Windy City Smokeout

July 16, 2015

The third annual Windy City Smokeout overtook Chicago this past weekend with three days of BBQ, drinks, and live country music. The fest is presented by Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, Bub City. It was my first time at Smokeout but it quickly became my favorite Chicago food fest I've experienced! If you've never been, you're definitely missing out.

The fest took place in a gigantic lot at Grand Street and the Chicago River. There was no shortage of fabulous food including BBQ from some of the best pitmasters and BBQ spots from across the US including Dinosaur BBQ, Pappy's Smokehouse in St. Louis, Ubons in Yazoo City, MS, The Salt Lick in Driftwood, TX, and Hogapalooza in Wynne, Arkansas. There also was a strong showing from local BBQ joints including Chicago Q, Bub City, Smoque, and Lillie's Q.

What were my favorites? Well, there were way more things I wanted to eat than I could fit in my stomach, so among the food I tried, my favorites were the pulled pork from Hogapalooza, the jalapeno cheddar sausage from Smoque, the smoked wings from Dinosaur BBQ, and the fried chicken from Gus's Fried Chicken, a Memphis favorite opening in September in Fulton Market. Seriously. It was some of the best fried chicken I've ever had!

To help me chronicle my eating adventures at Windy City Smokeout, the folks at Verizon Wireless let me test out the Samsung Galaxy S6 which takes amazing photos! As an avid iPhone user, I was a bit nervous about adapting to a new phone, but I actually found it to be super user friendly. The photos came out so clear and I loved the large, vivid screen. All of these photos were taken on the S6 and I didn't even have to edit them! Talk about a time saver.

Verizon Wireless
Testing Out the Samsung Galaxy S6
Windy City Smokeout
Bub City
Windy City Smokeout
The Salt Lick
Windy City Smokeout
Pappy's Smokehouse 
Windy City Smokeout
Brisket From The Salt Lick
Windy City Smokeout
Gus's Fried Chicken
Windy City Smokeout
Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage From Smoque
Windy City Smokeout
Windy City Smokeout
Pulled Pork Sandwich from Hogapalooza 
BBQ Chicken from Hogapalooza
Windy City Smokeout
Ribs from Ubons
Windy City Smokeout
Smoked Wings From Dinosaur BBQ
In addition to BBQ there was an awesome selection of sweets and bites from Summer HouseCrave BarDoughnut VaultSupreme Lobster, and La Colombe. I may or may not have had three different desserts :-O.

Windy City Smokeout
Doughnut Vault
Windy City Smokeout
Sir Kensington's & Summer House 
The beer selection also was fantastic. Brewers from across the country offered a wide selection of rare craft beer including special limited-edition drafts created for Windy City Smokeout.  Participating breweries included Founders, Goose Island, Local Option, Against the Grain, Moody Tongue, 18th Street and others!

Windy City Smokeout
Craft Beer Bar
 Windy City Smokeout
Craft Beer Limited Releases
On the music front, there were headliners including Grammy award winner Kacey Musgraves, Grammy-nominated Pat Green, ACM Breakthrough Artist of the Year Chris Young, ACM ‘Single Record of the Year’ Lee Brice, as well as Dan + Shay, Will Hoge, Chris Stapleton and others.

Mark your calendars for the fourth annual Windy City Smokeout next July!

Note: Verizon Wireless provided me with a phone for this review and I received a complimentary ticket to attend the event; however, all opinions expressed herein are my own.


  1. Fun! I have to check this out next year!

    1. Yes! Katie, you'd love it! It was so well organized too!


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