Windy City Smokeout Satisfies Chicago for a Second Year

BBQ and country tunes brought out big crowds to the second annual Windy City Smokeout
Windy City Smokeout
Credit: Lauren Knight

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que turned up the heat with smoky BBQ wings at this year's Windy City Smokeout.

For its second year, the Windy City Smokeout upped the ante and presented a bigger and better BBQ festival. Drawing lovers of food and country music alike, the event perfectly encompassed summer fun.

The festival set up camp along Grand Avenue and the Chicago River, providing plenty of room for the tents full of food, drink, and merchandise. A large stage took up the southeast corner, and acts such as Brett Eldredge and the Eli Young Band got the crowd dancing.

The BBQ feast was the star, however, with local restaurants holding their own against Southern visitors. The Salt Lick from TexasPappy’s Smokehouse of St. Louis, and BBQ master Myron Mixon all put up strong showings. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, which will be opening its first Chicago location in the fall, staged a bold introduction to the Windy City with its brisket sandwich with pickled onion and jalapeño.

The current Chicago BBQ joints offered up plenty of flavor themselves. Tri-tip from Lillie’s Q was succulent, Smoque’s jalapeño-Cheddar sausage added some spice, and Bub City’s BBQ pork rinds provided a crunchy, satisfying snack.

The standout, however, was Chicago Q’s Pulled Pork BBQ Sundae. This savory parfait layered all the best things in a BBQ meal into one cup: coleslaw, beans, and apple-smoked pork, garnished with a crisp pickle. The meal-in-a-cup was perfect for a festival.

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After another successful year, the Windy City Smokeout continues to help secure Chicago’s growing status as a destination for barbecue.