Date: Saturday, September 15 - Sunday, September 16
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


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 sixth flavor-filled year in 2018, 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 & the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce.

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.

2018 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
With two near-northside locations, this Tex-Mex establishment is best known for more than 150 tequilas and "crafted" margaritas choices. And, of course, their popular taco, burrito, fajita, torta  and appetizer offerings that complement their vast drink selection.

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.) 

Flaco's Tacos
With locations in  the South Loop, near Water Tower Place and in Edgewater, Flaco's specializes in simple Mexican foods. They're modest to a fault, but their eclectic menu offering is totally ambitious: every imaginable Mexican dish is on their menu, and affordably priced as well. (Grilled chicken and grilled steak tacos.)

This West Town restaurant and bar on Milwaukee Avenue pays tribute to the foods of America's early pioneers and adventurers. With its rustic tavern atmosphere, Frontier takes pride in both traditional salads, sides and meat-centric offerings (including duck tacos) but also its unique "Whole Animal" dinners tailored for large groups that includes such eclectic menu options as alligator, lamb, shrimp, wild boar and free-range American pig.

Garifuna Flava    
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.)

NEW! Las Tablas Colombian Steakhouse
Family-owned and operated since 1991, this trend-setting eatery (with locations on Lincoln Avenue and in Portage Park) pioneered South American cuisine in Chicago. Expect them to create some mouth-watering and authentic stuffings at Taco Fest!

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.)

Tacos Nietos  
Located on Chicago's far southeast side, this ma-and-pa Mexican eatery may be small in size but, when it comes to tacos, wins rave reviews from both neighborhood residents and visitors for their fantastic food. Trust us: Nietos is as authentic Mexico-meets-Chicago as it gets. (Beef, chicken and steak  tacos.)

NEW! Tandoor Char House   
Expect something exceptional with this new 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.

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

2:00pm - Koncreto Norteno Band
3:30pm - Without U2
5:30pm - Karma Committee
8:00pm - Too White Crew
2:30pm - Bodega
4:00pm - Hello Weekend
6:00pm - Rod Tuffcurls and The Bench Press
8:15pm - 16 Candles

Addison Stage Entertainment

2:00pm - Mariachi Los Viajeros
6:30pm - Rock Candy
8:30pm - The Lotus Kings
1:00pm - Mariachi Los Viajeros
2:30pm - Los Orejones de la Sierra
4:00pm - One Night Band
6:00pm - Latin Groove Band
8:00pm - The Funk Crusaders

About the Beneficiary: Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce

The Lakeview Chamber of Commerce was founded to help the local community prosper through programs and services that assist and promote both local businesses and the neighborhood. The Chamber's service area, primarily Chicago's West Lakeview neighborhood, is from Diversey on the south, to Irving Park on the north, and Ravenswood on the west, to Racine on the east. 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

Scroll down to apply online (choose from artist/merchant/not-for-profit or food truck)!  Applying online is an easy and convenient way to participate in this event.

Paper Application: