Date: Saturday, September 21 - Sunday, September 22
Time: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Location: On Southport between Addison and Roscoe
Get Directions
Address: 3500 N. Southport Ave.
Chicago Illinois
Beneficiary: Friends of Lakeview
Presenting Sponsor: Sam Adams


D.S. Tequila Wins 2018 ‘Best Taco’ Honors

The stuffed tortillas (coffee-rubbed steak and tequila shrimp among them) of D.S. Tequila, 3352 N. Halsted, were voted the first place winner of serving up the “Best Tacos” by visitors to 2018’s Sam Adams’ Lakeview Taco Fest. Taking second place was River North’s Blue Agave Tequila Bar & Restaurant.. And taking third place honors at the September 15-16 fest was the neighborhood’s Café Tola, 3612 N. Southport. Congrats to all three!

With its eclectic mix of stores, boutiques and restaurants, the Southport Corridor is arguably one of the hottest commercial strips in Chicago.
This September it gets even more sizzling when the glorious taco is again in the spotlight as the tortilla-wrapped fave is celebrated at this annual food and music happening. Back for its seventh flavor-filled year in 2019, it’s also a celebration of seasonal beers as well as the start of autumn.

Whether one prefers their shells filled with traditional chicken, steak, chorizo and beef, or stuffed with imaginative ingredients such as mushrooms, seafood, goat and duck, this fall fest is a wildly popular fixture to the Windy City’s food scene. More than a dozen local eateries challenge themselves to make the tastiest tacos.

The fest also features special beer and taco pairings, two music stages, crowd-pleasing Mexican wrestlers, activities for kids, and visitors can text vote for Chicago’s “Best Taco.”

A $10 suggested donation benefits the Friends of Lakeview.

Get Social!

Lucha Libre Mexican Wrestling

Daily at 5:00pm at Cornelia & Southport
Lucha libre, is a term used in Mexico, and other Spanish-speaking countries, for a form of professional wrestling that has developed within those countries. Although the term nowadays refers exclusively to professional wrestling, it was originally used in the same style as the English term "freestyle wrestling", referring to an amateur wrestling style without the restrictions of Greco-Roman wrestling.

Mexican wrestling is characterized by colorful masks, rapid sequences of holds and maneuvers, as well as "high-flying" maneuvers, some of which have been adopted in the United States. The wearing of masks has developed special significance, and matches are sometimes contested in which the loser must permanently remove his mask, which is a wager with a high degree of weight attached. Tag team wrestling is especially prevalent in lucha libre, particularly matches with three-member teams, called trios.

Lucha libre wrestlers are known as luchadores (singular luchador) ("wrestler(s)"). They usually come from extended wrestling families who form their own stables. One such line integrated to the United States professional wrestling scene is Los Guerreros.

2019 Participating Vendors Serving Tacos

Beat Kitchen
Although they're best known for their wildly eclectic nightly music bookings, this Belmont Avenue entertainment emporium also has outstanding food and beer offerings. (Chicken, fish and steak tacos.)

NEW! Blue Agave Tequila Bar & Restaurant 
This Tex-Mex eatery and tequila-centric cocktail bar with locations in River West and the Gold Coast specializes in casual dining with an awesome selection of  breakfast, lunch and dinner foods that range from awesome tacos and enchiladas to quesadillas, burritos and more.

Brownstone Tavern & Grill  
This spacious sports bar with upscale pub food located on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago's North Center neighborhood cooks up a tight but tasty menu of burgers, mac 'n cheese bowls and, yes, mouth-watering tacos. (Cajun steak, lemon pepper shrimp and BBQ tacos.)

Café Tola  
It may be small in size, but this wildly popular Southport Corridor eatery (which has a second location in the Avondale neighborhood on the 3300 block of N. California) is well-known to neighborhood residents for its empanadas, baked goods, coffees and other tasty offerings. (Black bean and steak tacos.)

Dona Tola
Located on Southport near Grace and named for the grandmother of owner Victoria Salamanca (she also owns Café Tola down the street), Dona Tola has one significant difference from its smaller sibling: its menu features a broad mix of Latin comfort foods that includes full meal options and more exotic dishes.

