Ultimate Lollapalooza Dining Guide 2022

Spicy puddling chicken

Crop tops. tight pants. Acid washed jeans. muscle tees; Transients. Chicago, get your wardrobe ready because music festival season is officially here. You’ll need to prepare if you’re going to enjoy every last bit of this year’s Lollapalooza fun – from ensuring you have hydration to regular sunscreen applications to creating a spreadsheet with cost-benefit analytics that will help you determine the action to see if two of your favorites are playing in the same the time.

However, perhaps the most important preparation you need to do is plan your meals. It sounds daunting, but we’re here for you. In case you didn’t splurge on $4,200 premium tickets with access to on-site catering (for the bargain hunters among us, you can still get a one-day pass for an awesome $2,000), here’s everything you need to know about the best places To eat and drink during Lollapalooza 2022, within Grant Park and throughout surrounding neighborhoods. There is no need for smuggling in the Clif bar.

dad smoke

This Chicago barbecue lover is setting up shop inside the GrubHub’s sprawling Chow Town food court, keeping festival-goers fed and delighted with a steady stream of meaty and saucy offerings as well as sides of all kinds. Just don’t forget the napkins, pal.

original rainbow cone

ice cream? Hell yeah. Channel your inner child with a lukewarm Technicolor treat from Lolla’s Chicago Ice Cream Builder. Sturdy cake cones arrive stacked high with layers of chocolate, strawberry, Petit Palmer and pistachio ice cream under a tiara of sunny orange Sherbert. Good luck getting this done before the great melt starts.

Everyone’s favorite local small chain is front and center inside Chow’s at GrubHub this year, bringing its delicious Asian street food menu—bao, pots of grilled potters, steamed dumplings, rice and bowls of noodles—to the popular festival all weekend.

Whether you’re signed up to be a designated driver or drowsy from the headline the night before, this local roaster has you covered with all the caffeinated goodies. Grab a canned cold drink, with or without CBD, and get ready for another long night of Lolla’s craziness.

Cargo Bar

Pop a slice or four of the legend of Roman-style pizza, to wander its famous crunchy mozzarella-laden red and white mozzarella inside GrubHub’s Chow Town throughout the festival.

Burger

Why make the trip to Chow Town for a delicious Mburger? Let’s start with fresh, all-natural ground black Angus beef and organic free-range turkey, before moving on to locally produced pickles, French fries, fresh vegetables, and house-made sauces. And we didn’t even mention the Oregon Quinbec fries filled with high-quality sea salt.

Fatso’s last stand

If you haven’t yet dived your teeth into the late-night Double Fatso with Cheese, you’re either vegan or don’t live near either of the two counter-services of beloved burger specialists. Find out all the greasy hype at GrubHub’s Chow Town this festival season and don’t dare skimp on sides like fresh French fries and macaroni cheese.

Table for Stix Ramen

Ramen joint? At a music festival? in july? It’s such a crazy idea that it might work. And if anyone’s going to get it done, it’s Evanston’s original Korean-stained and its all-in-one bill of gyoza, takoyaki, karaage chicken, tempura, stuffed belgogi pork buns, and maybe even a bowl of spicy tonkatsu flanked with pork belly, spicy ground beef, menma, and onions. Green, woody ear mushrooms, eggs, and seaweed. There is only one way to find out.

Broken English Taco Bar

Tacos and Summer Festivals – Can You Name the Best Pairing? Head out to Chow Town and get some hand-held beauty from this delightful three-location Mexican street food specialist, whose expertise runs the gamut from potato chips, queso and cotija to grilled breast meat, chicken with charred pineapple, and melt-in-your-mouth carnitas.

The legendary Chicago fried chicken guru will make an appearance in Lollapalooza thanks to GrubHub’s Chow Town. Take it from us, a half chicken mixed dinner or a crispy chicken sandwich topped with a mild sauce is the perfect pick if all that dancing is having a worrying calorie deficit.

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Photo courtesy of Coca-Cola

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exchange

Knot
This downtown addition from Chef Brian Huston and DMK-nominated James Beard is your answer to elegant post- and pre-festival eating just a block from Grant Park. Grab Theo’s Vesper and wander around the lavish five-room space to sample Chef Huston A-list’s creations, and vegetables. Be sure to visit The Exchange’s new Japanese-inspired listening room – a 50-seat bar and dining room equipped with the latest sound system blasting top-shelf selections from the extensive vinyl collection, as well as dynamic lively local wines and beers, among other temptations.
How to book: Book online.

nonina

North River
Prepare to fuel up before or after hitting the park in this Italian riverside walkway. Every Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., guests can drink refilling $6 glasses of wine and $7 house cocktails covering warm-weather delights like margaritas, Aperol spritzes, and more. Pair your poison with Parmesan truffle fries, meatballs, oysters on the half-shell, arancini, and other European finger-foods without breaking the bank.
How to book: Book via OpenTable.

