Been to the SF StreetFood Festival (231/366)

231SFStreetFoodTop“We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly.”
~ Anna Thomas


Today, we went to La Cocina‘s 4th Annual San Francisco Street Food Festival in the Mission.  La Cocina is a San Francisco “business incubator” whose mission statement is to “to cultivate low-income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses by providing affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance and access to market  and capital opportunities.  We focus primarily on women from communities of color and immigrant communities.  Our vision is that entrepreneurs will become economically self-sufficient and contribute to a vibrant economy doing what they love to do.”  Awesome!  The SF Street Food Festival is one of the ways these local culinary vendors can get their name and delicious food out to people, and everyone can come sample many different flavors and preparations from many different regions of the world!

The festival has no entry fee, as it is held in an open area taking up several blocks of Mission street.  Each vendor has basically three offerings, to keep things simple: “Little Bites” that were just a few bucks, “Bigger Bites” which were a bit more substantial, and non-alcoholic beverages that usually fit the theme of their cuisine.  You can pay cash here, but when you buy a “Passport” like we did in advance, you get “Passport bucks” good for all of the vendors, and you get some extra bucks to spend as a bonus.  With so many delicious options and a passport full of festival cash, it was hard to choose and not go crazy!

We started out with Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas.  These were pretty good, but since we were there right as the festival began, unfortunately I don’t think these got to warm through thoroughly.
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After walking around a bit more, the people at Lali’s were so cute (“Have you had Georgian food?  Come try, you’ll love it!  The best!”), we had to try their Georgian chicken blintzes with salsa.  These were different, and tasty – but a little pricy at $8 for two.
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Cool – an Off the Grid truck was there (*the* street food truck party people), as was a truck from one of my favorite companies, Just Wink – they make hilarious and awesome greeting cards.
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When we first arrived, not all the booths were completely set up, and we got to have a nice stroll along the street, checking everything out … but it definitely filled up as the day went on – and lines got LONG!
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The Southern Sandwich Company had an East Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich and Pepper Jack Mac that we could not pass up – these may not have been exotic, but they’re some of our biggest faves.  Yum.
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To escape the crowds and have a seat for a while, we headed over to one of the bars that were set up for the festival.  We had some refreshments and enjoyed the sun.  There was a large bar area in the middle of the festival (where we were), and a beer garden at one end.  As the day went on, we saw the beer garden got pretty packed and it was a bit annoying, but it was okay.  Hopefully next year they’ll space these areas out a bit more – since you can’t walk around with alcohol outside the designated drinking areas, and there were only two alcoholic spots, they got more and more filled with people who maybe should have been *eating* more.  Ha ha ha!
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We thought “Rice Paper Scissors” was a cute name, and grabbed a few of their Beef Pho Rolls and a Vietnamese Iced Coffee.  Delicious!
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We did NOT get any “Hella Vegan Eats” … but DID stop by to say hello to our favorite meat magicians at 4505 Meats and picked up some of their ridiculously wonderful, melt-in-your-mouth Chicharrones.
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We also stopped for a little coffee at Blue Bottle and picked up a massive Saffron Snickerdoodle Cookie.  Mmm.
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After our stroll, we were ready for some more serious noshing.  And what better place to help us with that than Wise Sons Jewish Deli?  We got a gorgeous Pastrami Sandwich, and just went all out, adding a huge slice of Chocolate Babka and an Egg Cream.  Oy vey!  So good it was terrible!
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Finally, we spent our last passport bucks on a Sweet Potato Pie Waffle from Pinx.  These were lovely way to end our epic day of fantastic flavors.
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The SF Food Festival was a great event – I was glad to see so many local vendors, and to be able to get to support them and try so much of their outstanding offerings!  We will definitely be back next year.  Can’t wait!


Related Links:
La Cocina
Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas
Off the Grid
Just Wink
Southern Sandwich Company
Rice Paper Scissors
Hella Vegan Eats
4505 Meats
Blue Bottle Coffee
Wise Sons Jewish Deli

One Response to “Been to the SF StreetFood Festival (231/366)”
  1. Ying says:

    What a food feast – and fun! Maybe I can get T to walk down to the Mission with me so we can play too.

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