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9 Chicago summer food festivals

There’s more to Chicago food than deep-dish pizza and ketchup-less hot dogs. Hit up these summer festivals for a whirlwind culinary tour of the region. They offer a day’s worth of activities, and get you off the hook for cooking dinner. Plus, studies show kids complain less when their mouths are full.

Browse our full calendar of family-friendly summer fairs and fests

Taste of Chicago

The Taste returns for five days in Grant Park for a massive foodie fair complete with live music and activities for the entire family. Popular features include a three-course fine dining experience prepared by a notable Chicago Chef at Celebrity Chef du Jour, Pop-up Restaurants, food trucks and more.


Taste of Joliet

Three day festival featuring live music, carnival, food vendors and kid zone.  Performers include Survivor, 38 Special, Kansas, Kane Brown and more.


Taste of Wheaton

Includes Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals 5k/10k, arts and crafts, food vendors, carnival rides, children’s games, live entertainment, beer garden and market place business expo.


Taste of Lincoln Avenue

Features 100-plus vendors, food and more than 20 acts on two music stages. New this year: a “Sausage Fest” featuring local restaurants and meat emporiums selling encased meats. Ticketed wine tastings also available. Afternoons feature a stand-alone (free) “kids’ carnival” on Altgeld with art activities, pony rides and more.



Taste of River North

Enjoy cuisine from River North restaurants, merchants, artists and music. Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago & Kohl’s Cares have teamed up to present the Kid Zone with family entertainment, the Ward Park playground, dancing, face painters, stilt walkers, balloon artists and various demos from local schools and organizations. The tent is staffed by the Lurie Children’s Community Volunteer Corps, who help teach kids about bike, pedestrian and safety.


This one is worth the drive. You’ll be rewarded by fun facts(strawberries are the only fruit with its seeds on the outside!),games and, of course, more strawberries than you’ll know what to dowith.

Long Grove Strawberry Fest

Three days committed to all things strawberry. In addition to three stages of live entertainment programmed by Ravenswood Special Events, includes the renowned Kid Zone, with timeless fun like water balloon toss, flower crown arts, ballroom dancing, and junior knight training.


Naperville Ribfest

Fest features a BBQ contest with several rib vendors, food ranging from ribs and hot dogs to salads, snacks, desserts and drinks, two live music stages, special events, and fireworks.  Family area features carnival rides, inflatables, circus tricks, magic show, face painting, petting zoo and live performances.


Take your standard (read: awesome) Chicago summerfest, add someserious burger business, and subtract, or at least dial down, theswarming crowds of twenty-somethingsthat can take over someof Lakeview’s streetfests, and you’ve got Roscoe Village’s summercrown jewel. It’s a bit lower-key and friendlier for small feet andstrollers.

Roscoe Village Burger Fest

The savory patty and a rockin’ music lineup are in the spotlight for Roscoe Village’s 6 burger bash. In addition to food and music, arts/crafts and a “Kids’ Zone” for children and families are on the weekend’s menu.


Pierogi Fest

Festival features food, entertainment, kids’ play area, polka parade and pierogi eating contest.


Taste of Chicago

The Taste returns for five days in Grant Park for a massive foodie fair complete with live music and activities for the entire family. Popular features include a three-course fine dining experience prepared by a notable Chicago Chef at Celebrity Chef du Jour, Pop-up Restaurants, food trucks and more.


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