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Eating healthy at Coachella

If your idea of festival food is corndogs and funnel cake, this'll blow your mind.

Located southeast of Palm Springs, it's the festival known for flower crowns, crop tops, and big-name headliners (Calvin Harris, LCD Soundsystem, Guns N' Roses). If you're traveling to Coachella this year, you're in for a culinary surprise: The restaurant lineup has become as good as the musical one. Refuel at these five and you’ll have plenty of energy to jump around when Harris plays "Outside" (which always reminds us of cycling class).

<a href="http://www.eatatpot.com/commissary-info" target="_blank">commissary</a>

Housed in a poolside greenhouse back in LA’s Koreatown, this Roy Choi outpost does simple-but-perfect riffs on deviled eggs, avocado toast, and a wagyu burger with tomato jam. But their real talent is in their vegetable treatment: Think grilled lettuce with pear and bacon, curry cauliflower “steaks,” and charred carrots. Wash it all down with a rum-and-fresh-juice Slurricane served in a pint container.

Photo courtesy of Audrey Ma

<a href="http://www.backyardbowls.com/#about" target="_blank">backyard bowls</a>

Bowl food is big right now, and it really makes sense at a festival, where eating with a knife and fork is tricky. California-based BYB blends acai- and pitaya-based bowls in two sizes, plus steel-cut oat or quinoa porridge with cashew milk. Trendy toppings include aronia berries, bee pollen and sacha inchi, a protein-packed seed.

<a href="http://www.sageveganbistro.com/" target="_blank">sage vegan bistro</a>

Buffalo cauliflower “hot wings” and chips slathered in nacho cheese made from cashews let you get your junk food fix without feeling sluggish. For dessert, the California vegan chainlet’s raw Kind Kreme comes sandwiched between cookies from famed NYC bakery BabyCakes (also vegan), or blended with coffee, mate, chai and maca to make the caffeinated (and eye-opening) Wake & Shake.

<a href="http://pokpokrestaurants.com/" target="_blank">pok pok</a>

This Thai food empire with locations on both coasts leans on fresh herbs, chilies and lime for flavor. Their signature dish is fish sauce wings, but the menu is also heavy on salads—including green papaya, glass noodle, and grilled eggplant—as well as lean proteins like grilled pork skewers. Sit and sip a Thai basil drinking vinegar, a sweet-tart reduction that comes mixed with soda water, while you wait for your server to bring food (along with Commissary and Rosaliné, Pok Pok is one of three sit-down pop-ups this year).

<a href="http://www.sweetfinpoke.com/" target="_blank">sweetfin poke</a>

Like sushi you can eat with a fork, the signature bowls from Santa Monica’s Sweetfin have a rice base (with a greenish tint thanks to bamboo juice) that’s topped with sustainably-caught raw fish; a creamy, spicy, or sweet sauce; and add-ons like avocado, wasabi-toasted coconut, and chili-marinated oranges. Build your own and you can swap in kelp noodles or kale salad on the bottom and chopped vegetables or tofu on top.
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