This year, there’s an app that lets you skip Coachella’s lines. OK, so it won’t work for getting you to the front of the stage, but it will work for getting food and beer into your hands. Postmates and AEG Presents are teaming up for in-app alcohol and meal preorders at some of the country’s biggest music festivals, kicking off with Indio’s massive music blowout, Coachella.
If you’re heading to the desert April 12–14 or 19–21 and you’ve already downloaded the official festival app, you’ve already got access: Just open the Coachella app, click the “Postmates Pickup” button, create or sign into your Postmates account and place your order. From there, you’ll be given a pickup time, plus get a text notification when your order’s ready, because, you know, you might get sucked into a performance or some Instagram-ready brand activation and need a reminder. (No judgment here.) Then head to one of the two pickup stations and dig in.
While there are more than 40 vendors popping up across the festival, only a handful will participate in the order-ahead program—but hey, who are we to complain? Some of these names are the best in L.A., and we’ll take any opportunity to skip a line.
The high-quality fast-foot roast-beef spot Top Round is playing nice with the app service, as is Korean BBQ restaurant Hanjip; dumpling shop Ms. Chi; the grilled-cheese geniuses of Cheezus; vegan-burger nostalgia throwback Monty’s Good Burger (whose only festival availability is through Postmates); Chinese-food standby Fat Dragon; the slice-slinging Pizzanista; the sustainable-seafood–minded Sweetfin Poke; Danny Trejo’s taco empire, Trejos Tacos; and Marcel Vigneron’s recently-shuttered Wolf, which means, at least for now, this fest is one of the only spots you’ll be able to enjoy Wolf’s globally-inspired cuisine.
And because booze lines can be some of the longest, especially given the heat, you can also order beer, wine and other goods in advance. Alcohol pickup locations are in the 21-plus areas, and yes, they will be checking IDs at the entrance to give you a wristband. For one extra layer of security, Postmates will check your ID and verify your name when you pick up your order.
For those whose tastes and life ethos skew a little more yeehaw, the preorder tech is also available at this year’s Stagecoach, the country music festival held on the same grounds right after Coachella.
As to the rest of the Coachella food lineup, it’s a good thing flowy clothing is appropriate festival attire, because you’re going to need some loose waistbands thanks to this year’s vendors. Some are so good, we’d understand choosing to wait in line for them.
First, there’s the return of Indio Central Market, a 15-plus collection of stalls, with seating all under the shade of a large tent. Within that mini food hall alone, you can find Echo Park’s ultra-popular new Japanese café, Konbi, serving their egg salad or katsu pork sandos; Van Leeuwen’s ice cream; Fat Dragon serving orange chicken rice bowls and burritos; David Chang’s fried-chicken concept, Fuku, which will also be serving fries; Hawkin’s House of Burgers with their old-school burgers; Vegatinos with an all-vegan menu of tacos and burritos; matcha madness from MatchaBar; Grand Central Market fave, the all-vegan ramen shop Ramen Hood; Ms. Chi with chicken potstickers and vegan dumplings; Hanjip, with veggie rice bowls; Milk Box with milk tea and boba; Sweetfin with poke (complete with vegetarian option); LAMILL with coffee and pastries; sno cones from George & Mirtha’s; gooey cheesy goodness from Cheezus; Dream Donuts with, you guessed it, doughnuts; and Wingman for chicken wings and waffle fries.
Other general admission vendors include burgers from Shake Shack; fresh juice and other refreshing snacks from Pressed Juicery; Tacos Lobos street tacos; whimsical ice cream from Salt & Straw and McConnell’s; and an entire section celebrating all things Roy Choi, where the celebrity chef will be there serving his famous Kogi tacos and burritos, plus Chego’s Ooey Gooey Fries and rice bowls.
This year also sees the return of the shaded Beer Barn, offering a variety of local, national and international brews, where you can catch vendors like Beer Belly pouring from their massive selection, plus serving up bar grub like fried Oreos and fries. Find more booze, plus a cozy vibe, at the mountain-inspired Cabin bar, brought to us by the Houston Brothers (the crew behind local bars Good Times at Davey Wayne’s and Black Rabbit Rose). Highland Park’s Block Party will be at the fest, too, serving mezcal horchata, frozen margaritas and more at the Beer East section. NYC tiki bar PDT (Please Don’t Tell) is making a big return, serving fancy, tiki-leaning cocktails in a hidden location.
The VIP area and its Rose Garden section have some phenomenal vendors, including KazuNori for hand rolls; fun and tropical cocktails from Broken Shaker; Freedman’s beloved, gourmet take on the pastrami crunchwrap supreme; fresh Thai coconuts from Playa Provisions; smashburgers from pop-up Love Hour (smashburgers are everywhere now, seriously); and Tijuana-style tacos from the theatrical and always-so-delicious Tacos 1986.
Gwen and Maude celebrity chef Curtis Stone and his brother and business partner, Luke Stone, are setting up a full-service pop-up restaurant in the VIP area. Book your seat ahead of time to nab a spot under the white tent and order dishes such as smoked brisket and vegan garden gazpacho.
Of course there’s also the VIP-section Outstanding in the Field, the gorgeous alfresco dinner series where some of L.A.’s best chefs and restaurants—the Rose Café’s Jason Neroni and the Manufactory team, for instance—team up or cook solo dinners for ticketholders. (We’ve got more info on this year’s Outstanding in the Field lineup right over here.)
How can you even catch the music acts when there’s so much great food around?