wanderlust: chicago

while the bands are warming up, you’ll be chilling at these chicago hotspots.

by chantal strasburger

The bands might be front and center of any music festival (as they should be!), but let's be honest: one of the major perks of festival season is the excuse to travel. So if you're heading to Lollapalooza this weekend, don't forget to explore all the awesome spots Chicago has to offer outside of Grant Park. From retro coffee shops to colorful after-party venues, our NYLON city guide hits some of the less obvious Windy City must-sees (no offense to Cloud Gate). So go ahead and map out your fueling stations, because you're going to need the energy...especially when you're fist pumping to The Cure. 



833 W. Randolph St. 

Serious Stones fans will recognize Nellcote as the name of Keith Richard's mansion in the South of France, where The Rolling Stones lived the high life while recordingExile on Main Street. The eponymous restaurant flaunts adventurous yet affordable dishes such as black truffle pizza, chilled squid ink strozzapreti and seasonal gelato. Finally, some satisfaction! 


26 East Congress Parkway 

Not trying to venture too far from Grant Park? At the corner of Congress and Wabash, Cafecito offers up some tasty and cheap Cuban sandwiches. Located just two blocks away from the Lolla entrance, you won't even have to miss out on the music. 

Little Goat 

820 W Randolph St. 

It might take three months to get a reservation at Chi-town hotspot Girl and the Goat, but don't worry— its sister diner is more of a walk-in-and-sit-down kind of place. Bask under their sunroof as you enjoy crumpets with chorizo, crab dip, and pork belly pancakes. Now, would you like almond, soy, or goat milk with that?


Headquarters Beercade 

950 W Wolfram St

Beercade? Yup, you read that right. Lined with old-school arcade games and an extensive selection of craft beers on tap (not to mention house-made beef jerky!), the HQ rivals them all. 

The Flat Iron

1565 N Milwaukee Ave 

With three pool tables, a killer jukebox and artwork by 10 different local artists, The Flat Iron is a little slice of history of the surrounding Chicago community. Open till 4 am, it's the perfect place to load up on libations post- Lolla shows.

The Wormhole Coffee

1462 N Milwaukee Ave 

For your quintessential artsy coffee shop, make a pit stop at The Wormhole. The time travel-themed decor and array of baked goods make this Wicker Park cafe a must-try. I've heard the Rocket Sauce is to die for. 


Lincoln Hall

2424 N Lincoln Ave 

Considering Haim and St. Lucia are slated to perform their Lollapalooza after-shows here, this cozy spot will be packed to the brim on Saturday night. The acoustics are great and the atmosphere is intimate; there's really no better way to experience your favorite bands. 

The Hideout 

1354 West Wabansia 

This old house-turned-music venue not only has a badass history (it's been around since pre-Prohibition days!), but unbeatable drink prices to boot. 


Reckless Records 

1532 N. Milwaukee Ave 

A few doors down from the actual High Fidelity set, this record store has an equally extensive vinyl selection and the same vibe as the classic flick— well, minus Jack Black. 

Myopic Books 

1564 N. Milwaukee Ave 

Just down the street from Reckless is of the largest and oldest book stores in Chicago. Myopic carries just about every genre imaginable, and, as a bonus, is surrounded by great shopping. Located just off the Damen Blue Line, it's also near Big Star and Antique Taco, two taco shacks perfect for those late-night munchies.