Taste of Chicago Burgers

The Taste of Chicago 2017 is scheduled for July 5th-9th, and you should be there. On my first trip to the festival, I fell in love with Chicago. I also learned how much of a food city it really is. Over the years, I’ve picked up a few tricks of the trade that truly help make the most of the Taste of Chicago. As you plan on Traveling While Hungry to Chicago, here are a few things to know for the Taste of Chicago 2017.

Taste of Chicago Food Truck

     1. Plan to travel with a friend who likes to share their food (even if it’s only sometimes)

The Taste of Chicago works by ticket system. You purchase by cash or credit card, the amount of tickets you’d like and redeem them with vendors for either a taste or a heavier plate, considered somewhat of a full meal. The taste cost less and makes a ton of more sense to be shared with a friend because you’ll likely have more than one item on your plate. This way you truly get a Taste of Chicago and don’t run out of your tickets as fast. You can always order more if you think you should have shared less.

Taste of Chicago Burgers

      2. Get there early

One of the amazing parts about the Taste of Chicago is that they host pop up restaurants. They’re there for a limited time and then you may not see them again for the remainder of the festival so it’s a good idea to go early and catch them. The more popular ones are likely to run out of food by the time you’ve recovered from day drinking and seeing the sights. So if you’ve gotten a chance to see the line up early, be sure to arrive early for the vendors you don’t want to miss.

      3. Bring a Blanket

The Taste of Chicago is always packed and they’ve been doing a great job as securing more and more seating every year. However, at the peak hours it may be pretty difficult to find a seat or two, especially if you’re with a group. Being able to pull a blanket out of bag is going to be the best idea you’ve had in a while when the sun is shining and the burgers are calling. Totally, BYOB appropriate (B for Blanket guys).

Taste of Chicago dumplings

     4. Leave your diet at home

You knew this already but the Taste of Chicago 2017 will not be the place for anyone who recently decided to go on a diet. Everything you’ve ever wanted to eat, and things you didn’t even know you wanted, will be at the festival. Be sure to detox AFTER the Taste if you feel strongly about it, but certainly not before.

Taste of Chicago Mini donuts

     5. Pack a bottle of water

There’s a misconception that you can’t bring any outside food or beverages to the Taste but you actually can. No alcoholic beverages are allowed considering you can buy them once you’re inside. A bottle of water however, is what you’ll have a thirst for after walking under the sun for hours. You’ll be upset you wasted your food tickets on something you could have brung on your own so pack it!

Taste of Chicago

     6. Try something new

Who knows when the next time will be that you’ll have a poutine, chocolate covered bananas, and foie gras on a burger at your disposal? Live a little and try something you’ve never had before. You’re interested in going to the Taste of Chicago because you want to experience it all. You’ll get to drink, be at the concert, make new friends, get free stuff and eat. Make the most of it by doing it all, being present in the moment and going back home with something to talk about.

With these tips in mind, what are you looking forward to the most about the Taste of Chicago 2017?

Brown Betty icecream

After a Taste of Chicago, I had high expectations for A Taste of Philly. I happened to be visiting Philadelphia for two days and lucky me, I was just in time for the event. Outside of the entrance, plenty of food trucks lined up and I also got to try some of the worst mac and cheese ever, very sad.

Taste of Philadelphia banner

But that didn’t stop me from buying more tickets to get more food. Like the Taste of Chicago, you pay for a few tickets and then they are used as “money” when you visit the stands. Surprisingly here, the tickets can only get you one size portion,  in comparison to Chicago where they actually offered “a taste” and then that same portion doubled for a few more tickets.

Taste of Philadelphia tickets

The sun was scorching that day so the first thing I got my hands on was an ice cream sandwich from Brown Betty Icecream Truck.Brown Betty

I love strawberry ice cream so I really got a chance to appreciate the authenticity and quality of this sandwich. Did this woman make this ice cream from scratch? I could really taste that she did. The chocolate portion that kept it all together was more like a brownie to me, rich and creamy even, pulling all the flavors together.

Brown Betty icecream

Then I realized I needed some kind of “real” food in my system so I tried the chicken satay at the Twisted Tail stand. It’s always exciting to see the food being cooked fresh right in front of me.

Twisted Tail

And even better was the chicken I got to try.

Twisted Tail chicken satay

The rest of the festival was mainly theme park stands that sold your everyday theme park food, no specialties. I would try to return but towards the beginning of the festival for sure.


Convinced that going on exciting foodie trips is my sole purpose in life. Like it must be. Gotta be. Should be.

And so, in order to fulfill my purpose, I took a nice ‘lil trip to the City of Chicago, IL, for their Annual Taste of Chicago Food Festival. Over 50 restaurants and an abundance of treats, sweets and eats all in once space, at one time, at your service.

Taste of Chicago Tickets 2012

Food truly brings people together. It’s so amazing to me how it can happen from just one dish and I just love that. This trip is epic and I suggest every food lover out there to take it on a very, very, hungry weekend.

Taste of Chicago 2012

You have to purchase tickets for the food upon entering and then you spend them like money. I tried a Chicago style hot dog (it has a pickle on top amongst other things), the best bacon wrapped chicken in life, awesome pot stickers, hands down the best catfish with the best honey mustard ever AND the famous Harold’s chicken (with mild sauce). Seriously, this is far from half of the things I had. They had burgers, wine, ice cream, roti, deep dish pizza (so good), Thai food, you name it, and it’s there. I would definitely make this trip again. Chicago is also beautiful! I was so full the whole weekend and so delighted with everything I got to try.

Taste of Chicago Harolds 2012