New York City's annual Governors Ball pulls over 150,000 guests to Randall's Island every summer, with this year's event running from June 2nd-4th. Festivals aren't just about the music anymore; it's all about cultivating the perfect festival experience, the most important factor of all being the FOOD! Governors Ball is no exception to this trend, as festival organizers have invited some of the hottest trending food vendors around the city just for the festival.

It takes time to pick out which food line to stand on, especially when hundreds of people are on the prowl for tasty grub in between sets. We spoke to the best vendors and tasted their food and have brought it all together to give you our top picks for foods you cannot afford to miss at this year’s Governors Ball Music Festival!

The Best of the Gluten Free Options

Uma Temakeria

vegetable, pepper, chili, edamame
Rachel Eng

Home to the original Sushi Burrito, Uma Temakeria will be serving multiple variations of their claim-to-fame at the festival this year. Made to order with fresh fish and vegetables, Uma Temakeria's fare is perfect for on-the-go festival snacking, and their “fast food” model means that you’ll get your food quickly without missing a set. One burrito is filling enough for a snack; add in a classic market side like edamame and you’ve got yourself a full meal. 

Some can't miss festival menu items are:

1. “Uma-Ritto” – A salmon and tuna burrito with vegetables and a perfect tempura crunch.

2. “Tofu-Ritto” – A vegetarian’s dream burrito with a tofu mousse, seaweed salad and ginger miso dressing.

3. “Market Side of Edamame” – The classic combo of saltiness and portability to provide an energy kick for some endless dancing.

Tacombi Taco

Kiera Murphy

Tacombi Taco is committed to bringing authentic Mexican taco culture straight to your plate. From their interior décor to their recipes, they truly look to capture Mexico and create a genuine experience for their customers. They’re passionate about fresh, local ingredients and make their tortillas at home exactly how it has been done for centuries. The tacos are small enough to be just a snack, but multiple can make a great meal.

Some can't miss festival menu items are:

1. "Carnitas" – This taco of sweet and crunchy meat combined with pickled veggies is a fan fave. It’s not super spicy and there’s a great balance between the filling and the tortillas to really give you the chance to taste the various levels of flavor.

2. "Sweet Potato & Black Bean" – The combination of the sweet roasted potatoes with the salty refried beans take you away from what you typically think tacos should be.

3. "Pollo" – Our top choice of the three, the sauce on this taco has lots of spices, creating great flavor depth with the tender chicken. 

Vegetarian or Vegan? No Problem

Takumi Taco

salsa, cheese, tacos, corn
Rachel Eng

Takumi Taco excels at serving a tasty fusion of two our favorite cuisines: Japanese and Mexican. They aim to stay loyal and maintain authenticity in their flavoring, and the quality of their food stands out alongside their huge portions! There’s nothing better than sharing food with friends at a festival, and with Takumi Taco’s vegetarian take on nachos, there’s no reason all your friends can’t join in! 

One can't miss festival item is:

1. “Vegetarian Nachos” – These crispy nachos feature endless fresh veggies such as charred corn, shishito pepper, tomato, kale, edamame, brussels sprouts and napa/red cabbage topped with guacamole and a miso vinaigrette.

Arancini Bros. 

sweet, cake, pastry, bread, meat
Kiera Murphy

Arancini Bros have brought a Sicilian street food staple straight to our hands. Created out of necessity for efficiency, this easy to eat rice ball provides an individual, customizable meal. With so many flavor varieties offered for a spectrum of dietary needs and desires, there’s definitely an option for everyone here. And we love their commitment to minimizing their impact by reducing the waste they and their customers generate. You won’t be offered a plastic fork here - instead you'll be encouraged to eat with your hands, which we found to be quite an enjoyable way to experience this creamy goodness.

Some can't miss festival menu items are:

1. "Pizza Ball" – Italian Style Margherita Pizza with fresh tomato, basil and oozing cheese.                                                                  

2. "Bianco Verde" – Basil Pesto and Mozzarella.

3. "Bucatini Fritti" – Italian Style Mac & Cheese.

4. "Nutella Ball" – Rice pudding with chocolate hazelnut and cinnamon sugar. What more could you want?

