Deals, Dares & Reviews To Help You Savor Your World.
Street food on the stroll. Beer. People watching. Music from all-but-forgotten 80′s hair bands (you mean those guys are still alive??) Nothing beats a neighborhood food fest for easy weekend fun, and Chicagoland’s 2012 calendar is a veritable buffet of tasty options. Celebrations of everything from pizza to pierogis and strawberries to sausage will be dished up in a neighborhood near you this summer, so get out and taste your city! Tip: Hook up with other foodies at these events by joining Salut! A Culinary Adventure Club @ www.meetup.com/salut-chicago.
May 31-June 3 Mayfest (Maifest) Chicago www.mayfestchicago.com
Binge on beer, brats and live polka music with a coupla thousand of your closest friends at this wildly popular German-flavored Spring Festival. 4700 N. Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Square.
May 31-June 3 Taste of Wheaton www.wheatonparkdistrict.com
The downtown area of this sleepy suburb shines for three days at the very start of summer. Take the family and found out what’s good to eat outside of Chicago.
June 2-3 Sausagefest Chicago www.explorechicago.org
Stuff your face with, um, wieners (and scores of other encased, tubular meats) from some of the city’s best butchers and artisanal meat purveyors. The party rocks all weekend at the corner of Addison and Sheffield in the shadow of The Friendly Confines.
June 16-17 Chicago Pizzafest www.chicagoevents.com
Pizza Fest’s debut was a spectacular failure. But after three years off to work out the kinks, organizers have revamped the pie party and moved it to a new location in Uptown at Wilson and Broadway. Let’s hope they go balls out this year — Chicagoans are an understandably tough crowd when it comes to pizza.
June 22-24 Long Grove Strawberry Fest (847) 634-0888
Worth the drive, this family friendly party simply screams summer and celebrates the only fruit that keeps its seeds on the outside (true fact!)
June 29-July 1 Chicago Craft Beer Festival www.explorechicago.com
A benefit for one of Chicago’s most historic churches, the Craft Beer Fest features a budget-friendly $5 general admission for food, games and family fun. Fork over another $75 to gain access to the exclusive Craft Beer Tasting tent, where you can sample over 70 of the coolest local and regional brews. St. Michael in Old Town, 1633 N. Cleveland.
June 29-July 1 Taste of Joliet www.tasteofjoliet.com
Take a trip to the burbs for a grand old time at the Joliet Memorial Stadium. REO Speedwagon headlines a slew of nostalgia bands, while Joliet’s best eateries dish up delights.
June 29-July 1 Naperville Ribfest www.ribfest.net
Gnaw some bones at this gathering for hardcore carnivores held in picturesque Knoch Park in Naperville.
This grandaddy of all food fests will still be held in Grant Park and it’s still (mostly) free, but Mayor Rahm has moved it away from the madding crowds of Independence Day and has added upscale ticketed experiences to entice foodies back to the fold. Will this be the best Taste ever?
July 13-15 Windy City Ribfest www.chicagoevents.com
A meaty, musical, sauce-slathered event for those who worship the pink ring. Smashmouth headlines (appropriately), so bring plenty of napkins. Lawrence and Broadway in Uptown.
July 20-22 Taste of River North www.tasterivernorth.com
Diverse destination restaurants like Kinzie Chop House, Ai Japanese and Moe’s Cantina cook up the bites at this cozy neighborhood party. Find it in Ward Park, at the corner of Kingsbury and Erie.
A sunny, family friendly event with the potential to ruin your best (bleep)ing shirt. While you’re in the neighborhood, stop by Bleeding Heart Bakery for some killer punk rock cupcakes. Belmont and Damen in Roscoe Village.
There had to be one, as the simple, comfy pierogi is one of mankind’s greatest inventions. This party features all kinds of family fun and is held in downtown Whiting, Indiana. (Trust us, it’s not as far away as it sounds.)
July 28-29 Taste of Lincoln Avenue www.explorechicago.com
This big fest/feast spreads from Fullerton to Wrightwood on Lincoln Avenue, and features 40 bands, 300 vendors and even a kid’s carnival and petting zoo. Sounds like a blast!
August 12th Streetfood Artistry www.streetfoodartistrychicago.com.
Food trucks, street food sellers and pop-up chefs gather at the Zhou B Art Center to form the most temporary neighborhood ever, and we’re all invited to it’s one-day only block party feast. Street musicians and artists promise to fascinate between bites. $35 cover, 1029 W. 35th Street.
August 24-26 Taste of Latin America www.chicagoevents.com
This brand new ethnic fest features sizzling music and spicy dishes (or was it the other way around?) Either way, it’s all for a good cause — proceeds benefit the Chicago Canine Rescue. Find it on Armitage between Central Park Avenue and Avers Street.
August 25-26 Time Out Chicago’s Food Truck Social www.foodtrucksocialchicago.com
Culinarians predict that this summer’s food truck party will draw twice as many fans as last year’s crowd-pleasing debut. A $5 suggested donation gets you the rare opportunity to sample and support some of the city’s best meals on wheels, all in the same place at the same time. Location to be announced, but save the date now — you won’t want to miss this one!
September 15-16 Guinness Oyster Fest www.rvcc.biz/event
They shuck, you suck at this happy little food fest pairing fresh bivalves with perfectly poured Guinness. Quite frankly, we at Salut! can’t think of a better way to spend a sweet September weekend. In the heart of Roscoe Village at Damen & Roscoe.
September 21-23 Oktoberfest Chicago www.chicago.cbslocal.com/top-lists/oktoberfest
Okay, it’s not technically held in October, but this cherished German brouhaha is still a good excuse to break out the liederhosen. Lift your stein at the corner of Southport and Lincoln Avenue for three beer-soaked days of revelry.