10 Summertime Chicagoland Food Festivals in 2019

Winter is done, spring has sprung, and it’s time to venture outdoors to hit some parties and eat good food. All summer long, Chicagoland food festivals will whet your appetite. Check out this list of 2019’s food festivals in the area.

Taste of Chicago
Grant Park, Jackson St. & Columbus Dr. Chicago
July 10-14, 2019
Still one of the biggest and best food festivals, the Taste of Chicago celebrates its 39th year. Dozens of restaurants, food trucks, and pop ups will serve tasty treats from all over the world at this free event.

Ribfest in Naperville
Knoch Park, 724 South West St. Naperville, IL
July 3-6, 2019
This west suburban party is known for awesome musical acts and piles of rich, savory ribs. Listen to Flo Rida, Billy Idol, Brantley Gilbert, and others while you munch on delicious ribs before the fireworks.

Taste of Polonia
5216 W. Lawrence Ave, Chicago (Copernicus Center)
Aug. 30-Sep. 2, 2019
The largest Polish festival in the U.S. will be back in Jefferson Park with a multitude of bands, stages, cooking demos, and family-friendly activities for everyone.

Tacos y Tamales Festival
18th St. & Peoria, Chicago (Pilsen)
July 19-21, 2019
Modeled after the traditional Tianguis, the Tacos y Tamales Festival brings the sound and aroma of a Mexican market to the Pilsen neighborhood. Stages will have traditional music during the day and high energy Latin rock at night.

Windy City Smoke Out
1901 W. Madison St. Chicago (United Center)
July 12-14, 2019
Put on your cowboy boots and hat before heading to this celebration of country music, smoked meat, and craft beer. The biggest names in country music and the best pit masters from all over the country will make you forget you’re in the city.

Chicago Hotdog Fest
Stockton and LaSalle Dr., Chicago (Lincoln Park)
Aug. 9-11, 2019
Nothing says Chicago quite like hot dogs. Enjoy regional styles from all over the country and learn the history of the classic food at this event sponsored by the Chicago History Museum.

Chicago’s Only Ice Cream Festival
Antique Taco 1000 W. 35th St. Chicago
July 21, 2019
Hot summer days call for tasty frozen treats. There’s no better way to celebrate National Ice Cream Day than with two scoops in a waffle cone at this Chicagoland food festival.

Ribfest Chicago
Lincoln Ave. from Irving Park Rd. to Burteau Ave. Chicago
June 14-16, 2019
Follow your nose to the wood burning smokers cooking up amazing ribs in every regional style. Celebrate ribs and rock & roll while you watch titans of competitive eating compete in Rib Mania VII.

Roscoe Village Burger Fest
2000 W. Belmont, Chicago (Roscoe Village)
July 13 and 14, 2019
Have a flippin’ good time at this family-friendly neighborhood party. Burgers and fries, the Kid Zone, and lots of music make this a must attend event this summer.

Great American Lobster Fest
Navy Pier, Chicago
Aug. 30-Sep. 1, 2019
The Midwest’s largest seafood fest has live lobster, live music, and lots of libations at Navy Pier. Don’t forget your lobster cracker and extra napkins because it could get messy.

5 Vegan-Friendly Dessert Shops in Chicago

5 vegan friendly shops in chicago

Below, we share five vegan-friendly dessert shops in Chicago. Because no matter your dietary needs, you deserve to have sweets!



Located just minutes from the Red Line in Andersonville, this gluten-free bakery has an amazing mission: to make dessert accessible to everyone. Vegans and those who live with food allergies or Celiac disease can enjoy sweets from Defloured knowing they’re free of any unwelcome ingredients. The shop uses soy-free butter and flax eggs to create their delectable desserts. Customers can choose from a wide selection of delicious vegan goodies, including cake pops, cookies, dessert bars, pies, and whoopie pies.

