Gone are the days when music festivals had a few greasy chipper vans to provide sustenance for the thousands of revellers. Nowadays, there’s almost as many food stalls as bands playing – and there’s no better festival for food lovers than Electric Picnic.
So here's your helpful nudge towards 10 must-visit stalls at this year’s Picnic.
‘Hangover Food’ – Theatre of Food
We'll start with the big one.
Grub at Electric Picnic isn’t just grabbing stuff off lads in vans – there’s a whole ‘Theatre of Food’ in the Mindfield area, with three days of cool seminars, cooking demonstrations, and chats with top chefs from Ireland and abroad.
At EP, Sunday morning is always the trickiest for feeling Death’s clammy hand on your shoulder, so the ‘Hangover Food’ demo at noon should be just the trick. Chef Áine Maguire and food writer John McKenna will demonstrate some fix-me-up recipes to get you set up for the final day’s madness.
Kinara Kitchen of Ranelagh and Clontarf is the undisputed foodies’ choice at EP.
Winners of the McKenna Best Festival Food for the last two years, they serve up simply world-class Pakistani fare. It beggars belief that they can produce such quality in the middle of a field in Laois, but it’s true. Try their Chicken Tikka Biryani or the Buttermilk Fried Chicken. You’ll thank us later.
Bad Boys BBQ
Let’s face it – many people are tired of pulled pork. You can’t take a stroll around Dublin without someone shoving a pulled pork wrap in your face (not literally, but give it time).
However, the old favourite also pulls (sorry) in the crowds at EP – and the finest proprietors are the Bad Boys BBQ. Usually set up next to the Trailer Park area, this is the place to go if you’re craving a pulled pork sambo. Lovely smoky goodness.
Another Dublin restaurant converted into a festival favourite for the weekend is SABA. They’ve been wowing customers on Clarendon Street for years with their mouth-watering Thai and Vietnamese dishes.
Happily, their brilliant food also translates perfectly into a festival environment. Phuket Noodles or Chicken Massaman Curry recommended for your main – but save room for the SABA wedges with a yellow curry sauce. Dream stuff.
Caution: There Will Be Queues. Brilliant word-of-mouth reviews are the absolute key in a field full of hungry Picnickers – and these guys are one of the most highly-rated vendors in Stradbally.
Every pie on their menu does the job, and the handy boxes act as decent mess-avoiders. Try the Shamrock Pie (beef & Guinness), or the Chicken of Aragon (chicken, bacon & tarragon sauce).
Wok n Roll
I know people who love Wok n Roll so much, it’s their designated go-to area if they split up or get lost at a festival.
“Ah no worries, sure you’ll find me at Wok n Roll.”
And with good reason – these guys produce class Asian food at very reasonable prices. Check out the Chicken Pad Thai with Cashew Nuts, or the Prawn Tempura with Sweet Chili.
Who says you should miss out on the most important meal of the week, just cos you're at a festival?
With a pretty slick-looking menu pulled together by Crepes and Coffee and Adare Farm, this is probably where you're gonna want to be on Sunday morning... if you're not learning the art of hangover food, that is.
Crepes in the City
If you need a break from the savoury delights, there’s also plenty of choice for dessert. A good ol’ fashioned sugar rush is ideal if you start to flag in the afternoon at a festival. Crepes in the City is your best bet for a sweet treat.
Familiar to anyone who frequents the Dun Laoghaire Sunday Market and the Temple Bar Food Market, they serve up amazing crepes freshly-made in front of your hungry eyes. Try them with Nutella spread – heavenly.
Dave’s Wood-Fired Pizza
Regular punters at Marlay Park, Georges Quay and Terenure Village Markets will be familiar with Dave’s Wood-Fired Pizza. Baked from home-made in 60 seconds, these classic sour dough pizzas have delicious fresh ingredients, and are reminiscent of proper Italian stuff (none of this thick base nonsense).
Their sweet potato fries are also well worth the extra couple of Europeans. You need those carbs for energy, ya hear?
You know the feeling – you’ve tried the fancy pants Asian stuff, the artisan Middle Eastern places, fla fla fla – but now you’re ready for a big, juicy fuck-off burger! A proper burger.
Well, you’re in luck. Drumanilra Farm literally won awards for their 100% Dexter Beef burgers at EP last year. The smell coming out of this place would be enough to keep you there all day, straining to listen to bands in the distance. Make this joint the first place you go if you’re burger-hunting.