August in Chicago: Food Festival Frenzy

By Brenna O’Dea

Feeling antsy about August? Summer camp is over…school starts soon…but wait! Don’t get ahead of yourselves! You still have one whole magnificent month to run, swim, play, dance, and most importantly EAT all the summer foodies you can get your fingers on! If you feel stuck in a rut this time of year, we have the cure…food festivals galore! Whether you and the family can make it to just one or all TEN, read on to discover the deliciousness…

August 5-7 Chicago Hot Dog Fest

Hold the ketchup and hurry to the park at the Chicago History Museum for one of the most exciting events of the summer…HOT DOG FEST. Three whole glorious days devoted to the food Chicago does best. With over a dozen vendors offering some of the juiciest dogs around, everyone in the whole family is sure to find a flavor that fits their tastebuds. Classic, char, bacon, chili, cheese…even corn dogs, veggie dogs and bratwursts…this festival has got it all. Put on your party pants…well…eating pants…and meet us at Stockton and LaSalle for a tasty time that even your youngest eaters can enjoy (I’m talking about the mini corn dogs)!

August 6 & 7 Wrigleyville Summerfest

Mini golf and a giant slide. You can find them both at the Wrigleyville Summerfest at the corner of Seminary Avenue and School Street! But wait…there’s more. Arts & crafts, bouncy houses, face painting and FOOD. They’ve got a smoking hot grill, fluffy and flaky pastries, and ooey gooey cheesy pizza all just waiting for you and your hungry kids to enjoy! This festival is the perfect opportunity to kick off August with all the families in the neighborhood. Why go through the trouble of throwing your own block party when it is already done for you! Added bonus, proceeds go toward not one but two great causes, the Lakeview Food Pantry and the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Have a slice of pizza and help those in need!

August 12-14 Ginza Holiday Festival

It’s teriyaki time. Chicken teriyaki to be more specific. For over 60 years the chefs of the Ginza Holiday Festival have been relying on the same tried and true recipe for their famous chicken teriyaki. Year after year people attend the festival for another round of teriyaki tastiness. Don’t worry, there is a vegetarian option too, and plenty of other special bites to tantalize your tastebuds…big bowls of udon noodles, corn on the cob on the grill, and wait for it…SPAM. Spam musubi, a popular Hawaiian dish of just two simple yet satisfying ingredients: rice and Spam (rice and beans is SO last season). We can’t forget dessert! If you have any room left in your stomach…taste another flavor of the Big Island, kintoki. Another match made in heaven: shaved ice and adzuki beans. Ice and beans? Hear me out, try it out, you won’t be disappointed.

August 18-21 Taylor Street Festa Italiana

Craving those carbs? We’ve got the answer and all of the pizza and pasta your heart desires. Bring friends and family, young and old out to Festa Italiana on Taylor Street between Ashland and Racine. Not feeling the salt and cheesesweet tooth calling your name? One word. CANNOLIS. Countless cannolis. Okay…not countless…they will be gone eventually…because they are just THAT GOOD. So get there fast before all the mozzarella and meatballs are gone.

August 20 & 21 Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest

Would you like a side of creativity with that? Our answer is always yes, especially if it comes on the side of 5411 empanadas. The Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest offers belly-filling bites and beautiful pieces of artwork for all to enjoy. Art aficionado or not, this weekend will be a good one if you spend your Saturday or Sunday mingling and munching among the crowds.

August 27 & 28 Motor Row Craft Beer & Wine Festival

I know you’ve got room for one last hurrah of the summer. The kids might even be back in school already and you are itching to blow off some steam in this end of summer heat. Quench your thirst at the 2nd annual Motor Row Craft Beer & Wine Festival. To learn more about this food (or drink) festival find, you’ll have to show up and explore, and click here to learn more about this buzzing business.

August 6 & 7 Taste of Lincoln Avenue

Now for one of the highlights of the weekend…calling all stressed parents with cranky toddlers! Did someone say WINE TASTING? From 2:00-5:00 pm on both days of the festival for a slight extra cost, enjoy up to 15 different wine samples. The perfect solution to cool you off on a hot August day and put your mind at ease with back to school shopping right around the corner… Of course, there will be fabulous food to enjoy as well…but sometimes nothing quenches the hunger or thirst like a cool glass of grown up grape juice.

Still not satisfied!? Here are a few more festivals that you’ll have to go see (and taste!) for yourselves!

August 6 & 7 EdgeFest

August 20 & 21 Albany Park World Fest

August 27 & 28 Taste of Greektown

Now you are ready to make August the best month of the summer. Avoid the end of summer blues with these deliciously delightful foodie festivities for the whole family. Cheers!

(Image by flickr member Jason “JFish” Fischer licensed under Creative Commons)

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