Ribfest Chicago


Fri, August 18, 2023 | 5pm to 10pm
Sat, August 19, 2023 | 12pm to 10pm
Sun, August 20, 2023 | 12pm to 10pm
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One of Chicago’s most iconic events continues to get the attention it deserves!  Returning for its 23rd year in Northcenter, Ribfest Chicago is clearly all about one thing – ribs!  But what goes better with ribs then live eclectic music on two stages, cold beer, a kids area and so much more!

Experience top BBQ vendors who offer racks of their signature ribs and sides, while competing for two Best of Ribfest Chicago titles: the People’s choice award chosen by the crowd; and the top award chosen by a panel of celebrity judges.

Although ribs play the starring role, Ribfest Chicago offers so much more. A wide variety of local, non-rib restaurants also offer their signature dishes. There is a family area with plenty of activities and games for the kids and its own stage.

Coming soon!

Mrs. Murphy’s & Sons

murphys irish bistro logoOpening it’s doors in September 2005, in the heart of Chicago’s North Center neighborhood, Mrs. Murphy’s has been serving up scratch made Irish pub favorites, complemented by a thoughtful assortment of craft beers, a friendly wine list, and a deep list of Irish whiskeys (now more than 50!) for more than 16 years.  And let’s not forget about their Chicago-style ribs.  They’re coated in their amazing Irish whiskey BBQ sauce for some finger-licking tastiness!

Armadillo’s BBQ

A festival favorite, you’ve probably seen Armadillo’s BBQ around the Chicagoland area (including at this event in the past)!  This year, they’ll be serving BBQ Ribs, Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork, Chicken Breast, Mac & Cheese, Cornbread, and Dinner Sides of Baked Beans and Cole Slaw.  Yum!

Chicago BBQ Company

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Born of the original Giovanni’s in Berwyn, IL, we took our award winning ribs on the road starting in 1985, and have been racking up the Ribfest and Cookoff wins ever since. We cross the country every summer so come see us when we’re nearby.   Who’s hungry?



Austin’s Texas Lightening

austinbbq2 300x138Austin’s Texas Lightening has been delivering WINNING results since we opened in 2010. Our goal is to provide both superior BBQ and great customer service for our customers. AUSTIN’S TEXAS LIGHTNING  has over 60 years of experience in BBQ business and is passionate about exceeding your expectations.


Orge Eats BBQ

ogre eats bbq transparent logo 600x200 150x150Ogre Eats BBQ Owner Edward “EJay” Boyd is a Multi-Faceted BBQ Chef & Grillmaster, Mobile BBQ Caterer, Certified Pitmaster, Gourmet Sausage Maker & Trained Actor Hailing from the Southside of Chicago, IL.  EJay discovered his love for grilling at the age of 14 years old working for his Uncle at Kenny’s Ribs in Chicago. Through his uncle’s mentorship, EJay learned all of the basic elements of Grilling, Smoking, Sausage-Making & Safety while juggling responsibilities as a Student Athlete.


Joe’s Backyard BBQ


It all began with the love for BBQ from the backyard of my home in Burbank, IL where my Dad would cook. My own love of cooking grew after spending so many years working in the restaurant industry and cooking for my family and friends at home. I learned a lot from my Dad with different cooking techniques and loved testing out new foods and ingredients. My passion grew as I decided to build my own smoker in my driveway. With that, I perfected my own BBQ sauce and eventually began booking caterings for the people in the neighborhood looking for a whole smoked pig. In 2013 and 2014, I entered the Windy City BBQ Classic and placed 2nd both years. With that, I began to expand my business throughout the area and introduced new menu items. Throughout all these years, I could never be where I am at today without the support of my amazing family and friends who have been essential in keeping the dream alive from Burbank to Homer Glen and now to Oak Lawn.

Carnita’s Roldan

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Be sure to join us at the Bud Light stage at Irving Park on Sunday at 2:30pm for the Critics’ Choice Award Ceremony!


