Everything You Need to Know About the Taste

It’s time to Taste!
The Taste of Chicago, the nation’s premier outdoor food festival, is running in Grant Park from Friday, June 24 through Sunday, July 3.
This year’s 26th annual Taste is being managed by the Chicago Park District for the first time. The festival is offering more vendors, including a dozen new ones, as well as some new activities geared toward families.
Ready to go? Here is everything you need to know before heading down to the lakefront for this year’s Taste of Chicago.
Fifty-nine restaurants will be on hand at the Taste, offering a selection of treats that represents the best of Chicago’s dining landscape.
Each vendor will offer six items, including two special “Taste Of” portions priced at $2 or less. Keep your eyes peeled for the Humana Healthier Choices green apple icon if you are interested in healthy menu options.
For a complete list of restaurants and their offerings, click here.
Your ears will be treated with live entertainment each day on two stages. In fact, four of the city’s annual lakefront music festivals will be incorporated into the Taste of Chicago on their own days:
*Viva! Chicago Latin Music Day: June 24
*Gospel Music Day: June 26
*Celtic Music Day: June 29
*Country Music Day: July 1
For a complete musical lineup, click here.
There’s lots to do at the Taste. The Family Village, at Columbus and Jackson, offers hands-on activities for kids including arts and craft stations led by area museums, games, face painting, green activities and more. There will also be a baby changing area with free diapers from Dominick’s. Chicago’s own Midnight Circus will perform each day at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Kids and adults can get their play on at The Playground, at Balbo and Columbus, which features Target’s gigantic turtle sandbox. There will be daily sports, fitness and dance demonstrations, and on June 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., The Playground will host Move at the Taste with fitness classes for all ages and abilities, as well as games, giveaways and more.
The Dominick’s Cooking Center will provide daily cooking demonstrations from dozens of notable chefs, including The Hearty Boys, Chef Tony Priolo, Chef Keli Fayard, Jimmy Bannos and Giada De Laurentiis, the Emmy-award winning television personality and the headliner for this year’s taste. She will be at the stage kitchen on Friday, July 1 at 2:30 p.m.
For a complete schedule of activities in the Family Village, The Playground and the Dominick’s Cooking Center, click here.
Getting there
Looks like your best, and least expensive, bet could be to park for $13 at the Waldron Deck parking garage at Soldier Field; exit at 18th Street off of Lake Shore Drive. Then, a free McDonald’s Family Trolley will run to and from the Taste and the garage on the North side of 18th Street from 10:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily; until 5:30 p.m. on July 3.
To pre-purchase a parking voucher for the garage or for more information on the free trolley, click here.
For CTA, RTA and Metra travel routes, call (312) 836-7000 or visit transitchicago.com. Bikes aren’t allowed in the Taste, but there is complimentary bike parking just outside the fest.
Now, pick your mode of transportation and get ready to Taste!
What: Taste of Chicago
Where: Grant Park, along Columbus Drive between Monroe Street and Balbo Avenue
When: Friday, June 24 through Saturday, July 2, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Sunday, July 3, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost: Admission is free; tickets for food cost $8 for a strip of 12 tickets. You can get tickets onsite or at local Dominick’s stores in advance.
Map: Want a map of the Fest? You can get one there, or you can print one HERE
Visit: explorechicago.org for more information, and have a great time!