Ribs and More

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)

“People’s Choice” and “Best Ribs” winners announced tonight.

After a full weekend of beautiful weather, record-breaking crowds, and some mighty fine ribs, the people voted and  . . .

For the “People’s Choice,” Mrs. Murphy and Sons Irish Bistro comes in first again. Q BBQ Lakeview was a close second while Real Urban BBQ and Uncle Bub’s BBQ tied for third.

Our celebrity judges had a different opinion. They chose Uncle Bub’s BBQ for the second year in a row as the “Best Ribs,” and placed BBQ King Smokehouse second and Real Urban Barbecue third.

Thanks to all our participating restaurants. We look forward to 2015!


Ribfest Chicago turns a “Sweet & Smoky” 16 and we have lined up 16 restaurants offering lip-smacking good ribs for your first kiss of summer goodness. All rib vendors will be offering a 2-bone sampler, so come hungry! Don’t forget to cast your vote for the coveted “People’s Choice” Award for the restaurant with best ribs. See all the details below. And check out the list of celebrity judges who will declare one restaurant as the winner of the “Best Ribs” Award.

Rib Vendors

Ribs, Pretzel BOMB, BBQ Nachos

Ribs, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Iced Tea

Beef Short Ribs, Lake Trout Sandwich, BBQ Poutine

Ribs, Hot Dogs, Burgers

Ribs, Pulled Pork, Smoked Sausage

Ribs, Pulled Lamb Sandwich, Guinness Ice Cream

Smoked Ribs, Chopped Brisket, Burnt Ends

Ribs, Tri-Tip Sandwich, BBQ Nachos

Ribs, Corn-on-the-Cob, Jambalaya

Ribs, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Pulled Chicken Sandwich

Ribs, Pulled Pork Slider, Hot Links

Ribs, Pulled Pork, Beef Brisket

Baby Back Ribs, Pulled Pork Sliders, Jalapeno Pepper “Firecrackers”

Ribs, Pulled Chicken Sandwich, Pulled Pork Sandwich

Ribs, Pulled Pork, Beef Brisket

Ribs, Pulled Pork, Chicken Sandwich

And more . . .

Bacon Sausage, Maple Bacon Sausage Corn Dog, Bacon Sausage Mac ‘n Cheese

Beer Cheese Fries, Pulled Pork Nachos, Bourbon Caramel Apple Donut Holes

Funnel Cake, Hand-dipped Corndog, Cheeseburger with Curly Fries

Chocolate Covered Bacon, Root Beer Black Cows, Walking Tacos

Made to Order Dinky Donuts: hot and fresh with various sugar toppings/seasonings, Coffee

Pina Colada Acapulco Style, Fresh Pineapple Lemonade Water

Fried Green Tomatoes, Funnel Cake, Maxwell St. Pork Chop Sandwich

Grilled Chicken or Orange Chicken with Vegetable Rice, Corn Dogs, Chicken Tenders with Fries

Fried Octopus Tacos, Spicy BBQ Pig Wings, Fried Brownie with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Mac ‘n Cheese with Pulled Pork Sandwich, Mini Hamburgers, Chipotle BBQ Wings

BBQ Pork Carnita Sandwich, Chimichuri Steak Tacos, Shrimp Avocado Tostadas

Turkey Rib Tips, Turkey Pops, Veggie Kabobs

Stuffed Burgers: Blue Cheese, Bacon/Cheddar/Jalapeno, Feta/Olive/Spinach

BBQ Chicken Sandwich, Boneless Rib Sandwich, Ice Cream-20 Flavors


Ribfest Chicago invites you to decide who will win the “People’s Choice” award at the close of the weekend. With 16 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.

Upon arriving, be sure to pick up your ballot to vote for Northcenter’s Best Ribs at the entrance. Then, let the tasting begin! Rib vendors are offering 2-bone “Samplers” for $6 allowing fest visitors the opportunity to taste the BBQ from each restaurant. Ballots should be turned in by 6 PM on Sunday, June 8, at the Northcenter Chamber booth across from CVS on the west side of Lincoln Ave.


Judging will take place on Sunday, June 8, 5:30 PM at the Bud Light Stage (Lincoln @ Irving Park). Meet the judges putting our 16 rib restaurants to the test:

TedBrunsonTED BRUNSON: (“Brunson’s Best” and “Good in the Hood”)  Ted Brunson has been in the Chicago media for 20 years.  Over the last five years, he has been immersed in the restaurant scene throughout Chicagoland.  Brunson hosted and produced “Chicago’s Best” on WGN-TV for four years and received two Emmy awards for his efforts.  He continues to feature Chicago gems with his internet series, “Brunson’s Best” and contributes for various media outlets including network affiliates and DNAinfo.com.

Ted also has signed on as a spokesperson for food products and continues to be one of Chicago’s biggest advocates for local establishments.

JoannaDunnJOANNA DUNN: (“Dunn 2 Perfection”) Chef Joanna Dunn began her career in her early 20’s. Originally from Detriot Michigan, her experiences have enabled her to take her career to new heights—while traveling the world. She attributes her success to her strong community upbringing.

Chef Dunn attended the culinary trade program—Prostart. Shortly after graduating her career took off and has blessed her with many opportunities, including: A role on “Hell’s Kitchen” on FOX, the ability to instruct classes for Publix Cooking School and a position as Kitchen Manager with the Department of US Education. More recently Chef Dunn has been featured on “American Grilled”, a show that will be debuting in July 2014.

mckennaCHARLIE MCKENNA: (Lillie’s Q Restaurants) When he opened Lillie’s Q in 2010, Chef Charlie McKenna brought award-winning competition BBQ and timeless Southern cooking to the city of big shoulders. McKenna and Lillie’s Q have garnered critical praise and awards from both local Chicago and national media—including being named “Best New BBQ Restaurant in the Country” by Food & Wine magazine in 2011.

McKenna’s Lillie’s Q Sauces & Rubs can be found at Crate & Barrel, West Elm, and at a number of other retailers. Every few months he creates a limited edition bourbon-barrel aged sauce that takes BBQ to a whole new level.

Frank SennettFRANK SENNETT: (Crain’s Chicago Business) Frank Sennett is Digital Director for Crain’s Chicago Business; a Chicago journalist and author whose most recent book is Groupon’s Biggest Deal Ever (St. Martin’s Press), named one of the Top 10 Business Books of 2012 by Booklist.

Contact Information

Location and Hours

  • Lincoln / Irving Park / Damen
  • Friday, June 12, 5-10 PM
  • Saturday, June 13, Noon-10 PM
  • Sunday, June 14, Noon-10 PM
  • $5 Suggested Donation at the Gate


What ignited in the summer of 1999 as a community block party has exploded into Chicago’s most anticipated street festival—averaging 50,000 pounds of pork and 50,000+ attendees who love to kick off summer at this three-day event. Ribfest has become a nationally recognized Indie music festival hosting two stages that feature top local and national acts. The now-famous “Kids Square” provides hours of entertainment allowing children to slide, climb, jump, ride, dance and enjoy live entertainment all weekend long. Proceeds from the Northcenter Chamber of Commerce's largest fundraiser support a number of chamber initiatives, greening and beautification efforts, hunger relief, community non-profit organizations and schools. Ribfest Chicago and the Northcenter Chamber of Commerce have invested close to $250,000 back into the community.