One of the biggest stars each year at the Austin City Limits Music Festival has never had a platinum record, doesn't tour in a fancy bus and has never sold out Madison Square Garden.

But make no mistake, the Mighty Cone is a rock star.

Hudson's on the Bend owner Jeff Blank, who has been curating the ACL Fest food court since the festival began nine years ago, originally created the Hot & Crunchy Chicken Cone using the breading from his restaurant's Hot `n' Crunchy Trout recipe. The fried chicken is topped with mango-jalapeno slaw and ancho sauce, wrapped in a tortilla and placed in a paper cup. The popularity of the chicken cone led to shrimp and avocado iterations and a trailer eatery on South Congress Avenue.

The Mighty Cone reigns supreme among the food offerings at the festival. Not only is the Mighty Cone No. 1, but it could be argued there is no No. 2. Blank's culinary juggernaut regularly gets double the sales of the second-highest selling vendor. Simply put, everything else is third.

But Zilker is a big park, and the massive food court offers plenty of room. Below, we offer five alternatives that will likely have smaller lines than the Mighty Cone and possibly offer a chance for diners to fall in love with a new item. Besides, if one of these vendors becomes the Next Big Thing at the festival, you can say you were a fan of them before they were huge.

Bess Bistro on Pecan: Roasted Vegetable and Black Bean Wrap

Sun, beer, countless miles of walking (not you, Chair People), you're going to be doing some damage to your body over the next few days. So you may as well do something good for yourself and eat your veggies. A spinach tortilla slathered with black beans holds crispy red peppers and zucchini. It may not be much to look at, but this easy-to-carry and surprisingly fresh snack packs a nice kick of heat. And you can feel better about yourself as you trudge home in the dark.

Enjoy with: Imperial beer and Manu Chao La Ventura (6:30 p.m. Sunday, AMD stage)

Garrido's: Pork Tacos with tomatillo Sauce and Jack Cheese

Chef David Garrido returns for his second ACL Fest and has put aside the big beef morita burrito from last year for what he does best - tacos. Bright bursts of tomatillo feel like a summertime jump through the sprinkler in this taco that features sizable chunks of savory pork. Ribbons of carrots and shreds of purple cabbage give crunch and color to the taco served in a soft, almost crepe-like, tortilla. The concoction should serve as a nice point of entry for those unfamiliar with Garrido's bustling restaurant on Nueces Street downtown.

Enjoy with: Land Shark Lager and Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses (4:30 p.m. Sunday, AMD stage)

Mandola's Italian Market: Sausage and peppers sandwich

It's almost 100 degrees. The music blares. You wander amidst a mass of humanity. Why avoid the truth? Things are intense. Time to lean into it. ACL Fest newcomer Mandola's sandwich will certainly test your limits. But for the fearless, the reward is ample. The chewy ciabatta roll is about the size of that tat sleeve on your ex boyfriend's forearm. But he was never this cheesy. Provolone sticks to both sides of the rustic roll encapsulating two Italian sausages that lay in a pile of sweet peppers as colorful as a Swiss Guard's uniform. Warning: Meal may require a siesta at Barton Springs.

Enjoy with: Widmer Hefeweizen and J. Roddy Walston and the Business (2 p.m. Saturday, Bud Light stage)

Olivia: Fried Chicken

If you've never stopped by James Holmes' South Lamar Boulevard restaurant for brunch, you're missing some of the best fried chicken in town. This weekend he brings the down home party to you. Sweet, salty and soulful like a pre-teen's church crush, the buttermilk chicken is impossibly moist beneath its rust-colored skin. The unique hue derives from a blend of soy sauce, paprika and cayenne that, with a little help from some hot sauce, packs just enough spice to keep you awake through the sermon. Holmes will be dedicating more space to fried chicken when he opens Lucy's off South Congress Avenue in a few months.

Enjoy with: Kona Pipeline Porter and North Mississippi All-Stars (6:15 p.m. Friday, Austin Ventures stage)

Torchy's Tacos: Green Chile Pork Taco

Much like the expanding homegrown chain of rockin' tacos, Torchy's presence at the festival is growing. Torchy's takes its place at the big kids' table this year, as their booth expands from the usual 10 feet to 20 feet, joining a handful of other vendors, including Salt Lick and Stubb's. That likely means quicker lines to get to this signature dish of shredded pork saturated in the delightful sting of green chiles. Cilantro and cotijo cheese balance the spice and elevate the dish that helped put the restaurant on Austin's taco map. Traditionalists take note: Only flour tortillas will be available for this dish at the fest.

