San Francisco's Street Food Festival — sister event to Oakland's Eat Real Festival — will turn three of the Mission's best-known unlicensed food hawkers legit for a day. As part of the August 22 festival, Crème Brulée Cart, Sexy Soup Lady, and one of the neighborhood's bacon-wrapped hot dog vendors will sell food they've prepped at La Cocina Community Kitchen, the small-business incubator for low-income minority women.
La Cocina director of operations and festival organizer Caleb Zigas, who calls the unpermitted food sellers “informal vendors” — suggested that legitimizing the food sellers would have an educational component. “We're all about showing people it's possible to make the transition from the informal to the formal economy,” Zigas told SFoodie.
The daylong Street Food Festival is set to take over a closed-off block of Folsom between 25th and 26th Streets, and will include a beer and spirits garden. Besides the unlicensed vendors, there'll be food from La Cocina's two-dozen client businesses, and eats from a handful of city restaurants. So far, Zigas told SFoodie, Poleng Lounge, SPQR, Heaven's Dog, and La Mar Cebicheria Peruana have all committed. The festival is technically free, but food will be for sale, either through cash on site, or via ticket books (called Passports) ranging from $50 to $150.