How to score a reservation for Coachella’s most exclusive Michelin pop-up

Michelin-starred Camphor is bringing two VIP-exclusive pop-up food experiences to Coachella 2023.
Michelin-starred Camphor is bringing two VIP-exclusive pop-up food experiences to Coachella 2023. The family-style tasting menu will offer French- and South Asian-influenced dishes including gunpowder gem salad, rib-eye with choron, and asparagus maltaisse. The walk-up window will feature the bistro’s off-menu Le Burger.

There’s no going hungry at this year’s Coachella Music Festival. Attracting a city’s worth of people to the Indio desert over two April weekends, the once-indie festival has long expanded its reach into mainstream territory. More recently, it’s become a verifiable food festival within a music festival.

For scale, the first Coachella Music Festival was held in 1999 and attracted just 25,000 attendees over two days — they lost so much money that first year that the festival was scrapped in 2000, returning for its second year in 2001. In 2022, following a two-year pandemic hiatus, 750,000 festival-goers returned to a sold-out Coachella over two back-to-back three-day weekends. This year, in addition to performances from artists like Bad Bunny, Burna Boy and Björk, you’ll also find large-scale art installations, sustainability initiatives, an undefined component called the Mirage that seems to capitalize on the current NFT obsession and, of course, plenty of exclusive food and drink pop-ups to plan for.

If you’re down to splurge, one of this year’s most anticipated tickets is a VIP-exclusive pop-up from the Arts District’s newly crowned Michelin darling Camphor. The French- and South Asian-influenced bistro from Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George is bringing a prix fixe, family-style tasting menu of its most popular dishes to the festival, including a “gunpowder” (spice mix) gem salad and rib-eye with choron sauce. The tasting menu starts at $150 with reservations available via OpenTable.


Camphor also will have Le Burger by Camphor, a walk-up window for VIP ticket holders. Stave off the heat with a kiwi-cardamom slushy or soak up a day’s worth of booze with the restaurant’s indulgent burger that blends house-ground duck and dry-aged beef for a hulking patty topped with caramelized onions. It’s also offering an off-menu burger that’s inspired by another secret menu item from one of California’s most iconic drive-thrus. Ask for more details when you’re there.

Following the success of last year’s festival, Phillip Frankland Lee is returning with Sushi by Scratch Restaurants for a hidden-in-plain-sight sushi bar that will replicate the intimate, Michelin-awarded omakase experience offered at his Encino outpost, including a welcome cocktail (arrive early), 16 courses with sake pairings, dessert and a farewell cocktail. Tickets for this $395 dinner must be purchased in advance. Here’s a hint for those who score seats — look for the red door within Coachella Courtyard.

For an unforgettable, one-off dinner experience, there’s Outstanding in the Field, a 200-person, family-style dinner that’s held in the VIP Rose Garden. Beginning at sunset, each dinner will feature a different four-course menu, spanning West African, northern Mexican and other global cuisines. If you haven’t made it to the newly opened Ilé Bistro in Citizen Public Market, you can get to know Tolu “Eros” Erogbogbo, a.k.a. “the Billionaire Chef,” during Weekend 1 on Saturday, April 15, when he’ll offer dishes inspired by his West African concept kitchen. Weekend 1 also will feature Zarah Khan of Rustic Canyon on Friday, April 14, and Jared Simons of Silver Lake’s forthcoming Argento on Sunday, April 16. Weekend 2 brings Javier Plascencia of Baja California’s acclaimed Animalón and Jazamango, Australian chef Monty Koludrovic from Hollywood’s Grandmasters Recorders, and Derek Christiansen and Rene Andrade of Bacanora in Phoenix. Admission to the $350 dinner includes Aperol cocktails, beer and wine, plus access to the VIP Rose Garden the day of your dinner.

But not every food experience at Coachella requires planning ahead. The tented food vendor area Indio Central Market will feature L.A. favorites like Chimmelier’s Korean-style fried chicken, Cena Vegan, West Adams’ new maximalist den Farmhouse Thai and McConnell’s ice cream. VIP ticket holders will gain access to buttery lobster rolls from Broad Street Oyster Co., Tijuana-style tacos from Tacos 1986 and cold-brew lattes from Chamberlain Coffee. They might even catch Brandon “Big B” Tiffith, the chief marketing officer of Top Dawg Entertainment, who manages artists like SZA and Schoolboy Q, serving up four-cheese mac ’n’ cheese topped with pulled pork under his Big B the Chef alias.

Brand-new this year is a fully nonalcoholic bar in partnership with Venice’s booze-free bottle shop the New Bar. Head to the Indio Central Market or the Main Stage VIP to find a traditional bar setup stocked with brands like Spiritless, Kin Euphorics, Hop Wtr and French Bloom wine, plus alcohol-free wine and beer, canned functional drinks and Coachella-inspired mocktails.

Craving something a little stronger? Secret bars will be scattered throughout the festival grounds, including New York City speakeasy Please Don’t Tell (PDT) and the “Miami Vice”-themed Sonny’s by Attaboy. PDT is teaming up with Tacos 1986 on a margarita you can order from the taco booth. Try one of the neon slushies from Sonny’s by Attaboy — look out for the beach ball in Indio Central Market.


Take a trip to Vegas via a different desert at Roy Choi’s Best Friend, which will pop up in the craft beer barn alongside the Cabin and Houston’s Hospitality bars, with Ggiata and Taco Party providing the munchies. VIP guests can order up one of the custom cocktails from Delilah in Postmates’ Re Treat activation, where you’ll also find food from Slab and the Nice Guy.

Festival passes are required for all dining options.