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Taste of Chicago 2012


Taste of Chicago

At the Taste of Chicago

In Brief:

Taste of Chicago 2012 Entertainment Schedule

Taste of Chicago 2012 Food Vendors

Taste of Chicago Photo Gallery

Taste of Chicago FAQ

Race to Taste 2012

Hotels near Taste of Chicago

Taste of Chicago 2012 is Chicago's biggest event. Getting its start as a modest food festival on the Fourth of July in 1980, the Taste of Chicago has grown to be the world's largest outdoor food fest.


Grant Park -- north/south between Monroe Avenue and Balbo Drive, east/west between Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive.


Taste of Chicago 2012 Dates: July 11 - 15, 2012


11:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.


Admission and events are free, but you obviously have to pay for food and drinks. Purchases are made by ticket only. Tickets are sold in strips of 12 for $8. Large items are generally 9-10 tickets, side portions 6-7 tickets, soft drinks 4 tickets. All daily restaurants offer a small "Taste" portion for 2-3 tickets -- a great way to sample a large variety of all the food available.

Getting to Taste of Chicago By Public Transportation:

CTA bus lines #145 or #151 to Monroe/Michigan stop. Grant Park is also a short walk east from Loop Red and Blue line subway stops.

Parking at Taste of Chicago:

There is no parking on festival grounds, but there are several nearby garages: Parking garages are located at the Millennium Park Garage accessed on Columbus between Randolph and Monroe, the Monroe Street Garage at Monroe & Columbus, and the Grant Park garage with entrances at Michigan and Madison or Michigan and Randolph.

Independence Eve Fireworks:

In 2010, the traditional July 3 fireworks were canceled supposedly due to costs. The festival dates were then moved in 2012, and the Taste of Chicago no longer runs during the Fourth of July holiday. Enjoy Navy Pier fireworks instead.

About the Taste of Chicago:

The Taste of Chicago is quintessential summer in the Windy City -- great food and music, blue skies, Lake Michigan, and an incredibly diverse group of people from all over the city and Chicago suburbs.

The food festival serves up more than 300 menu items from over 70 restaurants and food vendors, and offers tastes of not just Chicago cuisine, but also the global influences that are a part of the city's melting pot. There's tame fair such as giant turkey legs and rib sandwiches, but the more adventurous can get a taste of dishes such as goat biryani (goat with rice, saffron and spices) or alcapurria (pork-filled banana dumplings).

Another great attraction of the Taste of Chicago are all the great free concerts taking place throughout the days of the festival. Main acts perform at the Petrillo Music Shell, and usually feature nationally-known performers. Other stages throughout Taste also feature local and regional acts.

To further immerse into the whole food experience, you can wander over to the Dominick's Cooking Corner and see cooking demonstrations by some of Chicago's best chefs and wine experts.

Children will enjoy the Family Village and Fun Time Stage, which features tons of hands-on activities and entertainment for kids.

If you want to be a part of one of the biggest parties in the city, be sure to make your way to the Taste of Chicago for an incredibly fun and unforgettable time.


  • All concerts and events are free are charge.
  • There is limited seating for the concerts at Petrillo Music Shell. Tickets are not required -- it's general admission on a first come, first serve basis and opens 30 minutes before showtime so it's best to line up early.
  • The Petrillo Music Shell has a "Jumbotron", so sitting in the lawn is not a bad option -- you are allowed to bring chairs.
  • Dogs are not allowed at the Taste of Chicago

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