A culinary adventure through the Summer Festivals of North America: Part Four – Lollapalooza (Chicago, USA)

As we continue our culinary tour around North America, we come to Chicago, Illinois in the USA for their annual Lollapalooza, an iconic festival that, this year, celebrates its 25th anniversary over a mammoth four day event. As they are about to kick off the event for 2016, we’ll take you back to the event last year and reminisce about the meals we enjoyed while we were at the festival – which, on the whole, were of phenomenal quality.


The Lollapalooza “Chow Town” concept was exported to Australia for the two years that Big Day Out was brought to us by Lolla’s C3 Presents, and for a brief moment we had but a minute taste of what their massive, infamous food mile was like. A seemingly endless celebration of the best cuisine from the area, all in the one spot. Apart from the New Orleans Jazz Fest, who operate with a similar approach, it’s the biggest and most varied food select we’ve ever seen at a music festival.

You’re in Chicago, so getting some Deep Dish is a must. Our favourite on site was Pizano’s Pizza and Pasta, and their Pepperoni slices, which were perfect to enjoy at a festival. Just looking at that photo below makes our mouths water. While it’s going to be a little different to the quality you would enjoy at a physical restaurant, you can see just how different the crust looks there compared to traditional pizza you might find in America. It’s delicious and wonderful, and hard not to have at least one slice a day.


Keeping with the theme of American cuisine, there was Reggie’s Mac n Cheese ($4 for Small, $6 for Large), which was almost worth the trip itself. The same stall also served Veggie Burgers, “Giant Pulled Porks” and Fried Pickles – proving there was just about something for everyone. And many stalls offered similar variety. We couldn’t get enough of the chicken burgers, either, with multiple locations offering the delicious fried treat (Do-Rite Chicken Sandwiches being of particular mention).

It was almost impossible to desire healthy food amongst all these incredibly delicious American treats, but if you needed it, things like a Teriyaki Tofu Wrap could certainly be found along the food mile, and remained of a similarly high quality. But it’s of little surprise – Chow Town is curated by Chicago celebrity chef Graham Elliot, with an intent to show off the best food that the city has to offer. If you want to find out who will be on culinary display for the 2016 event, head to the Chow Town website here. And rest assured that you’re in good hands for a food experience that’s almost as good as the music the festival will provide!

More about the Festival:

Lollapalooza kicks off its 25th Anniversary on Thursday with a massive four day event, featuring the likes of Radiohead, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, LCD Soundsystem and more! Head to their official website for more details.

Getting There:

Almost all airlines in the US fly into one of Chicago’s two major airports. If you want to get straight to Chicago from Australia, you might be best flying with an airline who can connect you bags through (e.g. Virgin Australia with connections to Virgin America or Delta, Qantas with connections to American Airlines).


This content has recently been ported from its original home on AU Abroad and may have formatting errors – images may not be showing up, or duplicated, and galleries may not be working. We are slowly fixing these issue. If you spot any major malfunctions making it impossible to read the content, however, please let us know at editor AT theaureview.com.

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

Tags: ,