- North America
- Aneil Lutchman
Lollapalooza has dominated the North American music festival scene for over two decades. The three day extravaganza brings together the best alternative rock and hip hop, as well as the latest indie tunes and electronic dance music. Lollapalooza also features art, autographs, and delicious food. Some of the best cuisine is to be found within the Lolla Lounge: a VIP area near the main stages that offers amenities like mini-spa treatments, golf-cart shuttle transport, and unlimited food and drink.
Lollalapooza is as much a Chicago landmark as Navy Pier, so it’s a given that the VIP food would pay tribute to some iconic Chicago cuisine.
There are mini wieners topped with mustard, relish, a pickle, a sliced tomato, and celery salt and served at a ‘Snacks and Desserts’ booth. If you’ve ever wanted to taste a Chicago-style hot dog but not eat the entire thing, these ‘teenie weenies’ are for you. A booth labelled ‘Italian’ serves miniature slices of the famous Lou Malnati’s deep-dish pizza.
Other Italian offerings include toasted cheese ravioli served on a bed of marinara sauce and garnished with Parmesan cheese, miniature meatball subs with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese on a Turano bun, and breadsticks stuffed with mozzarella cheese and ranch dip.
Bacardi offers a crisp mojito with fresh mint leaves and lime juice. Maestro Dobel Tequila makes ‘black diamond margaritas’ with a rim of black salt in a lounge area designed to resemble a black sand beach. Whiskey drinkers can sip on classic Jack and colas with souvenir stirrers that feature a miniature statue of the whiskey company’s founder.
Snacks and Desserts
Although all of the bite sized portions can be classified as snacks, each food stall has at least one take on a traditional concession stand snack or street food that’s popular during the summer months in in the United States.
There are organic fruit juice ice pops, churros slathered in Dulce de Leche, jumbo pretzels with a cheddar cheese sauce dip, Southern fried chicken served with waffles and tangy coleslaw, and a ‘big kahuna’ burger garnished with Canadian bacon and a pineapple relish.
Every cocktail booth offers at least one exotic concoction using its spirits. Jack Daniels’s ‘Lolla Lemonade’ mixes iced tea, lemonade, and Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey to create a sweet, caffeinated drink to beat the heat with. Bombay Sapphire also uses tea as the basis of it’ ‘Peppered Peach Collins,’ combining it with gin, black pepper, lemon juice, and soda.
Bacardi showcases some products other than its iconic Bacardi Superior White Rum, used in the mojitos; its Tangerine Tango and Bacardi Limonada cocktails feature flavored rum and citrus juice.
A stall labeled ‘Taco’ serves tingo de pollo tacos alongside other Mexican eats like grilled steak fajitas with cilantro and mole. It also features beef barbacoa tamales dipped in green chili, and elote on a stick seasoned with Parmesan cheese and dried peppers. Mexican is a particular favorite among Lolla Lounge VIPs.
Drinks to keep you going
Three days standing in the sun at one of Lollapalooza’s eight stages and walking across Millennium Park followed by nonstop partying takes its toll on you. Cocktails and beer simply don’t do the trick when it comes to re-hydrating.
Thankfully there’s unlimited Vita Coco coconut water and High Brew Coffee. Unlike everything else in the ‘Lolla Lounge’ that’s served by bar staff, the coconut water and coffee is there for the taking in coolers at multiple locations across the lounge. You’re also free to leave with as many of these drinks as you can carry.