, July 11

  • Noon–1 p.m. - RJ Collins (R&B)
  • 1:20–2:20 p.m. - Carpacho y su Super Combo (Salsa)
  • 2:40–3:40 p.m. - AMI (Soul/R&B)
  • 4–5 p.m. - The Ivy Ford Band (Blues)
  • 5:20–6:20 p.m. - Raii and Whitney(R&B)
  • 6:20–8 p.m. - DJ Mike P (DJ Set)

Friday, July 12

  • Noon–1 p.m. - Avantist (Rock)
  • 1:20–2:20 p.m. - Bella Button Band (Country Rock)
  • 2:40–3:40 p.m. - Afinca’o (Salsa)
  • 4–5 p.m. - John The Author (Hip Hop)
  • 5:20–6:20 p.m. - The Right Now(Pop)
  • 6:20–8 p.m. - DJ Mike P (DJ Set)

Saturday, July 13

  • 11–11:40 a.m. - DJ Mike P
  • Noon–1 p.m. - Karlye Lapetina (Pop)
  • 1:20–1:40 p.m. - Coda (R&B)
  • 1:50–2:20 p.m. - Superstar Patience(R&B)
  • 2:40–3:40 p.m. - Tatiana Hazel(Electro/Pop)
  • 4–5 p.m. - Kaeyra (Pop R&B)
  • 5–5:10 p.m. - Taylor Watkins (Pop)
  • 5:20–6:20 p.m. - Nia Kay (Hip Hop)
  • 6:20–8 p.m. - DJ Mike P (DJ Set)

Sunday, July 14

  • 11–11:40 a.m. - DJ Mike P
  • Noon–1 p.m. - VO (Hip Hop)
  • 1:20–2:20 p.m. - Jamiah Rogers (Blues)
  • 2:40–3:40 p.m. - Year of 11 (Alt R&B)
  • 4–5 p.m. - Oston (Pop)
  • 5:20–6:20 p.m. - Solow Redline (Hip Hop)
  • 6:20–8 p.m. - DJ Mike P (DJ Set)

Petrillo Music Shell:

Wednesday, July 10

  • Sunflower Bean
  • Courtney Barnett

Thursday, July 11 

  • Cultura Profética
  • Bomba Estéreo

Friday, July 12

  • Taylor Bennett
  • De La Soul

Saturday, July 13

  • Joywave
  • lovelytheband
  • The Strumbellas

Sunday, July 14

  • Bilal 
  • Meshell Ndegeocello
  • India.Arie

Theatre Garden

July 12–14, 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Southwest corner of Jackson Blvd. & Columbus Dr. - Free Admission

As part of the Year of Chicago Theatre, the Theatre Garden at Taste of Chicago showcases local theater talent with performances of musical theatre, improv and sketch comedy.

Friday–Sunday, 11:30 a.m.

The Second City Totally Bonkers Improv Showdown

Friday–Sunday, 1:30 p.m.

A Taste of Porchlight Music Theatre

Saturday & Sunday, Noon-5 p.m.

Pocket Con

Friday, 6 p.m.

Baby Wants Candy

Saturday, 6 p.m.

The Best of The Second City

Sunday, 7 p.m.

Improvised Shakespeare Chicago℠

The Mermaid Diva Show

July 10–14, 3 p.m. at the Buckingham Fountain - Free Admission

The divas of the Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club perform songs in the persona of well-known female singers in this daily 3 p.m. performance on the west side of Buckingham Fountain.

SummerDance at the Taste of Chicago

Chicago SummerDance, the largest annual outdoor live music and dancing series in the United States, will move to Buckingham Fountain Plaza during Taste of Chicago, each day of the festival from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The series typically offers a free, introductory one-hour dance lesson by professional instructors followed by live music and dancing. 

Silent Disco Powered by HUSHconcerts

July 10–14, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Buckingham Fountain - Free Admission

Get a set of headphones and dance along to tunes from one of two DJs spinning different genres.

Family Fun:

Trying to entertain the kids at the Taste? The Taste Playground offers fun for all ages including the return of the Taste of Chicago Ferris Wheel and an inflatables area for children. Tickets for rides will be available for purchase on site.

And if the playground is not for you, check out the Farm to Festival. The Farm to Festival area offers horticulture fun and education for all ages from 811 Chicago and the Department of Planning. Daily highlights include instruction on planting pollinators, rain and raised-bed gardens, inspiring tips for small space and “she shed” designs and more.

For children, Illinois Master Gardeners hosts its Bug Zoo with rare species, such as the Rosie Haired Tarantula and Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The Chicago Department of Transportations’ 811 Chicago offers a Dign' for Prizes garden, along with safety tips on what to know before digging.

New this year are a spectacular garden display, a nature play area presented by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and an exhibit of hydroponic grow towers from Southside Occupational Academy.

Eli's Cheesecake Birthday Celebration

Sing Happy Birthday to The Eli's Cheesecake Company with the cast of Hamilton and celebrate with a slice of complimentary cheesecake on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. (while supplies last).

Safety:

Police officers, private security, paramedics, and cameras are just part of the city’s plan to keep people safe at this year’s Taste of Chicago.

Rich Guidice, Executive Director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management said in Grant Park there are "eight or nine different entry ways into the festival itself. When you walk into the festival you are greeted by private security and then beyond that, the Chicago Police Department."

Due to the hot weather, cooling buses are on-site throughout the event and with Chicago’s weather sometimes unpredictable, Guidice recommends staying updated on weather conditions.

And if someone gets lost or sees something unusual – pole marker signage is attached to the lightpoles throughout Grant Park to help identify locations you might need a first responder to find you.