March 27, 2018

Chicago Kicks Off Its Annual Food Truck Festivals At Daley Plaza And Pioneer Court

Weekly events offer new lunch offerings to consumers while showcasing food truck cuisine from March through November

Lilia Chacon Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (312) 744-5365

The Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), Small Business Center today kicked-off its annual Food Truck Fests, running now through November at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St. and Pioneer Court, located at 401 N. Michigan Avenue.  The trucks will offer a diverse array of exciting food options from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on first Tuesday of the month at Pioneer Court and every week at Daley Plaza.

Now in its second year at Pioneer Court and fourth year at Daley Plaza, Food Truck Fests offer a taste of new and exciting cuisine to hungry customers from surrounding office buildings, tourist groups and shoppers.

“The Food Truck Festivals are an opportunity for people to become part of the city’s growing culinary scene,” said BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareno. “The festivals are also a good way to showcase some of the amazing culinary offerings available at some of our small and emerging businesses throughout the city.”

The fests will feature a rotating line-up of 10-12 food trucks offering diverse food options at each location. Menu options range from grilled cheese to Korean to Latin fusion. This year’s 41 fests will feature more opportunities than ever for people to sample the trucks’ wares.  Mobile boutique trucks are also part of the weekly fests at Daley Plaza, offering a selection of fashion and accessories.

The food truck lineup for the 2018 season will be announced on the City’s Small Business Center social media sites and by using the hashtag #Chifoodtruckfest. The SBC is on Twitter at @ChiSmallBiz, Facebook at /ChiSmallBiz, Pinterest at ChicagoBACP, and Instagram at ChicagoBACP.   

The Food Truck Fest calendar for Daley Plaza and Pioneer Court is as follows:

 Daley Plaza

Pioneer Court

March 23, 30

April 3

April 6, 13, 20, 27

May 1

May 2, 12, 17, 24, 31

June 5

June 8, 15, 20, 29

July 3 

July 6, 11, 20, 27

August 7

August 3, 8, 17, 24, 31

September 4

September 7, 11, 21, 28

October 2

October 5, 12, 19, 24

November 6


The Emanuel administration has taken a number of steps to promote innovation and support the mobile food truck and boutique industries:

  • In July 2012, the city passed an ordinance to expand food truck operations in neighborhoods across Chicago. The ordinance, based on the input received from restauranteurs, the food truck industry, and local aldermen, legalized expanded food truck operations while maintaining public health standards. Today, there are 112 mobile food trucks active in Chicago, showing the value of this industry.
  • In October 2012, the city passed an ordinance that established 21 mobile food truck stands at locations across Chicago. Since then, the City has increased the number of locations, bringing to total number of mobile food truck stands to 37 as of today.
  • In April 2015, City Council approved an ordinance to allow seasonal, outdoor food vendors that operate at multiple special events or neighborhood festivals to purchase a business permit for longer periods of time, coinciding with the outdoor special event season.
  • In June 2016, the city issued the first Emerging business Permit (EBP) to a mobile boutique operator. The Emerging Business Permit is part of a pilot program for new business activity and was created during licensing reform efforts in 2012. The new permit is intended to support and encourage new mobile businesses that don’t fall under the existing license structure.






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