THE BLOG

Outside Lands 2015 Food Awards

While other festivals fall back on fair-food staples like cotton candy, churros, and pretzels, Outside Lands takes almost as much care with its food offerings as its musical performances.
08/17/2015 03:20pm ET | Updated August 17, 2016
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

One of the many things that sets Outside Lands apart from other music festivals is its food. While other festivals fall back on fair-food staples like cotton candy, churros, and pretzels, Outside Lands takes almost as much care with its food offerings as its musical performances.

With food and drink options spread across the sprawling festival grounds, there's more than ample variety for foodies (okay, and drinkers) alike to fall in love with the gastronomic side of this San Francisco festival. But with so many options, it's important to spend your dollars (and stomach space) wisely.

In order to celebrate the best of the festival's food as well as give you a run-down of the food in anticipation for next year (yes, we're already excited), we've put together a list of food awards for the 2015 Outside Lands music festival.

Most surprising success: The donut cheeseburger

Honestly, I thought this was going to be disgusting when my friend bought it. But, alas, I was completely proven wrong -- after one bite, she assured me she was having a religious experience. Sweet and savory, for the win.

Favorite returner: Porcini donuts with raclette

A post shared by Craig (@theincredibleskulk) on

I wrote about my obsession with these savory donuts from Rich Table last year. The obsession has not dwindled.

Best bang for your buck: Stir-fry noodles

These noodles were so good (and cheap, and filling) I got them twice. In a sea of very expensive (though worth it) food selections, it was refreshing to find something that wouldn't break the budget -- a bowl of noodles was just $8.

Most enviable dessert: Chocolate-covered s'mores

Anywhere there was a chocolate-covered s'mores from Choco Lands, envious onlookers were not far behind. Can you blame them?

Best fair food upgrade: Bacon funnel cake

Oh, ya know, just a casual bacon funnel cake -- aka the most amazing dessert to appear on the Outside Lands scene. Though it may seem like I'm going back on my above fair food comment, I'm definitely not -- this is no ordinary funnel cake. It's pretty much the best funnel cake to ever exist.

Smallest portion: Poke

When you think "festival food," poke is probably one of the last things to come to mind. Though it's definitely delicious, it doesn't give you that stomach-coating effect that draws festivalgoers to heavier foods (fries, burritos, etc). Small portions and high prices make this an option best for those looking for a higher-end, lighter experience.

Best pizza: Pizza del Popolo

With many, many pizza options, Pizza del Popolo and their unique, glass-front truck stand ahead of the rest. Personal-sized pizzas freshly wood-fired are a hearty, delicious find.

Most talked-about: Pork belly burger

Pretty much everyone I know ate one of these, and then wanted to tell EVERYONE about it. Seriously, BCT Belly Burgers has some serious word of mouth PR going on.

Best in show: Malaysian nachos

A post shared by Jessica Thomas (@jesslulu) on

Okay, these totally blew my mind. The unique combination of pickled veggies, white-meat chicken, raspberry sauce and spice completely took me by surprise and had me totally, 100% obsessed. If you're going to eat one thing at the festival, make it the Malaysian nachos.