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Taste Of Chicago Vendors Announced

By Chuck Sudo in Food on May 31, 2012 9:10PM

Image Creedit: Steven Lee

The vendors for this year's Taste of Chicago were announced today and let's accentuate the positive, shall we? Given the Emanuel administration cut the length of the festival in half and pushed it back to mid-July while still taking the same percentage of sales from participating vendors. 37 restaurants still decided to plant stakes in Grant Park July 11-15.

That's 20 fewer vendors than last year and, as Tribune restaurant critic Phil Vettel noted, restaurants that aren't part of this year's Taste blamed the low revenues from last year's festival, the work necessary to prepare for a shortened festival or (in the case of Harry Caray's CEO Grant DePorter), not knowing if the Illinois Restaurant Association was going to manage this year's festival as reasons they won't be around. A 28 percent drop in revenue from 2007 to last year will make even those restaurants who relied on Taste as a loss leader think twice about applying.

But there may still be reasons to attend. We're becoming more intrigued by the participating pop-up restaurants at the festival, Arun's aside. And the Bud Light music stage, with The Waco Brothers, Las Guitaras de Espana, Mucca Pazza, Kids These Days and Robbie Fulks, has us more excited than the starpower at the Petrillo Band Shell. (And we don't have to shell out money to sit in front of the Bud Light stage, either.)

Anyway, here's the vendor list.

  • Abbey Pub
  • Bacino’s
  • Billy Goat Tavern & Grill
  • BJ’s Market & Bakery
  • Bobak Sausage Company
  • Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill
  • Churro Factory
  • Connie’s Pizza
  • Cubby Bear
  • Dominick’s
  • Eli’s Cheesecake
  • Franco’s Ristorante
  • Gold Coast Dogs
  • Harold’s Chicken #71
  • Iyanze
  • Kasia’s Deli
  • Lao Sze Chuan
  • Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
  • Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen
  • Oak Street Beach Café
  • O’Brien’s
  • Original Rainbow Cone
  • Pazzo’s
  • Polo Café & Catering Bridgeport U.S.A.
  • Reggio’s Pizza Express III
  • Ricobene’s
  • 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
  • Tuscany
  • Tutto Italiano
  • Vee Vee’s African Restaurant