Food pairings take on an entirely new meaning when you're planning your weekend at San Francisco's Outside Lands. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with Gilroy Garlic Mac and Cheese? Perhaps Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and a zesty banh mi, or The Killers with some sweet tots -- fried nuggets of sweet potato awesomeness with a spicy blackberry barbecue sauce?
Rockers and roadies won't be the only folks rolling into Golden Gate Park on Aug. 8 for San Francisco's eclectic, weekend-long music and food fest. A small army of chefs, winemakers and brewers also will be on hand to refuel music lovers at four gourmet "lands" filled with more than 200 sipping and noshing options. So many dishes, so little time.
If you were lucky enough to score tickets, and you're hoping to hit Kanye, 4505 Meats, Arctic Monkeys and Chino's eggroll stand all at once, a little strategizing is in order. Also, really good walking shoes.
The Outside Lands website offers a handy musical itinerary planner at www.sfoutsidelands.com. We're here to help with the gourmet end.
A Taste of the Bay Area
With more than 70 restaurant food booths and food trucks, Outside Lands is a gourmet dream. You'll find trucks, carts and booths sprinkled throughout the festival grounds, but the major clusters are on the Polo Field -- so you can watch Kanye West perform on the Lands End Stage while you wait in line for something delicious -- and near Hellman Hollow field. Pick up a map when you enter. And don't worry too much about your waistline. Sprinting between stages is a calorie-burner.
What's new: San Francisco's AQ, which was named one of the best new restaurants by Esquire magazine in 2012, will be serving Highbrow Spaghetti and Sloppy Joe's, while sister restaurant TBD is doing Deviled Eggs and Grilled Lemonade. Also new: Proposition Chicken, Curry Up Now and Glaze Teriyaki.
What's hot: Chino, the new Chinese-ish dumpling shop from Tacolicious geniuses Joe Hargrave and Sara Deseran, is making its Outside Lands debut with egg rolls and Dan Dan Noodles.
Over in Chocolands, a dessert-themed village some people have described as "Night Before Christmas" meets Day of the Dead, you'll find a new Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream booth, as well as Guittard, Kara's Cupcakes and a Candybar Dessert Lounge.
What's classic and irresistible:
Yes, these vendors are there every year, but we cannot resist Homeroom's Gilroy Garlic Mac, 4505 Meats' burgers and Straw's twist on tater tots. And the Margherita pizza from the gigantic Del Popolo truck. And bao from the Chairman truck. And did we mention the Nuernberger brats and potato salad from Rosamunde's?
It's tough to miss this craft brew tent on the Polo Field, what with the 40-foot neon beer sign proclaiming "Ye Ol Beer Lands." (We bow before that truly great triple pun: ye olde, O.L. and -- bonus points for bilingual verve -- øl, the Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Icelandic word for beer.) Curated by Magnolia Brewing's Dave McLean, Beer Lands features 30 breweries -- and 64 beers and ciders.
New: Firestone Walker, Golden Road, Calicraft, Faction, Mendocino and Stone.
Hot: Cider has suddenly become incredibly trendy, with new cideries popping up left and right. So this is the place to try a few, including Strongbow Hard Apple Cider and Ace Cider.
Irresistible: Linden Street, Magnolia, 21st Amendment, right? Also unmissable: Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp on Hellman Hollow field, where you can sip an Outside Lands Saison.
Head for the richly baroque tent on Hellman Hollow to find more than 35 winemakers and 120 wines -- and a vintage sink that pours wine.
New: A dozen wineries are joining the viniferous fun this year. Among the first-timers: Calder Wine Company, Cannonball, Joseph Phelps, Red Car and Paperboy Wines.
Irresistible: Long Meadow Ranch will be pouring its organic Napa Valley kegged wine from the sink.
We'll be cruising the food scene at Outside Lands -- but we want to see your gourmet discoveries too. Share your food, wine and beer pics on Instagram or Twitter with the #OLFood hashtag.
And check out last year's Wine Lands, Beer Lands and Taste of the Bay Area in a slideshow of images at www.mercurynews.com/eat-drink-play.