Taste of Chicago is Kinda-Sorta Returning With Pop-ups

Pop-up food and music events will replace Taste of Chicago in 2021. (Courtesy of Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events)Pop-up food and music events will replace Taste of Chicago in 2021. (Courtesy of Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events)

Taste of Chicago is resurfacing this summer, but don’t expect the usual format.

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Gone, at least for 2021 as the city continues its reopening, is the massive downtown festival that became synonymous with giant turkey legs. In its place is a “new and reimagined” series of pop-up food and music events at venues across the city, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events announced Monday. 

The program will run July 7-11 and feature nearly 40 participating eateries, city officials said.

Among the scheduled events:

—Pop-Up Taste, 2-7 p.m. July 7 at the Pullman City Market. Includes food vendors, food trucks and Chicago SummerDance. 

—Pop-Up Taste, noon-7 p.m. July 8 at the Austin Town Hall City Market. Food vendors and food trucks: Carolyn’s Krisps, Doom Street Eats, Mary Jane Café, Ms. Tittles Cupcakes, Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs, Tatas Tacos and Yum Dum. House music, 3-7 p.m. 

—Taste of Chicago To-Go, 4-8 p.m. July 9 at ¡WEPA! Mercado del Pueblo. Puerto Rican food, coffee and storytelling, including a conversation with Marisel Vera, author of “The Taste of Sugar” at 5:30 p.m. Puerto Rican cooking demonstration at 4 p.m. Music and dance performance, plus Bomba workshop, 7-8 p.m.

—Taste on Tap, 5-8 p.m. July 9 at Goose Island Brewery’s Tap Room. Food trucks, Goose Island beers, DJs and local artists. 

—Pop-Up Taste, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 10 at The Hatchery. Sample the wares of culinary entrepreneurs at this West Side food business incubator, plus cooking demos and live entertainment. “I Am Community” art installation at 10:30 a.m.

—Pop-Up Taste, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. July 10 at Eli’s. Taste of Chicago stalwarts and long-time booth neighbors Eli’s Cheesecake and Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs reunite for this one-day event. Eli’s will serve up fan favorites like cheesecake dippers and turtle cheesecake, while Robinson’s fires up its barbecue truck. Adding to the festive atmosphere, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences will be on site with homegrown produce, honey and crafts.

—Pop-Up Taste, 1-8 p.m. July 10 at 1744 W. 63rd St. in West Englewood. Food vendors and food trucks: Chicago’s Doghouse, Exquisite 501, The Flavored Jamaican, Healthy Substance, Ms. Tittles Cupcakes, Razpachos, Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs, Tatas Tacos and Whadda Jerk. Beer tent, 1-7:45 p.m.; live music and DJs; and kids activities.  

—Picnic in White, noon-3 p.m. July 11 in Millennium Park. Female restaurateurs prepare lunch, with participants such as Vermilion, Saigon Sisters, Frontera, Bistronomic, Justice of the Pies and Pretty Cool Ice Cream. The picnic will also include music and a panel discussion. Guests are encouraged to dress in white in solidarity with women. The $45 picnic lunch comes with appetizers, a main course and desserts and requires pre-order

Contact Patty Wetli: @pattywetli | (773) 509-5623 |  [email protected]

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