2018 Food

Festival Hours:
Friday, 5-10 PM; Saturday, Noon-10 PM; Sunday, Noon-10 PM
Lincoln Avenue from Irving Park to Berteau (4000 N to 4165 N)


For 2018, the People have spoken and the “People’s Choice” for best ribs are:

3rd Place: Blackwood BBQ
2nd Place: Real Urban Barbecue
1st Place: Austin’s Texas Lightning BBQ

Our Celebrity Judges decision for which vendor had the “Best Ribs” are:

3rd Place: BBQ King Smoke House
2nd Place: Tied- Austin’s Texas Lighting and Wrigley BBQ
1st Place: Chicago BBQ Company

And for “Best Lounge” in 2018, the winners are:

3rd. Place: Kings Lounge, BBQ King Smokehouse
2nd Place: BBQ Supply House, BBQ Supply Co.
1st Place: Wrigley BBQ Pitmaster’s Hideaway, Wrigley BBQ

Congrats to all our winners! Thank you to all our amazing rib vendors, and to everyone who voted. See you next year for more ribs, rock & roll and fun.


Ribs, Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork

Ribs, Pretzel BOMB, King Mac

Ribs, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Pulled Chicken Sandwich

St. Louis Spare Ribs, Pulled Pork Slider, Brisket Slider

Ribs, Pulled Pork, Smoked Sausage

St. Louis Ribs, Georgia Chopped Pork, Burnt Ends

Ribs, Country Chicken Sandwich, Loaded Tots

Ribs, Mac ‘n Cheese, Chicken Wings

St. Louis Ribs, Burnt Ends, Old Crow Pulled Pork Memphis Tacos

Fried Ribs, Chipotle Bourbon Ribs, Elotes

Ribs, Tri-Tip Sandwich, Pulled Pork Sandwich

Ribs, Rib Tips, Bangers & Mash

St. Louis Ribs, Babyback Ribs, Rib Sandwich


BBQ Chicken Wings, Rib Tips, Jerk Chicken

Pulled Pork, Boneless Rib Sandwich, Funnel Cake

Jerk Turkey Tips, Pulled Pork, Candied Bacon

Funnel Cake, Italian Sausage, Corndogs

Hot Dogs, Burgers, Italian Beef, Fries

Black Cows, Chocolate Covered Bacon, Fried Candy Bars

Popcorn, Pork Rinds, Gourmet Popcorn

Fresh Dinky Delights Donuts, Dinky Delights Ice Cream Sandwiches

Tacos & Nachos, Korean BBQ, Steak, Chicken; Vegetarian, Elotes

Pina Colada, Horchata Frappe, Mango Chiller

Pulled Pork Sandwich, Funnel Cake, Roasted Corn

Deep Fried Desserts, Orange Chicken w/Vegetable Rice, Cheese Curds

Chicken Bowl/Burrito, Veggie Bowl/Burrito, Rolling Ice Cream

BBQ Turkey Legs, BBQ Skewer, Country Steak

Tacos: Steak, Chicken, Shrimp


Ribfest Chicago invites you to decide who will win the “People’s Choice” award at the close of the weekend. With 13 restaurants competing for the title, we thought you should know the basics of the “rib crawl” so you can try them all and cast your ballot.

Let the tasting begin! Rib vendors are offering 3-bone “Samplers” for 8 tickets ($8) allowing fest visitors the opportunity to taste the BBQ from each restaurant. Ballots should be turned in by 6 PM on Sunday, June 10, at the Northcenter Chamber booth across from CVS on the west side of Lincoln Ave.


Janet Davies, ABC 7: Once again, Janet Davies has graciously stepped up to serve as our guest emcee to introduce our Celebrity Judges as well as provide color commentary on the proceedings. We were honored to have Janet as a Celebrity Judge in 2015 and are thrilled to have her return for a third year as our emcee.


Brendan Greeley, WLS-AM: Brendan is a longtime Steve Dahl protégé, working in radio as a producer, news writer, editor and on-air personality. Brendan enjoys cheering on his beloved Bulls and seeking out the best turkey sandwiches the city has to offer.



Maxwell Jenkins: An American actor who has appeared on numerous TV shows, Maxwell plays Will Robinson in Netflix’s remake of Lost in Space. He is the son of Jeff Jenkins and Julie Greenberg, co-founders of Chicago’s Midnight Circus.



Ivan “Jurko” Jurkovic: Jurko played professional football for 10 years as a defensive tackle and now is a sports talk host on ESPN AM 1000, where the “Carmen & Jurko” show has been voted one the Top 20 midday shows in America.



Lauren O’Neil, 101WKQX: Lauren worked in a variety of markets including Philly, OK City, and The NOLA before finally settling down in Chicago. Lauren enjoys hanging out at farmers’ markets and considers herself to be a huge foodie.



Howard Sudberry, Sr. Director of Marketing and Communication, Arlington Park: Howard’s extensive broadcasting career began in Peoria, IL and culminated at CBS 2 in Chicago where he served as a sports reporter for 25 years. He joined Arlington Park in 2011. Howard has three local Emmy Awards, a Peter Lisagor Award and an Eclipse Award, the highest honor in the thoroughbred horse racing industry.


Rochelle Trotter, Chicago-area Health and Wellness Expert: Rochelle is a fitness focused foodie who traded in her hospitality business to create a life focused on health. As a Certified Health Coach, she now creates wellness programs to help women successfully attain their health goals using food as medicine—creating beauty from the inside out!


Contact Information

Location and Hours

  • Lincoln / Irving Park / Damen
  • Friday, June 8, 5-10 PM
  • Saturday, June 9, Noon-10 PM
  • Sunday, June 10, Noon-10 PM
  • $10 ($20 per family) Suggested Donation at the Gate

Your gate donation and proceeds from the event benefit Northcenter philanthropy and community programs. Ribfest Chicago has contributed over $350,000 to more than fifteen Northcenter schools and nonprofits in an effort to improve education, benefit critical nonprofit work, support youth sports, and help people living with special needs, in addition to funding chamber projects and annual programming.

Sponsored by the Northcenter Chamber of Commerce.


Ribfest Chicago is celebrating 20 years of Ribs and Rock & Roll! You won’t want to miss this street party.

Voted Chicago’s Best Food Fest, Ribfest Chicago is also nationally recognized for its music. Fest goers can enjoy 25 hours of original music, from honky tonk to indie and rock, performed by premier touring bands from across the US and abroad.

It’s no wonder that Ribfest Chicago remains one of the city’s best summer attractions.