Lollapalooza’s Chow Town by the Numbers

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The view of last year's Chow Town.
The view of last year's Chow Town. Photo: Will Rice

Whether it wants to admit this or not, Lollapalooza is slowly turning into something of a food festival, albeit one where you can rock out to the Foo Fighters while also eating a lobster dog. That’s Lolla to us. Though some publications have picked out a few fine places to eat before you enter the colorful gates, thanks to the Graham Elliot’s Chow Town, we think there are legitimate reasons why you should fast until you get there. Earlier this week, we created an itinerary to help you hit the most exciting stands while still seeing some bands, but today we wanted to break down the options from the 30 different vendors. Like our examination of Taste of Chicago, we were really surprised by the results.

Vegetarian Options: 25
Sweaty rockers and mosh pits usually require hunks of meat to survive, so we were astonished to find so many non-drink vegetarain options.
Our Pick: We’re looking forward to Blue 13’s cactus tostada.

Vegan Options: 13
If 25 vegetarian options aren’t enough, there are actually a decent number of options advertised as vegan.
Out Pick: If you really need something light, check out the sprout salad with baked fresh tofu from Tiny Greens Organic Farm.

Gluten-Free Options: 14
We expected places like Crescent Foods to offer some gluten-free options, but we couldn’t believe there were more.
Our Pick: Use this as an excuse to indulge in pizza, and check out the “Thin Crust Gluten Free Spinach Pizza” from Connie’s Pizza.

Smoothies: 9
Who knew smoothies would be such a draw? Between Tiparos Thai Restaurant, Maui Wowi, and Seedling Fruit, you should be able to get your daily fruit.
Our Pick: We’re already fans of their smoothies from the Green City Market, so we’ll have to go with Seedling.

Overlap with Taste of Chicago: 9
Lollapalooza has a surprising number of similarities to that other Chicago food festival. BJ’s Market and Bakery, Connie’s Pizza, Cubby Bear, Lou Malnati’s, Original Rainbow Cone, Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs, Starfruit Café, and Smoke Daddy all will be setting up again in Grant Park.
Our Pick: We are absolute suckers from Original Rainbow Cone. It’s worth it.

Lollapalooza’s Chow Town by the Numbers