Loving Heart

loving heart


Loving Heart is a small café with an impressive plant-based menu. In addition to handmade salads, soups, wraps, and other savory menu items, they also serve decadent, 100% vegan cakes. These desserts are made with mostly USDA-certified organic ingredients, so they’re not just good—they’re good for you, too. Currently, the café offers Apple Ginger Cake, Double Chocolate Cake, and Gluten-Free Carrot Cake. The shop also brews coffee and tea, the perfect accompaniments to your sweet snack.

Swirlz Cupcakes

swirlz cupcakes

Located in charming Lincoln Park, Swirlz has created unique vegan desserts for over a decade. Their cupcakes are made from rice flours and dedicated vegan equipment, so you can trust that they’re completely free of dairy, egg, gluten, and wheat. Additionally, Swirlz makes their batters, buttercreams, and fillings fresh daily. The shop offers 18 irresistible vegan flavors, including Banana Nutella, Double Chocolate, and S’mores. Flavors vary depending on the day of the week, so stopping in for a treat is always very tempting!

West Town Bakery

west town bakery


West Town Bakery is a sustainable bakery you must visit. The shop has three Chicago locations: River North, Wrigleyville, and, of course, West Town. They serve vegan cakes, cookies, donuts, muffins, and much more. West Town Bakery strives to use local and all-natural ingredients whenever possible. They also follow Earth-friendly practices, from using eco-friendly packaging and green lighting to recycling at the end of the day.

Upton’s Breakroom

uptons bakery


Upton’s Naturals is widely known for their high-quality vegan grocery products. So if you love their food, don’t hesitate to visit their breakroom on Grand Avenue. Vegans and non-vegans alike enjoy the shop’s offerings; customers love Upton’s Breakroom for their cookies, malts, and shakes. Plus, they also offer delicious Temptation Soft Serve Ice Cream—when you arrive, be sure to ask about their available flavors and toppings.

7 of the Best Seafood Boil Restaurants in the U.S.

The magnificence of a seafood boil should never go unnoticed. Chow down on the wonders of the sea and enjoy an explosion of flavor—whether that be Cajun, Thai Chili, or Lemon Pepper. Delve into delectable dishes full of potatoes, your choice of seafood, sausages, and more. You won’t want to miss out on visiting these incredible American seafood boil restaurants.

Best Seafood Boil Restaurants in the U.S.

1. Skull Creek Boathouse

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
skull creek boathouse

This landmark waterfront restaurant has all the seafood boil necessities. Choose from a boil with snow crab legs, shrimp, mussels, clams, and oysters, or keep it simple with their Lowcountry Boil which relies heavily on excellent shrimp flavors. They offer a wide variety of seafood plate options as well if you want to switch it up.

2. The Boil

New York, New York
the boil

At the Boil, guests can experience authentic Cajun flavor in New York. Playing with various old-fashioned Creole cooking styles, they craft everything on the menu to bring unbelievable flavor to your taste buds. Get ready to get messy with their combos featuring crawfish, lobster, and crab.

3. The Angry Crab

Chicago, IL
the angry crab

The popularity of The Angry Crab is well-deserved—they give you the freshest possible seafood options and lather them up with your choice of seasoning and spice. Make this seafood boil your own by adding any of their 11 different seafood options. You’re sure to leave with dirty hands and a happy stomach.

4. The Juicy Seafood

Savannah, GA
the juicy seafood

You’ll have no problem finding excellent seafood in the south, but Juicy Seafood has some of the best. They’re the ultimate choice for all seafood cravings—start with some perfectly fried calamari and then dive right into their boil. Choose your favorite fish from their various options and get to cracking!

5. The Boiling Crab 

Cities in California, Hawaii, Florida, Nevada, Texas
the boiling crab

People all over the United States cannot get enough of this restaurant. If you’re heading to the West Coast and need a Cajun fix, then the Boiling Crab is the perfect option. Choose from their four sauces—we recommend The Whole Sha-Bang! ®—then level up your spice flavor profile. Before you know it, you’ll be elbow deep in delicious seafood.

6. The Cajun Crawfish 

Seattle, WA
the cajun crawfish

This family-owned restaurant specializes in Vietnamese-Southern seafood cuisine. Thanks to Cajun Crawfish, even way up north you can experience a delectable home cooked southern experience. They have a wide range of seafood to choose from, from sea snails to blue prawns.

7. Cajun Claws Seafood Boilers

Rayne, LA
cajun claws seafood boilers

Specializing in crawfish, Cajun Claws boasts delectable seafood. Louisiana is home to numerous seafood restaurants that have their own spin on Cajun food—this is just one of the many tasty options. Their boiled combos come in massive portion sizes, so there’s no chance you’ll leave hungry.

5 of the Most Popular Food Trends in 2019

Each year brings a new wave of trends that revolutionize the food industry as we know it. Fortunately, 2019 is no different. From inventive takes on traditional treats to eco-friendly efforts, these are some of the most popular food trends in 2019.

“Ugly” produce

Every year, thousands of pounds of perfectly edible produce are tossed in the trash simply because the food’s physical appearance is imperfect. But that’s about to change in 2019, thanks to start-ups such as Imperfect Produce and Hungry Harvest. These companies send boxes of misshapen produce to your door for a discounted cost. You can expect to see an influx of organizations following in their footsteps as this “ugly” produce trend gains traction this year.

Dairy-free ice cream

A new wave of frozen treats made with avocado, coconut water, tahini, and even hummus are hitting the shelves this year. By replacing dairy, these nutrient-rich bases provide a tasty alternative for those who are lactose-intolerant, vegan, or simply health-conscious.

Sea snacks

Roasted seaweed has been a popular snack for quite some time, and now other ocean-inspired snacks are joining the mix. Seaworthy snacks you can expect to see on shelves include kelp jerky, puffed water lily seeds, and salmon skins. These bites provide healthier alternatives to fatty, meat-centric morsels.

Eco-friendly packaging 

Following last year’s anti-straw revolution, an increasing number of companies is trying to reduce their carbon footprints in 2019—starting with their packaging. Brands are coming up with new ways to make their food packaging eco-friendlier by using biodegradable or soy-based materials instead of plastics. Some restaurants are even trying to cut out packaging altogether by encouraging customers to bring their own food containers, cutlery, and bags.

Alternative meat munchies

In response to the growing veganism trend, alternative meat products—from veggie jerky to mushroom “bacon” chips—are piling up on grocery store shelves. These snacks don’t just taste like meat—they also include similar quantities of protein and amino acids that you would find in beef jerky or pork rind snacks.

Next time you’re perusing the shelves of your local supermarket, keep an eye out for these exciting and most popular food trends in 2019.

3 Delicious and Unique Cookie Recipes to Try

delicious and unique cookie recipes to try

While you can’t go wrong with a traditional chocolate chip cookie, sometimes it can be fun to shake things up by trying out a new flavor. Consider adding some variety to your typical desert line-up by experimenting with one of these delicious and unique cookie recipes.

Chocolate Orange Brownie Cookies

chocolate orange brownie cookies

These decadent orange brownie cookies combine fresh, fruity flavors with the rich taste of dark chocolate.
·         1 cup plus 2½ tablespoons all-purpose flour (don’t pack your flour)
·         3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
·         1 teaspoon baking powder
·         ½ teaspoon salt
·         6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
·         2 tablespoons unsalted butter
·         1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
·         ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
·         ¼ cup granulated sugar
·         1 teaspoon orange zest
·         2 large eggs, at room temperature
·         2 tablespoons whole milk
·         7 ounces orange chocolate, chopped

