What You Should Be Eating at Coachella 2016

L.A. pop-up restaurants at Coachella
L.A. pop-up restaurants at Coachella
Christopher Victorio

It might seem that we say this every year, but it's still true: Coachella's food lineup is better than it's ever been.

Of course we're excited for LCD Soundsystem, Guns N' Roses and whatever sweaty EDM acts will be crammed under the Sahara tent, but we're also stoked to eat some really solid food (then post several pictures of it on Instagram with the obligatory Indio sunset in the background).

Here's a breakdown of your full array of dining options in the desert this year — in addition to Spicy Pie, of course.

Food Vendors: Afters Ice Cream, Backyard Bowls, Badmaash, BCN, Beer Belly, Blue Bottle, Burgerlords, Cassell’s, Clover Juice, Donut Farm, Eureka, Free Range, Fritzi Dog, GD Bro Burger, Guerrilla Tacos, Hanjip Korean BBQ, Hinterland, Indie Jams, KazuNori, KindKreme, Mallow Mallow, McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream, Menotti’s, Mexicali, Forage, Ramen Hood, Rocco’s Sweet Shoppe, Rossoblu, Sage, Smitten Ice Cream, Sotto, Starry Kitchen/Button Mash, Sumo Dog, Superba Food + Bread, Sweetfin Poké, the Church Key, Three Jerks Filet Mignon Jerky, Top Round Roast Beef 

There's a lot of places to digest on this lineup (literally),  but some notable first-timers include Guerrilla Tacos and its killer uni tostadas, Chris Oh's upscale Korean BBQ joint Hanjip, Chinatown burger slingers Burgerlords, Steve Samson of Sotto's upcoming DTLA Italian restaurant Rossoblu, Free Range and its crunchy fried chicken sandwiches, plus whatever madness the team behind Starry Kitchen and Button Mash in Echo Park have planned.

Pop-Up Restaurants: Pok Pok, Commissary, Rosaliné

Much like last year, Coachella will be offering three full-service pop-ups, which will function like actual restaurants (located in the VIP section). Each will serve three-course meals for $50 per person from 4 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 4 to 10 p.m. on Sunday. Reservations can be made using the OpenTable app, which is pretty handy. Andy Ricker's Pok Pok L.A. will be serving Thai dishes such as fried chicken with nam prik, grilled corn slathered in coconut cream and tamarind margaritas; Roy Choi's Commissary will be offering a build-your-own chirashi bowl option with strawberry porridge for dessert and "slurricane" cocktails; and Ricardo Zarate's soon-to-open concept Rosaliné will be debuting a menu of Peruvian dishes like eggplant stew, salmon tiradito and sautéed beef saltado

Unit 120 Pop-Up Series: LASA, Shao Kao BBQ, Nighthawk by Jeremy Fall, Vartan Abgaryan, Twisted Filipino

Another set of pop-ups? You know it. These food events (located in the VIP Rose Garden) are being put on by Alvin Cailan, the chef-curator behind Chinatown's culinary incubator Unit 120. On weekend one, you'll find dinners from Chad and Chase Valencia's Filipino-inspired LASA pop-up, elevated Chinese BBQ skewers from Luther Chen's Shao Kao BBQ and boozy breakfast from Jeremy Fall's Nighthawk. The second weekend will feature dinners from former Cliff's Edge chef Vartan Abgaryan, Carlo Lamagna's Twisted Filipino concept and a sneak preview at a new project from Jeremy Fall.

Outstanding in the Field Dinners: Antonia Lofaso, Elia Aboumrad, Nyesha Arrington, Chris Oh, Kris Morningstar, Michael Hung, Michael Voltaggio, Tal Ronnen, Lincoln Carson, Brendan Collins, Steven Fretz

For all the big spenders: The Outstanding in the Field dinners are returning both weekends, with two seatings every night of the festival. Each dinner featuring a combo of three guest chefs — mostly L.A. chefs but also some from across the United States and Mexico. Tickets for the dinners are going for $225 per person (with a festival pass), or $624 per person for dinner and a festival pass. For more details or to buy tickets, go to coachella.com/outstanding-in-the-field.


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