Let’s be real: music’s most groundbreaking moments were forged in collaboration. There was 2001’s “Lady Marmalade” remake that brought all of pop’s fledgling divas together for the bop of the ages, 2008’s “Empire State of Mind” with Alicia Keys soulfully separating Jay-Z’s verses, and, of course, this year’s “Old Town Road” which melds genres to revitalize Billy Ray Cyrus’s career. Thankfully, Gov Ball, New York City’s favorite music festival, is taking a page out of these artists' playbook.

This year’s food lineup is revolutionizing the festival-food game with a veritable smorgasbord of innovative collaborations, many of which will disappear after the final headliner leaves the stage. So whether you like your chicken nuggets sandwiched between a doughnut or your pickles with a heavy helping of fried goodness, this year’s festival has something for you.

That being said, have no fear, Gov Ball enthusiasts and purists—many of your favorite vendors will return alongside some soon-to-be chart-topping newcomers to serve up their greatest hits. Luckily for you, your favorite duo is back with a comprehensive guide to the most delectable vendors at Gov Ball 2019 and we have to say is: bring on the #EEEEEATS. 

Disclaimer: The following restaurants are not ranked in any order.

1. The Melt Shop x King David Tacos

Things we stan: cheese, and lots of it. This collaboration brings together two titans of Instagram food-porn to create the rally food our dreams: loaded tater tots. That’s right—Melt Shop is frying up its signature tater tots, complete with their subtle spice, only to have them drenched in King David’s gooey queso. Expect a lot of mess, flavor, and sky-high cheese-pulls from this duo, all of which will definitely have you coming back for more.

2. Doughnuttery x The Nugget Spot

Between Sweet Chick x Milk and Cream Bar’s epic ice cream collaboration and Kung Fu Tea’s controversial Fried Chicken Boba April Fool's Day prank, fried chicken is quickly rebranding as a coveted dessert partner. Enter two leading New York City eateries on the forefront of innovation: Doughnuttery, one of New York’s hottest doughnut shops, and Nugget Spot, the mecca for chicken nugget enthusiasts. The two superpowers decided upon the “Doughnug Slider”, a sweet and savory combo featuring a classic Nugget Spot chicken nugget sandwiched between two Doughnuttery original mini donuts.

#SpoonTip: Drown your slider in maple syrup for a sweet treat, reminiscent of chicken and waffles.

3. Big Mozz X Grillo's Pickles 

Fried pickles are a staple of the signature summer fair food lineup, famous for their greasy touch and potent sour finish. In other words, fried pickles taste like a good time, and no festival is complete without them. Enter Big Mozz and Grillo’s Pickles, who have perfected the snack. Big Mozz, known for their elevated take on mozzarella sticks, will be lending their frying abilities to a delightfully sour Grillo’s cuke.

#SpoonTip: Pair these bite-sized pieces of happiness with some lemonade for the ultimate pre-headliner power move.

4. Rise Brewing X Davey's Ice Cream

An urban legend once said, upon entering Randall’s Island Park, all calories mysteriously vanish into an unknown void. So why not elevate your standard nitro cold-brew to an affogato? Treat yourself with a scoop of New York City-favorite Davey’s Ice Cream drowned in a shot of hot espresso from Rise Brewing Company. As Gov Ball suggests, you “affogato try it.”

Aside from this once-in-a-lifetime special, Rise Brewing Company will be serving its infamous sustainably sourced and organic nitro-cold brews while Davey’s serves some of its crowd-favorite ice cream specials.

#SpoonTip: Are you one of those people who hate when their food touches on a dinner plate? Sis, me too. Double fist a classic cold brew with a signature scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

5. Ramen Burger 

One of the seven food wonders of the world and a Smorgasburg icon, the Ramen Burger is making an exclusive appearance at Gov Ball you won’t want to miss. The innovative dish, created by chef Keizo Shimamoto, fuses the vibrant burger culture of Los Angeles with the authentic ramen culture of Japan to create one of the best bites in the city. The Original Ramen Burger consists of a juicy burger, secret sauce, and scallions all sandwiched between two al-dente ramen noodle buns.

#SpoonTip: If the line is anything like Smorgasburg, you can expect to wait a while. Have your squad divide and conquer, each person going to a different vendor, and decide upon a meeting spot to have your own smorgasbord of goodies.


