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“Taste of Greektown” Festival Returns to Chicago for Summer 2021

Greektown Chicago Taste of Greektown festival
The “Taste of Greektown” festival is back to entertain Chicago residents in 2021. Credit: Greek Reporter.

The “Taste of Greektown” festival held annually in Chicago will bring fun, food, and drink with a Greek twist to the major US city once more for 2021.

The major festival is going to take place from August 27 to 29; this will be the 31st time Chicago is treated to amazing Greek-themed festivities.

Taste of Greektown festival 2021

Most of the focus at the festival will likely be on the neighborhood’s wonderful restaurants which serve traditional Greek fare. These establishments are considered institutions in Chicago, and are certainly not to be missed.

Many classic Greektown restaurants will be involved with the festival, including 9 Muses Bar & Grill, Artopolis Bakery, Cafe and Agora, Athena Restaurant, Mr. Greek Gyros, and Spectrum Bar & Grill. 

The Chicago festival also includes exclusive vendors, including Greektown’s 100-year-old Athenian Candle Co., The Greek Key jewelry, and countless others. 

Greektown, which is located along Chicago’s Halsted Street, has the highest concentration of Greek restaurants and culture in the entirety of the city. Acting as a “home away from home,” the Taste of Greektown festival is a celebration of the neighborhood and a reminder of all things Greek.

Live Greek music

Of course, no festival would be complete without entertainment options. At Taste of Greektown, live music will fill the streets of Chicago with traditional Greek music from four to ten PM daily.

“Hellas 2000,” the musical group playing the festival, prides itself on playing a mix of traditional and nostalgic tunes as well as more updated, modern Greek music. A variety of local DJs and bands will perform on the festival’s second stage throughout the weekend. 

Another entertainment option and a new signature feature of the festivities is the fourth annual Gyro eating contest. Taking place on the second stage on Saturday, August 28 at 6 PM and sponsored by Devanco Foods, the contest is sure to make for great summer fun. Interested participants are kindly invited to sign up for the contest earlier on the same day, at 4 PM.

The 31st annual Taste of Greektown festival is presented by the Greektown Chamber of Commerce with the help of Greektown SSA #16. The operating hours of the festival are Friday, August 27 from 4 – 10 PM; Saturday, August 28 from 12 – 10 PM; and Sunday, August 29 from 12 – 10 PM. A $5 (€4.22) donation is suggested, but not required, from attendees. 

The heart of Hellenism in the Windy City

Chicago’s Greektown, the dining and nightlife district on the city’s Near West Side, is the undisputed cultural hub for the third-largest population of Greeks living in the USA.

Greektown’s bars and restaurants, serving some of the best Greek food in the country, lie roughly between Van Buren and Madison Streets, along Halsted Street, west of the Loop.

It is estimated that approximately 150,000 people of Greek ancestry live in the greater Chicagoland area. The language is still heard in the neighborhood, and the community comes out in full ethnic pride during the annual Greek Independence Day parade, the “Taste of Greece” festival and the on days surrounding Greek Easter.

The first Greeks in Chicago arrived as ship captains in the 1840s. After deciding to settle down there, they started out working as food peddlers and, by a natural progression, soon became restaurant owners.

Around the turn of the century, the Greek population was concentrated around the Harrison, Blue Island and Halsted areas, originally known as the as Delta, but later re-named “Greektown.” Back then it was where the entire Greek community lived, where all its doctors, lawyers, and merchants were based.

A video showing the wonderful Greek heart of Chicago, Greektown, can be seen below.

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