Summer Food Events You Can’t Miss

June 13, 2011 3:00 PM

I can only begin to imagine the number of Chicagoans springing from their houses—clinging to outdoor patios and the lakefront like they haven’t seen the sun in 20 years. This is the kind of weather that makes you sing “Ramblin’ Man” at the top of your lungs. (Yes, I saw a man do this at a CTA stop this morning.) Sweet smells of grilled feasts fill the air and our calendars are full before you can sing “Heat Wave.”

Chicago’s food community is full of surprises. Over the past year there’s been an insurgence of food trucks, special events, and interesting markets—but the buck doesn’t stop there. Here’s a list of “if-you miss-these-you-will-be-sorry” food events for Summer.

Dose Market


Dose Market

River East Art Center
435 East Illinois Street
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 321-1001

This is the market you’ve been waiting for. When I first heard about this, I lit up like the Rockefeller-Center Christmas tree. Dose is a unique, food & fashion market, held monthly, at the River East Arts Center.

This shopping event features all that is exciting about the city’s food and fashion community and features only the best local selections. Now, this is my kind of town.

Don’t believe me? Just ask Does’s founders—which include the editors from Tasting Table, Daily Candy,Time Out, and creative consultant and founder of the Haute Closet. These gals know a-thing-or-two-about-a-thing-or-two.

Upcoming Summer Dates: July 10, August 14, September 25,

Parking: Located across the street for $6

Tickets: $10 at the door and $8 tickets online

Slow Food Chicago’s Sweet Summer Solstice Potluck

Chicago Honey Co-op
3740 W. Fillmore
Chicago, IL

What could be better than a good ol’ fashioned potluck? Slow Food Chicago’s mission is to create a dramatic and lasting change in our local food system to ensure equity, sustainability, and pleasure in the food we eat.

They are hosting a unique “Sweet Summer Solstice Potluck” and all are welcome to attend. This event provides a great opportunity to meet other food lovers and supporters of a healthy food system, but best of all—you get to enjoy some incredible food and support a great organization.

Bring your chairs and a potluck dish for sharing—salad, side dish, or dessert.

Beer by Goose Island Brewery, wine by Candid Wines, salmon by Fortune Fish Company, and bread by Crumb.

Friday, June 24, 2011 / 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Rain date Sunday, June 26th / 4:00-7:00 p.m.

10.00 for Slow Food and Honey Coop members + side dish or dessert
$15.00 for non-members + side dish or dessert
Children are free

To order tickets:

Strawberry Festival

Long Grove, IL
Route 53 & 83
(847) 634-0888

The name pretty much says it all—ice cream, donuts, dipping stations, oh yes. Strawberries are EVERYWHERE at this three day family-friendly festival. Get a group of friends together and check it out.

When: June 24 – 26
Friday, 10am – 6pm
Saturday, from 10am – 8pm
Sunday 10 am – 6pm

Fiestas Puertorriqueñas

Division St between
Western Ave and Rockwell St

Reggaeton, Puerto Rican flag bikinis, and the best arepas you will ever have in your entire life. The Fiestas Puertorriqueñas is a six day annual celebration showcasing Puerto Rican cuisine, arts, dance, and music. This is the second largest festival in the city of Chicago, attracting people from all ages, ethnicities, and walks of life. Everyone comes out for this event and if I see you buying cheese fries, I will hunt you down. Don’t miss your chance to sample the best Puerto Rican food this city has to offer.

Tuesday June 14, 2011 –
Sunday June 19, 2011

38th Annual International Cherry Pit-Spit Championship

Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm
9351 E. Eureka Rd
Eau Claire, MI 49111

Have you ever yelled at your boyfriend for spitting out of the car window? Well, all that practice isn’t for nothing—take him to this year’s International Cherry Pit Spit Championship.

The competition is held at Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm, a family oriented, agri-tourism destination in Southwest Michigan. It’s about a two hour drive outside of Chicago, but well worth the excursion.

The day of the contest, there will be a U-Pick and a pitting station for an additional charge. Mostly tart cherries will be available for picking. Glorious cherry inspired food and drinks will be served-including their famous cherry boat waffles and fruit pies.

When: July 2nd, 2011

For more information on this year’s event, call 269-782-7101 or visit and to partake in the contest you must qualify between 10am-Noon.

This is what you’re up against:

Men’s Division
Brian “Young Gun” Krause – 40′ 2.5″- Lansing, MI
Randy Luthringer -40′ 1″ – Niles, Mi

Women’s Division
Marlene Krause – 4′ 6″- Tuba City, AZ
Emily Johnson – 34′

Youth 9-12
Kevin Collins – 27′ 8 “- Benton Harbor, MI

Youth 6-8
Cole Krause – 31′ 6.5″- Dimondale, MI

Youth 5 & Under
Zach Bartz – 16′ 6″ – Niles, MI

Walt Frank – 30′ 2″- Eau Claire, MI

3rd Annual Luxury Ice Cream Festival

Grand Piazza
1431 West Taylor Street
Chicago, IL 60607

I scream, you scream—you all better get down to Taylor Street for Chicago’s one-and-only Luxury Ice Cream Festival. Over 20 of Chicago’s leading artisan ice cream makers and pastry chefs turn out to scoop flavors that will make you start speaking in tongues.

“Hamm-an-a Homm-an-a” Yes, the event is that good.

When: Saturday, July 9th & Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Tickets: $25

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation Chicago

The Navy Pier Ballroom
600 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL

You have 48 hours to live. What do you ask for? For me, that’s easy—a drum lesson from Mitch Mitchell and a bunch of tickets to Taste of the Nation.

This event is a food-a-palooza worthy of the spendy price tag and gives the phrase “kid in a candy store” a whole new definition. Your eyes will be wild. Your belly? Well, maybe throw a few tums in your bag.

100% of ticket sales supports Share Our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger and Chicago’s top chefs, pastry experts, and mixologists turn out to create a one-night-only food wonderland.

When: Wednesday, August 10, 2011

General Admission: $95 advance, $125 at-the-door
VIP Admission: $150 advance, $200 at-the-door
For more information:

Stephanie Lu Jokich

Stephanie Lu Jokich

Stephanie Lu Jokich is a corporate concierge and lover of all things food and drink. She encourages you to invite her to dinner with her project Good Food.

Watch & Listen LIVE