CHICAGO (CBS)–Chicago’s reputation as a world-class city for food will be showcased Wednesday when the 38th annual Taste of Chicago opens at Grant park.

The festival’s five days of food and music is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of guests to Chicago’s downtown area.

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Drivers should plan ahead to avoid road closures the city will put into place starting at 4 p.m. on July 11.

The following streets will be closed during the Taste of Chicago through Monday, July 16 at 4 p.m.:

  • Columbus, from Monroe to Balbo and from Balbo to Roosevelt (Balbo remains open to traffic)
  • Jackson, from Michigan to Lake Shore Drive
  • Congress, from Columbus to Congress Parkway semi-circle

The Taste of Chicago entrance (Credit: Steve Miller)

Getting to the Fest: 

Public transportation is recommended for fest-goers.

Metra is offering extra train service on its BNSF Line and Union Pacific Northwest and West Lines during the week of the event.

CTA: Exit at Adams/Wabash from the elevated lines. Exit at Jackson and walk several blocks east from the blue and red lines. For travel information, visit

Parking: Garage locations are Grant Park North Garage at 25 N. Michigan Ave., Grant Park South Garage at 325 S. Michigan Ave., and Millennium Park Garage and Millennium Lakeside Garage located at 5 S. Columbus Drive.

Biking: Bike parking and Divvy bike rental stations are available near Grant and Millennium Parks.

The food: 

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Expect to find 73 different vendors, including 26 new restaurants. The mayor’s office says the city doubled the number of restaurants slated for this year’s Taste.

A wide array of cuisines will be available from 38 five-day vendors, 22 pop-up restaurants, and 13 food trucks. A full list is available at CBS 2 Chicago.

While the Taste will feature trendy food trucks and plenty of eclectic fare, summer just isn’t summer without rainbow sno-cones and hot dogs.

Two long time favorites, Buona Beef and Original Rainbow Cone, will return after a brief hiatus, according to the mayor’s office.

Vendors will offer both full-priced menu options and smaller “Taste of” portions.

The music:

Live music kick off everyday at 5:30 p.m. at the Petrillo Music Shell. Headliners include Brandi Carlie (Wednesday), Juanes (Thursday), Yasiin Bey & Talib Kweli are Black Star (Friday), The Flaming Lips (Saturday) and George Parliament Funkadelic (Sunday).


The Taste of Chicago runs July 11-15. Admission is free, and tickets for food and drinks can be purchased in strips of 14 tickets for $10.

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