The Taste of Elmwood Park is returning this week. Experience the best of Elmwood Park at the family-friendly event, Aug. 10-13, in Central Park at the corner of Fullerton and 75th Avenues. The festival has it all – beer, wine, arts and crafts, rides, games and, of course, plenty of food from some of Elmwood Park’s finest restaurants. All together and you know why it’s been an unmissable event for over 30 years.
“The Taste of Elmwood Park is an iconic summer festival, and we are happy to welcome people from all over the Chicago region to celebrate all of the delicious food that our village has to offer,” said Lauren Gruber, Elmwood Park special events coordinator.
Providing all that delicious food are 23 different restaurants and vendors, including several from Elmwood Park’s famous Restaurant Row along North Avenue. Come hungry and grab a slice of pizza from Armand’s then head over to the Café Cubano booth for an authentic Cuban sandwich. Don’t forget to top it all off with some of Grecian Kitchen’s loukoumades, Greek donut holes garnished with chopped walnuts, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon. If you’re looking for an insider tip, pair the loukoumades with a side of gelato from Massa Café Italiano, another of the festival’s exciting food vendors. It’s a Mediterranean fusion treat you don’t want to miss.
It’s not just about the food though. There will be live music throughout the festival, so attendees can dance the days and nights away in between all of the good food Elmwood Park restaurants offer. The performing acts play a wide variety of tunes across decades and musical genres, from classic rock and ‘70s disco to soul, country western and swing – something for everyone to groove out to. Over at the Taste Lounge, the festival’s premium cocktail bar sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, local dj’s will be spinning records, so the dance party never has to stop. Stop by the lounge throughout the four-day festival.
Dancing isn’t the only way to get blood pumping during the festival. Roll into a fun, food and fitness-filled good time with the Taste of Elmwood Park’s bocce tournament, which starts at 5 p.m., Aug. 10. Take part in “Fitness at the Festival” to jumpstart the body, mind and fun. Join the owners of ReNew Studio at 11:30 a.m., Saturday morning, for a full-body and high-energy workout. Tennis shoes are a must. Don’t forget your yoga mat Sunday morning! Head over to the festival for mats and mimosas, a blend of yoga and barre exercises, with the Barre Studio at 9:30 a.m., Sunday morning.
Of course, no Taste of Elmwood Park festival is complete without its now annual meatball eating contest. The meatball consumption competition made its festival debut last year, with ESPN 1000’s Carmen DeFalco serving in the venerable role of contest host. The contest was an instant success as 12 randomly selected contestants scarfed down meatballs from Rosebud Restaurants, vying for first, second and third place prizes. This year, one of those contestants might just be you, so save some space in your stomach at 4 p.m., Saturday, in case you are the one to go down in history as the meatball eating champion.
Participating restaurants and vendors:
75th Avenue Market featuring Sergio’s Seafood
Caputo’s Fresh Markets
Fit to be Fried
Gringo & Blondie Taqueria
Jimmy’s Red Hots
Johnnie’s Italian Beef
Maria’s Mexican Restaurant
Massa Café Italiano
Spizzico Pizza & Pasta
Wintrust Bank Chicago
Metro Paramedic Services Inc.
Pan American Bank & Trust
Harlem Irving Plaza
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
George Gullo Development Corporation
H&H Electric Company
Bath Planet of Chicagoland
Laborers’ International Union of North America
Storino, Ramello & Durkin Attorneys at Law
Christopher B. Burke Engineering Ltd.
D&P Construction Co. Inc.
Jim and Pete’s Italian
Standard Fencing Company
First Security Trust & Savings Bank
Lakeshore Recycling Systems
Utility Dynamics Corp.
John Neri Construction
Calumet City Plumbing