Taste of Chicago 2019: What's new? What's happening?

Taste of Chicago 2019: What's new? What's happening?
Taste of Chicago

Taste of Chicago has been a summer tradition for 39 years but it never gets old. This year’s festival, July 10–14 in Grant Park, will feature new and returning elements that make the world’s largest free-admission food festival a summertime favorite.

Here’s a look.


People enjoying the Taste preview in 2016. Photo: Chicago Tribune

People enjoying the Taste preview in 2016. Photo: Chicago Tribune

Taste started with food and food is still a big part of the celebration. This year the list will include 80 eateries with 40 five-day participants, 24 pop-ups and 16 food trucks. Taste-goers will enjoy an endless variety of more than 300 menu items to suit every palate.

Each day of the Taste features a different culinary theme: Best Lists, City Streets, Healthy Eating and Spicy Hot, leading up to the Mac N Cheese Smackdown on Sunday

New This Year

More tastes: 36 New Eateries

Save time: Buy your food and beverage tickets online. Taste of Chicago food and beverage tickets can be purchased in advance at TasteofChicago.us. The food and beverage tickets are $10 for 14.

OR BUY on-site.

THE MUSICtaste2019music-of-chicago-jul-12-19-51-25

Taste of Chicago presents a diverse mix of chart-topping national and international acts at the Petrillo Music Shell, including Courtney Barnett, Bomba Estéreo, Cultura Profética, De La Soul, The Strumbellas, lovelytheband and India Arie, with opening performances by Sunflower Bean, Taylor Bennett, Joywave, Meshell Ndegeocello and Bilal.

For all Petrillo concerts, seating tickets are $25 for general admission and $50 for premium seating. As always, the lawn viewing is free. Concerts start at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

New this yeartaste-of-chicago-jul-13-19-43-53

The Taste Oasis. The Oasis will offer a prime concert viewing experience in a lounge setting complete with a private cash bar, complimentary bottled water, appetizers and more from 3 to 9 p.m. at the Petrillo Music Shell. Limited tickets are available for $50.


As part of the Year of Chicago Theatre, through a generous grant from the Bayless Family Foundation, the Theatre Garden at Taste of Chicago will showcase local theater talent with performances by the world-renowned Second City, Porchlight Music Theatre and other sketch and improv groups.

The area highlights family performances early in the day along with interactive workshops and performances organized by Pocket Con, an annual convention for Chicago youth that highlights comics and illustration work by diverse artists. The Theatre Garden’s artistic elements were designed by John Preus in a piece called Holding Patterns. Theatre Garden programming takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

 New This Year

Chicago’s Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club presents The Mermaid Diva Show on the west side of Buckingham Fountain each day at 3 p.m.

FAMILY FUNtaste-of-chicago-jul-11-16-37-48

The Taste Playground on the west side of Columbus Drive 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.

New This Year  

The Farm to Festival area. Enjoy horticulture fun and education for all ages from 811 Chicago and the Department of Planning.  Daily highlights include instruction on planting pollinator, rain and raised-bed gardens, inspiring tips for small space and “she shed” designs and more. 

Bug Zoo. Illinois Master Gardeners hosts its Bug Zoo with rare species, such as the Rosie Haired Tarantula and Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. 

Dign’ for Prizes Garden. 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.  


Each evening, Chicago SummerDance, the largest annual outdoor live music and dancing series, opens at Buckingham Fountain Plaza with free dance lessons and live music from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

New This Year

Silent Disco powered by HUSHconcerts. Participants get a set of headphones and dance along to tunes from one of two DJs spinning different genres.


Taste of Chicago is presented by DoorDash and produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in coordination with the Illinois Restaurant Association, which manages food and beverage operations. The festival is sponsored in part by CH Vodka, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Tribune, CLTV-Chicagoland’s Television, Communications Direct, Eli’s Cheesecake, Goose Island Beer Company, IL Lottery, Lifeway Foods, Pepsi, Riboli Family Wines, Shoreline Sightseeing, Southwest Airlines and WGN-Television.

What: The 39th Annual Taste of Chicago presented by DoorDash
When: July 10–14
Where: Grant Park
Hours: Open from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday
Tickets and information: Visit TasteofChicago.us

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