Dearborn

Knot
This Grant Park staple has you covered with brunch options fit for royalty. Peach Foster-style sticky buns, browns fried in duck broth, New Orleans-style beignets, buffalo chicken sandwiches, and more ensured a quintessential foundation for any debauchery lurking behind these festival gates.
How to book: Book online.

PB & J

West Loop
PB&J—also known as pizza, beer, and jukebox—combines Neapolitan-style pies with delicious handcrafted beers and endless jukebox jams curated by the diners themselves. Throw in some flight and hold on to that feeling with half-price pizza and selection of cocktails Thursdays from 3pm-6pm.
How to book: Book via OpenTable.

Blacksmith

North River
This New York import is secured and loaded with happy hour deals and great brunch for all your Lolla weekend needs. Patio seating lets you work on your basic tan as you dive into $2 oysters, $6 to share, and $10 cocktails Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Don’t forget to top off your feast with an order of our signature Mac N Cheese for the ultimate pre-show filling.
How to book: Book via OpenTable.

Photo courtesy of Galdones Photography

Streetville
This stylish seafood shop is just a 20-minute walk from Grant Park and rewards those who want to take a ride with a bounty of the freshest fish in the ocean plus a plush raw bar and popular sushi programme. Just don’t try to get stuck in a flopped and worn-out Flip – this is an adult zone, buddy.
How to book: Book via OpenTable.

south lob
Swap out the frills for some good old seafood simmering in the cozy South Loop storefront of this small, spiced Cajun chain. Choose from a menu of backyard classics like fried shrimp, crab legs, popcorn chicken, lobster tails, and lobster, then garnish the tray with cornbread, garlic noodles, potatoes, corn and green beans, before washing it all down with a lukewarm piercing ball expertly poured from one of the on-site Suntory Highball machines.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first serve seats.

Bitnik on the river

Knot
This waterfront gem is among the best alfresco restaurants in town, and it’s a great place for brunch downtown. Settle into a spirited trip around the world thanks to hearty dishes like sweet and spicy chicken bao bread, avocado toast with creamy burrata, wagyu breakfast sandwiches, and belly-warming shakshouka. Select cocktails and a selection of shareable sangria complement the perfect pre-party meal.
How to book: Book via Resy.

Series Roof Top

Knot
Increase from 26 floors to the Virgin Hotel’s spacious rooftop lounge for fine dining and craft cocktails with sweeping downtown views. DJ nights on Fridays and Saturdays reach beyond Lolla, as does their menu, which includes delicious grilled octopus, fries with butter, and a stacked assortment of sparkling wine.
How to book: Book via OpenTable.

Mickey’s Garden

North River
The Korean-inspired bar concept attracts passersby with its gorgeous purple-lit interior, soju-centric menus, and a chef-driven late-night menu like KFC sandwiches, uma pancakes, and seoul slides. Warm up after a long day in the sun with the undeniably refreshing cherry blossom (lychee, absolute vodka, genro soju, cranberry) and thank your lucky stars for your lovely Chicago home.
How to book: Book via OpenTable.

bob . city

North River
Perfectly fried chicken, charred burnt ends, huge whole chicken wings, giant nachos smothered with atomic cheese, guacamole, and 18-hour smoked beef make this a number one treat from a North River hangover. Enjoy a great selection of whiskeys, pitchers of chilled beer, discount burgers, beer, strong sweet tea on weekdays from 3pm-5pm, and the occasional music and you’ll have a Lolla launcher for ages.
How to book: Book via Talk.

Three points and a police

North River
Round off the evening with a first-class tropical ripple from this subterranean mansion north of the Rum River secretly hidden beneath the southern fried big brother, Bob City. Nightcap venues don’t get much better than this, a dimly lit oasis where sleepy concert-goers can toast their weekend with barman Kevin Berry’s award-winning creations (My Tais, anyone?), Polynesian snacks, and a large selection of selected rum Carefully.
How to book: Book via Talk.

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