Taste of Chicago

Taste of Chicago

Having been in Chicago for more than a month now, I can really begin to understand what everyone means when they say: “You must live in Chicago during the summer.”  I thought my home town of St. Louis was an interesting place to spend my summer breaks; however it pales in comparison to its big Midwest brother.

Last Thursday, I checked out the largest festival Chicago has to offer, appropriately titled: “Taste of Chicago”.  Among many other things, “Taste” is the premier event for food-loving aficionados who happen to be in Chicago during the early part of July.  Traditionally a ten-day festival that begins around the Fourth of July, “Taste” underwent some changes this year in an effort to increase numbers.  These changes included shortening the event to a five-day celebration (July11-15), as well as cutting back on the amount of food vendors invited to participate (complete rersturant list here).

Though the vendors may have been less in number than in years past, the food quality was of no concern.  Amongst the food vendors stood some Chicago pillars, such as Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, Cubby Bear, and Gold Coast Dogs.  Dessert was served too, with Chicago favorites like Eli’s Cheesecake and Original Rainbow Cone in attendance.  Picky eaters need not be concerned with limited selection because a wide variety of cultures are represented at “Taste”, including Mexican, Jamacan, Italian, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and many more.  But even with some of the best food in the city, “Taste” is so much more than a food festival.

The icing on the cake for all “Taste” attendees is the concerts that play on the large, open fields of Grant Park.  Creating the inseparable bond of delicious food and great music, big-name musicians provide the evening’s entertainment.  This year, names like Jennifer Hudson, Luke James, Michael Franti, Calexico, Dierks Bentley, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Death Cab for Cutie all turned out to play for the 1.2 million “Taste”-comers this year.  For an up-close-and-personal experience with the bands, seats could be bought for around $25 dollars, but for those who don’t mind enjoying their pulled pork sandwiches and watermelon on the lawn, seating was free.

So, if you dare to bare the heat and mingle with some million-something people while enjoying the cities best food and a wide variety of music, the Taste of Chicago, is an event you should put on your 2013 calendar.  After all, it is the largest food festival in the world.

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