Coachella Chow Down: The Eats to Expect

Delish, gourmet eats, plus a nightly Outstanding in the Field happening, dot the foodie festival calendar.

Desert Dining: You don't need to participate in too much reminiscing, or recalling of festivals of the past, to know that eating at a major concert has changed in recent years. Used to be you might grab a bag of chips at a stand outside of the venue, and maybe a soda, and that was basically your sustenance ahead of the show. That's no longer the case, very much so, now that some of California's biggest weekend-long tune extravaganzas put as much emphasis as who is doing the cooking, and cocktailing, as who is rocking the stage. The Coachella Music & Arts Festival is right up there in the tony pantheon of plate-based deliciousness, and the 2017 reveal of chefs, foodstuffs, and special dining events make the two-weekend Indio-based bash a big draw for discerning foodies. And while the stands and booths and grills will boast names and dishes many festival-goers recognize, one of the biggest food happenings isn't about a booth. It's the...

Outstanding in the Field... dinners, a nightly sit-down alfresco experience that will gather some 200 diners around an under-the-sky table for a sublime culinary experience. Different top toques'll helm the various nights, which kick off on April 14 and wrap on April 23 (like Coachella, there are six nights in all). A "(f)estival pass is required" to join, and you'll want to arrive promptly for that "welcoming cocktail." It's a swanky scene, one that elevates festival chow-down-ing to a truly gourmand level. But if you're looking for an artisan scoop of ice cream, a fancy hot dog, or a bevy of other also-stylish food choices, those will quite literally dot the festival, too (and you don't need an appointed time nor reservation to enjoy). Birdies, MatchaBar, Milk Box, and NoMad are but four of the many (many) food-excelling participants. Need to know about both Outstanding in the Field and the wider Eat & Drink scene at the April-famous festival? The info is out and piping hot.

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