D.S. Tequila Company
This popular Halsted establishment in Lakeview proudly touts its burgers, tacos, beers and tequila-infused cocktails. It's a super casual place on a bustling street and offers nearly a dozen specialty tacos on their eclectic menu. (Coffee-rubbed steak, tequila shrimp and bourbon chicken tacos.) 

Garifuna Flava: A Taste of Belize     
This popular Caribbean restaurant on the city's southwest side is as authentic as it gets. From seafood dishes and soups to Belizean stew chicken and their tacos, the words "heavenly," "unpretentious" and "amazing" are just a few of the ways Garifuna is described by their avid and loyal customers.  (Chicken and beef tacos.)

The Pony Inn 
The Pony's neighborhood charm and laid back approach provides an ideal backdrop for any type of crowd. Whether drinks with friends, or grabbing a bite from the mouthwatering Southwestern-inspired menu, this cozy West Lakeview inn is sure to delight with their wrapped tortillas. (Duck, smoked pork and smoked beef tacos.)

Taco Joint
Expect top-notch tortilla-stuffed faves from this Mexican comfort food eatery with locations in Lincoln Park, River North and Michigan Avenue. The menu includes daily tacos specials seven days a week. And their extensive menu includes four tortas and 10 taco options ranging from chicken and beef to shrimp, stewed mushrooms, and beer-battered tilapia fillet with cabbage. (BBQ chicken, beef and pork tacos.)

Tandoor Char House   
Expect something exceptional with this Taco Fest vendor. Located on Halsted near Wrightwood in Lincoln Park, brothers Fahim and Faraz Sarharia take great pride in the food of their parents who hail from India and Pakistan. Visitors will be delighted with their seasoned lamb and chicken tacos.

Taqueria Arceo
New name (formerly Tacos Nietos) and a new city (recently relocated to suburban Aurora from Chicago), but  when it comes to tacos this ma-and-pa Mexican eatery is back at Lakeview Taco Fest and wins rave reviews for their fantastic food. (Beef, chicken and steak  tacos.)

NEW! Tied House/ Schubas Tavern
Located down the street on Southport at Belmont, these two sibling venues win rave reviews for their live music bookings and friendliness (that would be Schubas) and the other from food critics for its ambiance and fantastic cuisine (Tied House). The creativity they show in both music and food is guaranteed to  translate to truly unique taco offerings at the fest.

Tuco & Blondie   
"Mexifun" is how this Southport Corridor eatery describes itself with its food and drink menu. With its pop-art décor and large outdoor patio this cantina, named after characters in the iconic movie "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," prides itself in its selection of fajitas, tacos, enchiladas and salads. It also has an expansive cocktail offering that includes margaritas and specialty tequilas and mezcals. (Chicken and pork tacos.)

Roscoe Stage Entertainment

11:00am -Nicole Amine
12:30pm - Avantist
2:00pm - Koncreto Norteno Band
3:30pm - To the 9's
5:30pm - Stache
8:00pm - Big Suit
2:30pm - Dubby Mac
4:00pm - Hello Weekend
6:00pm - Wedding Banned
8:15pm - Boy Band Review

Addison Stage Entertainment

11:00am - Romancoke
12:30pm - Two Ton Jack
2:00pm - Mariachi Los Viajeros
3:30pm - Latin Band
6:30pm - Run Forrest Run
8:30pm - Queen Explosion
1:00pm - Mariachi Los Viajeros
2:30pm - Los Orejones de la Sierra
4:00pm - The Hat Guys
6:00pm - Latin Groove Band
8:00pm - Lotus Kings

About the Beneficiary: Friends of Lakeview

Friends of Lakeview’s mission is to support a vibrant local economy and high quality of life for the benefit of businesses and residents in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood by improving and enhancing public streets and spaces, creating memorable experiences, and promoting the neighborhood.  For more visit

Marketing & Sponsorship Opportunities

Looking to connect with active consumers at this event? For pricing and a customized benefits package, please contact Norine Smyth at 312-799-0354 or Laura Wilke at 773-584-6669.

Vendor Opportunitites

We are now accepting vendor applications for Sam Adams Lakeview Taco Fest

To start a new application or edit an existing application you've already started, click on the link below for the type of vendor application:

Application Links

If you've applied to multiple events, you can access your RegisterOne vendor profile here.