2024 Coachella food lineup is stacked with heavy hitters from L.A.'s dining scene

Every year L.A. empties out for two back-to-back weekends when more than 100,000 festival-goers head to the low desert for Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

While last year's lineup was an unapologetic celebration of Latin music with Bad Bunny, Kali Uchis, Rosalía and more, this year's festival, which takes place at Indio's Empire Polo Club April 12-14 and April 19-21, places an emphasis on L.A.'s homegrown talent, including headliners Tyler the Creator and Doja Cat, and legacy bands Sublime and No Doubt.

Read more: Lana Del Rey, Tyler, the Creator and Doja Cat to headline Coachella 2024

The just-announced food and beverage program takes the same inspiration, with several L.A. concepts popping up at the festival for the first time. Chef David Kuo launched his globally inspired Fatty Mart in Sawtelle in May and will be bringing his neighborhood market to the festival with grab-and-go items as well as made-to-order dishes such as orange chicken, a Philly cheesesteak with Taiwanese flavors and dan dan chili fries.

Other newcomers to the festival include Pies and Lows by Food Network chef and personality Aaron May, with pizzas inspired by this year's music lineup; DogHaus, with hot dogs, fried chicken, burgers and plant-based options, all wrapped in grilled King's Hawaiian buns; and beloved Indio deli TKB, with stacked sandwiches served on house breads.

At the Craft Beer Barn, refreshing pours of favorite local beers will be paired with more L.A. concepts making their first festival appearance this year. Chris N Eddy’s is a slider joint in Hollywood, while Mano Po will be popping up with modern Filipino bites. Hailing from Compton, the Goat Mafia will be serving its traditional birria with an L.A. bent.

Returning to the Craft Beer Barn is the Cabin from Houston Hospitality, which offers a transportive mountain atmosphere with craft cocktails on tap.

Over the years, Coachella's ticketed food events have garnered almost as much attention as the musical acts.

Outstanding in the Field is returning with its multi-course, family-style dinner that begins at sunset in the VIP Rose Garden, with different chefs taking over the menu each night featuring seasonal produce supplied from local family farms such as Weiser, Aziz and County Line Harvest.

On Weekend 1, Tijuana-based chef Javier Plascencia will bring the flavors of his Baja California restaurants to Outstanding in the Field's communal table, including pescado zarandeado, whole fish slow-roasted over wood fire, on Friday, April 12. Australian chefs Jo Barrett and Josh Niland are teaming up for dinner on Saturday, April 13; and L.A. pitmaster Burt Bakman will close out the festival's first weekend with Texas-style smoked meats on Sunday, April 14.

Outstanding in the Field's Weekend 2 lineup includes "Top Chef" winner Ilan Hall of Ramen Hood in Grand Central Market, on Friday, April 19; chef Gabe Kennedy of Highland Park's Checker Hall taking over the menu on Saturday, April 20; and Karla Subero Pittol, who will close out the festival on Sunday, April 21, with the open-fire cooking that's turned her Chainsaw pop-up into a citywide hit. Tickets for Outstanding in the Field include all-day access to the VIP Rose Garden on the day of your dinner and a complimentary Aperol Spritz to kick off the night.

For a taste of Italy in the desert, make a reservation for Aperol Terrazza, located in the 12 Peaks VIP area. The golden-hour experience runs daily 4-7 p.m. and is crafted by Samuele Silvestri, executive chef of the Terrazza Aperol in Venice.

VIP ticketholders can also take advantage of on-the-spot offerings from vendors in the 12 Peaks VIP area, including Prince Street Pizza, which is celebrating the launch of Grimes' and artist Anyma's new song with "The Last Pizza," featuring its pepperoni-loaded and diavolo-sauced pizza drizzled with hot honey. Sweetfin will be on hand with California-inspired poke bowls and burritos; Tacos 1986 will be folding Tijuana-style tacos; Melrose restaurant Ronan will be firing up blistered Neapolitan pies; and Bang Bang Noodles will be hand-stretching Szechuan garlic noodles. Catch a caffeine buzz courtesy of Abel "The Weekend" Tesfaye, who partnered with Blue Bottle on Samra Origins, a product line that celebrates Ethiopian coffee culture.

Also in the 12 Peaks VIP area, things could get messy with the Sauce Bar from Postmates, which invites guests to load fries or tater tots from Irv's Burgers with sauces from L.A. restaurants including Bludso's BBQ, Monty's Good Burger and Prime Pizza, as well as a limited-edition vegan ghost chile sriracha sauce made in partnership with producer Benny Blanco.

For festival attendees who are skipping the booze, Coachella has again partnered with the New Bar, a spirit-free bottle shop with locations in Venice and West Hollywood. The non-alcoholic shop from Brianda Gonzalez will help festival-goers fight their thirst with a curated selection of alcohol-free spirits, wine, beer and ready-to-drink beverages, as well as specialty NA cocktails concocted just for the festival. Find them at the 12 Peaks VIP area and next to the Outdoor Theater.

In between acts, one of the best ways to hide out from the punishing desert sun is to unearth one of Coachella's secret speakeasies. This year, you'll find all of them within Cocktail & Dreams, a 21-and-up, hidden-in-plain-sight destination that includes PDT Tropical, an off-shoot of New York City's PDT (Please Don't Tell) and Miami Vice-themed Sonny's by Attaboy.

For quick and easy-to-find options: Indio Central Market is back with 15 restaurants under one massive tent with plenty of seating. Take a tour of the food hall with loaded Korean BBQ fries from chef Roy Choi's Kogi taco truck, a cup of Volcano noodles topped with fried chicken from chef Kasem Saengsawang's Farmhouse Thai Kitchen, a smashburger from Burger She Wrote or go green with cold-pressed juice from #Juicebae's bar.

Many L.A. restaurants, including Kogi BBQ, have appeared for multiple consecutive years.

"Sure, it's long hours, hot, finding places to stay is a hassle, traffic, staying hydrated, staffing correctly and making sure our team gets rest and is taken care of. All sorts of operational gymnastics," Choi said. "But just like gymnastics, all the hours and years of training and preparing lead to you sticking the landing and hopefully you're smiling and exhilarated as the desert wind blows across your face on that last set on a Sunday night and it's all worth it."

Tickets for Coachella Weekend 1 are sold out, though there is a waitlist. Tickets for Weekend 2 are still available.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.