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The scene at Lollapalooza 2018
Charles Reagan Hackleman/Lollapalooza 2018

Where to Eat and Drink Near Lollapalooza Chicago

The four-day music festival returns to Chicago’s Grant Park

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The scene at Lollapalooza 2018
| Charles Reagan Hackleman/Lollapalooza 2018

After a year hiatus due to the pandemic, Lollapalooza returns from Thursday, July 29 to Sunday, August 1 in Chicago with safety measures in place that require guests to be fully vaccinated or to come with printed proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Experts are also asking the unvaccinated to wear their masks at all times. Masks were rare sights earlier this month outside the United Center at the Windy City Smokeout, another outdoor festival in Chicago.

Understandably, folks have a variety of feelings about the festival. Some are ready to cut loose and hear acts like Megan Thee Stallion, Foo Fighters, and Miley Cyrus. Some locals would rather leave town than deal with traffic headaches and the influx of tourists. Add the online discourse about pandemic mitigation strategies, and there’s even more scrutiny placed on the four-day outdoor music festival.

While Lollapalooza has teamed with Grubhub in curating Chow Town — what Lolla calls it’s on-site food vendor lineup — many will prefer to grab food and drink before or after the festival. Not everyone is interested in paying $38 at the fest for a bottle of Cupcake Wine that retails around $10 at stores.

The pandemic has also hurt downtown restaurants and while many are open, some still aren’t fully staffed. Events, like Lollapalooza, bring in culinary tourism money that help power these restaurants. Illinois Restaurant Association CEO & President Sam Toia has repeatedly talked about the impact conventions, festivals, and other events have on downtown restaurants. Tip generously and be patient.

Here are some of the best restaurants to dine around the fest ground near Grant Park.

As of June 11, Chicago restaurants have fully reopened and the city has lifted restrictions on capacity, masking, and social distancing. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following safety guidelines. The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is available here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Dearborn

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145 N Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 384-1242
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The Lawless sisters, Clodagh and Amy, operate a gorgeous restaurant near the Washington Blue Line Stop at the Block 37 development in Downtown Chicago. The Dearborn is specializing in brunch of the festival with dishes like cinnamon roll monkey bread, dutch apple pancakes, and a Buffalo chicken sandwich. 

2. Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

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12 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 940-3552
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The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel has multiple beautifully restored distinct areas to fuel up, relax, and grab drinks. The food and beverage is run by Land & Sea Dept., which runs spots like Lost Lake, Longman & Eagle, and Parson’s Chicken& Fish. Get a bird's eye view of the park from Cindy's rooftop lounge, hide away with drinks and play bocce and pool in Game Room, sit down with a full meal at Cherry Circle Room. There’s even a Shake Shack.

Marc Much

3. JIAO by Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings

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18 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60602
(773) 598-4093
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Qing Xiang Yuan, shortened to QXY, is a favorite for dumplings. For many, it’s the first restaurant visitors patronized when visiting Chicago’s Chinatown. Ownership saw how customers outside of the neighborhood loved coriander-lamb dumplings and other items, so they created JIAO with hopes to open more locations across the country. Customers will find a huge selection of dumplings packaged to go with tea. This is a great spot for a quick and filling meal.

4. The Gage and Acanto

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24 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 372-4243
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The Gage is an Irish restaurant and pub right across the street from Millennium Park and is an excellent pitstop for a pint of Guinness, a bite or a full meal. Billy Lawless (The Dawson) also owns an Italian restaurant next door, Acanto, with a standout wine program.

Barry Brecheisen

5. Hot Woks Cool Sushi

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30 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 345-1234
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Fuel up with decent Japanese and Thai food fast and for cheap right up the street from the festival. Hot Woks Cool Sushi is a local Chicago Pan Asian chain for noodles and sushi rolls.

6. Miller's Pub

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134 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 263-4988
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Recently renovated, this historic Chicago pub is friendly and has a full menu of baby back ribs and classic drinks. Miller’s Pub has been around for more than 80 years. This is a no-frills spot that screams old-school Chicago.

Miller’s Pub
Miller’s Pub/Facebook

7. Brightwok Kitchen

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21 E Adams St
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 583-0729
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This Asian-inspired assembly line restaurant is gluten free with tons of vegetarian options. It’s a make-your-own stir fry concept with fresh ingredients and sauces made on site. Brightwok Kitchen is good for folks with tight dietary needs.

