San Francisco's chillier answer to Coachella, Outside Lands, kicks off Friday afternoon, and having missed last year's fest due to unforeseen circumstances, SFist will be returning to the festival grounds in Golden Gate Park. We've done a lot of these — ten of them, in fact, all but 2018's — so allow us to give you some tips and highlights, in our role as old pros.
In Part One of our guide to Outside Lands 2019, we're focusing on the food and beverage array — the other sorts of edibles, and vape-ables, etc., in Grass Lands may or may not be for sale... we'll see in the next day or so. [Update: Cannabis sales are a go!]
And FYI, unlike in previous years, tickets to Outside Lands are still available — both three-day GA and VIP, and single-day ($155), though Saturday single-day GA tickets have sold out.
Since the first Outside Lands in 2008, this has been a bougier-than-average music festival with its own San Francisco brand of food-item curation. For years, festival-goers have been able to enjoy pastrami reubens from Wise Sons, fresh-out-of-the-oven wood-fired pizzas, porcini doughnuts from Michelin-starred Rich Table, and other things you don't find at the average music festival like banh mis, crab fried rice, or Malaysian lamb curry sandwiches. This year, Rich Table is back with those doughnuts, Mozzeria and A16 will be doing the wood-fired pizzas (A16 is only in VIP), and Little Star will be slinging deep-dish slices as well. Also, Chris Kronner of Berkeley's Henry's/Kronnerburger will be serving up his excellent burgers, Causwell's will also be serving burgers, Woodhouse Fish Co. will be doing barbecued oysters and lobster rolls outside of Wine Lands, and Little Skillet will be bringing back their chicken and waffles. Aaand there are trucks, including popular ones like Curry Up Now, Senor Sisig, and The Chairman.
New this year are two more Michelin-starred spots: Sorrel, which will be doing fried chicken sandwiches with jalapeno slaw; and Omakase, which will be serving chef's selection sushi boxes and negi toro hand rolls in VIP.
And we can't forget Cheese Lands, the devoted area for cheese vendors and tastings, which includes selections from Napa's Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant.
A total of 85 vendors, including some food trucks, will be serving their stuff, so it will be impossible to go hungry — and you will find yourself wishing you had more time between sets to graze.
Check out all the vendors and what they'll be selling right here.
As in past years, the drinks are divided in several categories, with basic beer and wine available from vendors on the main polo field and a few other places, but specially curated craft beer, local wine, and craft cocktails all being served in special locales throughout the grounds.
New this year is Polynesian Dave's — a special Tiki bar separate from the Cocktail Magic area, which is being hosted by Castro area bar Last Rites, the Tiki spinoff of Horsefeather.
In the Cocktail Magic area, just up the hill from the Gastro Magic stage and among the trees, there are six participating local bars. The bars and cocktail offerings are:
Euphegenia's House Cup: Hendrick's Gin, Pimm's #1 Cup, Lemon, Ginger Syrup, Angostura Bitters
Pod People:Don Julio, Cold Brew Concentrate, Vanilla Hidalgo Triana Pedro Ximenez, Lava Salt
The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of: Bulleit Bourbon, Cherry Brandy, Lemon, Angostura, Prosecco
Six Demon Bag: Bulleit Rye, Sweet Vermouth, Peychaud's Bitters, Orange Bitters, Celery Bitters
Radhaus (new)Santa Mira Spritz: Hendrick's Gin, Pür Zamaro, Rhubarb, Lemon, Seltzer
Black Blood Of The Earth: Ketel One Vodka, Haus V8 (Bavarian Mustard, Kraut Saft, Tomato, Beet,Carrot, Horseradish)
Starline Social Club (new)
Gracie Law: Don Julio Blanco, Cinnamon Syrup, Grapefruit, Lime
Run By Fruiting: Ketel One Vodka, Strawberry Syrup, Peach Liqueur, Falernum, Pineapple, Lemon
The Snug (new)
Spade & Archer Sangaree: Ketel One, Cocchi Rosa, Watermelon Juice, Lemon, Salted Simple, Vanilla
Space Flower: Don Julio Blanco, Lime, Passion Fruit, Aperol, Giffard Banana Liqueur, Soda
The Treasury (new)
Angel Island Chrysanthemum: Ketel One Vodka, Strawberry Shrub, Manzanilla Sherry, Lemon, CaneSyrup, Peychaud's Bitters
Pork Chop Express: Hendrick's Gin, Lapsang Souchong, Pineapple Gum, Lime, Honey Syrup
Wine Lands has been a fixture since the first Outside Lands in 2008. The large tent that sits apart from the big stages features 39 wineries pouring tastings and full pours of multiple wines each. (Additionally, there are seven more wineries pouring in VIP.) Because this is a music festival with a ton of ABC oversight, the tasting pours aren't free — they range between $2 and $5 usually. And because this is a musical festival, a full-size, double-pour of wine (8 oz.) will run you upwards of $20. But for the winos out there, it's well worth it not to have to drink the schlock they serve in the main beverage vending booths.
This year's array of wineries includes longtime Outside Lands favorites like Copain, Preston, Long Meadow Ranch, Unti, and Scharffenberger Cellars, as well as new ones like Saison's wine venture Saison Cellars, Ram's Gate, and Navarro - Pennyroyal Farm. In VIP, Scribe will be pouring the good stuff, as well as Lorenza Rose, CrossBarn, and Arnot-Roberts. See the full list here.
30 Northern California breweries are participating in the craft-beer tent at the festival this year, almost all of them returning from previous years. These include SF favorites like Fort Point, Almanac, 21st Amendment, Seven Stills, and Laughing Monk, as well as East Bay stars like Calicraft, Drake's, East Brother, Faction, and Old Kan. New this year is Woods Beer Co., which has locations in SF, Oakland, and on Treasure Island.
The GastroMagic Stage
Also unique to this festival — though they do something similar at BottleRock — there's a stage devoted to chefs and food, though it's typically some mashup/pairing of a chef with a band or performer.
Highlights this year will include Rupaul's Drag Race All-Star Alyssa Edwards doing a song-and-dance with SF chef and Top Chef contestant Melissa King; The Counting Crows' Adam Duritz emceeing a demo by chef Susan Feniger of LA's Border Grill and Too Hot Tamales; Rich Table's Evan and Sara Rich making porcini doughnuts with Dillagence; Bon Appétit's Editor-in-Chief, Adam Rapoport, and Test Kitchen stars Andy Baraghani and Molly Baz being joined by Silicon Valley's Jimmy O. Yang to "create a dish of epic proportions"; and LA's Roy Choi who'll be leading Anderson .Paak through two vegan recipes "rooted in their shared LA experience," followed by a performance from The Free Nationals. See the full lineup and set times here.
Stay tuned tomorrow for SFist guides to Outside Lands logistics, and music highlights.