Jul 11, 2022 - Food and Drink

Taste of Chicago gets mixed reviews

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Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

This weekend's Taste of Chicago left a bad taste in some mouths.

  • Angry Taste-goers reported long lines and limited options for the post-pandemic reopening of the city's marquee food event.

What they're saying: "We waited almost two hours to get in," JazziRelle tweeted. "Then once we got in, everywhere had at least a 30- to 45-minute line to get food."

Context: The 2022 Taste took place over one weekend, a stark contrast to years past. Organizers also shrunk its physical footprint, moving the festival from Jackson south to Balbo.

Yes, but: It's hard to blame them for longer security lines and reduced options.

  • A surge in downtown violence led the festival to employ metal detectors and enforce pat-downs.
  • Despite incentives, restaurant staffing shortages reduced the number of vendors to about 30 from the usual 50 or so, organizers told Block Club.
  • And Taste went ticketless, which means people had to pay with cash or credit, slowing transactions down.

💭 Justin's thought bubble: How long would you wait in line for a Bud Light and a turkey leg? Long lines are a byproduct of the call for safety downtown.

  • Unfortunately, in 2022, we can't have it both ways.
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