Matcha Shortbread Cookies

matcha shortbread cookies

Finely ground green tea powder gives traditional shortbread cookies a whole new flavor in this unique recipe.
·         7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
·         6 tablespoons (1½ ounces) powdered sugar, sifted
·         1 egg yolk, at room temperature
·         ¾ cup (3¾ ounces) all-purpose flour
·         ½ teaspoon kosher salt
·         6 tablespoons (1¾ ounces) almond meal
·         2 teaspoons matcha tea
·         2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Brown Butter Bourbon Spice Cookies

brown butter bourbon spice cookies

The sweet, buttery flavor of these brown butter bourbon spice cookies will warm you up while you wait for summer to arrive.
·         12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, browned and cooled
·         2½ cups (11¼ ounces) all-purpose flour
·         1½ teaspoons baking soda
·         ½ teaspoon salt
·         ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
·         ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
·         ¼ teaspoon allspice
·         ½ cup (3½ ounces) each dark brown sugar, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar
·         1 egg
·         1 egg yolk
·         3 teaspoons vanilla
·         2 tablespoons bourbon

When you try these unique cookie recipes, your sweet creations are sure to stand out among a sea of classic sugar cookies.

6 Famous Restaurants in the Chicagoland Area

The Chicagoland area is an excellent source for an unforgettable meal. A multitude of restaurants in and around Chicago will cater to your personal tastes—whatever they may be. Whether you’re a resident of the area or just passing through, there are a few places you should know about. We’ve created a list of 5 famous restaurants in the Chicagoland area.

1. Pequod’s Pizza

Established in 1971, Pequod’s Pizza is a staple in the Chicagoland area. With its famous caramelized crust and generous assortment of toppings, the deep-dish pizza there is a can’t-miss. The Food Network named Pequod’s pizza one of the top five in America, and the accolades don’t end there. If you don’t believe us, give Pequod’s a visit and see for yourself.

2. Gene & Jude’s

Hot dogs are one of Chicago’s greatest icons, and many people argue that Gene & Jude’s serves the best. The recipe for a Chicago-style hot dog is very precise, and this eatery follows this precision to a T. The standing-room-only joint has been a landmark since 1945. For visitors seeking the true Chicagoland experience, this is the place to go.

3. Alinea

Alinea is not a restaurant… or so the owners claim. It is, of course, but its primary focus is showcasing the unconventional. The owners of Alinea want their food to evoke all the senses. For them, fine dining should be an emotional, artistic experience. Their approach has proven successful, as Alinea is one of only 13 U.S. restaurants to hold three Michelin stars.

4. Au Cheval

Americans eat close to 50 billion burgers per year. This is quite a staggering number, so it’s hard to imagine selecting just one as the best of them all. However, one visit to Au Cheval’s press page reveals multiple instances of that exact claim. Au Cheval creates a burger so good that people will wait in line for hours to get their hands on one. And if the reviews are any indication, the famous burgers are well worth the wait.

5. Parachute


A comfortable, family-owned business, Parachute is still a rising star in the food world. Though it has only been open since 2014, it has already captured the attention of Chicagoland residents. The owners, husband-wife duo Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim, call their unique genre of food “Korean-American.” Their 40-seat restaurant is often full to the brim with guests eager to experience this new addition to Chicago’s best restaurants.

6. Kuma’s Corner

If you love burgers and heavy metal, Kuma’s Corner has both. It offers a creative selection of burgers so large that you’ll definitely need a doggy bag. Kuma’s Corner strongly believes in supporting local talent, so you can get the full Chicagoland experience by ordering a regional craft beer and enjoying local metal bands.

Six Fast Food Chains with Vegetarian Options

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No matter your reasons for eating less meat, plenty of restaurants nowadays will support your dietary requests—including your adored fast food favorites. Below, we highlight six fast food chains with vegetarian options.

Burger King

You’re probably asking yourself, “How could the home of the Whopper® have a vegetarian option?” They actually provide MorningStar Farms® Garden Veggie patties for those who prefer meatless burgers. Also, the fast food restaurant recently began testing an Impossible Whopper®. If you hadn’t previously thought of Burger King as a vegetarian-friendly establishment, now’s the time to keep them on your radar.


Chipotle Mexican Grill is a favorite option, as customers can completely customize menu items to suit their tastes. Chipotle offers numerous toppings every vegetarian craves, such as beans, fajita onions and peppers, rice, and sofritas (seasoned tofu). As a bonus, if you order a veggie burrito or a burrito bowl, the guac doesn’t cost extra.

Panera Bread

Panera is a popular place for vegetarians, as it easily caters to those who follow a plant-based diet. Panera offers several salads, sandwiches, and soups that don’t contain meat. You can also customize any of their menu items to remove beef, chicken, or pork from your meal.

Shake Shack

If you find yourself downtown, you’ll be pleased to discover that Chicago has a Shake Shack—with vegetarian options! Currently, they offer a ’Shroom Burger, which features a fried, cheese-stuffed portobello mushroom “patty,” as well as a delicious grilled cheese sandwich. Last year, Shake Shack tested the Veggie Shack—a patty made from beans, beets, and rice—at select locations across the nation. We can only hope that they bring it to the Windy City soon!


Need to grab a quick bite? This beloved sandwich shop is truly a vegetarian’s paradise. With their Veggie Delite® sub, you’ll be able to pile on as many veggies as you’d like. Thanks to the abundance of sauces and seemingly endless sandwich combinations, you certainly won’t be disappointed at a Subway.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell is a godsend to all vegetarians in the world. According to the Taco Bell blog, this fast food chain is the first to offer American Vegetarian Association-certified menu items. These options include the Bean Burrito, Cheese Quesadilla, Spicy Tostada, and more. Plus, you can easily substitute meat for beans, potatoes, or rice in almost any meal on the menu.

6 Most Famous Pizza Restaurants in Chicago

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It’s been a debate for years which city is the pizza capital of the country: New York or Chicago. Both cities have very different pizza styles; Chicago in particular is best known for its deep-dish pizza, but the square-cut thin crust is just as prominent in the area. Many other interesting pizza styles and techniques also originated in the Windy City—so learn about the most famous pizza restaurants in Chicago and experience them for yourself.

Pizzeria Uno

The original Uno’s is located on Ohio Street near the Magnificent Mile, just one block away from its sister store, Pizzeria Due. Uno’s is reportedly the birthplace of Chicago’s iconic deep-dish pizza, which was created by founder Ike Sewell in 1943.

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

Lou Malnati took his knowledge of deep-dish pizza to Lincolnwood, just east of the city, and opened his first pizzeria there in 1971. Locals and tourists alike love the pizzeria’s incredible deep-dish and thin crust pizzas. Lou’s also serves gluten-free and crustless pizzas, which have become favorites as well. Everyone knows that when you’re in Chicago, pizza from Lou’s is an absolute must. There are now 53 Lou Malnati’s locations across the Chicagoland area, and there are even some outside of Illinois.

Giordano’s Restaurant and Pizzeria

Giordano’s entered the Chicago deep-dish pizza war in 1974. What separates Giordano’s from Pizzeria Uno and Lou Malnati’s is its famous stuffed deep-dish style. Like Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s also has many locations across the Chicagoland area.

Pequod’s Pizza

Pequod’s has emerged as one of the most famous pizza restaurants in Chicago during the last 25 years. Pequod’s deep-dish is known for its caramelized crust, which has earned the pizzeria many food awards.

Gino’s East

Gino’s East has been serving Chicago-style deep-dish for over 50 years. Gino’s flagship location, where the walls are filled with the names of those who have stepped into the legendary pizzeria, is located downtown on Superior Street.

Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder

This spot offers the most unique pizza concept in the Windy City to date. Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder created their famous pizza pot pie in 1972. Each pot pie is made from scratch with fresh ingredients, and people from all over the world come to this pizzeria to try one.

4 of the Best Food Festivals in the U.S. to Attend in 2019

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Food festivals are a great way to learn more about a region’s culture by tasting some of its best local cuisines. At these best food festivals in the United States, you can broaden your pallet as well as enjoy amazing live music acts, cooking demos, and seminars.

