The Best Things to Eat at the Coachella Music Festival

The Best Things to Eat at the Coachella Music Festival

Coachella has evolved from a music and arts festival to one that also showcases a food lineup nearly as impressive as the roster of musicians performing in the Southern California desert. In more recent years, the Coachella vegan food options have expanded way beyond dry veggie burgers and measly, overpriced chips and guac. With the famed festival returning this month after a two-year, pandemic-induced hiatus, there are more meat and dairy-free options than ever before — two times more than in 2019, to be exact.

Fully 60 percent of all food vendors on the sprawling festival grounds are offering plant-based dishes and out of just under 60 total restaurants on-site, 10 are completely vegan. To celebrate the occasion, we’ve rounded up the best vegan snacks you can find on-site — from spicy jackfruit tacos to matcha soft serve. Try to catch them all. And, even if you’re not attending the festival, remember that you can find many of these vendors at their brick-and-mortar and pop-up restaurants throughout the year. 

Vendors marked as 12 Peaks VIP are only accessible to those with VIP tickets. There are plenty of other vegan and veggie spots available, including Monty’s Burger, Slutty Vegan, and Trill Burgers, but we’re focusing here more on quick bites rather than burgs. 

Cena Vegan Cena Vegan specializes in burritos and tacos filled with richly flavorful vegan carnitas, al pastor, carne asada, pollo asado, barbacoa, and birria. At the festival, they’ll also be serving theirnacho boat — a pile of tortilla chips loaded with the plant-based protein of your choice, refried beans, pico de gallo, guac, cashew crema, and salsa.

Backyard Bowls In the mood for something lighter, and fruit-forward? Head to Backyard Bowls and ask for their nutrient-packedPower Bowl, a blend of organic acai, blueberries, and banana topped with almond butter, more blueberries and banana, hemp seeds, and Santa Barbara honey. (12 Peaks VIP)

Post & Beam L.A. restaurant Post & Beam is acclaimed for its Southern approach to seasonal California cuisine. And at Coachella — weekend one, only — they’ll be dishing theirvegan crab cakeswith spicy kale slaw, served with black eyed pea hummus and aioli. (Weekend 1 only)

Bridgetown Roti Weekend two festival goers should consider themselves lucky, and get on line for Bridgetown Roti. The order? Chef Rashida Holmes’s delectablechanna and sweet potato roti, which is vibrant in both color and flavor and stuffed with coconut chickpea curry, fried cauliflower, spiced turmeric slaw, cilantro, and scallions. (Weekend 2 only)

Dayglow x AWAN The L.A. and Chicago-based coffee shop Dayglow is collaborating with the innovative Indonesian ice cream brand AWAN on two non-dairy soft serve flavors —coffee and matcha— to deliver refreshingly energizing sweet treats.

El Chino Grande El Chino Grande is the San Francisco-based chef Chris Yang’s Taiwanese pop-up that borrows from Hawaii and other Asian cuisines. The dish to try here is calledYuba N Rice: sesame seasoned yuba sourced from Hodo Foods and served with short grain rice, cabbage slaw, and pickles. (12 Peaks VIP)

Lettuce Feast Lettuce Feast is bringing its plant-based soul food to festival goers with VIP wristbands, and theirchick’n fingersare the indulgent snack you’ll want after a day of dancing. Thick strips of vegan chicken are marinated in “special” seasonings, hand-breaded, and fried in refined peanut oil to delicious results. Cajun fries, pickles, and your choice of dipping sauce all come with.(12 Peaks VIP)

KogiAlthough the exalted Kogi truck is known for its Korean tacos, they also make veganspiced fries, which will be available on-site at Coachella. And these aren’t any old fries; they’re beer-battered and tossed in Kogi chili salt then served with sriracha ketchup. (Indio Central Market)

MANEATINGPLANTYou know what’s an excellent, satiating snack? Noodles. Good thing chefs Candice Tzeng and Phil Kwan of Asian vegan food truck MANEATINGPLANT will be serving their signature, freshly madegarlic noodleslaced with shiitake mushrooms, Chinese broccoli, pickled mustard greens, crispy shallots, and chili oil. (12 Peaks VIP)

Vibe Organic Kitchen Vibe Organic Kitchen is not only vegan, it’s also entirely gluten-free. At the festival, you can get theirtacos— which come on homemade heirloom corn tortillas — in two flavors,spicy jackfruit carnitasandroasted butternut squashfinished with pico de gallo, guacamole, cashew-lime crema, and pickled onion. (12 Peaks VIP)

Ramen Hood Ramen Hood will be on-site doling bowls of ramen noodles in sunflower seed and smoked onion broths. But if that feels too heavy for your snacky mood, call for an order of theirspicy tater totstopped with the restaurant’s signature spice blend, togarashi, and vegan sriracha mayo. 

Sunny Blue Omusubi, also known as onigiri, are stuffed rice balls sandwiched in seaweed that fit perfectly into the palm of your hand. They are Sunny Blue’s specialty. Vegans should spring for the fragrant and tartshiso-ume, which incorporates fresh shiso leaves and a paste made of the Japanese pickled plum. (12 Peaks VIP)

Sus Arepas Don’t overlook the vegan version of Sus Arepas’s griddled, stuffed Colombian wonders. Black beans lay the groundwork for fat slices of caramelized sweet plantains and sliced avocado, all stuffed into a fluffyarepa.

Sweetfin Not all poke must be made with fish, in fact, some of the best versions are plant-based. Sweetfin knows this, and will be offering their wholesomesweet potato bowlat Coachella. It starts with earthy forbidden rice then adds diced sweet potato, avocado, cucumber, edamame, napa cabbage, daikon sprouts, scallions, and sesame, and a ponzu lime sauce. 

All Dat Dim Sum This dim sum is all that. Particularly the cloud-likeveggie bunsstuffed with mushrooms and mixed veggies. They come two to an order, but you might want to double up.

Broad Street Oyster Company Those with VIP tickets cannab a reservationat Broad Street Oyster Company’s pop-up restaurant, wherevegan lobster rolls made with hearts of palm are on the menu. (12 Peaks VIP)

Craig’s Vegan The vegan ice cream brand from celebrity hot spot Craig’s will be scooping five flavors on-site, both in the VIP section and from a cart in the Rose Garden. For something tangy and sweet, try theSunset & Strawberry. Better yet, combine it with the peanut butter-basedKursten’s PM Krunchfor a PB&J-style experience.

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