Good Taste: A Vegetarian-Friendly Street Food Fest

Food news and views on the Bay Area's most surprising flavors

By Tamara Palmer
|  Friday, Jul 27, 2012  |  Updated 3:57 PM PDT
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Good Taste: A Vegetarian-Friendly Street Food Fest

Tamara Palmer

Lali's vegan kidney bean dip, a staple bite from the country of Georgia.

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On Thursday night, the San Francisco-based non-profit food business incubator La Cocina held a media preview of the fourth annual San Francisco Street Food Festival, which takes place on the streets of the Mission District from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on August 18.

The main event features more than 80 vendors including food trucks, restaurants, caterers, and newly-formalized food businesses spread out over a six-block square. This year's edition has an even more global variety than ever before, including vendors from Nigeria, Columbia, and Ethiopia.

Last night's teaser provided a surprising insight that vegan and vegetarian-friendly food is going to have an increased presence this year as well. Pad thai spring rolls from East Bay pop-up Hella Vegan Eats and a kidney bean spread from Lali's, a caterer specializing in food from the country of Georgia, were highlights of the tasting.

Carnivores, fear not — there will still be meat at every corner (literally). And we tried some creatively carnivorous bites last night including a chicharrones-crusted cherry tomato from Jarred, an artisanal pickle producer from San Francisco and a guacamole-dressed pork slider (lomito) by Sabores Del Sur, a Walnut Creek-based catering company that's a staple in S.F.'s Alemany Farmers Market.

Festival attendees will find food on Folsom Street from 20th to 26th Streets, 21st and 25th Streets from Treat to Shotwell Streets, and the Cesar Chavez Elementary School parking lot, Parque de los Ninos Unidos and Jose Coronada Playground.

It sounds like a lot of space, but it all fills up quickly, so go early to get your pick of food and the smallest wait times. This is an especially smart idea if you're driving, but taking public transportation is highly recommended for this event. If only to enjoy the wide variety of interesting alcoholic beverages on offer.

Read more from Good Taste here.

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