No music festival is complete without the mouthwatering aromas of some of the best eats in the area. With a range of meal options that vary from guilt-inducingly sweet to addictingly salty, music festivals offer to satisfy any craving and keep those bellies full and happy.
If you’re a foodie who goes to festivals just as much for the unique cuisine as for the music, you’ll want to take a look at our breakdown of the most delicious, most popular foods this festival season. Warning: this article may induce hunger, cravings and watering of the mouth!
Coachella (April 13-22)
High-class fare and a breakfast-desert combo that’ll make your taste buds sing.
For those looking to splurge on some quality food alongside Coachella’s desert views, look no further than Outstanding in the Field, an outdoor dining experience unlike any other. Enjoy a four-course, family style dinner in a shaded setting while a rotating lineup of award-winning chefs offer up their finest cuisine. Each meal also includes a welcoming cocktail and a beer and wine pairing, so you can get boozy while you eat. To enjoy this luxurious dining experience, you’ll have to purchase a dinner pass on the Coachella website for $225. Chefs and menus vary by day, so check the Coachella website for a full list!
Don’t forget dessert! Top off your meal with Coachella’s famous hot waffle ice cream sandwiches: chocolate-dipped ice cream rolled in your choice of combinations such as sprinkles and nuts, then sandwiched between two warm Belgian waffles and dusted with powdered sugar. Shove it on a stick and prepare to take your taste buds on an epic ride.
Governor’s Ball (June 1-3)
An unlikely cultural mashup of savory proportions.
Popular to New York City is a meal that embodies its diverse cultural background. Asiadog has two official locations in the city, and once every year they are vendors at Governor’s Ball, sharing their unique hot dogs with visitors from all over.
Pick your choice of beef, chicken or veggie dogs and top them with a fresh take on toppings, such as Kimichi, seaweed flakes, Asian sesame slaw, Japanese curry, Chinese BBQ pork belly, thai-style relish, and spicy ketchup. If hot dogs aren’t really your thing, you can opt for their signature Koren BBQ style Bulgogi burger, topped with your choice of Asian slaw or kimichi for an explosion of flavor.
Bonnaroo (June 7-10)
Lots and lots of bacon, and every donut lover’s dream.
Take cover for Hamageddon! Going by the name Henri, this 4,000 pound steel pig is a can’t miss on the grounds of Bonnaroo. By day, he is the image of calm as his belly smokes meat, but at night he comes to life, breathing fire out of his front and back ends and resulting in quite the spectacle.
BaconLand offers the greasy goodness of fried pork from all over the U.S., including the nationally acclaimed hickory-smoked bacon from Bonnaroo’s home of Tennessee. There is also the thick-sliced, dry-rubbed, peppered bacon from New Hampshire; and the Applewood country bacon from Missouri. You can also fashion your BLTs, grilled cheeses, egg sandwiches and pretty much anything else with some bacon-y goodness. Heck, just replace your buns with bacon while you’re at it!
Next we have Dave’s Mini Donuts, which offers a bag of 12, piping hot miniature donuts drenched in cinnamon and sugar. Best of all, they’re apple cider donuts. Second best of all? Free samples.
Continue your donut binge with a stop at Amish Baking Company, where its lengthy line speaks volumes about the warm, cottony goodness that resides within. For a low price point of $4, you’ll get to enjoy the best glazed donuts in the lands of Bonnaroo. With so many food choices, it’s a good thing this festival is a four-day affair!
Firefly (June 14-17)
Desert-themed cocktails and cool soft serve for those hot beats.
If you’re looking to get your fix of alcohol at Firefly this year, don’t miss out on exploring the wonderous world of Dogfish Head. Famous for its delicious, dessert-themed cocktails, this bar makes a mean PB Tini, which consists of peanut butter vodka, Godiva chocolate liqueur, and chocolate syrup. Not weird enough for you? Order an IPA-battered codfish for dinner, complete with hop-pickle tartar service.
Satisfy that sweet tooth with Talenti gelato e sorbetto, which scoops six flavors of gelato and two milk-free sorbets, including their newest gelato flavor: Coconut Almond Chocolate. Yeah, we’re probably getting that one too. They also have games and a photo booth… in case you needed convincing.
Summerfest (June 27-July 8)
One of the most peculiar foods to be served at a festival. Oh, and cheese curds.
Spaghetti is an Italian classic, sure, but spaghetti at a music festival? Virtually unheard of. Spaghetti on a gelato? Now you’re just pulling my leg.
Enter La Coppa Artisan Gelato, a gelato stand at Summerfest with a standout item on its menu: gelato spaghetti. This unique German dessert is made by pressing ice cream or gelato through a potato-rice-like sieve and then topping it with strawberry “marinara” and white chocolate “parmesan cheese.” The result is a magnificently airy, creamy dessert that looks like spaghetti, but tastes like strawberry sundae.
For cheese lovers, popular burger and bar AJ Bombers is here to save the day. Their Milwaukee Burger was the winner of the Travel Channel’s Food Wars, but the real star here is its cheese curds. These gooey, fried cheddar curds are a local favorite and come with chipotle ranch for that extra kick.
Lollapalooza (August 2-4)
Chicago’s finest, from pizzas to burgers.
If you’re going to Lolla this year, rest assured you won’t be left hungry: Chicago’s finest, including Chicago-style hot dogs, will be served in the festival’s food court, named “Chow Town.”
Definitely add the Kuma Burger to your food bucket list and see why this monster is Chicago’s most-talked about hamburger. Served up to perfection, the two-hour wait is worth it just for the fact that it’s on a pretzel roll.
Seafood lovers will get a kick out of the Lobster Dog, a festival classic. This delicious corn dog is the epic combination of tenderly cooked lobster and sweet corn batter. A match made in heaven!
No visit to the Windy City is complete without a taste of that famous deep-dish pizza. A cooked-on-site slice at Lou Malnati’s costs $4, so if you’ve never tried it, now’s the time.
So, there you have it— some of the best foods, drinks and desserts to indulge on at your next festival. Bon appetite!