The last time I went to Coachella was eight years ago. Back then, it was a fairly large festival, but nowhere near the size it has ballooned to in recent years (100k+). Still located on an open stretch of land in Palm Dessert near Palm Springs, the yearly music and arts fest is a loud, romping party that lasts over two weekends and features six stages, dance tents, two VIP lounges, various larger than life art works and a giant ferris wheel.
I was blown away by the food — so many different types of cuisine (not just the hotdogs and pizza that I remembered from years before). They arranged the food booths in an open market, carnival-style theme and featured recognizable Los Angeles hallmarks like Pinks Hot Dogs, Coolhaus, Kogi and Border Grill. It was a little slice of home away from home.
And speaking of slices, at the food booths you’ll find everything from meatball subs to vegan options, steak salads, sushi, burgers, fresh organic fruit, hot dogs (which proved to be a great meeting point ‘meet me by Pinks!’), Philly cheese steaks and yes even New York(ish) style pizza.
Then, there was the food fashion. I loved watching all the cool foodie Tee’s and prints I saw on people walking around – I got some good ideas for next year!
On Sunday, we ventured over to the 21 and over section near the beer tents to see what else we would find. There we found The Lime Truck, Kogi, The Churchill and Clover Juice for some healthy options.
Other than dancing and listening to my favorite bands, I found the food to be my favorite part of Coachella. You really have no reason not to eat well here. Sure, I can can visit all of these vendors anytime in my LA neighborhood (and I do!), but there’s something about being out in the middle of the hot desert, knowing you can get a healthy quinoa and arugula salad with roasted beets and goat cheese while sipping a cold beer listening to the Chili Peppers jam out on a nearby stage.
Who says you have to eat crappy food at a concert? I mean, you can if you want to, but why would you want to!? You gotta conserve your energy for the night’s festivities after all…
I actually found myself eager to eat, all the time, even though I wasn’t hungry, just so I could try more things. I ate the chicken tenders and garlic fries (twice!), a toasty meatball sub sandwich, a giant watermelon slice, a slice of pizza, tacos from Border Grill, a warm salty pretzel and my favorite hit of the weekend, coffee ice cream from Black Bean Ice Cream which made their debut at Coachella this year.
Unless you have a severe aversion to good music, good food and fun times, I recommend that you go – at least once in your lifetime.
Oh, and don’t forget the sunscreen.