Let’s be honest: all these savory vendors are nice, but Gov Ball is just one thinly-veiled excuse to eat dessert for every meal. This is where , the Charli XCX of food vendors, comes in. Known for their innovative cookie dough and brand teeming with all the colors, polka-dots, and neon signs a Gen Z-er’s Instagram feed could want, this mainstay of the NYC dessert scene will build a shrine to cookies in all forms during Gov Ball weekend. Expect ice cream sandwiches packed with sprinkles, dough overflowing with chocolate chips, and cookies with the ideal crunch-to-chew ratio. 

7. Cousins Maine Lobster

Let's be honest. That girl's trip you’ve been trying to plan to Portland, Maine probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Luckily, the rich and fresh flavors of the New England coastline are rendezvousing at Randall’s Island Park. Stop by Cousins Maine Lobster, one of Gov Ball’s freshmen vendors, for Lobster Tots, Lobster Tacos, Lobster Grilled Cheese, and all the lobster you can dream of. Sharpay Evans was right when she asked for “lobster imported from Maine.” Expect fresh catches and a whole lot of summer vibes.

8. Home Frite

Avery Paulen

Whoever came up with the cringy “Fries Before Guys” slogan printed on Forever 21 graphic tees was clearly thinking of Home Frite. Served in a cone and easily transportable, their signature Truffle Fries or hand-cut fries with homemade sauces are the perfect recovery food to grab between sets and share with friends. Never greasy and seasoned to taste slightly like a hashbrown, each cone of Home Frites packs endless flavors to keep you grooving through Gov Ball After Dark.

9. Wowfulls

Avery Paulen

Waffles and ice cream go together like Azealia Banks and controversy—one always chases the other. Wowfulls updates this classic brunch combo with a bubbly and light Hong-Kong style waffle. Stuffed with rich, yet simple ice cream and whimsical, colorful toppings, these cones continue to rock Gov Ball year after year. And for a good reason—they taste like distilled happiness.

#SpoonTip: Lines for Wowfulls tend to wrap around Randall’s Island, so get there early to beat all the influencers clamoring for that perfect photo of a drippy ice cream cone.

10. Souvlaki GR

After watching Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again for the fifteenth time last summer, you probably dreamed about spending your summer eating heaps of pita bread, Greek salad, and hummus and singing all of your favorite songs in Santorini. But, after all, you’re a broke college student, and the closest you’re getting to Greece is probably eating an overstuffed gyro from a street cart. Luckily, Souvlaki GR allows you to indulge in all of the fresh flavors of Mediterranean cuisine without a $1,000 plane ticket. Stop by to enjoy kebabs, gyros, and all your Greek favorites.

11. Beyond Sushi

Beyond Sushi is the restaurant version of your friend who has her life together. You know, the one who goes to SoulCycle in matching athleisure, doesn’t kill her houseplants, and went vegan before it was cool. A sushi concept praised for its ability to create authentic tastes out of a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, Beyond Sushi will be your go-to Gov Ball vendor for a tasty and healthy bite. Both refreshing and filling, these handcrafted rolls with names like "Pickle Me" and "Sunny Side" will provide a much-needed boost of energy.

12. Mac Truck

Mac Truck is exactly what it sounds like—a frill-less truck specializing in classic mac’n’cheese. Topped with meats ranging from bacon to my personal favorite, pulled pork, their offerings are, like Lizzo says, “not a snack but a whole damn meal.” Stop by their truck to load up on carbs before Tyler the Creator’s inevitable mosh-pit.

13. Santo Ceviche

Remi Wiseblatt

Tick tock, it’s skinny legend o’clock. If you’re still hoping to fit into your new Revolve bikini post-Gov Ball, Santo Ceviche is perfect for you. Rather than consume your body weight in Big Mozz, stop by and recharge with homemade ceviche, fish tacos, tostadas, and other delicious dishes highlighting the natural flavors of South American cuisine. Enjoy NJ's Taco Festival winning fish tacos from this up-and-coming sibling duo.

14. Destination Dumplings

You know that dance you do when Playboi Carti’s Magnolia comes on or you eat something really really good? In case you missed this rap legend’s set or just didn’t milly rock enough to impress that special someone, head over to Destination Dumplings. The bold flavors from their handmade pan-fried dumplings inspired by unique cultural fusions, such as jerk chicken filing with pineapple salsa and lamb gyro filling with tzatziki sauce, will have you dancing all over the place.

