Taste of Chicago 2022 opens Friday in Grant Park

ByLeah Hope and Maher Kawash via WLS logo
Friday, July 8, 2022
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The Taste of Chicago opens in Grant Park Friday. with more than 30 food vendors and plenty of musical performers, and an extra eye toward security.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Taste of Chicago returned to Grant Park Friday for the first time since 2019.

There are more than 30 vendors to choose from. That is still fewer than normal years as the event is still slightly scaled back.

But there will be no shortage of food, live music and all of the concerts at the Taste are free admission this year.

"I've been dreaming about this for like 20 years and we finally we made it, yes!" Michelle with Mr. E. Catering.

What's new at this year's Taste of Chicago?

Chicago police will be on high alert, ramping up resources all weekend with security at the top of mind for organizers.

"Given all the situations, Highland Park certainly first and foremost, we are in a different world, so safety and security is a very, very big priority for this event," Taste of Chicago Manager Neil Heitz said.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city is ready and protected.

"We are very mindful of what's happened," Mayor Lightfoot said. "We are looking at all events that are on the calendar from now until the fall and making sure we are learning the lessons we can."

Organizers said you may need extra time to get through lines at the entrance for bag checks and strongly urge you to say something if you see something.

In the meantime, other things are getting simpler. The event is going ticketless this year.

All you need is cash or a credit card to buy things at each vendor.

Ribs, chicken and waffles, cheesecake, the Taste of Chicago has it all for you this year.

"We have our famous rib tips with Mr. E Chef Catering, our special sauce and our special seasoning drizzle with some fries and our chicken," Melvin with Mr. E Catering said.

Traditions like that back where they belong in Grant Park.

"We can't wait. It's gonna be so nice to have everyone back out and having some fun," Rebecca Vanderkloot said.

Even Chance the Rapper was there, on a quest to get ice cream with his daughter.

Food Vendors:

Buckingham Fountain vendors:

1 - Eli's Cheesecake Company

2 - Robinson's No. 1 Ribs

3 - Yum Dum

4 - The Sole Ingredient Catering LLC

5 - Prime Tacos

6 - Tandoor Char House

7 - Josephine's Southern Cooking

8 - Porkchop

9 - Churro Factory

10 - Seoul Taco

11 - Mr. E Chef Catering LLC

12 - Puffs of Doom

13 - Doom Street Eats

14 - Billy Goat

15 - Chicago's Dog House

16 - Arun's Thai Restaurant

17 - Esperanza Kitchen Delights

18 - Connie's Pizza

19 - BJ's Market & Bakery

20 - Healthy Substance

21 - Franco's Ristorante

Food Trucks on Columbus Drive - North of Ida B. Wells Drive

- Harold's Chicken

- Don Paleta

- Cynthia's Gumbo Express Inc

- Ms. Tittle's Cupcakes

- La Cocinita Food Truck

Food Trucks on Columbus Drive - South of Ida B. Wells Drive

- Whadda Jerk

- Haire's Gulf Shrimp

- Auntie Vee's Kitchen

- Mr. Quiles Mexican Food

- Decadent Flavor

Food & Beverage Experiences

Daily, 11 a.m.-8:45 p.m

Beer Hall & Wine Garden

Serving more than 20 beers and an array of wine varietals

Taste Main Stage Schedule

Cocktail Lounge

Offering specialty mixed drinks & mixology demos

Friday, July 8

Host and DJ for the evening: DJ Mike P

5 p.m. - Shaylin B and John The Author, presented by Chicago Made

6 p.m. - AMI

7:15 p.m. - Nelly

Saturday, July 9

DJ for the evening: Sandra Treviño

5 p.m. - Vivian Garcia and Pinqy Ring, presented by Chicago Made

6 p.m. - Girl K

7:15 p.m. - Aterciopelados

Sunday, July 10

DJ for the evening: Miss Alex White (White Mystery)

5 p.m. - Rebecca Brunner and Marina City, presented by Chicago Made

6 p.m. - Local H

7:15 p.m. - Drive-By Truckers

Goose Island Stage Schedule

Friday, July 8

11am-12:30pm - DJ Janesita

Featured Marching Band: Bandwith Chicago

12:30-2:15pm - DJ Ayana Contreras

2:15-4pm - DJ Jill Hopkins

4-5pm - Happy Hour Karaoke with The People's Stage

5-6pm - Stroll Exhibition, hosted by Lizzie G with DJ Breathlezz

6-8:30pm - Trqpiteca

Saturday, July 9

10:45am-2pm - DJ Johnny Jones Lingo Chicago

Featured Marching Band: Lane Tech Varsity Band

12:30-2pm - Eli's Cheesecake Birthday Celebration

2-3:30pm - DJ Lady D

3:30-4:30pm - Happy Hour Karaoke with The People's Stage

4:30-6:30pm - Sadie Woods

6:30-8:30pm - DJ Mike P

Sunday, July 10

10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. - DJ Chuck Wren

Featured Marching Band: Lakeside Pride Marching Band

12:15-2 p.m. - DJ Machede

2-3:30 p.m. - DJ Selah Say

3:30-4:30 p.m. - Happy Hour Karaoke with The People's Stage

4:30-6:30 p.m. - Duane Powell

6:30-8:30 p.m - Jamal Smallz