Coachella season is almost here. If you’re going to week one, you only have a couple of days of waiting left before Childish Gambino electrifies the spring air in Indio, California. Since set times have yet to be released, putting together a route of who you want to see is an impossibility. All we can do now is hope we aren’t forced to make tough decisions over conflicting set times. Please Coachella Gods, don’t make us choose between Tame Impala and Aphex Twin. We can’t! We won’t!
What we can do right now is plan what we’re going to eat once we’ve hit the festival grounds. Sure, figuring out a meal plan days in advance isn’t quite as exciting as sketching out an itinerary of artists you want to see, but missing great food options due to a lack of planning is a rookie mistake. There’s an abundance of stellar food getting dished up throughout the grounds this year. Not knowing what your options are can lead you to eat the first thing you see, only to turn around and realize you could’ve gotten something way better. Considering that festival food doesn’t come cheap, these type of mistakes will gnaw at your soul.
Uproxx got an early look on the epic food lineup at Coachella 2019. Here’s what we’re most excited about and where to find it.
THE FOOD COURT
KogiTown — Kogi Burrito And Chego Fries
2019 marks the 10th year that Chef Roy Choi has been feeding hungry festival goers. To celebrate the occasion, the chef will be transforming a section of the Coachella foodcourt into KogiTown. KogiTown promises to bring all of Chef Roy’s greatest hits from his LA mainstays Kogi and Chego. If you’ve never been to a Kogi Truck in LA, you’re not going to want to skip out on the Kogi Burrito. Hash browns, eggs, cheese, romaine slaw, cilantro, salsa, a bit of kimchi and your choice of short rib, chicken, or tofu and you’ve got yourself a near unforgettable eating experience.
Other highlights from KogiTown include Kogi Tacos, Chego rice bowls (with chubby pork belly, marinated chicken, or tofu), and Chego’s Ooey Gooey Fries, a mix of beer-battered french fries smothered in sour cream samba and Monterey jack, cotija and cheddar cheese, with chilies, cilantro, and pickled garlic.
PBJ.LA — The Elvis
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If you’re all about plant-based cuisine, you’re going to want to hit up PBJ.LA who take the sandwich of their namesake and elevate it with high quality and fresh ingredients like Organic Coffee, Dark chocolate raspberry jam, and almond butter. The LA-based sandwich shop will be bringing menu favorites like the old school PB&J, the Red Eye, almond milk Horchata, and the Superfood sandwich, but we’re most excited for the Coachella-exclusive they’re calling The Elvis.
Peanut Butter, Banana Jam, and vegan b@con? Sold.
Wingman Kitchen — The Puff Daddy
P-Diddy, Puffy, Puff — look, Sean Combs can call himself whatever the hell he wants, but there is only one Puff Daddy as far as we’re concerned, and its this fried chicken in a puffed waffle cone.
Tacos are a near perfect festival food, so we couldn’t be more excited that Chef Marcel Vigneron’s Yucatán and Oaxaca street taco concept will be making an appearance at this year’s Coachella. All Tacos Lobos tacos are served with cilantro, onion, fresh salsa, and organic corn tortillas. Choose between cochinita pibil, camarones, tinga de pollo, or crispy jackfruit for the vegans and vegetarians out there.
Milk Box — Mango Matcha
Orange County-based Milk Box will be bringing their iced tea mixes to help you handle the Indio heat. The boba vendor has also crafted a special Mango Matcha tea for Coachella which we’re sure will be a hit at this year’s festival. Buy one early before the lines start getting out of control.
INDIO CENTRAL MARKET
Ramen Hood — OG Ramen
Ramen Hood is an all vegan ramen shop, and they’ll be bringing a simple menu of their OG Ramen, Spicy Ramen, and Cold Smokey Ramen. Before you ask, yes, that egg is vegan and so is the broth! If you’ve never had vegan ramen we recommend starting simple and ordering the OG. If you’re down with the flavors move on to the Cold Smokey.
Ms. Chi — Steamed Vegan Dumplings
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Top Chef star and friend of Uproxx Shirley Chung will bring her progressive Chinese-American Cuisine to the festival grounds this year with an extensive menu featuring chicken potstickers, steamed vegan dumplings, kale and cabbage salads with ginger sesame dressing, steamed pork bao, and an all beef hot dog bao.
We’re gonna suggest you go with the Steamed Vegan Dumplings, as they make an easy festival finger food.
