Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash returns next week at a new home — America’s largest independent hip-hop festival has moved to Southwest Suburban Bridgeview’s SeatGeek Stadium.
And while Bridgeview sports some of the area’s best Middle Eastern restaurants, the festival has loaded up with a food lineup that includes the world’s first Michelin-starred Filipino restaurant (Kasama), the savior of Chicago’s bar community (Claudio Velez, better known as the Tamale Guy), and the city’s favorite street food chain (Portillo’s).
Summer Smash goes from Friday, June 23 to Sunday, June 25 and organizers have assembled a group of heavy hitters. Esme, 3 Little Pigs, and Paulie Gee’s also make up the lineup.
Beyond the illustrious food lineup, Summer Smash is trying something new in 2023: A restaurant with exclusive food items inspired by artists performing at the festival. Summer Smash reps weren’t ready to release who was collaborating on what, but did reveal the former chef at Michelin-starred Entente, Brian Fisher, is in charge of the Summer Smash Restaurant. Fisher has been working as culinary director for mini-chain Seoul Taco (founder David Choi had a hand in curating the festival’s food lineup). A huge music fan, befriending acts like Run The Jewels, Fisher has experience with themed restaurants, having developed menus for pop-culture pop-ups like Saved by the Bell.
The festival debuted in 2018 and was held at Douglass Park. It moved to the suburbs after hearing resident concerns. Summer Smash is a team effort between media company Lyrical Lemonade and production company SPKRBX. This year’s musical highlights include Future, Kid Cudi, and Playboi Carti.
Check out the full food lineup below:
- 10/10 Burger, from social media influence Mike Majlak
- 3 Little Pigs, a pandemic-era virtual Chinese restaurant
- Arami, Michelin-starred sushi spot
- Bacci Pizza, longtime late-night cheap pizzeria
- Chicago Taco Authority: Irving Park taco spot
- Chiu Quon Bakery, Chicago Chinatown’s oldest bakery
- Eiffel Waffle, bubble waffle mini-chain
- Esmé: Michelin-starred Lincoln Park fine dining restaurant
- Grandma Annie’s, a local restaurant serving thin-crust pizza and broiled chicken
- Harold’s Chicken, the cult favorite fried chicken chain
- Kasama, the award-winning Filipino fine dining restaurant
- Kimski, Korean-American food attached to Maria’s Community Bar in Bridgeport
- Nudo House, a Missouri-based noodle house with ramen and pho
- Paulie Gee’s, Chicago spin-off of famous New York chain
- Perilla, a Korean-American restaurant in River West
- Portillo’s Italian Beef and Hot Dogs, popular street food chain
- Sausage Fest, a Chicago food truck slinging a variety of encased meats
- Seoul Taco, the fast-casual Korean-Mexican chain
- Soul Kantina, a local caterer best known for sweet and savory pineapple bowls
- Suzie’s Fun Foods, a suburban vendor serving festival foods like funnel cake
- The Tamale Guy, Claudio Velez, the wandering vendor who sells food at bars
- Trill Burgers, rapper Bun B’s new burger concept