Buying a ticket for Lollapalooza is expensive enough, right? No one wants to spend more than they have to just to nourish themselves through the four-day festival.
While the Tribune's Phil Vettel tastes the literal cream of the crop in the VIP food offerings, we're tackling the other end of the edible spectrum.
Here are the best options to do Chow Town on the cheap, with eight items under $8-from treats to savory eats-that should keep you going for the whole weekend.
Chicken tenders with fries from Robinson's No. 1 Ribs, $8
Robinson's No. 1 Ribs has a four items (BBQ pulled pork sandwich, boneless rib sandwich, angus burger and chicken tenders), all of which are $8 and all of which come with fries. You won't find a better deal than that this weekend. Even though it's a rib joint, we went with the chicken tenders, a trusty, tasty option that's mobile and easy to eat-perfect for music festival food. The fries were excellent while the tenders were solid, and both were hot and not stale from sitting out.
Candied bacon from Pork and Mindy's, $3
This sweet and savory snack will get the job done in a pinch, and at only $3. You get 3-4-ish strips of nicely candied bacon strips that are thick and porky, but also sticky and sweet for contrast. Between the protein and the sugar, it's a quick energy boost at a solid price.
Lou Malnati's $4 slices: cheese, sausage, pepperoni
Good ol' Lou has the cheapest pizza you'll find at the fest, and it's no skimpy slice-it's the classic deep-dish style that you surely know, served up nice and hot. It's definitely a comfort option and maybe a little heavy with all that cheese, but then again, it's hard to go wrong with pizza.
Two fried chicken tacos from Broken English Taco Pub, $8
Tacos can be a testy festival food, but these fried chicken tacos manage to hold up despite the outdoor conditions and heat. The double corn tortillas are soft and light, while the fry on the chicken stays crispy, just like the coleslaw. The tangy sauce isn't too shabby either. These are a good bet for sharing.
Lemon sorbetto from Kilwin's, $6 single, $8 double
This was maybe the best thing we ate all day-a light, tart lemon sorbetto that hit exactly the right spot in the Lolla heat. Think more Italian ice-style, with a lovely but deceptive creamy yellow appearance that doesn't give away its strong citrus finish. For those who find some lemon treats too sweet, this is a perfect refresher.
Pulled pork sandwich from Smoke Daddy, $8
If you're looking for something light and fresh, steer clear of the pulled pork here. If you're not worried about a little heft or mess, then don't be afraid. Smoke Daddy's pulled pork is tender with just the right amount of sauce (original, sweet and smoky, and mustard are extra options), and the bun-a soft, steady brioche base-holds it all together admirably.
Kale salad from Leghorn Chicken (vegetarian option), $6
This salad is small but powerful. Leghorn crams kale, quinoa, shredded carrots, noodles and other green goodies into a tidy little cup that's ideal for coming and going, not to mention the freshest option at the festival as the only salad. Hungry folks looking for refuge from the endless fried options should look no further.
Rainbow cone bowl from Original Rainbow Cone, $6
Last, but not least, this doozy of a dessert stacks nice and high. It's a smorgasbord of chocolate, strawberry, pistachio, Palmer House New York vanilla with cherries and walnuts plus orange sherbet on top. It tastes like summer and is definitely big enough to share. You might need the help, too, as this tower is a ticking, melting clock.