17 mouthwatering food fests for real foodie families

Roscoe Village Burger Fest, Photo Courtesy of Choose Chicago/Special Events Management Photo Courtesy of Roscoe Village Burger Fest


Introducing new foods to the pickiest eaters is all about the fun. Thanks to fairs and fests season, trying fresh tastes and the bests flavors from all over the country and the world is simplified. If your family is ready to criss-cross the globe with new recipes, grab your wagon and enjoy a trip to these food fests.


RELATED: Our ultimate guide to summer fairs and festivals in Chicagoland




Highland Games & Scottish Festival


When: June 14-15


Where: Hamilton Lakes Highway 290 and Thorndale, Itasca


From Scottish BBQ to Haggis to Sticky Pudding, the festival highlights new tastes along with music, dancing, exhibits, crafts for kids and a car show.


Ribfest Chicago


When: June 14-16


Where: Northcenter Neighborhood, 4000-4165 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago


Enjoy some finger-licking good BBQ in Northcenter, along with “Best Ribs” awards and rib-eating competitions. Families can also hang out at the “Kids Square.”


Viking Midsummer Festival


When: June 16


Where: Good Templar Park, Geneva


Think meatballs, brats, ribs and turkey legs when you head to Geneva. In addition to great Swedish food offerings, the festival has a Maypole raising, children’s activities and carnival games.


Long Grove Strawberry Festival


When: June 21-23


Where: Long Grove Historic Village, Long Grove


Sure, your kids already love strawberries, but have they tried strawberry prim rib sandwiches, strawberry BBQ sauce or deep-fried strawberries on a stick? There’s more than one way to learn to love an ingredient.



Taste of Chicago, Photo Credit DCASE


Taste of Chicago


When: July 10-14


Where: Grant Park, Chicago


The five-day festival is all about food. If your kids don’t dig their first small-bite tastes, they can try a different one. Before calling the whole day a wash, head over to the Rainbow Cone booth to indulge in some classic local flavor.


Roscoe Burger Fest


When: July 13-14


Where: Belmont & Damen, Chicago


Roscoe Village’s annual food bash is all about the burger. The finest burger-makers from across the city descend to doll out the burger bites. There’s also a great Kids Zone and live music.


Irish American Heritage Festival


When: July 12-14


Where: Irish American Heritage Center, Chicago


Nosh on the best Irish egg rolls, fish & chips and Shepard’s Pie while watching the pipe band contests and live bands. There are also step dancers, dancing lessons for kids and other children’s activities available, then go ahead and tackle the ice cream.


Tacos y Tamales Festival


When: July 19-21


Where: 16th Street & Peoria, Chicago


The Pilsen festival boasts some of the best Mexican chefs in the city, with handmade tortillas to hold the tacos, tostadas and tamales. Adults can enjoy tequila tastings and Modelo’s products in the beer garden. 

Chinatown Summer Fair


When: July 21


Where: Wentworth at Cermak, Chicago


The top restaurants in Chinatown will line the streets to sell their Asian food, with noodles, rice and egg rolls on the menus. Stay for the parade and celebrations of Far East culture.


Fiesta del Sol


When: July 25-28


Where: 1400 Cermak, Chicago


There are more than 100 booths along Cermak Ave., boasting the top tastes in tacos, tamales and tostadas. The Ferris wheel adds to the carnival and fun atmosphere.


Pierogi Fest


When: July 26-28


Where: 119th Street, Whiting, Ind.


This Polish dumpling and Polish culture is on display through the weekend in Indiana. Celebrate with a polka parade and taste the pierogi as many ways as you’re willing: from sauerkraut to sweet.




When: July 27-28


Where: Washington Park, Chicago


Goat, lamb, chicken and beef are dishes found in Ghana and on the Taste of Ghana trail at GhanaFest. The two-day event also includes a parade of chiefs and queens, dancing and art.



Taste of Polonia, Photo Courtesy of Choose Chicago/Taste of Polonia


Festa Italiana


When: Aug. 2-4


Where: Naper Settlement, Naperville


Pasta, pizza and all things cannoli might already be on your kid’s favorite foods list. At Festa Italiana, there are more than simple tastes available with the best fried, sauced and eating-contest foods.


Arts Dans La Rue


When: Aug. 6


Where: Marion Street, Oak Park


The ticket to French culture is in Oak Park, with baguettes, crepes and beignets. Kids will also enjoy the poodle parade, chalk artist and tastes of gelato.


Chicago Hot Dog Fest


When: Aug. 9-11


Where: Lincoln Park, Chicago


For kids addicted to a good hot dog, the Hot Dog Fest serves ’em up Chicago Style from the top vendors and chefs in the city. There’s also a chance to learn about the history of the dog, the city and enjoy games, inflatables and activities.


Taste of Greektown


When: Aug. 23-25


Where: Greek Town, Chicago


While there are a plethora of Greek festivals all summer long, the Greek Town fest includes the best restaurants serving up kabobs, gyros and Hellenic culture.


Taste of Polonia


When: Aug. 30-Sept. 2


Where: Copernicus Center, Chicago


Expect many tastes of sauerkraut, stuffed cabbage, Polish-style sausages, pierogi, and, of course, blintzes. The festival also includes soccer lessons, dancing, arts and crafts and inflatables.


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