Summer in Chicago may be synonymous with festivals, but they’re not over just yet: From Oktoberfests to a celebration of dumplings in all forms, make room on your calendar for these five festivals coming to (or near) Chicago this fall.
September 30, 3 to 10 p.m.
If you’d rather tuck into seafood than schnitzel, this one’s for you. But don’t let the name fool you—the 28th annual Oyster Fest Presented by Shaw’s Crab House delivers more than just oysters (though fans can slurp down three options from each coast). Make your way to different tents to sample lobster rolls, jambalaya, crab cakes, and fish tacos. Then, wash it all down with wine, cocktails, or beer from Michigan’s Founders Brewing Co. 21 E. Hubbard St., 312-527-2722
October 1, 12 to 4 p.m.
German Oktoberfest culture gets the Rick Bayless treatment at Das Bueno Oktoberfest, which will be held at his newest venture, Cruz Blanca Brewery & Taqueria in the West Loop. A $20 entry fee hooks you up with a custom beer stein, a bretzel from La Fournette, and, of course, beer. Also not to be missed: A Bayless-crafted Oktoberfest taco and two new seasonal brews. 904 W. Randolph St., 312-733-1975
October 2, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Make it a weekend of Oktoberfests by spending your Sunday at Stephanie Izard and Paul Kahan’s first-ever Fulton Market Harvest Fest. The A-list chefs have joined forces to bring together the best of the ever-booming area with bites and sips from West Loop favorites like Publican Quality Meats, bellyQ, El Ché Bar, and The Betty. A $25 entry gets you $20 worth of food and drink tickets, a beer stein keepsake, and a chance to watch the star chefs in action.
October 15, 12 to 3 p.m.
Yes, you read that right. The guys behind Baconfest Chicago have done it again with the first-ever Dumpling Fest taking over AceBounce on October 15. The three-hour event celebrates dumplings from every corner of the world—from the Chinese version that likely comes to mind first to Italian ravioli and Polish pierogis. 230 N. Clark St., 773-209-9543
October 20 to 23
With more than 100 events to choose from, the 16th annual festival gives you the chance to create your dream weekend. Wine buff? Spend your days at wine seminars and your nights at expertly paired wine dinners. Eager to rub elbows with celebrity chefs? Sign up for cooking demos with Top Chef’s Spike Mendelsohn and the stars of Chopped and America’s Test Kitchen. Accommodations at the cozy and luxurious American Club are booked up for the weekend, but a day trip from the city shouldn’t be ruled out. 444 Highland Dr., Kohler, Wisconsin, 855-444-2838