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Food & Drink

Outside Lands 2023: Try food from top San Francisco restaurants

Umma, left, and Oui Oui Macaron's Basque cheesecake, right, are some of the food items that will be at Outside Lands in San Francisco this year. | Source: Courtesy Carly Hackbarth for The Standard

Thousands will soon descend upon Golden Gate Park for Outside Lands, which in its 15th year will feature a queer outdoor dance space, comedy performances and a “curated cannabis experience,” in addition to an all-star roster of musicians. And the food lineup at the city’s weekend-long summer musical festival promises to be just as notable. 

Drawing from the diverse culinary riches of the Bay Area, the gathering of some 98 restaurants and pop-ups will be serving up such delicacies as hush-puppy corn dogs, habanero pork butt fries and doughnut sundaes.

“What our restaurant partners do best is take classic festival foods, then elevate them,” said Tanya Kollar, the Outside Lands food curator since 2017. 

“This is the indulgent food you expect to see at a music festival, but done with a certain finesse that only our Bay Area chefs can bring,” Kollar said.

The taco variants alone will keep you eating for days. A “taco tour” by the Mission District-based culinary nonprofit La Cocina features three delectable versions: oyster mushroom tempura by Alma y Sazon, shrimp ceviche by Cumucha’s Kitchen and roast pork Cubano by Clandestina Cocina

The Chairman | Source: Courtesy 44 Communications

Newcomers include the buzzy Chicano pop-up My Friend Fernando and the joyful Colombian food outfit Parche. Also new to the fold is Shuggie’s Trash Pie + Natural Wine, a “trashy-glam” spot in the Mission that has attracted a cult following for its neon and fringe lamps and sustainable menu of surplus produce and food byproducts. 

“I think people are going to be blown away by the level of pizza excellence they're going to experience,” Kollar said.

Returning crowd favorites include Filipino restaurant Abacá, Vietnamese eatery Bodega SF and Daytrip, which Bon Appétit named one of its Top 10 restaurants of 2022. 

Staff from Michelin-starred Sorrel, which began as a Mission pop-up, will be on-site serving its seasonal California cuisine as well as providing a preview of the restaurant’s more casual spinoff, Moon, which is scheduled to open this fall. 

Kollar said she plans to make a beeline for Dirty Habit’s smoked duck fried rice and D.R.E.A.M.’s loaded croissant waffles.  

Of course, you can’t eat great food without drinks. The Cocktail Magic beverage program will offer craft cocktails with high-end bar snacks such as pork tocino bites and grilled king trumpet mushrooms, and Bohemian Creamery will serve an artisan cheese plate accompanied by reserve wines at its VIP booth. 

Bites will be available throughout the festival grounds in Golden Gate Park: at the Taste of the Bay Area, the VIP section and the Golden Gate Club. 

But pace yourself. With a total of 754 menu items on offer, three days won’t be enough to sample it all. 

Julie Zigoris can be reached at jzigoris@sfstandard.com