If you've ever been #blessed enough to spend a summer in the Windy City, then you know how many life-changing activities there are on offer. Since this is a SpoonU article, I think we can all agree that the best of those are the Chicago food and drink festivals going on almost every weekend. 

Liz Joyce

For my summer internship, I put together a generic list of things to do in the Windy City over the next couple months, but it's by no means all-inclusive. It was a great place to start, though, and got my curiosity (and taste buds) hungering to know what else is out there. Here is the definitive list of the best places to get a true taste of Chicago.

June 23-25: Gold Coast Greek Fest

As a die-hard My Big Fat Greek Wedding fan, when I saw this event being advertised at my bus stop I immediately added it to the notes in my phone. Featuring live Greek music and dancing, FREE admission, and authentic Greek food and pastries, it will be hard to beat this event put on by the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral. More info here - #ChicagOPA! 

June 24: Chicago Rosé Day

red wine, white wine, liquor, alcohol, wine
Steven Baboun

You betcha I bought my ticket for this River North party as soon as I heard about it. I can't imagine any better way to spend a summer afternoon than sipping cool, sweet wine along the river with friends and other young professionals. Tickets are cheap but going fast, so be sure to grab yours here.  

June 24-25: Chicago Food Truck Fest

tea, coffee, wine, beer
Hannah Giardina

This weekend is a big one for fine food and drinking. This fest is the largest food truck gathering in the state (last year they had more than 40,000 patrons), and is growing to become the largest in the entire Midwest. Head to the South Loop with your ticket and get some food in your stomach before drinking wine on Saturday, or wind down your weekend with some leisurely taste-testing on Sunday.

July 5-9: Taste of Chicago

egg, Lunch, brunch, meal spread, avocado toast, avocado, fries, ketchup, sandwich, sauce, lettuce, vegetable, salad
Denise Uy

This event in Grant Park showcases the diversity of Chicago's dining community while providing live music and entertainment at the same time. If the Food Truck Fest has left you with a taste for more Chicago cuisine, look no further than the world's largest food festival (PS - FREE admission). More info here.

July 14-16: Windy City Smokeout

BBQ, country music, and craft beer, oh my! This event might be the most rockin' on this list - staged on Grand Ave. right on the river, it promises to be a lively time. Tickets aren't cheap, but you get a lot of bang for your buck, so consider trying some spicy southern flavors. 

July 22-23: Chicago Craft Beer Festival

liquor, ale, alcohol, beer
Hana Brannigan

If rosé is too sweet for you, Sheffield and Weber play host to this lovely event for all the beer lovers out there. If you purchase a pass, you have the opportunity to sample more than 70 specialty beers - accompanied by live music, too! This event isn't free but it is worth it - buy your tickets here. 

August 11-13: Chicago Hot Dog Fest

Kelsey Coughlin

It's not really a post about summer without mention of America's favorite food, is it? This summer marks the 5th year that the Chicago History Museum celebrates different regional and ethnic preparations of everyone's favorite ball park food. Unsurprisingly, this event is also accompanied by games and live music, so be sure to grab your tickets here. 

Even if you're a picky eater, you're bound to find something you'll like on this list. Festivals are a great way not only to try new foods and get some sun at the same time, but also to connect with friends and get a few new cultural experiences under your belt. Since my time in Chicago is so short, I know I'll be going to every single one of these fests - you should, too!