Add These Food and Drink Vendors to Your Governors Ball 2023 Itinerary
Gov Ball has way more than just music.
These days, the food and drink vendors at music festivals are nearly as exciting as the headlining acts. If you’re headed to Governors Ball this year, you probably have plans to secure a spot to see Lizzo on Friday and sneak your way up front for Kendrick Lamar on Saturday. But do you have plans for how you’re going to tackle all of the incredible food and drink options?
Beyond an impressive lineup of musicians, the three-day festival—which will be hosted at Flushing Meadows Corona Park for the first time this year—also brings together more than 40 food vendors, including famed NYC spots offering everything from donuts and ice cream to popular street food vendors and IG-famous mozzarella sticks. The festival also has plenty to sip on, and concertgoers can stay refreshed with offerings like a classic Aperol Spritz straight from Aperol, Bacardi's GovBall Punch, margaritas from Patron, or even a signature Gov Ball Summer Ale by Blue Point Brewery. With so many great options to choose from, here are the best things to eat and drink at Governors Ball this year.
It’s about time The Halal Guys, perhaps the most famous street food vendor in NYC, set up shop at Governors Ball. The chain is known for plates of beef gyro, chicken, and other proteins over rice, and the most beloved ingredient is the yogurt-like white sauce that douses each platter. When you see that iconic red-and-yellow striped umbrella—on the streets or at Gov Ball—you know you’re in for some quality eats.
This famous purveyor from Maine serves the best lobster rolls south of the pine tree state. At Governors Ball, the Luke’s Lobster stand will be in the VIP Area so they’re only available to special ticket holders. But it may be worth the upgrade to try your choice of mayo- or butter-tossed lobster served on a toasted roll.
With locations at Chelsea Market, Smorgasburg, the Grand Bazaar, and Queens Night Market, it’s no wonder Mao’s Bao has quickly become a local favorite. The menu consists of two types of dumplings: Jiao Bao (pan-fried buns) and Jiaozi (boiled dumplings). Each variety comes with additional options for fillings like pork, vegetable, lamb, and the plant-based meat used for Impossible Burger.
You probably recognize these mozzarella sticks from your Instagram feed. Big Mozz, a food truck and pop-up by founder Matt Gallira, has been a staple at Smogasburg, Chelsea Market, and more venues around the city since it launched in 2015. Now, you can get an order of classic mozzarella sticks with a side of marinara sauce at Gov Ball.
This isn’t just an average dumpling spot. Destination Dumplings’ co-owners Tristan Chin-Fatt and Deon Whiskey set out to create dumplings that celebrate the cultural diversity of NYC, so expect options like Peking Duck with hoisin, cucumber, and scallion oil or Jerk Chicken with pineapple sauce and more.
Known for its mini doughnuts in a variety of fun flavors, Doughnuttery offers the perfect sharable sweet treat. Some of the classic flavors include Powdered Sugar and other signatures like Fruity Cereal, Salted Caramel, and PB&J. Plus, the shop always mixes in a few seasonal options.
Dyckman Dogs is coming from Inwood to Queens to serve up hot dogs with creative toppings. The famed hot dog joint’s namesake dish comes topped with buttery corn, bacon, scallions, and Venezuelan shredded cheese, and other options are inspired by different destinations. Expect offerings like the Venezuelan Dog with cabbage, tomato, white onion, Venezuelan cheese, potato sticks, and house mayo; or a Texas Dog with homemade chili, melted cheese, fried onions, and scallions.
From the owner of La Newyorkina (another Gov Ball vendor), Fany Gerson’s wildly popular Bed-Stuy donut shop will be on hand for its trademark Mexican- and global-inspired flavors. Fan Fan’s signature flavors include Mexican Cinnamon Sugar, Mango Lassi, and a Spain doughnut that channels the taste of churros dipped in chocolate.
With the motto “all juice, no cups,” John’s Juice offers fresh fruit drinks served in watermelons, pineapples, and other creative chalices. At Gov Ball, the shop will offer four options including the Pineapple John (pineapple juice served in a hollowed-out pineapple); along with additional varieties like the Watermelon John, Coconut John, and Fruit Salad.
Since 2010, Fany Gerson has been on a mission to share the “sweetness of Mexico” through paletas available on La Newyorkina’s website and pop-ups and kiosks around town. From fresh Hibiscus Paletas to Chamoyada (a mixture of shaved ice, sorbet, and slushy that transforms mango, chamoy sauce, and salted chili into a new-aged ice cream sundae) there’s an icy Mexican treat for every palate.
Husband-and-wife partners Andrea Meggiato and Michelle Jimenez-Meggiato are putting a spin on classic pizza by baking it in tiny, cupcake-sized bites. The Pizza Cupcake’s signature dish comes in sets of four, and each “cupcake” is made with fresh mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, a brioche and sourdough hybrid dough, and the option to add pepperoni or stick with the classic Margherita.
As one of NYC’s top pizza joints, Roberta’s burst onto the Bushwick dining scene more than a decade ago and it’s grown more beloved with every passing year. For Gov Ball, Roberta’s will be slinging its signature wood-fired Neapolitan pies with signatures like the Bee Sting, which comes topped with soppressata, chili flakes, and honey.
This family-owned restaurant has three locations around the city and a food truck offering up a “little taste of Mykonos in the heart of NYC.” Souvlaki GR is known for souvlaki, gyro, and kebab, and previous Gov Ball offerings have included pitas in two sizes stuffed with chicken, pork, or veggies; and Greek fries topped with feta and oregano.
Typically found at Chelsea Market and other food halls around the city, this unique eatery blends Mexican and Korean flavors to create truly unexpected dishes. The menu of tacos, salads, burritos, and bowls at Takumi Taco includes options like Japanese Curry Beef tacos served on crispy gyoza shells and Teriyaki Bowls with edamame, sesame seeds, and the spot’s signature slaw.
If you’re looking for killer burritos, nachos, or tacos to carry you through to the next set, look no further than Taqueria Diana. The NYC favorite has three locations around the city serving up California-inspired Mexican fare, so expect Mission-style burritos and nachos piled high with cheese, beans, salsa, and your choice of meat.