Memorial Day Weekend is just around the corner, which means it’s time to ring in the warmer weather with Boston Calling. It’s been ten years since the festival first rolled into the city, and now the event at the Harvard Athletic Complex not only spotlights some of music brightest talents — with Foo Fighters, the Lumineers, and Paramore headlining on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday respectively — but also 20 local artists. And of course, a ton of food from 29 area restaurants is music to the taste buds.
Check out the full 2023 Boston Calling dining lineup below:
New Hit Singles (festival newcomers)
- Lily P’s Fried Chicken & Oysters: This Cambridge eatery specializing in (you guessed it) fried chicken and oysters (including roasted beauties with scampi butter) bids a temporary adieu to the bivalves and focuses on its stellar sandwiches for the weekend. On offer are the classic “Chris P” sandwich with lettuce, tomato and mayo, along with the Lower Broadway which features Nashville hot chicken, plus chicken tenders, ranch fries, and a load of other goodies. Must-munches also include the fried apple hand pie with an irresistibly gooey middle.
- Dumpling Daughter: You could hit up Dumpling Daughter’s three restaurants in Brookline, Cambridge, and Weston, plus order up a host of their frozen Chinese dumplings and buns to your door and likely still want more. Find the crowd-pleasing pan-seared chicken dumplings at the festival, plus Coco’s rollup (beef shank wrapped in a crispy scallion pancake) and heavenly pork buns.
- Che! Empanada: Empanadas just might be the perfect festival food — just think how perfectly portable they are — and this Argentinian restaurant with spots in Cambridge, Newtonville, and Worcester delivers with can’t-put-it-down flavors. Options range from the beef classico with ground beef with egg, onions, red bell peppers, and scallions, a spicy chorizo option. Plus, vegetarians rejoice: The spinach and cheese option skips the meat, not the flavor.
Other newcomers include:
- Blackbird Doughnuts: The perennial donut favorite, perfect for late breakfast.
- The Broadway: Southie’s loved comfort-food spot.
- El Jefe’s Taqueria: The Harvard Square based Mexican eatery that focuses on street food
- Flour Bakery + Cafe: Joanne Chang’s “how are these sticky buns so addictive” beloved bakery.
- Fresh Boston: A Southie spot specializing in sandwiches, soups, salads, and bowls.
- Naco Taco: Serving up tacos and tortas.
- PieSons Pizza: Slinging Italian wood-fired pizza and more.
Classics (returning vendors)
- The Chubby Chickpea: Serving falafel, shawarma and more.
- Chicken & Rice Guys: A local favorite selling halal street food, including generous chicken plates.
- Dean’s Concessions: Carnival favorites like burgers, fries, and cotton candy.
- The Farmacy Cafe: Rice, salads, plus rice bowls and waffles with a host of toppings.
- The Flatbread Company: Specialty wood-fired flatbreads, including dairy-free options.
- FoMu: Plant based ice creams and other frozen treats.
- Greco: Greek favorites, including gyros stuffed with fries.
- Jaju Pierogi: Polish pierogis, ranging from classics to modern interpretations.
- Love Art Sushi: Poke bowls with fresh tuna, salmon, and more.
- Mamaleh’s Delicatessen - The Jewish deli staple also showcases loaded latke fries topped with pastrami, Swiss, and Russian dressing.
- Moyzilla: Dumplings alongside sides including fried rice and wok noodles.
- Rice Burg: Rice bowls and “burgers” made with rice patties instead of buns.
- Roxy’s Grilled Cheese: The grilled cheese favorite returns for a tenth year in a row.
- The Sausage Guy: Sausages, hot dogs and more from the Fenway Park fixture.
- The Smoke Shop BBQ: Finger-licking barbecue bites.
- Tasty Burger: The local legend slings burgers, loaded fries and lots more.
- Top Shelf Cookies: A cavalcade of loaded cookies.
- Trolley Dogs: Gigantic hot dogs with all the fixings on toasted sub rolls.
- Walloon’s: Hand-breaded fried chicken sandwiches and fries.
Hall of Fame (Platinum dining options)
Platinum ticket holders can savor an array of delights from local culinary rock stars, with different chefs each day hitting the culinary stage.
- Friday: Phil Frattaroli (owner of Ducali, Cunard Tavern, Caffé Ducali, and the Pine Bar) and Carl Dooley (Mooncusser). Dooley dishes include shrimp ceviche with tomatillo and tortilla chips; grilled jerk pork loin with mango chutney; fried plantains with pickled lime crema; tres leches cake with macerated strawberries.
- Saturday: Colin Lynch (Bar Mezzana, Black Lamb, No Relation, Shore Leave), with dishes including shucked-to-order oysters with mignonette and green chili sauce; clam chowder; lamb sliders with pickled red onion and spicy whipped feta; Black Lamb’s chocolate chip cookies.
- Sunday: Will Gilson (chef/partner of Café Beatrice, Geppetto, the Herb Lyceum, the Lexington, Puritan & Co., Puritan Oyster Bar). Karen Akunowicz (chef/owner of Bar Volpe, Fox & the Knife Enoteca and Fox Pasta Co.) and Molly Dwyer (Bar Volpe’s chef de cuisine) serve dishes including farro arancini with orange blossom honey and Parmigiano; Taleggio-stuffed focaccia; fried calamari and shrimp with basil aioli and Calabrian pepper; porchetta crostini with salsa verde, grilled bread and gardinera.