Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Plan Your Day at the SF Street Food Festival

The biggest problem with food festivals, aside from the ability to move after all the eating, is figuring out a plan of attack that leaves your legs fresh and noshing varied. Seven blocks of street food in the Mission await hungry visitors to the San Francisco Street Food Festival this Saturday, and to help you come up with your game plan festival organizers have published a map and vendor list broken down by block.

Not only that, but menus with prices from most of the vendors are also published to the same page, and no item is over $8. That's a good thing, too, because credit cards will not be accepted at all. It is hoped that by accepting only cash or prepaid passports and limiting vendors to two or three items each, the anticipated crowds descending on the La Cocina-produced event will move through the lines quickly.

There's even a tool to compile a list of places you'd regret missing. You can take the resulting URL and access your list on any web-enabled device, like a smartphone. Or you can be old-fashioned and print out your list, too—if you're into that sort of thing.

Entrance to the third annual San Francisco Street Food Festival, taking place from 11 AM until 7 PM, is free, which maximizes your ability to spend your money on the almost 70 vendors.

So what looks good to eat? In short, everything! In addition to San Francisco street food stalwarts like the Creme Brulee Cart, Southern Sandwich Co. and Curry Up Now, brick-and-mortar restaurants such as Flour + Water, La Mar Cebicheria and Osha Thai will present their takes on street food. The festival will also play host to invitees from six other cities across the United States. The Peached Tortilla from Austin, the "Sainted" Arepa Lady from New York, Big-Ass Sandwiches from Portland, Ingrid's Lunch Box from Madison and Skillet Street Food from Seattle join L.A.'s Global Soul and Seoul Sausage Co. as vendors bringing their street food to the Bay Area.

Seoul Sausage, one of the winners of the Vote Your Vendor competition, joins Rau Om, Pinx and MAD-Abroad as recipients of shared booth space and free La Cocina prep time. For all four small food businesses, this is the first opportunity to sell on such a wide scale to Bay Area foodies.

If you need some help deciding what stands to hit during your journey, take a look at our tasting notes from the San Francisco Street Food Festival media preview event. And lastly, read our feature on Alicia's Tamales Los Mayas. Owner Alicia Villanueva will be selling her Mazatlan tamales at the festival as a preview of her carrito launching soon at Justin Herman Plaza.

San Francisco Street Food Festival (@streetfoodsf)

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