Hanjip — Beef Bulgogi
How do you do Korean BBQ at a festival? Just shove it in a bowl! Hanjip will be offering Beef Bulgogi and Veggie bibimbap bowls, Gochuchang Chicken and Veggie bibimbap bowls, as well as veggie and vegan options like the Tofu Veggie bibimbap bowl. They’ve kept it relatively simple, but hey, Korean BBQ at a festival — what more could you want?
Hawkins House Of Burgers — Whipper Burger
South Los Angeles staple Hawkins will be bringing their high-quality burgers to the Indio Central Market. While Hawkins is coming with an extensive menu of cheeseburgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, and catfish dinners, you need to get yourself a Whipper. The Whipper burger is a double cheeseburger that consists of butterflied hot link sausage, pastrami, and onions. It’s the type of burger that makes you comfortable with death — in that it’s a fitting way to go.
Fuku — Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich
Fuku — created by David Chang, the man behind LA-based Momofuku and the Netflix show Ugly Delicious — will be bringing their Asian fusion chicken sandwiches, loaded fries, and slushies to Coachella this year. If you’ve never had Fuku, a safe bet is ordering the Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich, the very sandwich that started it all.
Konbi — Pork Katsu Sando
How could anyone go wrong with a Pork Katsu sandwich with tonkatsu sauce? Trick question, you can’t. Konbi focuses on Japanese style sandwiches and simple presentation, other menu highlights will include the Egg Salad Sando and the seasonal green salad.
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Anthony Carron will be bringing his woodfired smokey pizzas to the Beer Barn this year. Instead of keeping it simple (and boring) as most festival pizza stops do, 800 Degrees will be offering classic margherita, sausage and pepperoni, bbq chicken, veggie lovers, and piccante pies. Vegan mozzarella and gluten-free Cauliflower pizza will also be available upon request. Truly, a pizza for everyone.
Square Peg Pizza — Sandwiches?
Square Peg Pizza is a new restaurant by Top Chef‘s Tyler Anderson and Bruce Kalman. So new in fact, that it isn’t even open yet. They’ll be making their food debut at Coachella this year, selling bbq sandwiches instead of pizza. We can’t be mad at them though, look at how epic that sandwich looks!
Square Peg’s menu consists of Brisket, Pulled Pork, and Jalapeño and Cheddar Sausage sandwiches, and something called disco fries — pulled pork, fries, giardiniera, and cheddar cheese sauce.
MAIN VIP; VIP ROSE GARDEN
Sweetfin — Coachella Bowl
Located in the Main VIP tent, Sweet Fin will be able to handle any and all of your poke needs. We suggest trying out the exclusive Coachella Bowl which will consist of tuna, ponzu lime sauce, pineapple, avocado, edamame, and chopped serrano chili. Other options include the Spicy Tuna, Yuzu Salmon, and Veggie Poke.
You can’t go wrong with more pizza options! Pizzanista! uses the freshest ingredients and layers their pies atop traditional hand-tossed pizza dough, using 200-year old sourdough cultures from Naples, and fresh hand-milled marinara sauce made from California tomatoes.
Order slices or full pies in the following options: Pepperoni, cheese, vegan cheese, and macaroni and cheese (in both traditional and vegan forms). Gluten Free options will also be available.
Van Leeuwen’s — Honeycomb
There’s nothing like the sweet relief of ice cream on a hot day, and Van Leeuwen’s has a little something for everybody, whether you’re a lover of classic ice cream or you go all-vegan-everything. We love the Honeycomb and the Vegan Cookie Dough, in particular. Van Leeuwen’s hasn’t announced what they’ll be bringing, but they promised their selection would be full of fan favorites.
Freedman’s — Pastrami Crunchwrap Supreme
Three words: Pastrami Crunchwrap Supreme. Need we say more? Well too bad, that’s all Freedman’s is bringing, and frankly, it’s all Freedman’s NEEDS to bring. We are sold.
Cha Cha Matcha
Cha Cha Matcha will be located in the Rose Garden VIP where they’ll serve up matcha drinks to give you that second-wind when you feel your energy levels fading, and soft serve ice cream to keep you cool.
PRO TIP: BEAT THE LINES
For the first time ever, Postmates Pickups will be integrated into the Coachella festival app, allowing you to skip the lines and order food, drinks, and even merch! The service will only be offered at the following 10 participating food vendors: Hanjip, Ms. Chi, Fat Dragon, Trejos Tacos, Sweetfin Poke, Pizzanista, Wolf, Monty’s Good Burger, and Cheezus.