What to Eat (and Drink) at Outside Lands and Clusterfest

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Whoa, was there something in my beer? Nope, Outside Lands always delivers on the trippy lights! Photo: Tom Tomkinson.

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Rich Table’s porcini doughnuts with raclette cheese. Photo courtesy of Outside Lands.

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This will be the second year of Grass Lands at OSL. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Sis showing how it’s done (at the Hendrick’s Gin activation). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

It’s that time of the year, when you start plotting who you’re excited to see at Outside Lands (on my list: The Seshen, Childish Gambino, Leon Bridges, Yaeji, Paul Simon, Toro y Moi, Santigold, Bob Moses, DJ Koze, Luttrell) and what you’re going to eat and drink in between sets! This year, OSL runs August 9th-11th, and single-day tickets are now on sale.

The lineup of food vendors (Taste of the Bay Area) includes over 80 restaurants and food trucks, serving over 200 menu items. Newcomers include Pinoy Heritage from Francis Ang (bringing sisig fried rice and pork lumpia!), Chef Smelly’s Creole and Soul Food, Chris Kronner (Henry’s) will bring KronnerBurger, and also rolling in from the East Bay is Xolo with its creative Mexican eats, including Impossible burritos.

More burger love will come from Causwells (I love their smash-style Americana burgers), Guerra’s Quality Meats will have Toscano Sloppy Joes and vegetarian po’ boys, crab nachos from Metal + Match, Rooh will be there with a chicken tikka kathi roll, as well as Noosh with their housemade chubby pita sandwiches. Look for some Hawaiian vibes from chef Sam Choy of Poke to the Max, and Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka of Trailblazer Tavern in VIP. Also in VIP: Omakase will serve Edomae-style sushi, and A16 will be offering their wood-fired Neapolitan pies. 

You can also find treats at Outside Clams, GastroMagic, Cheese Lands, Grass Lands (look for Cannaisseur’s five-spice duck meatball sliders!), and something to drink at Wine Lands (46 wineries!) and Beer Lands (with 31 Northern Californian breweries, including newcomer Woods Beer Co., and look for the annual special edition Outside Lands brews!). Happy to hear more than half of the 125 wines on the Wine Lands menu will be priced at $10-14 per glass. Will there be more bubbles this year? A hopper can only hope. Look for some special picks from Terry Theise, bringing his selections of boutique wines from Germany and Austria this year. VIP gets some really special juice, and winemaker visits too. And swing by the 14 Hands horse trailer-turned-wine bar for some frosé (let’s see if Karl the Fog is a headliner this year).

Cocktail Magic will feature six Bay Area cocktail bars (15 Romolo, The Snug, Starline Social Club, Comstock Saloon, The Treasury, and RadHaus), and magicians (Poof! There goes your money!), and music.

There are also some liquor sponsors with booths throughout the grounds (and good deals on drinks—I hit up the Jim Beam booth daily for their Knight Rider—with Jim Beam Black Whiskey, cold brew, macadamia orgeat, and coconut milk—which gave me LIFE). Stand by for more announcements and updates!

Coming up Friday June 21st-23rd is Clusterfest from Comedy Central, with some fun culinary options and plenty of puns, including the Drunk History Beer Garden, with Al Capone’s Italian Sausage, or Alexander Hamiltots, and Agatha Crispy Battered Fish & Chips (har). KronnerBurger and Humphry Slocombe, yes. You’ll also find an international lineup, including dumplings from Bling Bling, Bulgogi Taco, Cochinita (panuchos!), Gerard’s Paella, Señor Sisig, and beef birria tacos from Tres Tequila Lounge & Mexican Kitchen. Civic Center Plaza and the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.