The Taste of Chicago menu has been kicked up another notch for 2016. There’s something for everyone with over 200 food offerings from calorie rich and delicious puffs of doom, to Humana’s list of relatively low calorie “Healthy Choices” to gluten free, a fun variety of food truck foods and pop-up choices, to the traditional signature Chicago fare.
So the question is–where to start? Here are ten of our favorites.
The Pop-up restaurants come and go so if you have a favorite or know that you want a special menu item from one of the pop-ups just make sure that you coordinate your visit to the Taste for the day/days your pop up of choice is there.
1. Pork & Mindy’s, the latest offering from Sandwich King Jeff Mauro will be serving his popular “Pig” candy both in a regular-sized Pig Candy BLT or 3 slice pig candy in “Taste” portions. Pork & Mindy’s will be at Taste on Friday and Saturday or stop by his restaurant at 1623 N. Milwaukee Avenue, whenever.
2. MAD Social whose brick and mortar restaurant owned by Gina Stefani, Stefani, daughter of restaurateur Phil Stefani is located at 1140 W. Madison in Chicago. We tried their signature Chicken and Waffles at the Taste preview and couldn’t get enough of them. They will be cooking up the to die for creations made with churro batter at the Taste on Friday.
3. Another of our favorites from the Taste preview is Nana’s Cubano Sandwich. What’s a Cubano, you ask? Don’t ask, just try it. You won’t be sorry. Nana will be serving their Cubano Sandwich, regular portion on Sunday at the Taste. If you can’t make it then, you can stop by their restaurant at 3267 S. Halsted whenever the craving hits.
The food truck line-up is bigger and better for 2016. You can find the trucks in two locations–Jackson Blvd. near Lake Shore Drive and on South Columbus near Balbo Ave. Here are some truck stops that are on our list.
Please Note: Although most of the food trucks hang around longer than the pop-ups they are not there everyday–so make sure to check days and locations.
4. Jacks Fork in the Road will be serving their tasty Fried Chicken Sandwiches with gravy, strawberry jam and honey on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. The sandwiches come in both regular and “Taste” portions.
5. You can find Bruges Brothers Duck Fat Frites with Samurai Sauce at the South Columbus food truck location on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in both regular sized and “Taste” portions.
6. If you’ve never had Billy Goat cheeseburger or “cheezborger” make sure to stop by for a regular or Taste-sized portion.
7. New to Taste this year is Texas de Brazil. They are offering several menu items including a combo platter with sausage, chicken wrapped in bacon and a garlic steak on a roll. Smaller appetites may be content with a “Taste” portion of chicken wrapped in bacon. Their restaurant is located at 210 E. Illinois.
8. Arguably the best pierogi in town can be had at Kasia’s Deli at 2101 W. Chicago Avenue. Kasia’s will be serving several varieties of their pierogi including potato, Buffalo chicken, spinach or cheddar and jalapano in regular sizes or the potato pierogi in “Taste” portions.
9. Chicago’s hot Porkchop restaurant located in the equally hot West Loop dining mecca at 941 W. Randolph will be serving their mouthwatering Pulled Pork Sandwiches in regular size or a slider-size version for those wanting just a “Taste.”
10. There are churros and then there are Churro Factory Churros. The Churro Factory opened a small space in Pilsen at 2214 S. Wolcott in 1996 and soon had people standing in line for their made on the spot crispy, creamy, warm churros in a variety of creative flavors including Nutella (on certain days). Since then they’ve added other locations including Navy Pier. You can catch them all 5-days at the Taste of Chicago. They will be cooking up their large churros in a choice of three flavors–vanilla, chocolate or strawberry. They will also offer a “Taste” portion of 4-mini churros–or churritos.
WHAT: Taste of Chicago
WHEN: Wednesday, July 6 – Friday, July 8, 11 am. to 9 pm. and Saturday, July 9 through Sunday, July 10, 10 am. to 9 pm.
WHERE: Grant Park
ADMISSION: Free with food tickets sold in strips of 12 tickets for $8.50. Ticket sales are cut-off at 8:30 pm. each evening.
Click here for the schedule of events for this year’s Taste of Chicago.
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