15. MatchaBar

Need to cool down from the oppressive rays or find your zen after experiencing the lawless “Mo Bamba” mosh-pit? Take refuge at Matchabar to cool down and re-energize with one of their refreshing iced matcha lattes before the next set. Whether it be watermelon matcha, flavored from WTRMLN WTR, or lemonade matcha, which tastes like sipping California sunshine, be sure to treat yourself with one of their signature blends.

#SpoonTip: Can’t wait until June to try Matchabar’s latest creations? You can now buy their cans on Amazon!

16. Arancini Bros

A Gov Ball veteran, Arancini Bros is back with their addicting balls of fried goodness. Arancini Bros modernizes the traditional Sicilian street food arancini—deep-fried rice balls—by mixing classic risotto with delicious mix-ins such as creamy pesto, decadent Nutella, and even macaroni and cheese for an epic cheese pull.

Like a good playlist has a mix of those iconic classics you can’t help to belt in the car or the new-releases that get you jamming, Arancini Bros' festival menu is the same way. Not only are all the classics on the list, but also an integral part of a new hit collab with Beyond Meat®️ titled “The Gov Ball & Beyond Ball”. This chart-topping single is dedicated to all of the vegans of on the festival circuit and is inspired by authentic Mexican flavors. It features fully vegan ingredients, including Beyond Meat®️, salsa, sour cream, and cheddar, all wrapped inside a vegan cornmeal crust! So... are you ready to jam?

17. Milk and Cream Cereal Bar

Remi Wiseblatt

While admittedly my childhood fantasy was marrying Zac Efron at a Bratz themed wedding reception, the more common one is sticking it to your parents and eating ice cream for breakfast. Now, you’re nearly an adult, and thanks to Milk and Cream Cereal Bar, one step closer to your fantasy.

Milk and Cream serves nostalgia on a cone or in cup, pairing your favorite childhood cereals with creamy swirls of soft serve. Each creation is decked out in a palette of pastels and tastes of the sweet milk that pools at the bottom of your standard bowl of cereal. You'll want one of these to cool down in between sets.

18. Mekelburg's

Hailing from Brooklyn, another festival freshman is here with an iconic twist on the Jewish staple dessert: chocolate babka. Mekelburg’s will be serving up their infamous menschkins, or deep fried babka poppers. These cinnamon nuggets soaked in sweet cream, dressed in crispy cornflakes and rolled in cinnamon sugar with a side of vanilla bean cream are not only the perfect festival snack to indulge in, but also the perfect comfort food for when Lil Wayne’s flight never shows up. No seriously, menschkins will take the festival scene by force, so stop by and grab a few.

19. Walter's Hot Dogs

A Westchester, New York institution and a favorite of the county’s bridge-and-tunnel crowd, a Walter’s hot dog is a window into the best parts of suburbia, where the cook-outs are long and the grills always have a row of sausages on the rack. Each hot dog is a blend of beef, pork, and veal, elevating it to rival only an original Frankie's dog. Grilled in a "secret sauce" that gives every dog a hint of sweetness, Walter's hot dogs are a beautiful kind of simple, one which is uncommon in today's Instagram-driven culinary industry. Order one simply because you should.

#SpoonTip: Make sure your hot dog is slathered in Walter’s signature mustard. Slightly spicy, it adds a nice kick to a basic lunch.

20. San Matteo

Hawking authentic Neapolitan pizza reminiscent of that time you went abroad and it totally changed you, San Matteo’s oversized pies import a piece of Italy to a city known for overly greasy and doughy slices. Chewy and seasoned with the same spices your grandmother whips out for Sunday dinner, each piece leaves you hankering for another. A staple of the festival circuit, San Matteo makes your go-to recovery food a culinary experience.

Unfortunately, the dreadful lines' waits for the ferry and through the security checkpoints were just a practice round for the main event. While waiting for food, expect lines—lots of them. Food headliners are treated with the same respect and anticipation as any music act. To reiterate, we highly recommend choosing a meeting spot to eat and each going to different vendors. This is the best way to try all the flavors of Gov Ball while saving money, time, and aggravation.

Whether you use this guide as a bucket-list, road map or suggestion, we hope it finds you well. These are just 20 of the MANY food options that await you. The full Governor’s Ball Food Lineup can be found here. Until next time...see you on the island.