Friday (July 12)
Windy City Smokeout
Friday, beginning at 3:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, beginning at noon.
Bub City's inaugural bbq and country music fest is this weekend. Some of Chicago's best barbecue joints are participating including Lillie's Q and Smoque, which we just named the best two pulled pork sandwiches in the city. The famous Austin, Texas based The Salt Lick will also be serving up smoked meat, along with Myron Mixon. $60 for 3-day pass or $30 per day. Rush St. and Illinois St.; event website
Saturday (July 13)
Gapers Block Hot Dog Cookoff
Saturday, 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Gapers Block has invited some of Chicago's top chefs to start with a Vienna Beef hot dog and create something innovative and delicious. Expect dogs from Fat Rice, Kuma's, The Haute and The Dog, and more. The creations will be judged by a panel of hot dog experts, and attendees can vote on the People's Choice. Proceeds benefit Reach Out and Read Illinois. $20. 3159 N. Southport; event website
Saturday, 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Celebrate French National Day with this free festival at Daley Plaza. Enjoy crepes and sandwiches from La Boulangerie, sweet crepes from MJC Crepes, and pastries from Sugar Fixe. Wash it down with French beer, wine, and champagne. Free. Daley Plaza; event website
Open Call for The Taste
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
ABC's "The Taste" is hosting an open call for season two participants. Although it's hard to keep up with all the reality cooking shows, this one features Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson "helping" participants cook for challenges. Amateur and professional chefs are welcome to apply. Interested cooks should pre-register and plan to bring a prepared signature dish. Free. 177 N. Ada Street, #101; event website
Roscoe Village Burger Fest
Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Fourteen restaurants will be offering burger choices, ranging from traditional hamburgers to turkey, veggie, and bbq. Last year's fest winners Rockit Burger Bar and Cortland Garage are returning, along with newcomers such as Banh Mi & Company, Indie Burger, and Twenty Five Degrees. The event also features two live music stages. $7 Suggested Donation. Belmont and Damen; event website