Long Grove celebrates its 20th Annual Apple Festival with an extensive array of apple-themed treats, including apple pie, apple cider doughnuts, caramel apple lattes, and apple martinis. Local farmers are on hand with bushels of fresh, tree-ripened apples, while live music and family activities provide entertainment. Local shops and restaurants commemorate the changing of the seasons with autumn-inspired merchandise and specials. Fri-Sun 10 AM-6 PM, Old McHenry and Robert Parker Coffin, Long Grove, adults $5, kids under 12 free.
Chicago's gourmands, wine enthusiasts, and food lovers of all kinds congregate at Chicago Gourmet for its fifth and hopefully best year. A celebration of food and wine presented by Bon Appétit, Chicago Gourmet showcases more than 100 Chicago restaurants and chefs, as well as hundreds of vintners, spirit makers, and breweries. Cooking demonstrations, seminars, tastings, and book signings are included in the festivities. The weekend begins with the (sold out) Hamburger Hop, with an exclusive Grand Cru wine tasting on Saturday and Sunday. Events wrap up with the Grand Finale Supreme Shucker Competition on Sunday at 4:15 PM on the East Green Lawn.Fri 6-9 PM, Harris Theater Rooftop, Millennium Park, Sat noon-6 PM, Sun noon-5 PM, Saturday sold out, limited number of Sunday and weekend tickets remain, Sunday $159, weekend pass $265, buy tickets here.
Oktoberfest Chicago at St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church celebrates the arrival of autumn with beer, brats, and pretzels aplenty. Two stages of live music, a jumbotron to watch the football games, and a Sunday afternoon Kinderfest provide entertainment for the whole crowd. Fri 5-10 PM, Sat 11 AM-10 PM, Sun 11 AM-7 PM, Southport and Lincoln, $5, free admission to those with military ID + 1 guest.
Chicago VeganMania is back, and vegans and nonvegans alike are invited to join in the animal- and earth-friendly festivities. Attendees can choose from more than a dozen vendors in the Vegan Food Court, browse among more than 100 vendors—including the Vegan Black Metal Chef—offering vegan food and products, watch chefs create vegan cuisine at the Chef Demo Stage, hear vegan leaders speak at the Presenter Stage, and listen to live music and entertainment in the Culture Cafe. 10 AM-5 PM, Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway, admission free; food and drink additional.
Russ Faulk, grill master for Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, cooks artisan grilled cheese sandwiches at the Chopping Block Cooking School in Lincoln Square. Examples: Alpine Grilled Cheese, featuring Gruyere and Crème Fraiche with chives, Mushroom Grilled Cheese with Sotocenere and Asiago with roasted mushrooms, and Grilled Cheese Grilled Cheese, where the cheese is cooked on the grill then placed between bread. Two Brothers Brewing Company is on hand to provide beer to pair with each sandwich. Visitors can sample the fare and talk to the grilled cheese and beer experts. Proceeds benefit chef Art Smith's Common Threads. 11 AM-1 PM, the Chopping Block Cooking School, 4747 N. Lincoln, 50 person maximum, $5 registration fee.
The Wicker Park and Bucktown Chamber of Commerce presents the Fall Dinner Crawl, a tour of the area's top restaurants. Passport holders receive samples from more than ten local restaurants, including the Bedford, Silver Cloud, and Club Lucky. Crawl routes center around three areas of the neighborhood: Division, Milwaukee and North, and Damen and Armitage. Dinner Crawl kicks off at 6 PM at Jackson Junge, 1389 N. Milwaukee, tickets $40 in advance, $50 at door if available, buy tickets here.
The Chicago Independent Spirits Expo returns with more than 150 artisanal spirits and cigars from around the world available for sampling. An indoor tasting area and Carmichael's Courtyard are open for attendees. VIP admission includes a roundtable discussion moderated by Sean Ludford of BevX.com and Ultimate Spirits Challenge, a Glencairn tasting glass and a choice cigar. VIP 2-9:30 PM, general admission 7-9:30 PM, Carmichael's Warehouse, 1052 W. Monroe, general admission $55, VIP $75, 21+.