When to Eat What at Lollapalooza

This is just part of the map.
This is just part of the map. Photo: courtesy of Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza is set for this weekend at Grant Park, bringing with it hoards of music fanatics looking for some serious sustenance between sets by Smith Westerns and Cults. Most festival food isn’t worth worrying about, but, unlike the Pitchfork Festival, the options at the festival’s Chowtown are actually worth checking out. Much of that is due to Graham Elliot, who will reprise his role as Mayor of Chowtown. Like last year, he has brought in an impressive roster of area restaurants, including Kuma’s Corner, Franks ‘n Dawgs, and The Gage. There are so many great choices, the only issue may be finding time to eat it all. That’s where our guide comes in.

Eight stages are scattered over a half mile stretch of Grant Park, and there are even two different Chowtown locations — each with different vendors. If you’re not careful, you can miss a class act while you’re treking down to get a Kuma’s burger.

This guide will show you how to avoid such embarrassing missteps, while also sampling the best of the fest. Check out the official map, and then follow along below.


3:00 p.m.
It may not be in the nineties like last weekend, but it will still be hot. We suggest a cool down before the excitement even begins. Rainbow Cone is located in Chowtown North, and an excellent place to start. That will allow you plenty of time to see the first act.

3:30 p.m.
Smith Westerns at Playstation Stage

4:45 p.m.
Cults at Google+ Stage

Then it’s time for a drink. There are plenty of great options around Chow Town North, but what better to pair with a glass of Goose Island then a quick bite from the Goose Island Brew Pub? They are serving up summerwurst sausage with citrus slaw and beer mustard, a “Beer-Fed” Cuban sandwich, falafel, and a grilled cheese stuffed pretzel. Then it’s time to head south.

6:00 p.m.
A Perfect Circle at Music Unlimited Stage

When it is over, you’ll be in perfect position to sample one of the biggest draws of the festival: Kuma’s Corner. The massive burgers are available at Chow Town South, which should leave you in good location to scout out your next move. All the calories should give you enough energy to see at least two of the bigger bands.

Between 8:15 and 8:45, Coldplay, Ratatat, Girl Talk, and Muse will all start. This is totally your call.


12:30 p.m.
On the way in, nothing could be better than a “Brunch Dog” from Franks ‘n Dawgs at Chowtown North. The dish features a pork loin sausage with cobb smoked bacon, fried egg, and maple mayo. Then you’ll be close to the Google+ Stage for the first act of the day.

1 p.m.
An Horse at Google+ Stage

2:15 p.m.
Stick around for Maps and Atlases at Google+ Stage

Now it’s time to cool down at Chowtown North. Check out the Starfruit stand for one of their surprisingly healthy frozen treats. Then head up north to see…

4 p.m.
Death From Above 1979 at Bud Light Stage

Head south. On the way down, you might as well stop at The Gage and Henri. There you can sample, a Scotch egg, banh mi, and pork rinds with vadouvan curry. Then you’ll be close to the Music Unlimited Stage.

6:30 p.m.
Cee Lo at Music Unlimited Stage

7:15 p.m.
Head back up to the middle for Lykke Li at Google+ Stage.

8 to 8:30 p.m.
Then you can decide whether you’ll head up to see festival rockers My Morning Jacket or down for Eminem.


12:15 p.m.
Chicago Local is a partnership of Blue 13, Elate, and Jam in Chow Town South. Though all the food looks good, we can’t help but think that Jam’s Famous French Toast would be perfect at the hour. Then you can easily see the first act.

12:45 p.m.
Titus Andronicus at Music Unlimited Stage

2:15 p.m.
Stick around to see Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses at Music Unlimited Stage

3:00 p.m.
Walk across the field to see The Pains of Being Pure at Heart at Sony Stage.

Cool down down with Elate’s watermelon jalapeno popsicle from Chicago Local at Chowtown South. That should prepare you for the long walk up north to see the next act.

4:15 p.m.
Flogging Molly at Bud Light Stage

5:45 p.m.
Head back to the middle to see Best Coast at Google+ Stage.

Then it’s time to sample on of the most unexpected vendors at Chowtown North. Bonsoiree is a Michelin-starred restaurant, and it will be serving a really unique menu:

- Scallop Motoyaki, Torched Ponzu Aioli
- Wisconsin Fried Cheese Curds with Rhubarb Romesco
- Japanese Chips & Guacamole

7:00 p.m.
Head south to see Explosions in the Sky at Sony Stage. Stop only to get a lobster corndog at Chowtown South from Grahamwich.

8:00 p.m.
Which will put you in close proximity to the Foo Fighters at Music Unlimited Stage.
When to Eat What at Lollapalooza