Presumably, some people actually go to Coachella for the music, others for the fashion or the pure experience. Whether or not anybody goes specifically for the food, this year’s lineup of eats and drinks is at least as exciting as the scheduled performers—and yes, that’s including Beyoncé.
The massive, desert-bound music and art extravaganza boasts over 100 food and drink vendors this year, with plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options in addition to meaty, dairy-heavy gut-bombs galore, to accommodate every festival goer’s appetite.
You’ll find, just for starters: spicy Korean barbecue from Hanjip Korean BBQ, handcrafted dumplings from “Top Chef” star Shirley Chung, fried avocado tacos from Seabirds Kitchen, pork belly bowls from Chego, vegan ramen from Ramen Hood, fresh poké from Sweetfin Poké, Hong Kong egg waffles with fried chicken from Wingman Kitchen, mac and cheese pizza from Pizzanista!, and vegan fried “chicken” Double Down sandwiches and totchos from The Herbivorous Butcher, plus more pedestrian—but no less delicious—options like hamburgers (from several purveyors, including Shake Shack), hot dogs (with Japanese flavors, from Sumo Dog), Texas BBQ, nachos, burritos, tacos, fried chicken sandwiches, and vegan grain bowls. There are even s’mores (hand-crafted, of course)!
Many of these vendors will be located in the new Indio Central Market, a huge tent (so you get all the shade, in a good way) with lots of seating. The Market also houses a kombucha bar in case you’re thirsty, which you will be, since the daytime highs are already likely to be near or above 90 degrees.
If you’re not into probiotic refreshments, though, you’ve got plenty of alternative choices, from fruit teas, fresh pressed juices, and smoothies to coffee and cold brew. There’s also a non-alcoholic pop-up bar (Bar Not Bar), and for those who are of age and so inclined, a craft beer barn where you can also find fried Oreos, among other tempting treats.
Because it is in the desert after all, there are several different ice cream vendors too. You’ll find everything from vegan shakes and charcoal soft serve to ice cream filled donuts and rolled ice cream tacos, so you can cool off and get a bunch of likes on Instagram while you’re at it.
If you’ve got a VIP festival pass and want a classier eating experience, you can use Open Table to nab spots at some full service sit-down dinners at The Pop Up Restaurants.
But if you don’t have a VIP pass, don’t fret—you can still enjoy a four-course communal meal at a long, shaded table in the desert, with cocktails, beer, and wine included, courtesy of Outstanding in the Field. Check out the participating chefs and get your passes here.
Love Coachella (whether you experience it first-hand or only vicariously), or hate it (whether for its abundance of culture-appropriating trust fund hipsters or because it’s a gross, sweaty, dusty, literal hot mess), take a look at the full food and drink roster and just try not to start drooling.
Header image courtesy of Sweet Rolled Tacos.