Eat This: Taste of Chicago Festival

For a BIG taste of “The Windy City,” feast to your heart’s content at Chicago’s largest annual event, the Taste of Chicago Food Festival. Held July 11-15 in Grant Park, this five-day foodie extravaganza includes live music, entertainment, a Humana Race to Taste for all adults and a Fleet Feet Sports Kids Dash for the kiddos.

While festival admission is free, food and beverage tickets are sold in strips of 12 tickets for $8. If you’re a grazer, the festival also offers “Taste of Portions” at each food vendor and are between 1-5 tickets. (See our Taste of Chicago Preview photos.)

Taste of Chicago 2012 will feature about 40 Chicago restaurants, with cuisines ranging from West African to Brazilan to Texas BBQ. An exciting addition this year are 15 pop-up restaurants, with three new pop-up restaurants each day of the festival. See the entire Taste of Chicago schedule here.

The Taste of Chicago Festival also serves up an impressive dose of star power during its Petrillo Music Shell Concerts, where you’ll see Jennifer Hudson (July 11), Death Cab for Cutie (July 12) and Dierks Bentley (July 15). Tickets are just $25 for festival-goers.

Running since 1980, the Taste of Chicago Outdoor Festival started when a group of restaurateurs banded together to celebrate 4th of July with a food festival. Now, the event attracts 2.5 million people every summer, all converging to taste some of Chicago’s best eateries. Even Eli’s Cheesecake has been a taste vendor since the very beginning!

So, save your appetite and get ready for the ultimate of outdoor food festivals. Oh, and wear your stretchy pants.

Book your room now for great summer events with BEST WESTERN PLUS River North, the only downtown Chicago hotel with FREE Parking.

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