Festival season is the best time of year, and not just music, but also food is BIG at Lollapalooza. In fact, one Chicago newspaper said that while music might be the star at this music festival held at Chicago’s Grant Park, food plays one heck of a supporting role. You’ll need your strength as a festival goer to survive all four days of music, so use the food vendors here as a chance to try a range of cuisines and local restaurants. Chicago is a huge foodie city and Lollapalooza prides itself on bringing in the best chefs and vendors from around town during this great weekend.
For general information on Chicago’s biggest music festival and how to get your Lollapalooza ticket, check out our Lollapalooza festival guide. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect in terms of Lollapalooza food options.
Oh, and if that’s not enough to get you interested, we hear they’ve got lobster corndogs…
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Lollapalooza Food Vendors
The area of food vendors at Lollapalooza weekend in Grant Park is lovingly known as Chow Town. Last year, the festival featured 36 different food vendors stationed around the festival grounds. While you’ll find a variety of all cuisines make an appearance, there’s an emphasis on the local Chicago restaurants. And we’re not just talking deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs either!
Before you even ask – yes, there will be vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Heck, there will even be kid’s meals available at some outlets!
Whatever you want to eat, whatever your favorites, you’re likely to find it at Lollapalooza. From full-on meals and stick-to-your-ribs comfort foods to cold drinks, coffee, snacks, and desserts – or even chilly ice cream or a refreshing snowcone! – they’ve got it!
And in case you forget to pack something, you’ll also find Lolla “bodegas” scattered around Grant Park where you can buy essentials like snacks and sunscreen.
For the full list of food vendors at this year’s festival, check out the official Lolla site.
There are so many great food options at Lollapalooza this year – no matter what you’re craving. Here’s just a sampling of things that caught our eye: Tank Noodle is serving up unique twists on classic Vietnamese food like lemongrass noodles, steak vermicelli bowls, sriracha fries, and egg rolls. You can get bacon and tater tot mac ‘n cheese from Beat Kitchen or old-school Italian beef at Buono. Try the crazy (and popular) grilled cheeses at Cheesie’s or maybe some sushi at Kamehachi. We also like the idea of fried ravioli and chicken ‘n waffles from MAD Social.
There will be several places to grab a Chicago classic like a slice of pizza, a burger, a wrap, a couple of tacos, or fries with fun toppings – hello, Flamin’ Hot Cheeto-dusted fries at Edzos! There’s also a Jewish deli, Middle Eastern food, a sausage haus, and a barbecue joint for all your smoked meat desires. Heck, there’s even a gourmet marshmallow cafe! We didn’t even know that was a thing until now…
So yeah, don’t get caught up in the live music and partying and forget to eat! With a spread like this, you’d be missing out!
Insider Food Favorites & Tips
Food is a hot topic among Lolla alumni. We checked out the Lolla subreddit for their ideas, memories, and favorite spots of years past. A few of their faves include deep-dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s – it’s your best bet for something cheap, filling, and delicious. For a quick and easy meal, check out Wow Bao for their handheld, hot Asian buns (though they’ve got things like rice bowls and dumplings too). And of course, for the best splurge of the festival, check out Graham Elliot’s famous lobster corndog… topped with a fab aioli. Word on the street is that his fried chicken on a stick is also delicious.
For hungry fans hoping to skip the lines, you can also use the Lolla app to order a pizza to-go from Connie’s. Genius!
What’s the price tag on all this? You’ll of course be paying festival prices at Lolla, but they’re not too bad considering you’re in the middle of downtown Chicago. You can expect an average-sized meal at Lolla to cost about $10.
Don’t skip out on dessert either! You can grab endless gelatos, ice creams, fruit popsicles, or frozen kefirs to cool down. But you should also check out the ridiculous-looking churro sandwiches from Churro Factory and the Insta-worthy, five-flavor Original Rainbow Cone!
How about drinks? Well, if you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to booze, get yourself a carafe of wine. There’s a reason you’ll see people downing these giant plastic vessels all over the place. They’re $27, but that’s a good deal considering you’ll be paying $9 or $10 for a solitary beer or cocktail! And if you’re not trying to hit the festival early in the day, take the chance to patronize one of Chicago’s many local bars, pubs, or breweries for a few cheap(er) drinks.
Got any other Lollapalooza food tips for us?
Let us know in the comments below!