Regularly voted as one of the best big cities to live in the United States, Chicago overlooks the western shore of Lake Michigan near Illinois’ border with Indiana. It’s a buzzing city known for its soaring skyscrapers, art museums, and a rich sporting culture, with two Major League Baseball teams calling the city “home.”
Chicago’s culinary scene is also world-class, with outstanding restaurants and eateries from all corners of the globe. It’s an ideal destination to host a dining event, whether you’re planning an intimate gathering or a multi-course degustation menu in one of the city’s inspiring venues. There are plenty of kitchen spaces in Chicago that you can utilize while drawing on the skills of the city’s talented chefs.
Kitchen Options in Chicago
Already booked a kitchen space in Chicago? It’s time to turn your attention to finding experienced vendors who can make your culinary event come to life.
If you’re planning an event with outside catering, you’ll find plenty of options in Chicago that can be delivered to your kitchen space. From bite-size canapes to tapas-style share plates and buffet meals, you can select the style of dining experience that you want to create.
- Chefs and cooks
Your Chicago kitchen space can be used to prepare in-house meals with the help of the city’s talented chefs and cooks.
Need staff to serve food and drinks at your event? Take advantage of one of the city’s recruitment agencies to find experienced staff who have already been vetted for you.
Document all the moments from your culinary event with the help of a professional photographer who will capture high-quality images. These can later be used to promote your event (and future events) through your website and social media channels.
- Furniture Rentals
If your kitchen doesn’t come with everything you need, you can easily rent tables, chairs, and kitchen equipment from one of Chicago’s rental companies.
Event Companies In Chicago
Chicago’s event planning teams can help you organize your gathering, whether you need creative ideas for themes, want help securing vendors, or need day-of-event management services.
- Fierce Productions
If you’re looking to create something truly unique, Fierce Productions has a reputation for planning events with a theatrical edge. In keeping with clients' changing needs, they can help you plan your event either in person or virtually, depending on your location and time constraints.
- Liven It Up Events
Liven It Up Events plans everything from birthday celebrations to fundraising events, including all catering. Their “Planning a Soirée” package is a convenient option and includes securing entertainment, vendors, and finding a suitable kitchen space in Chicago.
- Absolute Production Services
Absolute Production Services specializes in events both big and small, including exceptional dining experiences. They can help you to find your ideal kitchen in Chicago and source experienced chefs and vendors.
Pros and Cons of Kitchen Events in Chicago
- Diverse choice of kitchen spaces
Chicago boasts plenty of venues where you host your culinary event, from chic lofts to industrial warehouses and characterful residences. This means that you can find a space that will cater to your needs and your preferred aesthetic.
- Affordable rental prices
Compared to many cities of a similar size in the United States, Chicago is still relatively affordable when it comes to property prices. This means you can host your culinary event in the heart of the city without having to pay through the roof for the experience.
- Experienced chefs
Chicago’s network of professional chefs is extensive, and there is no shortage of talented individuals who can create your dream menu.
- Easy transportation options
Chicago’s two international airports make it easy for out-of-town guests to reach your venue, no matter where they are flying from. Alternatively, they can catch a train to Chicago’s Union Station in the middle of the city.
- Plenty to see and do
With outstanding museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry, there’s so much to do in Chicago. It also has a legendary sporting culture as home to the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs.
- Unfavorable weather
Nicknamed the “Windy City,” Chicago doesn’t have the most favorable weather, with winds that can be relentless at times. Chicago summers tend to be hot and humid, while winters can get incredibly cold.
- Bad traffic
Chicago’s city center regularly comes to a standstill with heavy traffic, particularly during the daily rush hours. This may be an issue if you plan on hosting your event along one of the city’s major transportation corridors.
- Parking is difficult
Associated with the city’s traffic issues is its parking problems, and it’s often difficult to find a place to park in the downtown area. Opting to use taxis or ride-share services is an easy way to avoid driving around for ages looking for a park.
Chicago has a relatively high crime rate compared to other major cities in the United States, with the issue of greater concern in certain neighborhoods
- High taxes
Chicago has a tax on groceries, which might come as a surprise to some. This is something to keep in mind if you’re planning a culinary event in the city and purchasing your own produce.
Famous Locations in Chicago
- Millennium Park
In the heart of Chicago lies Millennium Park, a sprawling green space that encompasses sculptures, fountains, and pavilions. It regularly hosts workout events during the warmer months and features an ice skating rink in the winter. Changing art exhibitions take place here throughout the year.
- Art Institute of Chicago
Home to nearly 300,000 works dating back to antiquity, the Art Institute of Chicago occupies an attractive Beaux-Arts-style building designed for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. It boasts outstanding collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, with highlights including Grant Wood’s American Gothic and The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso.
- Willis Tower
For sweeping views across the city, ride the elevator that leads to the top of the Willis Tower, which was the tallest office block in the world when it was built in 1970. It rises to 1,450 feet in height and features a 103rd-floor SkyDeck and a glass-floored box known as “The Ledge.”