Heading out to Indio soon? Why waste your time counting feather accessories, spotting Jenners and — oh, right — listening to music when you could be eating? Glorious, decadent, Boomerang-worthy, festival-exclusive eating. Coachella’s food lineup this year is basically as epic as the actual band lineup. So fire up your wristbands and your taste buds alike and check out these eight can't-miss festival eats:
1. Cheesy Tots
PSA: The line for this shiny new dish from the founder of Eggslut starts right behind us. It’s tater tots that have been covered in…wait for it…melted raclette cheese. Yep, apparently life is just that good. But there is one little catch — it’s only being served up by Paper Planes inside the Rose Garden VIP. Now, we’re not condoning any illicit behavior, but we do recommend doing whatever you need to do to get your hands on this deliciousness.
2. Waffles on a Stick
If you’re taking odds on which of your festival pics is going to get the most likes from your Instagram fanbase, the easy money is on these ridiculously photogenic Belgian Liege waffles on a freaking stick. Making their Coachella debut this year, the honeycomb-patterned treats are coated with Fruity Pebbles, Oreos, or animal crackers — with a “plain jane” option for the Euro-waffle purists.
3. Peruvian Burritos
The average Californian may be pretty burrito-jaded. But throw Peruvian burritos (what’s that now?) from brand-spanking-new joint Mamacita into the mix, and things just got a lot more interesting for the hungry folks in the Rose Garden VIP. Sadly, no llamas are likely to be on the premises, but the burritos themselves will be jammed with a quinoa-rice blend, tomato sambal, avocados, fried egg, and either chicken, steak, or portobello mushrooms.
4. Indian Poutine Fries
The Main VIP will be like a UN of righteous scrumptiousness when Badmaash serves up its chicken tikka poutine — a cultural mashup that could truly bring the world together. Masala-spiced fries come smothered in cheese curds, beef gravy, and juicy chunks of chicken tikka. Dare we speculate that they could very possibly earn the distinction of achieving peak fries at the festival?
5. Sushi “Tots”
Last year, Japanese-American hybrid (located in L.A.’s Koreatown, natch) Sumo Dog was offering up $100 caviar-topped hot dogs to the fancy folks in the VIP area — but this year they’re feeding the masses on the Boardwalk. And what better food for faux commoners than faux tots? These crispy rice “tots” are blanketed with tofu chili or spicy pork, cheese, wasabi, spicy mayo, and all sorts of other goodies.
6. Fried Chicken Sandwich
Sure, fried chicken sandwiches are pretty much everywhere these days. But when you’ve got some yardbird-on-a-bun that was concepted by Top Chef Masters alum Neal Fraser, it’s time to cry for that fowl. His gastronomic contributions to your colorful fest experience will include The Stinger, a fried chicken sandwich with buffalo sauce and blue-cheese-dressed greens. We're drooling just thinking about it.
7. Korean Noodles (Or Stew? Or Soup?)
Mega-chef Roy Choi has three different concepts keeping the dancing crowds fueled at this year’s Coachella. His POT restaurant (which is currently in a morphing stage at the Line Hotel) dishes up massive bowls and skillets of Korean comfort foods, which Choi will somehow transform into brilliant, craveable festival dishes that are perfect for eating while strolling from stage to stage. We bet they won't even mess up your flower crown.
8. Coconut Nitro Ice Cream
There may be a fair amount of chemical substances floating around the polo field during the festival (hey, no judgment), but liquid nitrogen is probably one of the rarer ones. Except in the Main VIP, where former Top Chef cheftestant Marcel Vigneron’s restaurant Wolf will be scooping/freezing up coconut nitro ice cream with a side of pure visual drama. We can’t think of a single "cooler" way to cool off. (#sorrynotsorry)
Photos: Neil Husvar for Coachella
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