The ribs at Robinson's should keep you satisfied.
Sure, the Pitchfork Music Festival is all about the music, but the event also happens to have another great lineup in store: food vendors.
While other festivals are content with bringing in grimy hot-dog grills and overpriced funnel cake, Pitchfork steps it up by inviting local vendors to peddle the stuff you actually want to eat—and at reasonable prices. While the entire vendor list got us hankering for some park food, we're particularly excited about the slabs of ribs, Italian beef and bean-cake sammies from these folks:
Few things say summertime like a face full of barbecue sauce, something that Robinson's #1 Ribs understands all too well. The rib mecca has been doling out the slabs since the very first Pitchfork Fest, and it's back this year with a full menu: Boneless rib, pulled pork or pulled turkey sandwiches ($4-$7); and of course, monster half-slabs for only $9. If you're feeling dainty, but still can't resist the call of meat-on-the-bone, order up the Rib Sampler ($5), for a meal that's just big enough. This vendor proudly peddles no vegetables, but they'll gladly supply you with plenty of wet naps.
La Luce, a northern-Italian haunt that's been around for 16 years, serves up fine fare like fresh lasagne and caprese salads in its cozy dining room just a block from festival grounds. But if you sidle up to their stand at the fest, you'll get Italian beef, Italian sausage and a boatful of fried gnocchi. Sandwiches are served with La Luce's special house-made sweet peppers. All of the food is above par, but if you're feeling adventurous go for the combo (that's Italian beef and sausage all on one bun); they sold over 4,000 of these bad boys at Taste of Randolph. You can also pick up watermelon and lemon Italian ice here.
For down-home cookin' with a healthy streak, look no further than the vendor booth of Wishbone. These guys have been whistling vegan-Dixie since the very first incarnation of the Pitchfork Fest. This year, they're bringing those beloved mango salsa, bean-cake sandwiches ($5), North Carolina-style BBQ pork topped with peppery vinegar sauce ($6) and a series of po'boys—including blackened catfish and chicken andouille—built for festivals. Even if you aren't hungry, be sure to stop by for a round of watermelon lemonade ($3); chunks of fresh watermelon in a 16-ounce cup, filled in with refreshing lemony goodness.
We also dig that festival sponsors are getting in on the action, so be sure to show your appreciation by stopping by these booths:
Chicago's own craft brewery is a major sponsor of this year's fest, which means you don't have to stomach stale PBRs, watered down domestics or over-priced imports. Grab a cup (or five or six) of the one and only urban wheat ale, 312, to cut through the blazing July sun. The effervescent, citrusy brew satisfies even the most discerning beer aficionados, and the biodegradable corn-based cups give big ups to environmental responsibility.
Whole Foods Market
Looking to steer clear of the junk food during this year's festivities? A wander around festival sponsor Whole Foods' satellite market will reveal all kinds of ready-to-go items that will satisfy health nuts, vegetarians and vegans alike. An assortment of veggie wraps ($6) will be on offer for lunch; sweet treats like vegan chocolate mouse ($4) and chocolate-covered frozen bananas ($1) will keep you cool; and the Whole Foods peeps are hoping to track down some local Michigan cherries for you to snack on ($8), too.
Still hungry for Pitchfork coverage? Fill up with our guides to the can't miss bands and vendors, and get all the tips you need to survive the weekend.