SF Street Food Festival masses feasting at Cesar Chavez Elementary School
SF Street Food Festival masses feasting at Cesar Chavez Elementary School.

The 3rd annual San Francisco Street Food Festival, hosted by La Cocina took place on Saturday August 20 in the Mission District.

La Cocina is a non-profit incubator kitchen that provides affordable commercial kitchen space and industry-specific technical assistance to low-income and immigrant entrepreneurs who are launching, growing and formalizing food businesses.

The proceeds from the festival help support La Cocina’s efforts as well as generate revenue for the vendors.

Due to the continuing street food trend, an increase in local food truck vendors, and the lessons learned from previous years, this third season proved to be bigger and better than ever. And although it was quite crowded the increased space, additional vendors and added accommodations seemed to be able to handle the masses. Of course, people still had to wait in line but there seemed to be more strategic planning that went into creating dedicated eating areas once food was acquired. There was also an array of entertainment to consume as well: bands, dancers, DJs. And non-edible items to purchase: shawls, I Cart Street Food garb and Mexican wrestler masks. Kid-friendly spaces were taken into account along with chain-link fenced areas to contain the 21+ drinkers. SF Bicycle Coalition was on top of bike parking and La Cocina enlisted a massive crew of volunteers to help make the festival a success.

Here are some moments captured over the course of the day:

2011 San Francisco Street Food Festival Slideshow 18 February,2012Wendy Goodfriend

  • Captain Pantelones

    Absolutely nightmare. It was RAMMED by noon and there seemed to be no advance planning on line management; etc., to enable people to move through. Instead we got a massive shovefest that was entirely inappropriate for anyone (like us) with kids.

    The little food we tried was grossly overpriced and imminently sub-par. In particular, Zare at Fly Trap served us two scrawny lamb “tacos” for EIGHT DOLLARS and, no lie here, the corn tortillas were not even cooked. They also sold us a cucumber-based drink that tasted like a cup of simple syrup.

    I had purchased tokens for beers, but when I went to try and spend them I was told (rudely) no babies in the beer garden. One wonders why the woman sold them to me when I had a baby in my arms during the purchase transaction. And NO, I don’t want “some other merchandise” in lieu of a refund. I want my money back so I can get the hell our of this ridiculously overcrowded, overpriced waste of time!

    Will NEVER return.


Wendy Goodfriend

I am the Senior Interactive Producer for KQED Food. I have designed and produced food-related websites and blogs for KQED including Bay Area Bites; Check, Please! Bay Area; ┬áTaste This; Jacques Pepin’s websites; Weir Cooking in the City and KQED Food. When I am not creating and managing food websites I am taking photos and video of Bay Area Life and designing online navigation systems. My professional education and training includes: clinical psychology, photography, commercial cooking, web design, information architecture and UX. You can find me engaged in social media on Twitter @bayareabites and on Facebook at Bay Area Bites. I can also be found photoblogging at look2remember.

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