New York City Wine and Food Festival

This four-day event from October 10-13, 2019, features the culinary creations of 500 chefs as well as over 80 entertaining events. Festivities include hands-on classes, educational seminars, and intimate dinners with world-renowned chefs. In addition, this charitable festival donates 100 percent of its net proceeds to benefit the Food Bank For New York City and the No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in America.

Taste of Chicago

Not only is the Taste if Chicago one of the best food festivals in the U.S., but it also the largest food festival in the world. Located in Grant Park, guest can enjoy a stunning view of the lakefront while enjoying a taste of what the windy city’s unique dining community has to offer. The event is free to attend and will take place from July 10-14, 2019. In addition to delicious food, the Taste of Chicago also features incredible live music performances and other family-friendly activities such as arts and crafts.

Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival

The Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival is a star-studded event from August 22- 26, 2019. It features appearances by some of the most celebrated chefs in the nation, such as Thomas Keller, Grant Achatz, Guy Fieri, and Giada De Laurentiis. Located along Grand Avenue, guests can enjoy gourmet cuisine, musical performances, and get a taste of the city’s fantastic wine culture throughout this five-day event.

A Taste of Colorado

This free festival in Downtown Denver attracts over 500,000 people each year due to its amazing array of food, music, and art. From August 31 through September 22, 2019, guest can enjoy tastings from over 50 food vendors and 175 marketplace vendors in addition to musical performances from 25 regional and national artists. Plus, the event is fun for the whole family thanks to its Kids Zone experience that features arts, crafts, and a children’s entertainment stage.

The 5 Best Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Chicago

variety of veggies
Citation: ©[StockPhotoPro]/Adobe Stock

It’s no secret that Chicago is full of delicious food. Thanks to these vegan restaurants, the plant-based crowd doesn’t have to miss out. The next time you find yourself in the city, make sure to check out these amazing places—they’re the best vegan-friendly restaurants in Chicago.

The Chicago Diner 
the chicago diner
The Chicago diner prides itself on being “Meat-Free Since ’83.” This casual restaurant has two Chicago locations in Lakeview and Logan Square. Guests enjoy its traditional diner aesthetic, long menu of vegan comfort food options, and—of course—its award-winning vegan milkshakes.

Kitchen 17 
veggie pizza

You won’t find any rabbit food here. Located in Lakeview, Kitchen 17 serves vegan bar food like pizza, nachos, and burgers. Plus, every Wednesday, it offers vegans the rare opportunity to enjoy Chicago-style deep-dish pizza (which is traditionally filled with animal products like meat and cheese). The restaurant doesn’t serve alcohol, but guests are free to bring their own.

 No Bones Beach Club
no bones beach club

The No Bones Beach Club is 100% vegan. What sets this Wicker Park restaurant apart from others in the area is its tropical party vibes that instantly transport you from the city to the beach. Dishes include nachos with cashew and poblano queso, buffalo cauliflower wings, and golden beet poke. It also offers soy- and gluten-free options to suit any diet.

 Vegan Plate
vegan plate
 The Vegan Plate offers authentic Thai cuisine at its two locations on West Fullerton Ave and West Montrose Ave. From delicious Pad Thai to red, green, and yellow curry, their menu is full of healthy vegan options. They also offer mouth-watering deserts, such as tofu cheese cake and mochi coconut ice cream, to satisfy your sweet tooth.

 Chicago Raw Food 
chicago raw food
Chicago Raw Food must be one of the healthiest restaurants in the city. In addition to being vegan, all of their options are completely raw, which allows you to get the optimal amount of nutrients. Their menu includes sweet potato pancakes, fresh spinach lasagna, and empanadas—but they are most known for their Instagram-worthy smoothies and açaí bowls.

Whether you’re plant-based or not, everyone can find something to enjoy at each of these vegan-friendly restaurants in Chicago.
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