They’ll also be including a vegan option on their festival menu this year. The "Kabocha Squash with Sage and Pinenuts" was at the top of our list of favorites and a definite must try for vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Incredibly creamy and bursting with flavor – this one will definitely take you by surprise. 

chocolate, sweet
Rachel Eng

Deriving inspiration from Hong Kong Gai Dan Jai Waffles, Wowfulls serves up vibrant and delicious desserts in the form of their egg waffles that are crispy on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside. These tasty desserts are absurdly photogenic, consciously vegetarian and are the perfect size to share with a partner (or two)! As a bonus, the fact that Wowfulls will be serving up only one menu option this festival go-around means that you'll get your tasty waffle in record time without sacrificing on quality or taste! 

One can't miss festival menu item is:

1. "Home Sweet Home" – A classic Wowfulls Waffle with cookie crumbs, chocolate sauce, powdered sugar, rainbow sprinkles and pocky sticks.

Comfort Eats

Melt Shop

cheese, sandwich, bacon, egg, ham
Rachel Eng

Let’s be real with each other: absolutely no one does comfort food better than Melt Shop. There is nothing more satisfying than biting into their innovative takes on grilled cheese sandwiches, their crunchiness offset by the warm gooey cheese and occasional maple bacon. Our mouths are just watering remembering it. Grilled cheese is the perfect snack food for a festival due to its small, but filling size, and dream-fulfilling taste!

Some can't miss festival menu items are:

1. “Maple Bacon” – Sweet, salty and everything gooey, this sandwich combines maple bacon, sharp cheddar and brick spread on white toast.

2. “Wisco” – Named after its Wisco-sharp cheddar, this juicy tomato and crispy buttered white toast combo is perfect for vegetarians! 

MAKE Sandwich

Rachel Eng

MAKE Sandwich serves the kind of sandwiches you want to stuff your face with the minute you hold them in your hand. Starring crispy bread, fresh meat and fresh vegetables, MAKE Sandwiches are made to order and will give you ample energy to last through hours of setlists with their generous portions. If you're going to go the carbohydrate route, MAKE Sandwich will undoubtedly  "make" it worth your while!

Some can't miss festival menu items are:

1. “Steak + Salsa Verde” – Served on a crisp baguette with roasted Tri-Tip steak, salsa verde and Tunisian olive oil dressing.

2. “Zucchini + Mozzarella” – Miso charred zucchini with the thick, fresh mozzarella “MAKES” for a great vegetarian bite!

3. “Triple Chocolate Chip Cookie” – The chocolate melts in your mouth and the salt adds a savory kick; get it, you won’t regret it.

Neapolitan Express

pizza, sauce, tomato, mozzarella, cheese, crust, dough, pepperoni, basil
Kiera Murphy

As the first eco-friendly food truck, Neapolitan Express has stood committed to creating a cleaner planet by only using the highest quality, organic, non-GMO ingredients. Don’t be mistaken by the fact that this is fast food – there is absolutely no sacrifice to the quality or taste. It’s simple, fresh and a great value for your money. The absolute best part is the crust – it is airy and soft, yet still chewy. A definite must try!

Some can't miss festival menu items are:

1. "Margherita" – San Marzano D.O.P. tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, parmesan, extra virgin olive oil.

2. "White Pizza" – Fresh mozzarella, garlic, oregano, parmesan, extra virgin olive oil.

3. "Pepperoni Paradise" – San Marzano D.O.P. tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, fresh pepperoni.

4. "The Sausage King" – San Marzano D.O.P. tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, Italian fennel sausage.

Did Someone Say Dessert?

Magnolia Bakery

milk, chocolate, sweet, cream, candy
Rachel Eng

As if you needed more incentive to visit this famous bakery, Magnolia will be debuting three brand new banana pudding flavors at Gov Ball: Rainbow, S'mores and Salted Caramel (just remember you heard the news here at Spoon University first!). Ball goers can choose up to three flavors and two toppings in each cup – more than enough dessert for you and a friend to share!

Some can't miss festival menu items are:

1. “Rainbow“ – Layers of vanilla pudding, vanilla wafers, whipped cream and confetti puts fun in every bite.

2. “S’mores” – Layers of chocolate pudding, graham crackers, marshmallow fluff and marshmallows and chocolate shavings - the taste of summer in every bite.

