In just a few short days, thousands of festivalgoers will flood Golden Gate Park for three days of music, food, drink, and generally good times thanks to another year of San Francisco’s favorite music festival Outside Lands. This year the event runs from Friday, August 11 to Sunday, August 13 with headliners including Kenrick Lamar, Foo Fighters, and Odesza.
In case you missed it, the show schedule dropped earlier this week and, as usual, attendees will likely have some tough decisions to make. Fortunately, however, when it comes to fueling up throughout the weekend, the planning should be a little less complicated. To make things even easier, we’ve compiled this guide to some of the not-to-be-missed food and drink options.
Here’s your guide to the food and drinks we’re most excited to try at Outside Lands 2023.
Taste of the Bay Area
- Chef Smelly’s: Dungeness crab garlic noodles, steak and prawn garlic noodles
Chef Edward Wooley — you might know him as Chef Smelly — has been wooing diners with his soul food pop-up for years and will eventually open a permanent restaurant in Oakland. But for now, catch him this weekend serving one of the Bay Area’s most iconic dishes.
- Daytrip: Spicy pork butt sandwiches, eggplant parm sandwiches, habanero fries
This Oakland natural wine bar and restaurant is well-known for serving some of the East Bay’s most exciting food (not to mention its incredibly well-dressed clientele). Head over during the festival for handhelds and fries.
- El Garage: Quesabirria tacos, beef birria tacos, esquites
You could argue that El Garage kickstarted the Bay Area’s quesabirria boom so if you’re going to do tacos at the festival, this makes a logical option.
- Horn Barbecue: Brisket chopped cheese, burnt end sandwiches, dirty fries
Chef Matt Horn’s Michelin Guide-worthy Oakland spot might be best known for luscious smoked brisket, but absolutely do not sleep on the sandwiches, which the chef has been R+D’ing in the trailer out back behind the restaurant. The chopped cheese is a messy, decadent delight.
- Moon: BBQ skewers and furikake rice, smashed cucumbers
Outside Land attendees can get a sneak preview of Moon, the upcoming new restaurant from Michelin-starred Sorrel. It’s expected to open in the fall and is billed as a laidback spot serving coastal California-Asian-inspired food cooked over an open flame.
- My Friend Fernando: Pork Milanese tortas, summer squash tortas, birria fries
This self-described “Chicano pop-up and supper club” has been making the rounds at some of the Bay Area’s coolest dining spots, but catching it at the festival makes it a convenient option for interested diners.
- Piglet & Co: Taiwan-style hot dogs, chashao roast pork rice bows
Chef Chris Yang’s menu of nostalgia-driven Asian comfort food at this new Mission District restaurant has produced thrilling bites since it opened. Plus, he and partner Marcelle Gonzalez-Yang are festival pros, having appeared at both Outside Lands and Coachella last year.
- Reem’s: Za’atar veggie wraps, sumac chicken wraps, falafels with tahini
Anyone looking for lighter, veggie-forward dining options would do well to hit up James Beard Award-nominated chef Reem Assil’s stand.
- Shuggie’s Trash Pie: Cheddah and feta pizzas, sausage party pizzas, pepperoni pizzas
Whether you love or hate this scene-y restaurant’s vibrant design, it’s impossible to deny the pizzas are solid and come with the added benefit of being good for the planet — insofar as the restaurant uses upcycled ingredients throughout the menu.
- Smish Smash: Smashburgers, beef tallow fries
The lacy-edged burgers from Smish Smash topped our list of the best bites we ate at last year’s festival, so you can bet we’ll be back this year for more.
- Ashes & Diamonds (VIP)
Though it’s accessible for VIP ticketholders only, Ashes & Diamonds will be a popular option for fans of winemakers Steve Mathaisson and Diana Snowden Seysses, who offer a portfolio of elegant and balanced Napa wines.
If you can pop up to BloodRoot’s uber-cool Healdsburg tasting room, do. In the meantime, you can sample this value-driven label from Noah and Kelly Dorrance of Reeve Wines at Outside Lands.
- Jolie-Laide (VIP)
Cult-favorite natural producer Jolie-Laide is working on a Sonoma winery, which makes this Outside Lands appearance a chance to get a taste for Bay Area residents unfamiliar with the tiny company’s hard-to-find offerings.
Dokkaebier is the AAPI-owned Bay Area brewery inspired by Korean culture and folklore. It’s a good chance to try the beers if you haven’t yet stepped foot into Dokkaebier’s new Oakland taproom.
These two prominent Bay Area cocktail bars will be offering cocktails with food pairings next to the Cocktail Magic stage.