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What the World Ate at Outside Lands 2016

Food, drinks, and beautiful excess went down in Golden Gate Park

Paige Parsons

It was another banner year for feasting, drinking, and general frolicking in the adult-sized playground that is the Outside Lands music festival. While many other festivals offer premium eating and drinking experiences, it is this editor’s opinion that San Francisco’s version is far superior to any other in the country. (Sorry, everyone else.)

So, here’s the breakdown of the weekend that was, complete with chef sightings, best bites, and other observations.

The GastroMagic Stage

The hub for all chef activities, this stage held mashups of musical talent, and other performers, with chefs. Highlights included:

  • Big Freedia twerking while Brenda Buenviaje (Brenda’s French Soul) handed out beignets to the crowd.
  • Sharks throwing Guittard candy bars into the crowd while Jauz DJ’ed and Jane Danger mixed cocktails.
  • Stuart Brioza (State Bird) and LA chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal), cooking while Big Boi performed some of his biggest hits.
  • Top Chef contestant Melissa King breaking down a whole salmon to the sound of Ra Ra Riot
  • Jillionaire from Major Lazer telling the crowd to get dancing while chef Chris Cosentino (Cockscomb) skinned and roasted an albacore tuna.

Some of the crowd’s favorites

The Waffle Fries with Crazy Toppings from The Up and Under Pub and Grill

Pastrami Fries from Wise Sons

Wishing I was still at @outsidelands eating the day away. #outsidelands #maksnacks #wisesons

A photo posted by MakSnacks (@maksnacks) on

Belcampo’s Fast Burger

Itani Ramen’s Sloppy Stickers

Three Babes Bakeshop’s Chicken Pot Pie

Little Skillet Fried Chicken and Mac and Cheese (requested by Major Lazer!)

Bini’s Kitchen Momo dumplings

@biniskitchen is the truth!

A photo posted by @intheweedz on

Because this is San Francisco, after all

Also new this year was the “Forest Feast” from Trestle. Diners wandered along a path through the trees along the Polo Field, finally reaching an entire restaurant built for the weekend.

A full kitchen, dining area complete with blankets for foggy evenings, and a chandelier hanging from the trees were all part of the magic (not to mention four courses of restaurant-quality food and wine).

Forest Feast, complete with fog fighting blanket
Ellen Fort

It was a cool way to take a break from the writhing masses of millennials wearing weather-inappropriate crop tops and fringe; depending on the lineup, it was also a great place to watch the Land’s End stage from afar. (It turns out that Third Eye Blind is best enjoyed with a glass of Syrah and plate full of short ribs.)

Drinking to excess

  • This year was all about the cocktails, with Cocktail Magic serving up drinks from Prizerfighter, 15 Romolo, Trick Dog, and other craft cocktail favorites. Drinks were served up quick, and were plenty potent. (Pro-tip: avoid lengthy bathroom lines by drinking cocktails, not beer.)
  • Winelands served up thousands of glasses of wine from all over, including a $34 glass of Scribe. OMG.
  • In the non-alcoholic realm, Outside Grounds turned out to be a super-popular hangout, with plenty of seating, hot and cold coffee from Four Barrel and a warm respite from Saturday’s super foggy conditions.

So, what was your favorite snack or drink from the weekend? See any bands consuming the best SF has to offer? Let us know in the comments!