Essential Eats: Glastonbury 2016

Whilst the line up for Glastonbury is the most anticipated music festival reveal of the calendar year, any Glasto veteran will tell you it isn’t just about the headliners. On top of all that great music you’ve got loads of other entertainment, from circus acts to silent discos, but there’s also the food. Long gone are the days of nondescript burger vans serving soggy chips and crap meat in stale buns; the street food offering at music festivals is becoming an attraction in its own right. Here’s what not to miss at this year’s Glastonbury.

TRIED AND TESTED

Smokestak

“Like some kind of religious experience,” is the best way I can describe the beef brisket bun I had at Glasto last year from Smokestak. I would go as far as to say that it’s one of the best things I’ve ever had in my mouth: the juice from the beautiful tender meat drizzling down the side of the charred brioche bun, pickled chillies poking out – a messy affair. As all the best food is. The ribs are phenomenal too. You’re a fool if you don’t seek them out.

Smokestak
SMOKESTAK

Where? Between Leftfield, Williams Green and West Holts
Also at: Goodwood Festival of Speed, Street Food and Craft Beer Festival, Grill Stock Bristol, British Summer Time, 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix, Lovebox, Citadel, Secret Garden Party, Car Fest North, Y Not? Festival, House Festival, The Big Feastival, Festival No.6, Meatopia, On Blackheath, Hospitality in the Park, Transmission
First We Eat Words:
here

Anna Mae’s

Not tried Anna Mae’s yet? Where have you been, exactly? Macaroni cheese has had quite the surge in popularity over the last few years. You can get mac and cheese as a side at any restaurant worth its salt at any time of day and it now comes in toasties and burgers too. But Anna Mae’s are the original, the King and Queen of Mac N Cheese. They’re classic: large skillets of steaming cheesy goodness, pimped out every which way with a variety of toppings. Perfect festival food.

ANNA MAE’S

Where? Between the Bandstand and Pyramid, as well as in the Acoustic Field
Also at: Shambala, Green Man, Secret Garden Party, Wilderness, Festival No.6

Dosa Deli

The brilliant dosas from Dosa Deli were one of my food highlights last year, so it’s a good job they’re back again. The Mysore Masala Dosa with spiced potatoes and hot garlic chutney was a hit, as was the paneer Chilli Cheese Dosa with red onion, tomato and channa dhal chutney. Both served with Bombay bhel and coconut chutney (there can never be enough chutney), this veggie offering is as good as they come. The real star of the show are Dosa Deli’s onion bhajis that almost look like curly fries – definitely get these as an add on.

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DOSA DELI

Where? Williams Green
Also at: Latitude, Port Eliot Fest, Womad, Shamabal, End Of The Road,  Mostly Jazz

The Cheese Truck

You know those pornographic photos of cheese toasties? No, you do. You know the ones. The ones that are all your drunk-self dreams of? Those pornographic cheese toasties are by The Cheese Truck. The Maltby Street market favourites in the big yellow truck are serving up epic cheese toasties in not one, but two sites at Glastonbury this year, so there are no excuses for missing out. The goats cheese with honey and walnuts is beautiful, but I’m yet to try the classic cheddar that looks so glorious all over Instagram, so I’ll see you in the queue.

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THE CHEESE TRUCK

Where? Main campsite above the Pyramid Stage and Shangri-La
Also at: Wilderness, Festival No.6, Green Man, Bestival, Common People, Lovebox, Blue Dot, Port Eliot, End of the Road
First We Eat Words: here

Manic Organic

What with Glasto being Glasto, veggie and vegan food is naturally associated with the festival and has been for decades. Whilst obviously not a requirement of food traders at Glasto (hi Smokestak), the veggie food you’ll find there is so bloody good you could easily go vegetarian for days on end without even noticing you’re missing meat. Manic Organic have been trading at Glasto for something like near on 30 years, and it’s no surprise – their plates of curries and dahls are a staple, though they do salads and stir fries too. They can usually be found in Greenfields with all the brightly coloured hand drawn signs.

MANIC ORGANIC

Where? Greenfields

Crabbieshack 

A staple at Kerb, Crabbieshack‘s soft shell crab burgers are the best I’ve tried – the batter light, each burger designed with the perfect balance of flavours. My favourite is the harissa, red onion, red cabbage and pomegranate (seriously those seeds make it), but the fennel with almond, avocado and harissa is a close second. It’s also probably the quickest I’ve ever eaten a burger, it just disappears as it’s so moreish I’ve barely swallowed before I’ve shoved it in my face again. That’ll be attractive after hours of boozed up dancing in the sunshine (or mud, should we be unlucky this year)…

CRABBIE SHACK

Where? Kings Market
Also at:
Grill Stock, Boardmasters, Wilderness, Womad, Big Kahuna

ON THE LIST

No Bones Jones

Back to the veggie and vegan vibe that Glastonbury is famous for, No Bones Jones are famous in their own right with their offering of high quality food with minimum impact on the environment. Alongside curries, stews and salads there are the veggie fritters I’ve heard great things about and are definitely on my list to try. Also, a lot of it is gluten free, which I’m sure is good news to many – especially at a festival.

Where? Yeoman’s Bridge near West Holts
Also at: Eisteddfod, Tafwyl, Shrewsbury Folk Fest

Voodoo Ray’s

Pizza from East London has found its way to Glastonbury once again. I’ve not tried this one yet, but with the promise of giant 22 inch New York style pizzas available by the slice, I’ll be keeping a keen eye open for Voodoo Ray’s to soak up the cider later in the day. Certainly beats a drunk dial to Domino’s.

Where? Block 9
Also at: Lovebox, Boomtown and Citadel

HONORARY MENTION

The Breakfast Club

The guys over at Breakfast Club broke my heart a while back when they said they wouldn’t be at Glasto this year. Their epic bacon rolls got me through killer mornings last year, one of their spots being a short walk from my tent. Although consistently great in their bricks and mortar locations across London and in Brighton, there is something just a little special about that pale green van filled with people who are always ready to have a laugh with you, despite the fact they are working non stop in one of the biggest festivals going. Give them a visit at one of the many other festivals listed below instead. At Secret Garden Party and Eroica Britannia they will also have their secret bar The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town serving banging cocktails to wash your brunch down with – a clear no brainer. Say hi for me! And add hash browns to your bacon buttie – trust me.

Making lives better and tastebuds happier at: Secret Garden Party, Wilderness, Shambala, End Of The Road, Cornbury, Eroica Britannia, Beat Herder, Red Rooster.

First We Eat Words: here

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THE BREAKFAST CLUB

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