There are so many reasons to go to the San Francisco Street Food Festival it's hard to know where to start. First and foremost, for just a few dollars (nothing is over $8) you can eat things you love like chicken wings, cheeseburgers and ice cream to things you may not have tried before like chicken mole croissants or wax moth larvae tacos(!) The festival takes place in the Mission district along Folsom Street between 22nd and 26th. It begins at 11 am and goes until 7 pm. It's also a fundraiser for the presenter, La Cocina.
La Cocina is a non-profit incubator that has helped many successful local food businesses get up and running and the festival showcases many of the entrepreneurs in their program. Some of their graduates include Clairesquares maker of the highly addictive milk chocolate crunchy oat flapjacks, Azalina's luscious Malaysian food an Off The Grid stalwart (and featured in Bon Appetit not long ago), and Kika's Treats. Cristina aka Kika is currently offering a gooey Brazilian cheese (gluten free) bread you must try. Other clients include Donna of Love & Hummus. Her organic hummus is silky smooth and comes in unique flavors including my favorite, roasted lemon and thyme. More favorites? Anda Piroshki and El Huarache Loco who makes the antojitos or Mexican snacks that Alemany farmer's market shoppers adore (count me among their fans).
You will also find some famous local and not-so-local restaurants at the festival too. Been dying to try the food at Flour + Water, Commonwealth, Wise Sons Deli? They will all be there. Last year I fell hard for the chicken wings from Nombe, the succulent cheeseburger from 4505 Meats and the matcha gobs from Gobba Gobba Hey. I have no idea what will win me over this year but I can tell you I am planning on trying the banh mi taco from the Peached Tortilla from Austin TX, La Victoria Bakery pan dulce (you may have read that Luis Villavelaquez has revamped the recipes), Beijing's lamb skewers and the sweet potato pie waffle with bourbon caramel sauce from Pinx. Plan ahead by perusing the full list of vendors.
Last but not least, the festival could just as easily be called the International Street Food Festival. There will be food from all over the world with vendors who are originally from places like Japan, Russia, Malaysia, Mexico and Africa. If you still need encouragement, check out the slide show to see just a few of the smiling faces and to get a preview of the ridiculously delicious food. See you there?
Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer
Bay Area Bites (for vegetarian only picks)