Neighborhood News-Food, glorious food in Rogers Park, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Streeterville, West Loop, Chicago Loop

If there’s a theme to this week’s Neighborhood News, it’s FOOD! Chicago’s neighborhoods are home to world-renowned restaurants, quality street vendors and food trucks. But a museum devoted to ice cream? Yes, it’s all in Chicago, for your gastronomic pleasure! Enjoy tacos, pizza, and plenty of local restaurants at this week’s annual fests and fun!

Viva la Tacos… On Thursday, July 21, join several Clark Street restaurants and the Rogers Park Business Alliance for an afternoon of tacos, tacos and más tacos at the North Side’s Taco Crawl! From Clark Street between Devon and Rogers Avenues, from 3pm-7pm, 13 participating restaurants include Taqueria El Chorrito, 6404 N. Clark, El Pulpo Loco, 6619 N. Clark, and Taqueria El Charro, 6661 N. Clark. Eat your weight in carne asada, veggie, al pastor, and chicken tacos after picking up your $30 passport at 7056 N. Clark St. Restaurants stop serving at 7 p.m. For tickets and information, click here

Viva la Steppenwolf… This is the final weekend of the Tony-nominated Choir Boy at Chicago’s renowned Steppenwolf Theatre in Lincoln Park, 1650 N. Halsted Street. Now through Sunday, July 24, experience the emotional story of Pharus Young, a senior at the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys, an institution committed to building “strong, ethical Black men,” where he endeavors to be the best leader of the school’s prestigious choir in its 50-year history, as the website says. But in a world built on rites and rituals, should he conform to the expectations of his peers to gain the respect he desperately seeks? For tickets, click here.

Viva La LincolnTaste of Lincoln Avenuebegins Friday, July 22 from 3pm to 10pm and runs through Sunday, July 24 for the 39th time, from noon-10pm on the diagonal Lincoln Avenue between Fullerton and Wrightwood Avenues. For just $10 at the gate per day, fest goers can enjoy samples of great food from local restaurants, arts and crafts, and musical groups like fest favorites 16 Candles and Rosie and the Rivets. For more information, click here!

Sing, dance and eat, Part 1… Wicker Park Fest makes its glorious return on Friday, July 22, from 5pm- 10pm and continues Saturday and Sunday, from noon – 10pm, on Milwaukee Avenue between Paulina St and North Avenue. The three-stage music, local food and arts festival offers something for everyone–headliners include Latin indie rockers Y La Bamba, grunge rockers Cherry Glazerr, Chicago favorites NNAMDÏ, along with Tukkiman, Lady Sol and Friends, and Ballet Folklorico de Chicago. A $10 donation benefits the local community, including the Wicker Park Chamber of Commerce and Burr Elementary School. For more information, click here.  

A World made of Ice Cream… At the newly opened Museum of Ice Cream, 435 North Michigan Ave, their dazzling, pink-hued, inclusive environments are “designed to inspire human connection and energize the senses, to reimagine the way we experience and love ice cream.” You can play in the sprinkle pool and ride on the Chicago Sprink-L line, eat all the ice cream you want (including a hot dog flavor soft serve on a pink bun!) And–learn the history of ice cream. For example, according to their blog, the oldest mentions of frozen treats stretch back about 3000 years. In some Middle Eastern sources, King Solomon was described as having a penchant for frozen fruit purees, and the Old Testament mentions frozen goat milk as a treat that Abraham enjoyed. In ancient Mesopotamia, snow was mixed with mashed fruit. The museum is open every day but Tuesday. For tickets and more information, click here.

Chicago is Pizza City… no doubt about it! Whether you love Chicago-style stuffed, deep dish, or thin crust, or foreign versions like New York slices, Sicilian, Detroit, or Artisan, you’ll have it all on Saturday, July 23 and Sunday, July 24 from noon-9pm at Pizza City Fest Chicago at Plumber’s Union Hall in the West Loop, 1401 W. Randolph Street. The event brings together 39 of the region’s best pizza makers, including Pete’s Pizza, Nancy’s (the original stuffed pizza), and Vito and Nick’s. The event was created and is hosted by Steve Dolinsky – a 13-time James Beard Award-winning food reporter and author, and currently “The Food Guy” at NBC 5 Chicago. A $59 general admission ticket includes all-you-can-eat pizza from 18 different vendors, VIP panels, seminars, and demos, pizza-themed merchants and artists, live music and book signings. Lots more for VIPs! Kids under age 10 are admitted free. For tickets, click here.

Sing, dance and eat, Part 2… Sundays on State returns on Sunday, July 24, and runs from 11am-6pm. This free, safe, interactive block party brings the best of art, culture, active recreation, food, drinks, shopping, and local attractions in the heart of everyone’s neighborhood – the Loop. This weekend, the Monroe Stage alone features performances by the Trinity Irish Dancers, the Brazilian Cultural Center, the Real Pretenders, and the Cash Box Kings. On another stage, you and your family can learn Ballroom Basics, Ballet, Fitness, and Jazz. Lots of food and drink choices, including Mexican cuisine from Caseras Sabor Real, ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery, local brewery Crushed By Giants, southern specialists Cynthia’s Gumbo Express and the Walnut Room for cocktails and bites. For a complete lineup, click here.

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago