Date: Saturday, September 15 - Sunday, September 16
Time: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Location: On Southport between Addison & Roscoe
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Address: 3500 N. Southport Ave.
Chicago Illinois
Beneficiary: Friends of Lakeview
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The Two Tola’s, D.S. Tequila Win ‘Best Taco’ Honors in 2017

Café Tola, 3612 N. Southport, and its sibling, Dona Tola, 3751 N. Southport, were voted first and second place winners respectively of serving up the “Best Tacos” by visitors to 2017’s Sam Adams’ Lakeview Taco Fest. Taking third place honors at the September 16-17 fest was D.S. Tequila, 3352 N. Halsted.  Congratulations 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.

2017 Participating Vendors Serving Tacos

2018 Vendors Coming soon!

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.)

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   New in 2017!
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.)

Frontier New in 2017!
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 England Seafood Company
From everyday dining to indulging with someone special, New England Seafood on Lincoln Avenue near Roscoe has built a reputation for their fresh fish and outstanding service. With its owners having more than four decades of experience in seafood retail, wholesale and specialty food events, their menu offers an amazing array of fish options for brunch, lunch or dinner. (Fish and lobster 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.)

Tacos Nietos 
With two locations 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.)

Tuco & Blondie   New in 2017!
"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

Coming soon!

Addison Stage Entertainment

Coming soon!

About the Beneficiary: Lakeview 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 Opportunities

Scroll down to apply online (don't forget to choose the correct application!).  Applying online is a convenient and easy way to participate in this event.  Paper applications are available at the end.  Note: Taco vendors are by invite only.  If you're interested in participating as a taco vendor, please contact

Paper Applications: