It's festival season here in Bay Area, and the culinary events keep coming fast and furious. This Saturday, 80,000 hungry people will descend on the Mission for the fifth annual San Francisco Street Food Festival, the La Cocina-run event that celebrates all things eaten with your fingers while standing on a sidewalk. There will be more than 80 vendors on hand, about half from La Cocina's culinary incubation program. We've broken down some of the highlights by category; you can also check out all the vendors on the event's website.
There's an embarrassment of taco riches. Pick from Don Bugito's wax moth larvae tacos; Azalina's penang peanut taco (scallion flatbread, chicken curry lardon, coconut jam); Senor Sisig's sisig taco; Namu's Korean taco served on seaweed; Maya Luna's tilapia tacos; Chaac Mool's cactus salad tacos; El Pipila's deep-fried potato taco; Kung Fu Tacos (chicken or veggie) topped with hoisin sauce; and El Huarche Loco's tacos with bacon, beef, chorizo, and mozzarella.
Another popular category, with options like A16's porchetta sandwich; Central Kitchen's "pig & bunny" banh mi; El Nuevo Frutilandia's traditional Cubano; Hella Vegan Eats' doughnut burger with beet patty; Brass Knuckle's buttermilk fried chicken sandwich; Hapa Ramen's chicken teriyaki sandwich; Taino's slow-cooked pork sliders on Hawaiian sweet rolls; and Zella's Soulful Kitchen's buffalo blue fried chicken sandwich.
It wouldn't be S.F. with at least one pickled item. At the festival there will be several: Aedan Foods' pickled vegetable cup and fermented bento box; Central Kitchen's fermented pickles; Il Cane Russo's spicy pickled quail egg; and Jarred SF Brine's fried pickled green beans.
Most vendors are serving interesting drinks along with their bites, including Nombe's virgin hibiscus sangria; Radio Africa Kitchen's hibiscus lemonade; Minnie Bell's watermelon sweet tea; Alicia's Tamales pineapple agua fresca; Cholo Soy's chicha morada (blue corn drink); Curry Up Now's rose-mango lassi; Kika's Treats' Brazilian hot chocolate; and Blue Bottle's New Orleans-style iced coffee.
There are also all manner of meat skewers, tamales, ceviches, dumplings, and desserts in store. Luckily, there's a handy free app to track everything.
The festival will take place on Saturday, August 17, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., on Folsom St. from 20th to 26th, 21st and 25th from Treat St. to Shotwell St., as well as the Cesar Chavez Elementary School parking lot, Parque de los Ninos Unidos and Jose Coronada Playground. Come hungry, obviously.