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Five food events to look forward to in 2014

First course of a three-course lunch at The Peninsula during Restaurant Week
Photo by Mollie Diedrich

You may have missed out on the sold out excitement of Donut Fest on January 26 or enjoyed the sweet treats it offered up. But what food events were your favorite in 2013? Not a single one you remember? Then you'll want to be prepared for all the exciting food events coming up for 2014.

Some events are long-term engagement with lots of options to fit to your schedule, like Restaurant Week. Others are a one-day or weekend festival with specific treats to taste. These events serve up a variety of treats and times for you to start filling up your social calendar.

Dig in and start drooling with these five food events to look forward to in 2014.

Chicago Restaurant Week
Chicago Restaurant Week Photo by Mollie Diedrich

Chicago Restaurant Week

Already going on, Restaurant Week is a 14-day celebration of Chicago cuisine from January 24 to February 6. If you haven’t checked it out already, you can see the full list of 250 restaurants participating online. You can search by name of the restaurant, type of cuisine, neighborhood or meal offered.

Each restaurant offers up a prix-fixe menu. Lunchtime three-course meals start at $22 and dinnertime starts at $33 and $44 depending on the restaurant and if it’s a three- or four-course meal. This, of course, excludes tax, gratuity and beverages.

Here are just a few exciting options offered up at Restaurant Week:

If those don’t suit your fancy check out the other options to see if there’s anything tantalizing to try.

Good Food Festival and Conference
Good Food Festival and Conference Photo by citymama via Flickr

Good Food Festival and Conference

For a local focus with farm-fresh food, the 10th annual Good Food Festival and Conference has an exhibit hall of more than 150 farms, local food artisans, restaurants and non-profits.

This big festival on Saturday, March 15 is great for all ages with a kid’s corner with interactive food fun. There will be chef demonstrations from local celebrities like Rick Bayless from Top Chef Master and Paul Virant.

There will be workshops about starting your own farm, organic farming in your backyard, creating condiments or preserves, community gardens and more. This is the festival for local and organic fans that are looking for a little more DIY in their cooking, vegetables and everyday life.

Baconfest Chicago
Baconfest Chicago Photo by opacity via Flickr

Baconfest Chicago

If you think everything if better with bacon, then Baconfest is the event for you. This bacon-filled event will take place on Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26.

Over 50 chefs will serve up bacon dishes and liquor sponsors will offer up cocktails, beer and wines to compliment your meaty meals. The bacon dishes are first-come first-serve but you’ll also get seven drink tickets to use on complimentary drinks.

The event is split up into Friday dinner shift, Saturday lunch shift, and Saturday dinner shift. General admission tickets are $100 while VIP tickets that open up before general admission shifts are $200.

Just a few of the participating chefs are from Girl & the Goat, Barn & Company, Carriage House, Bang Bang Pie Shop and City Dough. But if all the bacon bits aren’t enough, they also donate a portion of proceeds to the Great Chicago Food Depository.

Roscoe Village Burger Fest
Roscoe Village Burger Fest Photo Credit: Cindy Kurman, Kurman Photography via Flickr

Roscoe Village Burger Fest

Classic neighborhood food festivals are always fun and you can find a lot of them in your area. But Burger Fest is a classic, all-American festival that’s worth the time and travel. Head out on Saturday, July 12 and Sunday, July 13 to Belmont and Damen to enjoy some quality burgers and summer sun.

Cortland’s Garage will try and hold up its 2013 combo of Critic’s Choice and crowd favorite. Other participants in the burger battle include Burger Joint, Butcher & the Burger, Hamburger Mary’s, RockIt Burger Bar and John’s Place. Plus you can vote for your favorites while at the festival.

It’s a $7 suggested donation to enter to indulge in live music at two stages, a Kid’s zone with arts and crafts, lots of local vendors and even more burgers.

Chicago Food Truck Social
Chicago Food Truck Social Photo by Mollie Diedrich

Chicago Food Truck Social

Food Trucks are a fab find, but can be hard to track down during a busy work week. The Chicago Food Truck Social gathers some of the city’s best food trucks to serve up food, chef demonstrations and live music in one festival on August 23 and 24.

With only a $5 admission price and the event lasting from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. there’s plenty of time to check out the event this year. While the 2014 participants are still being rounded up the list for 2013 gives you a good taste of the food trucks that may stop by: 5411 Empanadas, Beavers Coffee & Donuts, Chicago Cupcake, Jerk, Two Italians, Windy City Patty Wagon and Porkchop.

The event will take place at Kendall College in the parking lot (900 N. Branch St.). A portion of proceeds will go to Share Our Strength, Cooking Matters, to attempt to end childhood hunger in America.