Taste of Chicago To-Go: Who, what & when

Taste of Chicago To-Go: Who, what & when
Taste of Chicago

Taste of Chicago To-Go offers food from over 40 eateries, music, dance and events in Chicago neighborhoods including Humboldt Park, Garfield Park, West Englewood and across the city

Here’s what you need to know to go

WHO: Taste of Chicago To-Go food vendors and food trucksChicago Band Roster musiciansauthor Marisel Vera; Taste of Chicago favorites Eli’s CheesecakeRobinson’s No. 1 Ribs and Goose Island; food business incubator The Hatchery; and Let’s Talk Womxn — just to name a few; presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE)

WHAT:          

Taste of Chicago To-Go (July 7–11, a new and reimagined program presented in place of this year’s Taste of Chicago festival in Grant Park, returns this summer with free music, dance and food events across the city — featuring nearly 40 participating eateries and promoting Chicago’s amazing restaurant industry; plus “Community Eats” community meals serving local nonprofit organizations and pop-up music performances at participating eateries citywide, featuring artists from the Chicago Band Roster (created for the 2021 Year of Chicago Music).

WHEN + WHERE:

FRIDAY, JULY 9:

4–8PM

Taste of Chicago To-Go Presents Puerto Rican Food, Coffee and Storytelling featuring a conversation with Marisel Vera author of “The Taste of Sugar,” at ¡WEPA! Mercado del Pueblo (2559 W. Division St.)

Acclaimed local author Marisel Vera is a proud Boricua — and her novel “The Taste of Sugar” was recognized as one of 12 best Latinx books of 2020 by NBC News and the “Best New Novel by a Chicagoan” by the Chicago Reader.

  • 4pm: Puerto Rican cooking demonstration by Urban Pilón’s Chef Roberto Pérez 
  • 5pm: Intermission and walkthrough of ¡WEPA! Mercado del Pueblo (market) and business incubator
  • 5:30pm: “The Taste of Sugar” book reading by Marisel Vera; interview by Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas, Q&A and book signing
  • 7–8pm: Music and dance performance by Ivelisse “Bombera de Corazón” Díaz and “Bomba con Buya” — plus Bomba Workshop

5–8PM

Taste on Tap: a special event at Goose Island Brewery’s Tap Room (1800 W. Fulton St.)

Featuring a wide array of Goose Island’s brews and a one-night-only “TASTE of CHICAGO” pint. A commemorative koozie will be in limited supply and Goose Island Brewery will donate a portion of the proceeds from the evening to benefit My Block, My Hood, My City.

  • Taste of Chicago To-Go food trucks: Cynthia’s Gumbo Express, Razpachos and Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs
  • DJs: Chess Hubbard and Armando Perez

Pop-Up Performances

Experience live, in-person performances by Chicago musicians popping-up at the following eateries — to celebrate the Year of Chicago Music and support Chicago restaurants. For additional information about the Year of Chicago Music and the Chicago Band Roster, please visit chicago.gov/music.

  • 6–9PM (with intermission): Sam Trump & The Soul Vortex at Island Tings LLC (300 E. 51 St.)
  • 7–8:30PM: Illville Vanguard at Connie’s Pizza (2373 S. Archer Ave.)
  • 7–9PM: Nanette Frank at Exquisite 501 (501 E. 61st St.)
  • 8–10PM: Attack The Sound at Whadda Jerk (2015 W. Division St.)

SATURDAY, JULY 10:

10AM–2PM

Pop-Up Taste: a “Taste of the West Side” at food business incubator The Hatchery (135 N. Kedzie Ave.) — presented with the Garfield Park Neighborhood Market and offering live entertainment, cooking demos and innovative local food businesses and entrepreneurs; 10:30am: “I Am Community” art installation

10AM–4PM

Pop-Up TasteEli’s Cheesecake and Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs — Taste of Chicago’s tastiest team and long-time Taste of Chicago “booth neighbors” — have once again partnered to create a one-day food and music event at Eli’s Cheesecake Company (6701 W. Forest Preserve Dr. at the intersection of Forest Preserve / Montrose / Normandy).

  • Eli’s Cheesecake will be offering its Taste favorites, like Eli’s Cheesecake Dippers and Turtle CheesecakeRobinson’s Barbecue Truck will be cooking up its famous boneless rib sandwich, rib tips and more.
  • 10am, 1pm & 2:30pm: Pop-Up Performances by Chicago musicians Anne & Mark Burnell; Illville Vangard; and Henry Johnson — to celebrate the Year of Chicago Music. (For additional information about the Year of Chicago Music and the Chicago Band Roster, please visit chicago.gov/music.)
  • Don’t miss the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences mobile farm stand with Chicago-grown produce, honey and crafts. A portion of the event proceeds will be donated to the Chicago High School for Agriculture High School Scholarship Fund.

1–8PM

Pop-Up Taste: Join us in the West Englewood community (6300 S. Wood St.) to purchase delicious food from local eateries and relax in a dining tent while enjoying a stellar line-up of local DJs, musicians and dancers — plus kids activities.

Taste of Chicago To-Go food vendors and food trucks:

  • Chicago’s Doghouse
  • Exquisite 501
  • The Flavored Jamaican
  • Healthy Substance
  • Ms. Tittles Cupcakes
  • Razpachos
  • Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs
  • Tatas Tacos
  • Whadda Jerk

1–7:45pm: Beer garden 

Live performances by local musicians — celebrating the 2021 Year of Chicago Music hosted by DJ Mike P with special guest DJ Jamal Smallz:

  • AYA ITO
  • Bianca Shaw
  • Chanelle Tru
  • Freddie J. McGee
  • The Future Kingz
  • Latin Street Music & Dancing
  • Matt B.
  • Mercedes Inez

Kids activities: 17’ Wacky Dual Lane Slide, Pop-A-Shot Baskets, Ring Toss, Social Photo Booth, Tic-Tac Toe, Giant Connect Four and Giant JENGA

SUNDAY, JULY 11:

12–3PM

Let’s Talk Women Picnic in White, an epic picnic at Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.), will serve as the closing event for Taste of Chicago To-Go — presented by DCASE and Let’s Talk Womxn.]

This celebration of Chicago features women-power music, women performers and interviews of Chicago’s leading women restaurateurs with pre-ordered picnic fare and beverages. The $45 picnic box lunch features five surprise items from Chicago’s top women-owned restaurants and will be picked up onsite upon arrival (vegetarian or non-vegetarian). Signature cocktails and beverages may also be pre-ordered. Limited food and beverages will be offered for purchase onsite. Guests are encouraged to dress in white in solidarity with women across Chicago and across the world and to bring friends and family to this celebration. For details, visit LetsTalkWomxn.com.

Pop-Up Performances

Experience live, in-person performances by Chicago musicians popping-up at the following eateries — to celebrate the Year of Chicago Music and support Chicago restaurants. For additional information about the Year of Chicago Music and the Chicago Band Roster, please visit chicago.gov/music.

  • 6–9PM (with intermission): Ugochi & ASE at Iyanze Bronze (5055 S. Prairie Ave.)

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