3. “Salted Caramel” – Layers of dulce de leche pudding, homemade salted caramel made with Maldon sea salt and salted caramel crisp pearls.

Taiyaki NYC

cupcake, cake
Rachel Eng

You’ve seen their incredibly photogenic soft serves all over social media, and Gov Ball is your chance to get your very own Taiyaki NYC matcha ice cream stuffed fish cone! The cool taste will definitely be refreshing under the scorching Randall's Island sun, and don’t underestimate the tastiness of the red bean or custard filling lurking in the cones!

Some can't miss festival menu items are:

1. “Matcha Better” – This is Taiyaki’s most popular option featuring matcha ice cream, red bean filling, cookie straw, mochi cubes and a sweet strawberry drizzle!

Wafels & Dinges

Rachel Eng

Wafels and Dinges is on a mission to bring authentic Belgian cuisine to America, one wafel at a time. The crispiness of their wafels cannot be understated, and their commitment to quality and fresh ingredients means that you get a fresh wafel every time you order. Their line service is quick and efficient, so you’ll be enjoying your wafel (or wafels) on the lawn in no time!

Some can't miss festival menu items are:

1. “Liege Wafel” – A classic Belgian wafel: soft, chewy and sweet, meant to be eaten plain.

2. “Throwdown Wafel” – One of the most popular wafel choices for good reason; its speculoos cookie crumble and fresh whipped cream led it to be the winning dish on “Throwdown! with Bobby Flay.”

3. “Chicken & Gravy Wafel” – This savory option is perfect for festival goers that are looking to fill their appetite, starring a hash brown waffle with two biscuits and a creamy chicken gravy sauce in between.

Quench Your Thirst With...

Bluestone Lane

Rachel Eng

An Aussie inspired chain seeking to bring its customers authentic coffee based experiences, Bluestone Lane is one of the brightest stars in all of NYC’s coffee and cafe scene. We were beyond impressed with the richness of their cold brew, and the quality of all their offerings is top notch! This year’s food menu aims to bring refreshing beverages in the form of juices and coffee as well as quality Aussie snacks such as lamingtons and vegemite toast among others.

Some can't miss festival menu items are:

1. “Cold Brew” – This signature drink features a triad of beans from Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, and the rich flavors give off a caffeine kick that’s prime for energizing your festival darty!

2. “Avocado Smash” – This is technically cheating since it's not a drink, but believe us when we say Bluestone Lane’s infamous avocado toast is the best in all of NYC and cannot be missed.

Matcha Bar

juice, smoothie
Rachel Eng

A vendor on a mission to spread Matcha “to the people,” Matcha Bar will be bringing their creative Matcha drinks to Gov Ball this year. If you haven’t tried Matcha before, just know once you taste the earthy, umami flavoring you can never go back! Historically, Matcha has been used to increase energy and alertness, both extremely important factors if you don’t want to snooze during those afternoon sets!

Some can't miss festival menu items are:

1. “ Harmless Matcha” – A company favorite, this drink combines the tastiness of Matcha with Harmless Harvest Coconut Water, perfect to refresh you under the dehydrating sun!

2. “Matcha Lemonade” –The signature combination of lemonade and matcha flavoring makes for a delicious drink that you can’t find anywhere else!

3. “Chai Matcha Latte” – A classic drink with a “chai” twist, expect your traditional matcha flavors with a spiced tea kick! 

CoCo & Co

chocolate, cake, candy, sweet
Kiera Murphy

If you're looking for some serious hydration, CoCo & Co will give you that taste of the tropics with some seriously delicious coconut water. Serving up individual, whole coconuts to customers, CoCo & Co's coconuts provide ample nutritious and hydrative value on top of their aesthetic appeal. Plus their custom branded coconuts are seriously Instagram worthy and will definitely get you those likes!

If you don't get a chance to visit your targeted vendors at the festival, don't fret! They all have restaurant and food truck locations that cater year round to customers. We hope that with this guide you'll be able to make educated meal decisions before the festival to minimize your time on line and maximize your time eating and swaying to the beat. Best of luck with the nom, see you on Randall's Island!

For a complete list of all the food and drink vendors that will be serving at Gov Ball click here!