Eating/Drinking

These Burger, Barbecue, and Hot Dog Events Mean We’ve Reached Peak Summer in Chicago

Photo courtesy of Public House

Bike for burgers, feast on barbecue, and celebrate Bastille Day with these upcoming food events in Chicago.

Photo courtesy of Mini Mott

#Mott2Mini Bike Ride 
I’m not much of a cyclist, but when you add burgers as an incentive, I’m fully ready to hop on a bike and hit the street. One of the coolest food events of the summer is the #Mott2Mini bike ride that starts at Mott Street with appetizers, before attendees put on helmets and ride over to Mini Mott in Logan Square for burgers, drinks, and dessert. Added bonus: Anyone who bikes with a helmet will be able to enjoy buy-one-get-one-free ice cream.
Details: July 10, 6 p.m.; $32 and BYO bike or Divvy

Windy City Smokeout Is Back and Beefier Than Ever 
There are many food festivals to hit up this summer, but if there’s one to put on your calendar, make it the Windy City Smokeout. Between the country music and the boatloads of barbecue, it doesn’t get more summery than this. Hosted by Bub City and Joe’s Bar, the wildly popular event features big-name country performers across three days (this year: July 12–14), with dishes from restaurants both local and country-wide. Plus: So much beer! New this year, the Smokeout will take place outside the United Center, which should free up more space for more meat.
Details: July 12–14 at the United Center parking lot; $40–$49.50 for general admission; $115 for three-day pass

Hot Dog Week Returns to Public House
Nothing says summer quite like hot dogs, especially in an encased meat-loving city like Chicago. So Public House is bringing back its beloved Hot Dog Week, featuring a special menu of unique sausages like the Texas Dog (Monterey Jack cheese and jalapeños), the Tijuana Danger Dog (bacon-wrapped and topped with shallots, mayo, mustard, ketchup, and grilled jalapeños), and the Crab Mac N’ Cheese Dog (lump crab meat and mac and cheese with Old Bay seasoning and red cherry peppers).
Details: July 15–21; all hot dogs are $13 each, or all three special hot dogs can be ordered for $30 as the “hot dog board.”

Photo courtesy of Le Sud

Say Bonjour to Your New Favorite Happy Hour
Gruyère gougeres and Mornay fries are my kind of happy hour. I mean, even if these weren’t discounted, I’d still be happy eating them. Le Sud is bringing the goods with its new weeknight happy hour, which runs 5–6:30 p.m. with bargain bites and cocktails. In addition to the aforementioned snacks, look for Bretzels with smoked salt, summer spritzes, and select wines chosen by sommelier Terry McNeese.
Details: Monday–Friday, 5–6:30 p.m.

The Dog Days of Summer at Cafe Brauer
As a dog owner who is constantly compelled to dine and drink alfresco in the summer months, I’m always on the lookout for an idyllic patio that’s dog friendly. Rising to the occasion is Cafe Brauer, which is hosting a Dog Days of Summer promo this season, wherein the patio gets decked out with a puppy pool and treats are provided. Dogs also get their own gift bag to take home, courtesy of Bentley’s Pets.
Details: August 11, 9–11 a.m.

Bastille Day Courtyard Celebration at Margeaux Brasserie
After you’re done drinking beer and eating hot dogs for the Fourth of July, don’t forget that France’s own Independence Day is just around the corner. And Margeaux Brasserie is celebrating in style with snacks, pastries, oysters, and a whole afternoon of festivities in the chic courtyard of the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. Come hungry and peruse tasting stations stocked with boudin blanc baguettes, bouillabaisse brochettes, ham and Gruyère croissants, oysters, and more. To drink, there will be French cocktails, a mobile wine bike (!), beer from Moody Tongue, and champagne sabering “Olympics.” Family-friendly entertainment comes by way of balloon artists, face painters, and a cotton candy machine.
Details: July 14, 3–6 p.m.; $25

Photo courtesy of Margeaux Brasserie

Milk Bar Pop-Up at Big Star
Confession: I am completely obsessed with Milk Bar and am very eager/hopeful for it to open a bakery in Chicago. I just can’t get enough of its cookies and cereal milk soft serve! So imagine the excitement when Milk Bar announced it would be popping up for two days at Big Star this summer, setting up shop in front of the Wicker Park hot spot in a vintage ice cream truck with fan-favorite items like compost cookies, Milk Bar pie, soft serve, and other goodies. It’s all part of Milk Bar’s “All You Can Treat Tour, roving around the country this summer. I’ll be there.
Details: July 20 and 21