It’s that time of year again, where what seems like the world’s twitter and instagram feeds are filled with artsy photos of festivals and holidays, and this year I’m no different! I was lucky enough to be successful in getting Glastonbury festival tickets for the third year in a row and, from the outset, fully intended to begin a festival food mission. Ever since my first visit I’ve been continually impressed by the sheer variety of dishes available at Glastonbury and I would even go as far to say that food comes second only to the music during this festival for me. It truly is amazing the high standard of food created here, and all cooked up in the middle of a field! If you’ve been this or any other year I hope you recognise a few of the stalls, and if you’ve never been maybe this will prove a useful guide to my recommendations of the best food for the best value. I can’t exactly remember all the prices of the meals I have eaten, however for the best volume/quality/price ratio, expect to pay between £5 and £8 for a main meal.
You will undoubtably come across many, many Mexican style food stalls at festivals. The barrage of burritos, quesadillas, nachos and chillis will keep you in latin food for the entire festival, if you so wish. However the Mexican stall (the one with the large cactus on top) not too far up from the pyramid stage is by far one of the best I have tried. For the best value for money meal, I would opt for the super nachos, as they are extremely filling and give you the best variety of what is to offer. The salsa is particularly lovely, not watery or lacking in flavour but very moreish and strong with the flavours of tomato and coriander. This stall also serves the greatest variety of veggie and vegan burritos which, for me, makes a refreshing change from the slightly ambiguous ‘veg’ that many alternative stalls offer.
There are also a fair few stalls that will advertise the ‘best veggie burgers ever’ as you wander round the festival, however I would say that this place is as close to ‘best’ as you can get. While I haven’t managed to find anything akin to a GBK or Cock’s and Cows (see last post) style burger at Glastonbury, I do really love the ones from this stall. I usually go for the spicy bean burger, as I really can’t resist anything with beans in! There is also a balti burger that looks just as delicious. You choose two toppings from the selection, including garlic mayo (no brainer), salsa, mango chutney, olive tapenade and satay sauce. For the spicy bean option I would recommend garlic mayo and salsa as perfect burger accompaniments! Served in a wholemeal roll with plenty of soft lettuce, generous helpings of sauces and organic to boot, you can’t really ask for much more.
If I had infinite money then I would of course eat three meals a day from the wonderful choice of stalls the festival has to offer. However my poor student budget dictates that for every day except one I eat my sad little cereal bars or multipack brioche to start the day. On the one day that I do not have this slightly anticlimactic start, I went for what I honestly believe is the best veggie breakfast at Glastonbury, Tapas breakfast! This gem of a stall is situated near West Holts (where some of the best food stalls are!) and although their actual tapas is average, their tapas breakfasts are delicious! Plenty of little herby potatoes and beans to keep you going, served with an egg, veggie sausage, spinach and tomatoes. Extremely filling and a perfect start to a day of music!
This stall has become a real Glastonbury classic for me. Deep fried halloumi with plenty of crunchy salad, garlic mayo and sweet chilli sauce, all served in a soft tortilla wrap. What more could you possibly want? If the premise of deep fried cheese isn’t enough, this stall is right next to the pyramid stage, so you can munch your way through one of these (be prepared to get a little messy) whilst waiting for those headliners. I’m yet to find a stall with a similar product to compete with Oli’s, making this one a must for everyone! If you think you don’t like halloumi, this stall is still worth a go as the cheese is not at all rubbery or too salty, just warm and mild and completely delicious! However we did find that this year, as the picture shows, the halloumi was a little overcooked. This is disappointing but not disastrous, I would still fully recommend a visit!
Barnaby Sykes Pies
This year more than any other, I noticed more pie and mash stalls popping up all over the place. Having been left previously unimpressed by Pieminister pies, I saw the spicy butter bean (yes, it’s spicy beans again) option on the menu of this stall and decided to give it a try. You choose between mash and chips as a side for your pie, and there is even vegetarian gravy! I went for classic mash and gravy and it was really tasty, I was very impressed as a half decent vegetarian pie and gravy combination is quite hard to come by in such a meat saturated style of food. Although I am yet to check out Tom’s Pies I have been assured that they give this place a run for it’s money, so if you love a good pie then I would visit both and enjoy delicious pasty, mash, gravy and tomatoey, spicy beans.
The Peckish Peacock
It’s hard to miss the beautiful front of this stall near West Holts, and the food does not disappoint. I went for the pakora snack box, and I can honestly say that they were the best pakoras I have ever had. Deliciously mild in flavour, crispy but not overcooked and served with plenty of mango chutney. My friends went all out for the peckish peacock special box with chickpea and spinach curry, cumin rice, pakoras, mini poppadoms and mango chutney. I tried some of this and the curry was one of the best I’ve tasted. The spices were very mild in spice but extremely flavoursome and savoury, if I had been feeling more hungry then I would have gone for this option, as there was tonnes of food for only £3 more than my pakora option, definitely worth it! It’s hard to believe that all the menu options for this stall are vegan with how amazing they taste, but they are, and many are also dairy free. An absolute gem!
I think falafel comes second to Mexican in very popular festival food. There will be many stalls offering falafel, some good, some bad, some average so choose wisely! This year we discovered a particularly yummy version whilst searching for shelter from a sudden rain shower near The Park stage. I went for the classic falafel and houmous combination, but the red pepper and feta also looked really tasty! Served in a warm pitta with plenty of salad and a very nice little yellow chilli, it’s hard to beat a good falafel on a rainy afternoon! I didn’t manage to take a photo of the front of the stall in the rain, but try wandering in that area and you might just find something delicious.
I’ve visited this stall every year for one reason amongst many: sweet potato chips. These chips are so amazing that I could easily eat them everyday, but for the sake of variety I have to restrain myself. You can choose between garlic mayo, BBQ sauce and other toppings for your chips and they really are some of the best I have ever had. This year I also chose a veg curry, which was advertised as being served in a wrap but apparently is not, which caused a little confusion. The curry itself was really yummy, served with rice and beans and a crunchy salad. Plenty of food for a good price, really delicious. This stall is also open late and situated in Silver Hayes, perfect for those late night hunger pangs on the trek back to your tent!
Cheese on Toast
This is a new discovery for me, and probably not the best value for money but a really nice treat. This stall is only small and I found it on the way to the Other stage, the large capital letters spelling CHEESE were all that was needed to make it my number one choice for a snack. I went for the classic cheese, cheddar on sourdough toast with worstershire sauce. This is perfect cheese on toast, the cheddar and sauce compliment each other wonderfully and the sourdough bread is really tasty, if you’re craving something cheesy then this is definitely the stall for you!
There are hundreds of food stalls all around the festival and each year there are always a few that I miss out on, so here are a few that come recommended by my fellow festival goers!
Veggie Mexican near the Park stage
Greenpeace Farmers Market – The focaccia is particularly good
Pizza to the People (pictured below)
West Holts – By far the most densely good-food populated area!
Chip stall in a caravan by William’s Green – Served in a cone with plenty of cheese
My main piece of advice for festival food would be to discover your own favourites too. Take a wander round on the first day and keep in mind some of the places you’ve seen, you never know what you might find!
If you have any recommendations I would love to hear from you, comment with your favourite places!