Held on Randall's Island, a sprawling park nestled between Harlem, the Bronx, and Queens, Governors Ball is the definitive, only-in-New-York kind of music festival. What you might not realize, however, is that in addition to gathering many of the year's most celebrated musicians for one memorable weekend, it also offers attendees some of the finest food options from around town.
They created these incredible looking milkshakes and made an exclusive one that was only available at the Governors Ball.
With more than 50 carefully hand-selected food vendors whose signature dishes tapped into almost every cuisine preference, no craving was left unsatisfied. We went behind the scenes to discover some of the culinary treats offered to please every palate.
1. For the seafood lover
Few things are more fitting to be served on a summer day than fresh seafood. Whether you opted for Luke's Lobster's warm, buttered bun overflowing with fresh-from-Maine lobster, or a light and refreshing tuna poke bowl from Seamore's, the options didn't disappoint. We fell hard for the trendy Sushi Burrito from Uma Temakeria, packed with tuna, salmon, carrots, cucumbers, and tobanjan mayo (made with a spicy chili bean paste). What is essentially a "giant hand roll," according to co-founder Cynthia Kuepper, is then topped with tempura crunch and sesame seeds and wrapped with handmade seasoned rice in a sheet of nori. The best part about it? Kuepper's dedication to using responsibly sourced ingredients — the fish used by Uma Temakeria is traceable and verifiable.
2. For the burger enthusiast
From the Burger Joint to the Burger Warrior, festival goers had their choice when it came to the classic beef-between-the-bun versions. Non-traditionalists found satisfaction in the infamous Ramen Burger and its noodle-based bun, while veggie-lovers were graced with by CHLOE.'s photo-worthy vegan option made from walnuts, tempeh, and lentils, then balanced with a sweet dollop of beet ketchup.
3. For those looking to carbo-load
Running from stage to stage requires plenty of energy. Enter Spaghetti Incident, with its meaty ragu or house-made chitarra topped with tomato sauce, chunks of homemade mozzarella, and fresh basil — conveniently served in a cardboard cone for festival wandering. Beecher's Handmade Cheese was also on the scene serving its macaroni and cheese, each piece of penne doused in a creamy, homemade cheese sauce.
4. For those who prefer tortillas over buns
Taco devotees, rejoice. Festival goers had no shortage of options when it came to choosing a quick bite of Mexican food to grab between shows. San Diego-inspired Taquitoria served crispy rolled and fried taquitos, while Taqueria Diana's authentic, hand-pressed tortillas wowed the crowd. Tacombi's crisp, tangy fish tacos were on hand to wake up the taste buds along with Korilla BBQ's kimchi-topped variations.
5. For the health-conscious
King of Pops was on the scene to help festival goers cool off with an array of frozen popsicles made from fresh Georgia fruit, while Australian-influenced Bluestone Lane served avocado toast — or "smash," as they like to call it Down Under — served atop hearty multigrain bread and sprinkled with flecks of red pepper. We washed it all down with the juice from Brooklyn-based CoCo & Co.'s freshly cracked coconuts, or as company founders Luke McKenna and Yair Tygiel accurately refer to it, "a tropical, hand-held vacation."
6. For the sweet tooth
"Among the most innovative vendors was Black Tap," says Alex Joffe of Founders Entertainment, producers of Governors Ball, who curated the festival's food vendors with partners The Infatuation. "They created these incredible looking milkshakes and made an exclusive one that was only available at the Governors Ball." Named the Black and White Shake, the concoction was loaded with vanilla ice cream, crushed chocolate cookies, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and garnished with a classic New York black and white cookie. If you didn't have a chance to indulge yourself at the festival, you can experience one of Black Tap's many milkshake flavors at their Soho and Meatpacking locations. But get ready to wait, as these popular desserts have New Yorkers lining up for hours to try a taste.
Governor's Ball was just one of the many events that offered dining perks to Citi cardmembers, including a $5 discount on any food or beverage purchase when using a Citi card, plus access to relax in the Citi Dining Concierge. For more information on upcoming music and dining events in your area, visit https://www.citiprivatepass.com/.