Taste of Chicago by the Numbers

As we’ve mentioned a few times over the past week, Taste of Chicago is big. Sure, it was scaled back somewhat due to budget cuts, but there are still 59 restaurants from all over the city, and way more food than any one person could possibly eat in one day. Yesterday, we showed you the restaurants that were farthest away from downtown, but today we decided to break down the festival in a more methodical way, and have created a slideshow of Taste of Chicago by the numbers. Want to know how many chicken dishes, frozen desserts, and things on a stick you can eat? Follow us.

We were genuinely surprised how some of these categories turned out. Though we knew that numerous places would be offering pizza, who knew that there would be more seafood options than hot dogs? Also, did you have any idea that frozen bananas were popular anywhere except on Arrested Development?

We could go on, but why don’t you just check out our slideshow of Taste of Chicago by the numbers.

Thick, thin, and everything in between, Taste allows guests to sample pizza from all over the city. Pictured is the stuffed spinach slice from Bacino’s of Lincoln Park
Chicken is, by far, the most popular meat at the festival. That said, few places serve it up with quite as many chiles as Lao Sze Chuan. The restaurant’s famous dry chili chicken was the dish we were most excited about, and though it left our mouth on fire, overall it translated well to the setting. 
There are far more seafood options than we could have imagined. We were most excited about the mustard-fried catfish from BJ’s Market & Bakery.
You’ll definitely need something to cool down, especially if you try some of the dry chili chicken. Luckily, there are loads of options. We settled on the mango frozen kefir from Starfruit Café. The dessert also happened to be one of Humana’s Healthier Choices. 
Not all of the frozen desserts are eaten with a spoon. There were a quite a few stuck on a stick, including this baby chocolate frozen banana from The Fudge Pot
Of course, meat also likes to be served on a stick, and we had no trouble finding examples. Pictured is Vermillion’s grilled chicken kabob with tomatillo potatoes and charred onions. 
Honestly, we were surprised that more places weren’t serving fries. We sampled the fries with poutine gravy from Abbey Pub
Though most excited about Lao Sze Chuan, we were also quite pleased with the falafel with hummus from newcomer, Alhambra Palace.
Can you believe there are only seven different tacos at Taste? In fact, most come from Carbón. Still, we were impressed with the restaurant’s fire roasted veggie taco. 
The definitation of a sandwich is loose these days, and so we’re counting the steak jibarito from Sabor Latino. You should also ask for a squirt of garlic sauce, which properly explains why it is so shiny. 
Taste of Chicago by the Numbers