The Definitive Guide to Outside Lands Festival's Food and Beer

Article by: Adrian Spinelli|@AGSpinelli

Tue August 04, 2015 | 00:00 AM

San Francisco's marquee festival is this weekend and when you're not watching the likes of Elton John, Kendrick Lamar and St. Vincent take the stage, the Outside Lands Festival's  Taste of The Bay Area and Beer Lands offerings, make the fest at Golden Gate Park feel like a true microcosm of SF's culinary scene. 

From classic burgers to donut burgers and artisan coffee to yes, burritos, OSL's food line-up is pretty ridiculous. Meanwhile, Beer Lands features 32 (?!!?) local breweries to give you a fine craft beer experience, with no gated off areas to keep you chained to a beer garden. At OSL, everywhere is your beer garden....and food fest...and musical amazingness....and the greatest SF outdoor funhouse. 

Food Lands Highlights

Burgers From 4505 Meats

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Photo: Courtesy of Outside Lands Festival

This is a next-level burger, bar none. From the high quality beef, to the burger's housemade special sauce, to the way 4505 perfectly crisps the multi-colored sesame seed bun. As an added bonus, they'll also serve garlic chimichurri fries?! Yes, please. 

Olive Oil Fried Egg Sandwich at Il Cane Rosso

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Photo: Courtesy of Outside Lands Festival

The festival grounds open at 11 am each day and if you're one of the early birds (or maybe just one of those "breakfast all day!" people), there's no finer option than this egg, pancetta, provolone, and sweet onion butter sando from Il Cane Rosso

The "Ringmaster" Donut Burger from Straw

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Photo: Courtesy of Outside Lands Festival

Why yes, that is an organic ground beef patty, with melted cheddar and jack cheese in between a glazed donut bun! Make sure you take plenty of probiotics before tackling this bad boy from Straw . On the real though, it's all smiles. DO IT!

Secret Breakfast From Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

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Photo: Courtesy of Outside Lands Festival

My favorite ice cream in the city, Humphry Slocombe's Secret Breakfast pairs two  all-American classics in bourbon and corn flakes in an ice cream creation that's all kinds of amazing. It totally works. Trust. And if you're feeling extra saucy, they'll even scoop it into a coke float for ya!

Plantain Burrito From The Little Chihuahua

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Photo: Courtesy of Outside Lands Festival

Not only is this SF's best veggie burrito, but The Little Chihuahua's OSL version tastes JUST like the in-store version. And this is the sign of a top-notch fest food vendor. Just because it's served in mass quantities at a festival doesn't mean it has to suck. This one'll keep you full for at least a few sets. 

Texas Style Baked Potato from Beast and the Hare

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Photo: Courtesy of Outside Lands Festival

Beast and the Hare takes a the humble, loaded baked potato to a whole new level, with its steak, bacon, cheese, sour cream and chives creation. And this one's gluten free, so go crazy folks. GO CRAZY! 

Pizza from Spicy Pie

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Photo: Courtesy of Outside Lands Festival

Eating a slice of Spicy Pie at a festival conjures up fine, melted cheese covered memories of when you had one at a fest in the past. (Last year for me, it was watching Atmosphere at the Sutro Stage after running into my college roommate...SEE!) It's like eating a plate of your Grandma's pasta marinara, if your Grandma was OSL mascot Ranger Dave. Yes, a lot of festivals have Spicy Pie, but we'll still give a nod to OSL for keeping this festival culture mainstay on its food slate, even among all the other fancier gourmet offerings. 

Korritos from Seoul on Wheels

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Photo: Courtesy of Outside Lands Festival

I remember at OSL 2012 when it had just gotten dark I was starving and raced by the Food Truck Forest, only to stop in my tracks to order a bulgogi, rice, and kimchi stuffed korrito from Seoul on Wheels . I made my way to the Land's End Stage, met up with some friends, and chowed down happily while watching Stevie Wonder. So good. 

Eggplant Parm Sandwiches from Merigan's Sub Shop

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Photo by: Chef Liza Shaw

The magic of Merigan's eggplant parm lies in Chef Liza Shaw's bold and robust marinara sauce. It's how good marinara should taste and, paired with thick and melty provolone on that crispy soft roll, it's a winner. 

Iced Coffee from Sightglass

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Photo: Courtesy of Outside Lands Festival

There's gonna come a time this weekend when you're dragging ass and a big ol' cup of coffee is in order. Sightglass is synonymous with SF's artisan coffee boom, so a pit stop at their coffee stand to recharge your mind, body, and soul is highly recommended. 

The Beer

Fort Point Beer Company

The KSA Kolsch from San Francisco's Fort Point Beer Company might be favorite daytime beer. It's light-bodied but still packs a lot of flavor. Sometimes I feel like I could drink 100, you guys.  

Fieldwork Brewing Company

Here's hoping that Berkeley's Fieldwork Brewing Company is pouring their Shoreline IPA that's been making the rounds in the Bay as of late. They really know how to bring out the juicy fruit quality in the hops they use, which you can taste in everything from the Shoreline to the Continental Drift IPA and beyond. They're a fantastic new brewery. 

Anchor Brewing Company

Want to know what San Francisco tastes like? Order an Anchor Steam from Anchor Brewing Company , which has been brewed in San Francisco since 1896. Easily the most iconic brewery in the city, it's become a part of the San Francisco cultural lexicon as a fine companion for seafood, ball games, and now, music festivals. 

Half Moon Bay Brewing

We love what the good people at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company , situated along the picturesque Highway 1, are doing with their beers. The Full Swing IPA is a gorgeously tropical hop explosion and at a time when the amber ale scene is just about over, HMB's is still a worthy choice. 


Want to try the best Saison in all of the land? Then hit up Petaluma's HenHouse Brewing Company and order one. Seriously, I'll take the Pepsi challenge with their flagship beer against just about anything. 

Stone Brewing Company

Well, well, well...who went and let a brewery from San Diego into the party? Trust me, I'm not complaining, cause SD's Stone Brewing Company is a glowing pioneer of the West Coast craft beer movement. From the ubiquitous Stone IPA, to their fine Pale Ale, few can claim the influence and consistency that these guys have had within the craft beer scene. 

Adrian Spinelli is an Associate Editor at Fest300 and a San Francisco-based Food, Drink & Music Writer.