The food at Lollapalooza’s Chow Town is always a much overheard topic of discussion and debate among the festival’s attendees, obviously aside from the music (and Malia Obama sightings). Curated by celebrity chef Graham Elliot, Chow Town has gotten larger and larger each year. This year, well over 30 restaurants were included in the lineup. Most are local Chicago joints, but some – including Momofuku Milk Bar, one of over 10 new additions this year – travel to Chicago just for Lollapalooza.
Good music and good food have gone hand and hand for years, but I really appreciate the effort that Graham Elliot puts into his curation of Lollapalooza’s Chow Town. Over my 9 years attending Lollapalooza, he has continued to noticeably up the ante each and every time. Most fests would settle for boring pizza and the occasional food truck, but not Lollapalooza. I also find humor in the fact that the food at Lollapalooza is better than at the Taste of Chicago, an annual food festival also held in Grant Park.
The list below contains a loose top-10 ranking of each item that I ate this year at Lollapalooza. I really mean loose, because nothing I had was bad.
10: Parmesan Truffle Popcorn from Graham Elliot Bistro
9: Baos from Wow Bao
8: Cheese Pizza from Lou Malnati’s
7. Combo Cheeseburger and Fries from M Burger
6. Cuban Pork Tamale from Dia de los Tamales
5. Spicy Chicken Sandwich from Leghorn Chicken
4. Vietnamese Beef Noodle Bowl from Tank Noodle
3. Lobster Corn Dog from Graham Elliot Bistro
2. Bacon Mac n Cheese Dog from Franks ‘n’ Dawgs
1. Crack Pie from Momofuku Milk Bar
Current Master Chef judge Christina Tosi’s famous Crack Pies have officially become my new favorite menu item at Lollapalooza’s Chow Town. This year, she edged out my previous favorite, former Master Chef judge and Chow Town curator Graham Elliot’s Lobster Corn Dogs. I guess the moral of the story is to always eat a Master Chef judge’s food when given the chance. Momofuku Milk Bar was a welcome new addition this year, and I hope they stick around. I would also like to throw out an honorable mention prize to Bud Light. If I had a dollar for every time I said “two tall Bud Lights” last weekend, I might be able to afford two more tall But Lights.
If anyone had the chance to try something that I didn’t mention at Chow Town this year, comment below so I make sure to head there next year.
Featured Image Photo Credit: Katrina Barber