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The Lollapalooza Guide

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The craziest weekend of the summer has arrived. It’s time for Lollapalooza! This will be my sixth time attending the mega music festival, and it is something I look forward to every year. While Lolla is primarily a music festival, there is a serious food scene. Chicago’s own Chef Graham Elliot curates Chow Town.


Here is a break down of what to expect at Chow Town this year:

Graham Elliot created the Lobster Corndog, perhaps the most iconic Lolla food. And it is back at Lolla again this year.

Looking for pizza? You can choose between Connies, Lou Malnati’s, and Pizano’s will all be there. Generally pizza lines move very quickly – perfect if you are in a rush to catch a band. You can even buy a whole pie from Lou’s.

Want a burger? You can choose between the Billy Goat Tavern, Edzo’s Burger Shop, MBurger, an Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs.

Franks N Dawgs, Chubby Wieners, and Da Brats will all have hot dogs.


Crave Bar (my latest obsession) will be at Chow Town serving up their ice cream bars on pretzel sticks. Several other ice cream proprietors will be at Lolla including the Original Rainbow Cone, and Windsor Ice Cream Shoppe.

Need to cool down but don’t want ice cream? Harris Ice will be selling Sno Cones.

And that just scrapes the surface. Cheesie’s will have grilled cheese, County Barbecue will have brisket nachos, Owen + Alchemy will have juice, Smoke Daddy will have pulled pork, Tuscany is serving Italian Beef Sandwiches, and Wow Bao will have their buns and potstickers. It’s basically it’s own food festival!

Plus there is a separate Farmer’s Market! There you will find Brunkow Cheese, pastries, bread, and crepes from La Boulangerie, cream puffs from Puffs of Doom, Asian noodles from Rock N Roll Noodle, smoothies from Seedling, and ice cream and frozen yogurt from Yoberri Gourmet.

Don’t miss Da Beers Craft Beer Garden, it is my favorite place to hang out between shows.

As a seasoned Lolla veteran, here is some advice:
The cashless wristband system is actually awesome. Register online before you head to the concerts.
Pack sunscreen – but aerosol sunscreen is not allowed. You can pick up smaller travel sized bottles for the weekend.
Prepare for rain (and bring a plastic baggie for your cellphone in case things get really wet).
If the weather is calling for rain, I bring a rain jacket, and instead of a purse I pack a waterproof Bricks bag.
Your cellphone battery might die quickly. I reduce the brightness of my screen and turn email off so the battery lasts a little longer.
Wear close toed shoes – otherwise your feet get really dirty. (Machine washable sneakers – like Chuck Taylors – are a great idea).
You won’t regret bringing a mini package of wet ones and/or hand sanitizer.
Drink lots of water, and bring a bottle with you.
And download the Lollapalooza App right now and plan your schedule.


Want to keep the party going after the concerts end at Grant Park? Lucky for you there are quite a few after parties. I will be headed to the VH1 Save the Music Party with Zella Day at Little Goat.

Other parties include:

Celeste is kicking things off on Thursday with a surprise special guest, Friday the Cold War Kids are spinning, and on Saturday Plastic Plates and Nancy Whang are performing.

Parliament has Brody Jenner as a guest dj on Thursday, and on Friday 50 Cent is hosting the Effen Classy Party.

Studio Paris has a full line up with Fred Matters on Thursday, Kaskade on Friday, Ruckus on Saturday, and DJ White Shadow on Sunday.

Want to follow along with my adventures? Follow @thekittchen on Instagram and Snapchat.

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