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lollapalooza 2018
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

PSA: You won’t be able to eat a lobster corndog at Lollapalooza this year

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen

The second most important Lollapalooza lineup dropped this week, as festival organizers announced the vendors for Chow Town, a collection of local restaurants that will serve food and drink to attendees come August. This year's roster is mostly unremarkable, with plenty of returning vendors and chain restaurants—think Chipotle, Naf Naf, Pizano's and Wow Bao. Notable additions include Steingold's, Shake Shack, XO Marshmallow and the Budlong (which technically appeared at Lolla in collaboration with Revival Food Hall last year).

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But there is one name you won't find on Chow Town's lineup this year: Graham Elliot, the celebrity chef who has curated the fest's food vendors since 2010. Over the years, Elliot has brought exciting names like Momofuku Milk Bar, the Purple Pig and Trotter's To Go to Grant Park, seriously elevating the event's provisions. During his time as Lolla's Culinary Director, Elliot also debuted the fan-favorite lobster corndog, a crispy handheld treat that's drizzled with aioli and topped with paprika and fresh herbs. Lollapalooza organizers confirmed the split, but Elliot couldn't be reached for a comment. It's worth noting that the award-winning chef-lebrity left Chicago last year to open Coast at MGM Cotai in Macau, China. Still, it appears Elliot isn't leaving the festival circuit behind: Later this summer, he's cooking for Fayetteville Roots Festival, a five-day music fest in Northwest Arkansas. 

Though food isn't the main selling point for Lollapalooza, festival organizers have some work to do if they want to compete with other big-ticket events like ComplexCon, whose recently announced culinary lineup includes the likes of Mott St., Young American, J.P. Graziano and Stephanie Izard's Goat Group. Here's hoping that Lollapalooza steals a page from Coachella's playbook and ups the ante on its food and drink offerings next year (we deserve secret pop-up tiki bars and Dole Whip floats, too!).

Take a look at the full Chow Town lineup below, and start plotting out your lunches and dinners at Lollapalooza.

Beat Kitchen


Billy Goat Tavern

BJ's Market & Bakery

Broken English Taco Pub

Buona Beef

Cheesie's Pub & Grub


Chubby Wieners

Connie's Pizza

Dark Matter Coffee


Fatso's Last Stand

Harold's Chicken

Harris Snow Cones


Kilwins Chocolates, Fudge & Ice Cream

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria

M Burger

MAD Social

Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill

Pizano's Pizza and Pasta

Robinson's No. 1 Ribs

Sausage Haus

Shake Shack

Steingold's of Chicago

Sugar Bliss

Tallboy Taco

Tank Noodle

The Budlong Hot Chicken

The Goddess Rocks!

The Lifeway Kefir Shop

The Original Rainbow Cone

The Smoke Daddy

Vero Gelato

Windsor Ice Cream Shoppe

Wow Bao

XO Marshmallow


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