The crowds and lines had already formed when I arrived at the San Francisco Street Food Festival on Saturday at 11:30am. Located in the Mission on Folsom between 22nd and 26th, the food fest brings some of the best restaurants, food trucks, and food cart vendors to one area for one day. And the best part? The plethora of both sweet and savory options were all available for $8 or less an item. The worst part? The four lane wide Folsom street was so packed it felt more like I was being herded on a crowded sidewalk. With lines extending across the street creating barricades of people, getting around was hard, but I managed to eat some good food and enjoy a sunny day in the Mission.
My first stop was Ritual Coffee Roasters. They had already sold out of their frozen coffee pops, so I opted for a regular iced coffee to start my journey.
My second stop was for a breakfast bite of Scotch egg at Chiefo's Kitchen, which specializes in West African food. Before I took my first bite, my chef boyfriend explained that I would be eating a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage and deep-fried. It was perfectly round, crispy, and delicious.
With breakfast out of the way, we decided to just stroll through looking for spots with the shortest lines, which were few.
The Southern Sandwich Company. caught my eye because of their sleek black truck. Although I was too impatient to wait in the long line I spent several minutes watching one of the chefs chop up freshly barbecued brisket. Yum!
In fact, grilled meats of all kinds were in abundance. Meat on a stick is the perfect street food. No utensils required.
Don Bugito served up wax moth larvae tacos and mealworm ice cream. A friendly lady offered to share hers, and although I declined, she let me take a picture of her once-wriggly snack.
My next stop was at La Mar Cebicheria Peruana
for yuca frita, or fried yuca, a starchy root vegetable similar to a potato. This dish is very common in Latin American cuisine, and it is oh-so-good.
My last stop, and the longest of the lines I waited in, was for lumpia
from Hapa SF. These Fillipino eggrolls are stuffed with pork and served
with sweet & sauce and mango salsa. They were well worth the 15 min
wait, which, from what I could tell, was comparatively a pretty fast-moving queue.
Even though the festival is over, there are still plenty of ways to experience great street food in SF. Check out Truck Stop SF, which hosts a rotation of food trucks daily at Mission Street between 1st and Fremont in the alleyway midblock. Trucks serve lunch Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Also try Off the Grid, which hosts food trucks all over the city, from Upper Haight to Fort Mason.