Glass front door flanked by tall windows and a sign; inside, counters and seats can be seen
Brightwok Kitchen
Brightwok Kitchen

8. BienMeSabe Venezuelan Arepa Bar

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29 E Adams St
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 285-2911
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A favorite of several Latin American baseball players on the Chicago White Sox, the new location of BienMeSabe Venezuelan Arepa Bar is more quick serve. Arepas are the name of the game here and there’s a deep selection. There’s also ceviche and empanadas. Warning: It’s closed on Sunday.

9. Exchequer Restaurant & Pub

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226 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 939-5633
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Only a handful of names are associated with Chicago outside of the city. Barack Obama and Michael Jordan are easy marks. But Chicago’s gangster ties still make Al Capone a figure many connect with the city. Exchequer only opened in 1982, but the building allegedly housed a speakeasy where Capone and his goons would frequent. The pub serves thin pizzas, barbecue ribs, salads, and more.

10. The Exchange

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224 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 265-0591
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This recently opened restaurant is inspired by Japanese listening rooms, bars that play full albums on vinyl with impressive sound systems. This restaurant is from DMK Restaurants and they’ve got bar snacks, salads, and impressive entrees like steamed walleye, mushroom rigatoni, and a 10-ounce steak. There’s also an afternoon happy hour from Tuesday to Friday with $10 cocktails.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

11. Cafecito

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26 Ida B. Wells Dr #1
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 922-2233
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This Latin coffee shop and counter-service eatery is a good bet for a quick breakfast or lunch with Cuban sandwiches and more. Cafecito has three Chicago locations.

Cafecito’s pressed sandwiches are tasty.
Cafecito/Facebook

12. Mercat a la Planxa

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638 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 765-0524
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Mercat a la Planxa is a Spanish stalwart is just a touch south on Michigan Avenue with plenty of small tapas-style plates, large meals, and cocktails and wine. Sit down in the full dining room or order a drink at the secluded downstairs bar.

Barry Brecheisen

13. Roots Handmade Pizza - South Loop

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744 S Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60605
(773) 645-4909
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Roots also has locations in West Town, Lincoln Square, and Old Town and the four serve the same menu: Quad Cities thin-crust pizza that’s cut into puffy strips. It’s a unique style that has made the pizzeria popular for families across Chicago. This South Loop/Printer’s Row location has a gorgeous patio space with a retractable roof.

Roots has a retractable roof.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

14. Half Sour

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755 S Clark St
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 224-1772
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Half Sour is a unique restaurant with deli food not too far from Grant Park. It offers huge sandwiches, fresh bagels, fresh soups, and cold beer at a full bar. Those hungry for breakfast will also find this comfy space with the walk.

Half Sour
Half Sour [Official Photo]

15. Devil Dawgs on State

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767 S State St
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 583-9100
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Yes, folks can grab a hot dog at fest, but why fight those lines? Devil Dawgs is a Chicago mini chain that does a proper dog through the garden with all the toppings that the city is known for. This is where to stop to try some authentic Chicago street fare.

16. Eleven City Diner

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1112 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 212-1112
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Eleven City Diner offers classic diner fare with Jewish deli classic like filling pastrami and corned beef sandwiches. Diners will find breakfast served all day, lox, bagels, soups, salads, and more.

17. Lowcountry South Loop

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1132 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(888) 883-8375
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Lowcountry was one of Chicago’s first places for Asian-inspired Cajun seafood boils. This is the second location (there’s one in Wrigleyville), and the restaurant also serves refreshing cocktails. 

Lowcountry is known for seafood.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

18. Aurelio's Pizza

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1212 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 374-4459
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Chicago loves its deep-dish pizza, but the city has more than one pizza style. Crispy square-cut tavern style pies are a South Side invention, and Aurelio’s Pizza is among the premier pizza makers in the city. Get it with giardiniera. 

