Going to Coachella is a treat for the ears, of course, but it’s also a total treat for the palette thanks to the chefs and restaurants that pack up their knives and head out to the desert to serve hungry festival-goers. From rock star dining in the VIP to more modest stands for grabbing a bite or drink as you hoof it back and forth between stages, there’s always something delicious nearby. Many of the offerings are specific to the festival or otherwise unavailable to a regular diner in L.A., so we’ve rounded up a few items you’ll want make sure you try during your stay in Indio.
Waffle pops from Sweet Combforts
Who wouldn’t want to eat a honeycomb-shaped waffle on a stick covered with crazy toppings in between festival sets? Makes perfect sense to us. Eventually, you’ll be able to pick up waffle pops by Sweet Combforts at its stand in Irvine’s Trade Food Hall, but until that opens, Coachella-goers will be the only ones lucky enough to try this sweet and ever-so-convenient snack.
Raclette from Paper Planes
You already know we love raclette around here. The cheesy dream is basically gooey melted cheese scraped directly off a bubbling wheel and onto a plate or, in this case, a bed of fresh, hot tater tots eagerly awaiting a cheese blanket. This indulgent upgrade to old-fashioned cheese fries comes courtesy of Paper Planes, a forthcoming concept helmed by Alvin Cailan of Eggslut.
Channa poutine from Badmaash
DTLA’s Badmaash might have invented the perfect late-night drinking food when they put chicken tikka poutine on their menu, and fans have been coming back for the belly-stuffing dish ever since. At Coachella, they’ll be serving those up alongside an exclusive vegetarian spin on the concept, topped with channa masala and free of dairy.
Filipino tacos from 2nd City
Filipino tacos certainly sound like something you would find all over Los Angeles given our love of both Filipino fare and anything in taco form, but 2nd City isn’t an L.A. café at all. They’re coming to Coachella from their home base in NYC's Greenwich Village. If you miss their stand at Coachella, your only alternative involves a plane ticket.
Exotic cocktails from Broken Shaker
The festival grounds have a new VIP area added on this year, Hacienda del Toro, and inside it you’ll find a pop-up bar by Miami’s James Beard-nominated craft cocktail slingers Broken Shaker. The dusty polo grounds might not be poolside in South Beach, but you might think so as you sip on these drinks. If you find a drink you love, don’t worry about jetting off to Miami to get another fix; they’ll be opening a location in the Freehand Hotel in Downtown L.A. later this year.
Vegan tacos from Taqueria La Venganza
You might be able to catch Taqueria La Venganza’s famous vegan takes on tripas, carnitas and other classic meaty taco fillings at the occasional vegan fair in L.A., but otherwise you’ll have to make a road trip to Oakland to get your hands on them. They’re so crave-worthy, though, that after a stop by their booth at the fest, we bet you might just be making that drive.
Salsas and breakfast tacos from Jalapa Jar
Jalapa Jar was born in Austin, Texas, when an ambitious culinary student created a salsa recipe too good not to share. Eventually that salsa became the basis of a New York City-based business that springboarded out of Brooklyn’s location of Smorgasburg. Now they’ve expanded to offer Austin-style breakfast tacos and bowls from multiple locations across Brooklyn, but nowhere on the West Coast except for at Coachella.
Healthy bowls from Pioneer Eats
Brooklyn-based Pioneer Eats has a pretty unusual concept: They cater specifically to offices, bringing in healthy lunches for workers. That is, until Coachella, where they’re making their local debut as a retail dining option. Expect light and balanced one-dish meals to keep you going through the weekend.
Vegan cookies by Rocco’s Sweet Shop
Sate your sweet tooth while you’re on the go all day with a cookie from Rocco’s Sweet Shop. The fully vegan, certified-organic and GMO-free treats come from a special-order-only family bakery in Gilbert, Arizona. They’ll be offering their signature Sonoran cowboy cookie with chocolate, walnuts, oats and raisins, among other varieties.
Classic cocktails from P.D.T.
P.D.T. in New York gets a lot of the credit for making the whole "speakeasy thing" happen, but for their Coachella pop-up, you won’t need to hunt for hidden entrances or adjust your eyes to awkwardly dim lighting. Instead, just walk up and order some of the classiest cocktails that have likely been stirred up around these parts since the Rat Pack occupied Palm Springs.
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