photo credit: Sandy Noto

The Ultimate Chicago Summer Festival Guide image

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The Ultimate Chicago Summer Festival Guide

The best festivals where you can eat, drink, and party.

During the summer we have about 6,934 street festivals to choose from each weekend. And because nothing makes you feel like you took full advantage of Chicago's three months of decent weather like leaping over beer puddles while balancing a paper plate stacked with food in one hand, you'll want to use this guide. It's a running list of the festivals you need to prioritize for Summer 2024. These ones have the best food, vibe, and overall “feel-good factor.” 

Print this out, laminate it, and consult it every weekend.

All festivals are free or have suggested donations only unless otherwise noted. This is a running list so check back in for the latest details.

June 2024

The Ultimate Chicago Summer Festival Guide image

photo credit: Brant Cox

Do Division

Wicker Park, May 31-June 2

This isn’t a food festival, but this Wicker Park street fest has plenty of great vendors along with great bands, a fashion show, art, and kid’s activities. Check here for the full line-up of events.


Lincoln Park Greek Fest

Lincoln Park, May 31-June 2

Lincoln Park Greek Fest takes place on the grounds of St. George Greek Orthodox Church, and includes tons of food, music, dancing, and art. More info here.


Windy City Hot Dog Fest

Portage Park, June 1-2

As the name suggests, hot dogs are the focus of this festival in Portage Park. Different hot dog spots will compete for who has the best dog, and you’ll get to judge. Plus there will be a mainstage for musical acts. Check here for the full lineup.


Fiestas Patronales Puertorriqueñas

Humboldt Park, June 6-9

If you’re in the mood for Puerto Rican food (trust us, you are) head to Humboldt Park for Fiestas Patronales Puertorriqueñas. Along with live music and art, there will be vendors selling things like pasteles, jibaritos, tostones, arroz gandules, and more. Check here for more info.


Lincoln Square Greekfest

Lincoln Square, June 7-9

Hosted by St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox church, this fest will have Greek food (with pastries and treats like loukoumades), live performances, a Greek dance troupe, and a Hellenic marketplace. Check here for details.


Andersonville Midsommarfest

Andersonville, June 7-9

Midsommarfest in Andersonville is back and, as far as we know, is 100% pagan cult-free. But what it lacks in Florence Pugh it makes up in local bands, Swedish art, and local food. More details here.


Thai Festival Chicago

Lakeview, June 8-9

Thai Festival will have food from a bunch of places along with Thai music, dancing, and arts and crafts. Check here for details.


Ribfest Chicago

North Center, June 14-16

The moment has arrived: Ribfest. This is one of the best festivals in the city, with tents full of smoky meat as far as the eye can see. Check here for the full lineup.


Bronzeville's 2024 Juneteenth Celebration: Unity Rising

Bronzeville, June 15

In its fourth year, this Juneteenth celebration will feature dance, spoken word, and music, and highlight small businesses and local artists. Details here.


Juneteenth Family Festival

Beverly and Morgan Park, June 15

The fifth edition of this free Juneteenth celebration will have music, food, drinks, DJs, African drumming, healing & meditation, and more. Details here.


Chicago Pride Fest

Northalsted, June 22-23

This LGBTQ+ festival in Lakeview is full of drinks, drag queens, dancing, rainbows, and plenty of food. This year’s Pride will have over 100 vendors and three stages for live music. Details here.


Vegandale

The Loop, June 22-23

You can find this traveling vegan food festival all over North America—in NYC, Toronto, LA, and Miami, just to name a few. Vegandale Chicago takes place in Grant Park, and has local vendors like Quesadilla La Reina del Sur, Mi Pi Pizza, Homegirl’s Hummus, and more. You can also expect cruelty-free shops, and plenty of pleather. Tickets start at $10. Check here for more info.


July 2024

The Ultimate Chicago Summer Festival Guide image

Windy City Smokeout

United Center, July 11-14

Windy City Smokeout is pricey (single-day tickets start at $65.95), but it’s always a lot of fun. There’s great BBQ from all over the United States, and musical performances from country singers like Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, and Billy Currington. Tickets and the full lineup can be found here.


West Fest

West Town, July 12-14

West Fest has been around since 2004, and after going virtual in 2020, is back in full force. Located in West Town, you can see music acts organized by The Empty Bottle, and food trucks from neighborhood restaurants. They also have Pet Fest: a cute area dedicated to dogs and dog-friendly activities. More details here.


EEEEEATSCON Chicago 2024

Goose Island, July 12-14

We love food and festivals so much that we're throwing our own food festival this summer at the Salt Shed. The all-star line-up of our food vendors includes Professor Pizza, 3 Little Pigs Chi, Jennivee's Bakery, an exclusive Zingerman's Deli and Shake Shack collaboration, and much more. We'll have Chrissy Teigen, Common, Chance The Rapper, and more as special guests. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.


Roscoe Village Burger Fest

Roscoe Village, July 19-21

The Roscoe Village Burger Fest has around 10 burger vendors to choose from, including Fatso’s Last Stand, The StopAlong, Tandoor Char House, and Byron’s, which we know is a hot dog spot, but also has tasty burgers. The full lineup is here.