Aurelio’s Pizza South Loop
Aurelio’s Pizza has a fantastic patio.
Aurelio’s Pizza [Official Photo]

19. Minghin Cuisine

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1234 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 386-1111
Visit Website

Minghin has several locations around Chicago and specialize in dim sum car service. The decor has all the trappings of a traditional Chinese restaurant, including the Lazy Susan trays. This is a dumpling lover’s delight; the steamed shrimp are among the top selections. 

20. Flo & Santos

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1310 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 566-9817
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Those with an appetite for South Side Chicago cuisine will want to visit Flo & Santo’s. There are pierogis, pork wings, and tavern-style pizzas at this popular restaurant.

Wings and brews at Flo & Santos
Flo & Santos [Official Photo]

21. Victory Tap

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1416 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 566-9300
Visit Website

Some of Chicago’s best Italian-American food comes from the throwback Victory Tap. The pastas are fresh, service is great, and the drinks are stiff. Victory is a mini chain with locations scattered in Chicago and the suburbs.

Armand's Victory Tap
Victory Tap has pizza and more.
Victory Tap/Facebook

1. The Dearborn

145 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60602

The Lawless sisters, Clodagh and Amy, operate a gorgeous restaurant near the Washington Blue Line Stop at the Block 37 development in Downtown Chicago. The Dearborn is specializing in brunch of the festival with dishes like cinnamon roll monkey bread, dutch apple pancakes, and a Buffalo chicken sandwich. 

145 N Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60602

2. Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
Marc Much

The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel has multiple beautifully restored distinct areas to fuel up, relax, and grab drinks. The food and beverage is run by Land & Sea Dept., which runs spots like Lost Lake, Longman & Eagle, and Parson’s Chicken& Fish. Get a bird's eye view of the park from Cindy's rooftop lounge, hide away with drinks and play bocce and pool in Game Room, sit down with a full meal at Cherry Circle Room. There’s even a Shake Shack.

12 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603

3. JIAO by Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings

18 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60602

Qing Xiang Yuan, shortened to QXY, is a favorite for dumplings. For many, it’s the first restaurant visitors patronized when visiting Chicago’s Chinatown. Ownership saw how customers outside of the neighborhood loved coriander-lamb dumplings and other items, so they created JIAO with hopes to open more locations across the country. Customers will find a huge selection of dumplings packaged to go with tea. This is a great spot for a quick and filling meal.

18 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60602

4. The Gage and Acanto

24 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
Barry Brecheisen

The Gage is an Irish restaurant and pub right across the street from Millennium Park and is an excellent pitstop for a pint of Guinness, a bite or a full meal. Billy Lawless (The Dawson) also owns an Italian restaurant next door, Acanto, with a standout wine program.

24 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603

5. Hot Woks Cool Sushi

30 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

Fuel up with decent Japanese and Thai food fast and for cheap right up the street from the festival. Hot Woks Cool Sushi is a local Chicago Pan Asian chain for noodles and sushi rolls.

30 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603

6. Miller's Pub

134 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
Miller’s Pub
Miller’s Pub/Facebook

Recently renovated, this historic Chicago pub is friendly and has a full menu of baby back ribs and classic drinks. Miller’s Pub has been around for more than 80 years. This is a no-frills spot that screams old-school Chicago.

134 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60603

7. Brightwok Kitchen

21 E Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603
Glass front door flanked by tall windows and a sign; inside, counters and seats can be seen
Brightwok Kitchen
Brightwok Kitchen

This Asian-inspired assembly line restaurant is gluten free with tons of vegetarian options. It’s a make-your-own stir fry concept with fresh ingredients and sauces made on site. Brightwok Kitchen is good for folks with tight dietary needs.

21 E Adams St
Chicago, IL 60603

8. BienMeSabe Venezuelan Arepa Bar

29 E Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603

A favorite of several Latin American baseball players on the Chicago White Sox, the new location of BienMeSabe Venezuelan Arepa Bar is more quick serve. Arepas are the name of the game here and there’s a deep selection. There’s also ceviche and empanadas. Warning: It’s closed on Sunday.

29 E Adams St
Chicago, IL 60603

9. Exchequer Restaurant & Pub

226 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60604

Only a handful of names are associated with Chicago outside of the city. Barack Obama and Michael Jordan are easy marks. But Chicago’s gangster ties still make Al Capone a figure many connect with the city. Exchequer only opened in 1982, but the building allegedly housed a speakeasy where Capone and his goons would frequent. The pub serves thin pizzas, barbecue ribs, salads, and more.

