I must admit, unlike my native Southern Californian counterparts, I usually don’t revel in the phenomenon that is Coachella…that is until I caught a glimpse of the food lineup.
*quickly Googles how to create a fake wristband*
While Coachella is first and foremost a showcase of music and art, it has seriously upped its culinary game within the last couple of years. The festival has become known for its web of food trucks, pop-up restaurants and artisan chefs – some of which can be found in general admission sections, like the Beer Barn and the new Boardwalk, while others are only attainable in VIP areas.
Regardless of your ticket status, there are multiple vendors to look forward to in each area. A couple of crowd favorites are returning but this year’s roster is also joined by newcomers such as Sweet COMBforts ever-so-picturesque Belgian waffles on a stick and Paper Planes’ tater tots smothered with a heaping blanket of gooey raclette.
Sweet COMBforts (General Admission - Boardwalk)
Paper Planes (Rose Garden VIP)
Because the more Instagram-able, the better.
Coachella also provides an option where festival-goers can take a breather from the infamous Sahara tent to indulge in an outdoor, four-course meal in the Rose Garden that is basically Pinterest porn.
Outstanding In The Field
Outstanding in the Field is a farm-to-table outdoor dining experience in which a group of handpicked chefs curate two gourmet dinners per night. Unfortunately, you must be a Coachella ticket holder to claim your $225 seat. Trust me I double checked.
If you’re looking to rest your feet at a more reasonable price, there will be three pop-up restaurants offered at $50 per person. These pop-ups include Kindred, an eccentric vegan menu with death-metal vibes; Little Sister, a laid-back DTLA favorite that combines Asian and American flavors and the multi-concept Playa Provisions which provides diners with a beach-side feel. These restaurants are located in VIP and reservations can be made ahead of time via Open Table.
Little Sister DTLA
See below for a couple more notable vendors that will leave your taste buds singing and your Instagram likes soaring. Also be sure to follow Foodbeast for an up-close taste test at the festival during Weekend 1 (April 14th-16th).
Sumo Dog (Boardwalk - General Admission)
Tip: While Sumo Dog previously offered caviar as a topping (oh you fancy, huh?) you should definitely order the sushi tots served sumo style. Think crispy rice tots and a pokè bowl that had a magical, spicy mayo child.
Beer Belly (Beer Barn)
Tip: Hold on to your crop tops, you’re going to want to order the classic beer belly grilled cheese and their new Koreatown location just debuted its new menu including sloppy joe mac and cheese (which we are secretly hoping will make an appearance). Either of these are great selections, just make sure to wash it down with some quality craft beer.
Mallow Mallow (Boardwalk - General Admission)
Tip: These artisan s’mores offer flavored marshmallows such as bourbon bacon and peanut butter, allowing customers to mix and match. In this instance, it’s ok to go OG here and order “the classic,” although all of their flavors look ridiculous. Did you even camp in the desert if you didn’t have a s’more? The answer is no.
POT (Main Stage VIP)
Tip: This popular K-Town spot helmed by Roy Choi boasts Korean favorites with an American twist. Their rice bowls are definitely the go-to here if you need a little mid-festival fuel, especially their spicy BBQ pork bowl complete with spicy pork belly and kimchi.
Badmaash (Main Stage VIP)
Tip: Coming back to Coachella, Badmaash is implementing casual Indian cuisine into the festival culture. We recommend trying their poutine fries topped with chicken tikka masala gravy because if not, you will likely see it on Instagram and feel orderer’s remorse. We warned you.
Birdies (Main Stage VIP)
Tip: These people take the “F” word very seriously: Fried. Order the Donut Fried Chicken sandwich off of their secret menu and be prepared to bite into heaven. Basically, they wedge a piece of fried chicken in between your choice of donut. So. Extra.
Mamacita (Rose Garden VIP)
Tip: Hollywood hot-spot, Mamacita, is bringing their Peruvian quinoa bowls and wraps to Coachella. This food line-up would not be complete without a burrito, so opt for a wrap and don’t miss a beat in-between your favorite sets.
Fat Dragon (Rose Garden VIP)
Tip: Fat Dragon is known for its classic Chinese cuisine, so don’t mess with tradition and get the seriously satisfying orange chicken bowl. Then wash it down with some aesthetically pleasing fruit infused tea.