After a two-year hiatus, Taste of Chicago brings tasty bites back to Chicago's Grant Park

It's Chicago's annual version of a backyard barbecue with the world invited to take part and the city's skyline as a background.

After two years, Taste of Chicago will return to Grant Park from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, July 8-10.

The Original Rainbow Cone will make its mark at this year's Taste of Chicago. Daily Herald file photo

"Taste of Chicago is a celebration of our city's incredible culinary scene and cultural vibrancy that attracts thousands of residents and tourists alike," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. "I cannot wait to welcome everyone to this iconic festival and enjoy classic Chicago eats alongside new cutting-edge dishes. Year after year, I discover something new and have a great time, and I hope our revelers do too."

The folks at the city's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events are happy to be back fully this year, too.

The City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events hosts this year's Taste of Chicago Friday through Sunday, July 8-10. Courtesy of City of Chicago DCASE

"After an all-virtual Taste in 2020 and community pop-ups in 2021, we are thrilled to bring Taste back to Grant Park and back into our neighborhoods in 2022," shared DCASE Commissioner Erin Harkey. "There's something for everyone to enjoy at this year's Taste, throughout the city."

This year's bite-sized Taste of Chicago is the culmination of weeks of neighborhood pop-up food festivals showcasing the best of the Austin, Little Italy and Pullman neighborhoods and local restaurants and other food vendors.

Hungry? Here's some of the festival fare available at this year's Taste of Chicago. Courtesy of City of Chicago DCASE

This weekend, more than 30 food vendors will circle the historic Buckingham Fountain at Jackson and Columbus, with food trucks parked nearby. The vendors will offer the usual summertime festival fare of hot dogs, pizza and cheesecake, and others will offer dishes from a wealth of diverse neighborhood restaurants. There's also a designated beer hall, wine tent and cocktail lounge.

You'll find fare from such stalwarts as Eli's Cheesecake Company, Chicago's Dog House and Billy Goat Tavern. Try some fare from around the world at vendors such as Tandoor Char House, Arun's Thai Restaurant, Franco's Ristorante, Yum Dum and Seoul Taco.

Some of the food trucks scheduled to be on hand include The Original Rainbow Cone, Ms. Tittle's Cupcakes and La Cocinita.

Nelly will perform at 7:15 p.m. Friday on the Taste Main Stage. Courtesy of City of Chicago DCASE

Music and SummerDance main acts will perform on the Taste Main Stage, while other stages throughout the park will feature local bands opening for the headliners.

Opening acts go on at 5 p.m. each day and headliners take the stage at 7:15 p.m., including Nelly on Friday, Aterciopelados on Saturday and Drive-By Truckers closing out the festival on Sunday. All concerts are free this year.

Chicago SummerDance will turn Buckingham Fountain Plaza into a dance party with free lessons and live music.

Drive-By Truckers will close out Taste of Chicago on Sunday night. Courtesy of City of Chicago DCASE

This year you can take dance lessons in swing, ballroom basics, and line dancing featuring the Cha-Cha Slide, the polka hop, steppin' and much more.

Taste of Chicago offers free admission; all food vendors will accept cash and credit cards - no food tickets will be sold this year. Food sales end at 9 p.m., and alcohol sales end at 8:45 p.m.

See a list of food vendors, a map of the event and entertainment acts at

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