Enjoy with: Redhook Longhammer IPA and Wanda Jackson (5:45 p.m. Saturday, Austin Ventures stage)

modam@statesman.com; 912-5986

Austin City Limits Festival food vendors

Amy's Ice Creams

Small Ice Cream Cup

*Large Ice Cream Cup

Floats and Shakes

Toppings

Aquarelle Restaurant & Wine Bar

*Steak Frit Sandwich

Spicy Shrimp Po'boy

French Ham & Cheese

Parmesan Pepper French Fries

Austin's Pizza

Pepperoni Pizza

Cheese Pizza

Pepperoni or Cheese Rolls

Brownie

Fresh Squeezed Best Lemonade

Lemon Lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade

Limeade

*Strawberry Limeade

Bess Bistro on Pecan

Crispy Artichoke Hearts

Grilled Andouille Sausage

Grilled Chicken and Mushroom Wrap

*Roasted Vegetable and Black Bean Wrap

Boomerang's Pies

Guinness Steak & Potato

Southwest Chicken

Thai Veggie (vegan)

Curry Veggie (vegan)

Children of the Kettle Corn

Kettle Corn

Daily Juice

Fresh Coconut Water

The Local Chill

Lemon Lime Love

Cool Hand Cuke

Freebirds World Burrito

Chicken Burrito with Rice, Black Beans ,Jack Cheese, BBQ Sauce and Grilled Chicken

Steak Burrito with Rice, Black Beans, Jack Cheese, Mild Tomatillo Sauce and Grilled Steak

Veggie Burrito with Rice, Black Beans, Jack Cheese, Mild Tomatillo Sauce with Sauteed Vegetables (vegetarian)

Double Chocolate Brownie

Garrido's

Brisket and Onion Tacos with Morita Chile Sauce

*Pork Tacos with Tomatillo Sauce and Jack Cheese

Fried Oyster Taco with Habanero Honey Aioli

Lonesome Dove Western Bistro

Wild Mushroom & Tenderloin Skewers

Truffled Mac & Cheese

Tim Love's Love Shack

*Love Burger

Cheeseburger

Kick Ass Nachos

Chili Parmesan Chips

Maine Root

Texas Cactus Pink Lemonade

Root Beer

Mexican Cola

Ginger Brew

Mandola's Italian Market

Lasagne

Muffaletta

Vegetariano

Cannoli

Italian sausage and peppers sandwich

Mangia Pizza

Slice of Pizza

Fresh Fruit with Granola

Maudie's

Beef Tenderloin Tacos

Sissy's Chicken Tender Tacos

Maida's Chicken Tender Avocado Wrap

Veggie Avocado Wrap

Odd Duck Farm to Trailer

Grilled Pork Belly Sliders

*Bacon Wrapped Sweet Peppers with Goat Cheese

Corn Salad with Grilled Ricotta

Olivia

*Fried Chicken (3 piece or 13-piece bucket)

Potato Salad

Oyster Po'boy

P. Terry's Burger Stand

Hamburger

*Cheeseburger

Veggie Burger

Fresh Cut French Fries

pureheart

*Lamb & Beef Gyros

Mediterranean Gordita (vegetarian)

Greek Salad (vegetarian)

The Salt Lick

Sloppy nachos

Sausage wrap

Chopped beef sandwich

Ribs and slaw

Snowie

16 oz Snowie

All Natural Flavored Snowies

Add Cream

Beignets

Stubb's BBQ

Pull Pork Sandwich

Sliced Beef Sandwich

Chopped Beef Sandwich

Sausage Wrap

Sweet Leaf Tea

Original Sweet Tea Mint

Honey Green Tea

Peach Iced Tea

Raspberry Iced Tea

Citrus Green Tea

Lemon Iced Tea

The Mighty Cone

Hot & Crunchy Chicken Cones

Hot & Crunchy Chicken/Avocado Cones

Hot & Crunchy Shrimp Cones

Hot & Crunchy Shrimp/Avocado Cones

Hot & Crunchy Avocado Cones

*Venison Sausage Cone

Death by Chocolate

The Best Wurst

Grilled Sausage Sandwiches served with Caramelized Onions, Hot Sauerkraut

Bratwurst Smoked Italian All Beef

Buttered Salt-Potatoes

Tiff's Treats

Warm Cookies, choose one flavor: Chocolate Chip or Snickerdoodle

Brownies

Tiffwich (Ice-Cream Cookie Sandwich)

Torchy's Tacos

Green Chile Pork

Fried Avocado

*Baja Shrimp

Wahoo's Fish Taco

Blackened Fish or Charbroiled Chicken Tacos (Two Per Order)

Blackened Fish, Charbroiled Chicken, Veggie or Bean/Cheese Burritos

Chicken Nachos

Steak Taquitos

*CRITIC'S PICK