226 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60604

10. The Exchange

224 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60604
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

This recently opened restaurant is inspired by Japanese listening rooms, bars that play full albums on vinyl with impressive sound systems. This restaurant is from DMK Restaurants and they’ve got bar snacks, salads, and impressive entrees like steamed walleye, mushroom rigatoni, and a 10-ounce steak. There’s also an afternoon happy hour from Tuesday to Friday with $10 cocktails.

224 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60604

11. Cafecito

26 Ida B. Wells Dr #1, Chicago, IL 60605
Cafecito’s pressed sandwiches are tasty.
Cafecito/Facebook

This Latin coffee shop and counter-service eatery is a good bet for a quick breakfast or lunch with Cuban sandwiches and more. Cafecito has three Chicago locations.

26 Ida B. Wells Dr #1
Chicago, IL 60605

12. Mercat a la Planxa

638 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
Barry Brecheisen

Mercat a la Planxa is a Spanish stalwart is just a touch south on Michigan Avenue with plenty of small tapas-style plates, large meals, and cocktails and wine. Sit down in the full dining room or order a drink at the secluded downstairs bar.

638 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

13. Roots Handmade Pizza - South Loop

744 S Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60605
Roots has a retractable roof.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Roots also has locations in West Town, Lincoln Square, and Old Town and the four serve the same menu: Quad Cities thin-crust pizza that’s cut into puffy strips. It’s a unique style that has made the pizzeria popular for families across Chicago. This South Loop/Printer’s Row location has a gorgeous patio space with a retractable roof.

744 S Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60605

14. Half Sour

755 S Clark St, Chicago, IL 60605
Half Sour
Half Sour [Official Photo]

Half Sour is a unique restaurant with deli food not too far from Grant Park. It offers huge sandwiches, fresh bagels, fresh soups, and cold beer at a full bar. Those hungry for breakfast will also find this comfy space with the walk.

755 S Clark St
Chicago, IL 60605

15. Devil Dawgs on State

767 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605

Yes, folks can grab a hot dog at fest, but why fight those lines? Devil Dawgs is a Chicago mini chain that does a proper dog through the garden with all the toppings that the city is known for. This is where to stop to try some authentic Chicago street fare.

767 S State St
Chicago, IL 60605

Related Maps

16. Eleven City Diner

1112 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

Eleven City Diner offers classic diner fare with Jewish deli classic like filling pastrami and corned beef sandwiches. Diners will find breakfast served all day, lox, bagels, soups, salads, and more.

1112 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

17. Lowcountry South Loop

1132 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
Lowcountry is known for seafood.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Lowcountry was one of Chicago’s first places for Asian-inspired Cajun seafood boils. This is the second location (there’s one in Wrigleyville), and the restaurant also serves refreshing cocktails. 

1132 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

18. Aurelio's Pizza

1212 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
Aurelio’s Pizza South Loop
Aurelio’s Pizza has a fantastic patio.
Aurelio’s Pizza [Official Photo]

Chicago loves its deep-dish pizza, but the city has more than one pizza style. Crispy square-cut tavern style pies are a South Side invention, and Aurelio’s Pizza is among the premier pizza makers in the city. Get it with giardiniera. 

1212 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

19. Minghin Cuisine

1234 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

Minghin has several locations around Chicago and specialize in dim sum car service. The decor has all the trappings of a traditional Chinese restaurant, including the Lazy Susan trays. This is a dumpling lover’s delight; the steamed shrimp are among the top selections. 

1234 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

20. Flo & Santos

1310 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
Wings and brews at Flo & Santos
Flo & Santos [Official Photo]

Those with an appetite for South Side Chicago cuisine will want to visit Flo & Santo’s. There are pierogis, pork wings, and tavern-style pizzas at this popular restaurant.

1310 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

21. Victory Tap

1416 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
Armand's Victory Tap
Victory Tap has pizza and more.
Victory Tap/Facebook

Some of Chicago’s best Italian-American food comes from the throwback Victory Tap. The pastas are fresh, service is great, and the drinks are stiff. Victory is a mini chain with locations scattered in Chicago and the suburbs.

1416 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

Related Maps