Chicago Traveler Blog

Chicago Traveler Blog

Taste of Chicago Just Won’t be the Same in 2012

6/1/12 | by

The Taste of Chicago restaurant lineup has been announced, and to the dismay of many foodies in the Chicago area, this year isn’t looking as promising as years past.

While you can’t go wrong with any outdoor festival filled with food and music, Taste of Chicago used to be the talk of the town. However, this year, talk is just down.

If you haven’t already heard, this year the festival has been cut in half from the typical ten days to just five. And just yesterday the city released the names of the restaurants participating. There will be just 37 full-time restaurants. A year ago there were 57.

The reason for the downturn in participation: declining revenues.

Many restaurants that regularly set up shop in Grant Park for the festival will be M.I.A. this year.

Having been to every Taste of Chicago since its creation in 1980, restaurant Guey Lon has decided not to attend this year. They cited loss of profits last year and the shortened schedule this year. It does make sense if you think about it though. I mean, if they only have five days to make what they would normally make it ten days -- which lost them profits last year -- they’d be fighting a losing battle. Plus, if it rains at all, then they’ll lose another day.

Other annual attendees that will be absent from this year’s Taste of Chicago are Harry Caray’s, Vermilion, Adobo Grill and Polka Sausage.

The 2012 Taste of Chicago festival will run from July 11-15.

Here’s a complete list of the restaurant lineup:

Abbey Pub
Billy Goat Tavern & Grill
BJ’s Market & Bakery
Bobak Sausage Company
Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill
Churro Factory
Connie’s Pizza
Cubby Bear
Eli’s Cheesecake
Franco’s Ristorante
Gold Coast Dogs
Harold’s Chicken #71
Kasia’s Deli
Lao Sze Chuan
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen
Oak Street Beach Café
Original Rainbow Cone
Pazzo’s Polo Café & Catering Bridgeport U.S.A.
Reggio’s Pizza Express III
Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs
Sabor Latino
Star of Siam
Texas de Brazil
The Fudge Pot
The Noodle Vietnamese Restaurant
The Smoke Daddy
Timothy O’Toole’s Pub
Tutto Italiano
Vee Vee’s African Restaurant