A special thanks to our 2022 judges:

Maxwell Jenkins:

maxwell jenkins 1024x819Chicago and North Center’s own Maxwell Jenkins is thrilled to be back judging at Ribfest! Maxwell grew up right here in the neighborhood before taking off to space as the iconic character of “Will Robinson ” in Netflix Epic Series “Lost in Space”.  In between seasons he appeared in several films including Joe Bell opposite Connie Britton and Mark Wahlberg, and “A Family Man” with Gerard Butler. Maxwell also played young Jack Reacher in Amazon’s most watched series ever, “Jack Reacher”. Maxwell just wrapped his latest project, “Dear Edward” soon to be released on Apple+. When not doing film & television work Maxwell can be found flipping and flying as an acrobat in his family’s Midnight Circus.  Maxwell is also a proud Chicago Public School kid, a graduate of our neighborhood Coonley Elementary and a rising Senior right here at Lane Tech.

Lourdes Duarte:


Lourdes Duarte is co-anchor of WGN Evening News at 4pm. Prior to her role on the evening news, Lourdes was co-anchor of the WGN Morning News and a reporter for WGN News at Nine. Lourdes came to WGN-TV in September of 2007 as a general assignment reporter for the WGN Midday News, WGN Evening News and WGN News at Nine.
Lourdes is a four time Emmy Award winner. She also received an Emmy nomination for a story on deportation. Lourdes and a WGN photographer where aboard the plane that transported undocumented immigrants to their home country.

Lourdes also hosts “Adelante Chicago” on WGN. In 2009, she was picked as one of DePaul University’s 14 Under 40 and is on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Communication. Lourdes received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from DePaul University.



Muffy Fishbasket:


Muffy Fishbasket is world famous in her mind and the original drag broad.  Her performance has been referred to as a mix Madeline Kahn confusion and Mae West Camp…which is good ‘cause she’s done her best to steal both of their acts.  She has trained in circus arts at the actors gymnasium and trapeze school New York and performs regularly at Hamburger Mary’s, Carbon Arc, Campit and the House of Blues.  Muffy has performed all over the country and sometimes even on a stage in an actual show!

Muffy Fishbasket is also the Chicago director for the nationally recognized story hour with drag queens.



Cate Meade:

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In Season 8, Cate came into the competition with a bang after failing to make it through last year’s auditions. Not only was she one of the nicest contestants, but she was also one of the strongest. She had a joyful and light-hearted personality and was very kind towards all the other competitors. Along with her kindheartedness, she had a fearless attitude, since she described herself as a “tomboy”. In the kitchen, she was viewed as an absolute force to be reckoned with, because of her probably being the most versatile cook, along with tremendous skill and impressive techniques that led her all the way to the semifinals, getting eliminated in a 3-part flour Skills Test. She got along with everybody and made strong friendships with Dino, Jason, Eboni and Yachecia. However, she had an unwanted short-lived confrontation with Gabriel over conflicting ideas in a team challenge and had a huge long-lasting dislike toward Jeff over his poor attitude.

In Season 12, Cate’s second chance was short-lived. Despite having an outstanding audition dish, in the first Mystery Box Challenge of the season, the chefs had to cook a dish that featured a different type of alcohol. Cate tried to make a dessert in order to continue making up for baking being what sent her home right before the finale of her season. But she didn’t start making her cake until halfway through the cooking time causing it to be underbaked, leaving her in a panic by breaking off and serving the slightly baked pieces. She was ultimately in the bottom for the first time due to the cakes inconsistency as the deconstruction of it was poorly presented to hide it from being underbaked, leading to her devastating early elimination.

Looking to connect with active consumers at this event? For pricing and a customized benefits package, please contact Norine Smyth at 312-799-0354 or Laura Wilke at 773-584-6669.

ncc logo cmyk longThe Northcenter Chamber of Commerce is a business and community development organization committed to making Northcenter a better place for businesses and residents.

What began as a small merchants’ organization has evolved into one of Chicago’s largest and most active neighborhood small business organizations, with more than 420 members and counting!

As the Service Provider for Special Service Area #38, the Chamber works with vendors to provide “clean and green” services including landscaping, litter abatement, sidewalk snow removal and more to promote the cleanliness, safety and sustainability of our beloved neighborhood.

This year, we have teamed up with Eventeny to make your exhibitor registration easier than ever! Please note that you will have to create a new profile and register on this new platform if you haven’t done so yet.

Application Link

If you have any questions please email us at [email protected]


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