Golden Gate Park springs to life tomorrow, August 9, through the end of the weekend as Outside Lands, the city’s biggest music festival. It’s a lot to keep up with, from an artist lineup that includes Blink 182, Lil Wayne, and Kacey Musgraves, to a literal cannabis festival within the festival. Bring an appetite, too. Outside Lands is once again host to a sampling of some of the Bay area’s best food, beer, wine, and cocktails — plus a full-on culinary stage with demos and dance parties featuring local chef talent. The whole food lineup is here, but below, a handy guide to 12 not-to-be missed bites and sips this weekend.
Ellen Fort, Eater SF Editor
One of the festival’s newcomers this year, Noosh is bringing flavorful Aleppo chicken and grilled mushrooms sandwiches to the mix. It’s a lighter option than some of the other vendor offerings (deep dish pizza and loaded funnel cakes, for instance) conveniently packaged in fluffy pita — they call it “chubby pita,” and it is.
No sloppy burgers here: The Kronnerburger is a glorious, crispy-edged patty of dry-aged beef, topped with crunchy iceberg lettuce, pickles, cheesy mayo, and perfection. However, the vegan Earthburger is not to be ignored, bringing new meaning to a meat-free patty that’s made of actual vegetables, then topped with lettuce, grilled onions, dill pickles and creamy tofu mayo.
Raw oysters have a place at this music festival, due in part to the cool temperatures that tend to bless Golden Gate Park in August. Likewise, creamy clam chowder encased in crusty bread will keep energy levels high for the next trek across the meadows.
Only in the foggy environs of SF’s biggest summer festival would ramen be on the menu, and with good reason. Warm up with steaming bowls of chef Kyle Itani’s rich broth and noodles to keep the festival fire alive; chicken katsu sandos are an excellent option for easier eating, should you not have time to settle down with soup between sets.
Caleb Pershan, Eater SF Senior Editor
Aside from their famed Japanese brunch, Richmond Sleeper hit Cassava is known for their killer fried chicken, so definitely seek out their buttermilk popcorn chicken bowls with a rice at the festival. They’ll also have a popcorn shrimp version.
Lady Falcon Club
At some point it’s good to drink something at this festival that isn’t alcoholic, and a cascara hibiscus pink crush from Lady Falcon Club, whose retro coffee truck is typically parked in Alamo Square on weekends, will do nicely. Their own roasted coffee will also suit for a pick-me-up.
The legend comes to you in Golden Gate Park: Chef Edward Wooley, much sought-after for his Creole cooking at a cult-followed pop-up, arrives at the festival with his “famous surf and turf fries,” Dungeness crab and lobster fries, and Impossible Burgers.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of chef Binita Pradhan’s delightful Nepalese momos — find her in her new kitchen in SoMa — you’ve got to try them at Outside Lands. Or, if you’ve already enjoyed them, you’ll probably want to try them again on a chilly evening in the park. Bini will have her lamb dumplings and hearty chicken curry burritos, too.
Becky Duffett, Eater SF reporter
Call it brunch, dinner, or a snack between sets, it’s always time for dumplings. Made by hand and inspired by the chef’s mom, the veggie xi’an are a secret family recipe, and the green tea buns are filled with sweet custard.
The Michelin-starred restaurant is serving one item only, but it’s a longtime — bite-size doughnuts, dusted with porcini powder, and impossible to resist dunking in a frothy cheese sauce.
Indian street food snacks are easy to eat out of hand and filled with warm spices to cut through the fog. Go for the rolls with fresh cheese and chiles or saucy chicken tikka.
Hookt Mini Doughnuts
Some festival goers take selfies with their cool outfits, while others focus on the mini doughnuts. Get ‘em while they’re hot, fresh, and really, really cute, all stacked up into a sundae with dollops and drizzles.