Coachella, the mammoth two-weekend music and arts festival in Indio, seems to step up its food and drink offerings with each passing year. And with a vendor lineup as star-studded as the headlining performers, this year’s festival is sure to tickle the ears and stomachs of festival-goers (not to mention their Instagram accounts).
If you’re a first-time attendee, you’ll notice that Coachella’s food offerings are divided into different areas. A handful of noted chefs will be stationed at the Indio Central Market area, which is open to all attendees. But others will be cooking up their signature bites in the exclusive VIP areas. This year will also feature a standalone food experience called “Outstanding in the Field,” an opportunity for foodies to buy tickets (at $225 a pop) for an entirely unique meal prepared by marquee names.
If you are prowling the festival grounds for a full meal or just a snack, here are a few stops the Good Food team recommends.
What are you hungry for?
If you’re looking for protein fuel, Cassell’s Hamburgers is a good bet. Available in both the Indio Central Market and the Rose VIP area, Christian Page’s signature burgers with raclette cheese are likely to draw a crowd.
In the mood for cheffed-up tacos? Renegade taquero Wes Avila brings his famed Guerrilla Tacos to the Main VIP area this year. VIP festival-goers would be remiss to forgo sampling Avila’s creations, which have spawned a cookbook and a forthcoming brick-and-mortar location in downtown LA’s Arts District.
Hear more about Avila’s cookbook and Guerrilla’s new location in our interview with him from November:
If fried chicken is more your thing, Fuku, David Chang’s New York-based chicken sandwich concept will be serving in the Indio Central Market. Momofuku acolytes can avail themselves of the rare opportunity to try Chang’s habanero-spiced chicken sandwiches and strawberry lemon slushies on the West Coast.
Revisit David Chang’s recent interview on Good Food:
Skipping the meat this year? Moby’s LA restaurant Little Pine offers plenty of plant-based options for the surely numerous vegetarians and vegans in attendance.
Did you catch Moby’s Apogee Session on KCRW this week? Watch it again:
Compton’s own Bludso’s BBQ will also be making an appearance at the two-weekend-long event, although not in the main serving area. Instead, hungry partiers can get their barbecue fix in the Craft Beer Barn. Also in the barn is Beer Belly, perhaps just the ticket for those craving generously topped fries.
Is it really a festival without Kogi? Roy Choi is a veteran of Coachella’s food vendors. He brings his unmistakable flair to this year’s festival with not only Kogi’s signature Korean tacos but also his new venture POT Pizza and the darling of Chinatown, Chego.
And finally, The Ponte brings its contemporary Italian cuisine to the desert. It’s unclear what “Chopped” judge Scott Conant will be slinging in the Main VIP area, but there’s sure to be plenty of demand for it.
Let us know what dishes caught your eye at Coachella! Tag us in your photos: @KCRWGoodFood