Colombian Fest

North Park, July 19-21

Taking place this year on NEIU's campus, Colombian Fest will have all sorts of musicians, dancers, and food. Tickets start at just $5. Click here for more details.


Tacos Y Tamales Fest

Pilsen, July 19-21

This Mexican food, music, and dance festival takes place in Pilsen on the stretch of 16th Street with all the colorful murals. And the food here isn’t just from restaurants—you’ll find coolers and carts helmed by locals. Along with tacos and tamales filled with chicken and green mole, there are also other dishes like enchiladas, tortas, elotes, churros, and piña coladas. Check here for info.


Chicago Food Truck Fest

South Loop, July 20-21

Parked near McCormick Place, this food truck festival will have drinks, live music, games, and yes, food trucks. This year's edition will include a collab with the Chicago Margarita Festival, for a theme called "The Summer of the Daisy." Check here for details.


Fiesta Del Sol

Pilsen, July 25-28

Fiesta Del Sol is a free, four-day family-friendly Mexican festival. This event spans an eight-block space down Cermak Road, has carnival rides, and over 100 booths with tacos, tamales, and tostadas. More info here.


Taste of Lincoln Avenue

Lincoln Square, July 26-28

The Taste Of Lincoln Avenue festival has been around for over 40 years and is a consistently well-organized, fun time. Along with lots of neighborhood restaurants, there are arts and crafts, and one main music stage—which we’ve learned to appreciate after hearing battle-of-the-bands competing from different stages for our attention. More info here.


Taste Of Chicago Marquette

Marquette, July 27

This is a neighborhood festival spinoff from the Taste Of Chicago series, highlighting food from Marquette. For more info, click here.


Bantu Fest

Hyde Park, July 27-28

There are over 30 African countries represented in this year’s Bantu Fest, a multicultural family-friendly festival in Hyde Park. This means a ton of different music, performances, art, and of course, food. Check here for details.


Chinatown Summer Fair

Chinatown, July 27-28

Chinatown Summer Fair, how we love you, let us count the ways. This iconic event has tons of food, art, and music. This year’s Chinatown Summer Fair will open with a lion dance procession, followed by performances, including kung fu demonstrations, a K-pop dance competition, and more. Check here for more information.


August 2024

Lollapalooza

Grant Park, August 1-4

You know the deal, it’s Lollapalooza. Lineup and tickets here


Northalsted Market Days

Northalsted, August 10-11

Northalsted Market Days is a weekend-long live music street festival celebrating the LGBTQ+ community in Northalsted (the neighborhood formerly known as Boystown). The festival is huge, with five stages dedicated to live music, over 200 vendors, art, food, booze, plus DJs and dancing. Check here for more info.


The Great American Lobster Fest

Navy Pier, August 10-11

Taking place the same weekend (and in the same general space as) the Air & Water Show, this food fest promises lobster flown in from the East Coast. In addition, there will be live music, unique craft shopping, and non-seafood options. Check here for more info.


Sangria Festival

Humboldt Park, August 17-18

In its ninth year, this festival dedicated to Latin American food and wine will include a variety of sangria flavors, a panel with restauranteurs and mixologists, a samba parade, and more. Tickets start at $25. Check here for more info.


Taste of Polonia

Jefferson Park, August 30-Sept. 2

This Polish festival, the largest of its kind in America, takes place in Jefferson Park. They'll have live music, dance performances, Polish food and beer, exhibitions, a casino, beer garden, and a kid's area with activities like face painting. Check here for more info.


September 2024

The Ultimate Chicago Summer Festival Guide image

photo credit: Christina Slaton

Taste Of Greektown

West Loop, Sept. 6-8

This festival has been in the West Loop for over 30 years, taking place on the strip of Halsted that’s been the center of Chicago’s Greek restaurant scene for decades. There will also be plenty of music and entertainment (including Greek bands) games for kids, and food from restaurants like Artopolis and Athena. More info and updates here.


German American Oktoberfest

Lincoln Square, Sept. 6-8

Yep, we’re heading into Oktoberfest territory, which means the end of summer is almost here. Celebrate at this festival in Lincoln Square, which has German food, drinks, beer, and German bands. More info here.


Taste Of Chicago

Grant Park, Sept. 6-8

After hosting one-day neighborhood pop-ups throughout the summer, Taste of Chicago will throw this bigger, two-day festival in its recurring Grant Park location. For info about vendors and special guests as it becomes available, click here.


Lakeview Taco Fest

Lakeview, Sept. 7-8

This is the tenth year for Lakeview’s Taco Fest, which includes an annual taco contest that attendeees can participate in. There will also be drinks, two stages for music, Mexican wrestlers, and more. Check here for more details.


El Grito Chicago

The Loop, Sept. 14-15

This down celebration of Mexican Independence Day will feature local food vendors, Mariachis and ballet folclórico, family activities, and more. The line-up is still in the works, but you can find more information here.

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