La Cocina's SF Street Food Festival keeps getting bigger each year. Gearing up for this Saturday's (8/20) third annual street food extravaganza, prepare for a takeover of numerous Mission blocks (free admission, with food for purchase under $8). This year there was an early sneak peek for media and select guests. There will be much to love at this year's festival. Many food truck and street food favorites return, plus Ferry Plaza stars like Namu. Just a few stand-outs the new-to-this-year front:
Wax moth larvae tacos from Don Bugito - These pretty, little tacos are laden with crispy larvae, garlic, pasilla chiles, and pickled onions. Some popped them in their mouths without realizing what they were, others turned away once they heard... but to taste them is to be converted. No need to fear bugs in the hands of owner, Monica Martinez. Plus, it's a great conversation starter.
15 Romolo's jambalini - I've been touting 15 Romolo since day one. One of our city's best bars is also home to some of the best bar food (just try their Challah at 'Cha Boy, Nutella lathered on challah bread with fried bananas, bacon, and pickles!) The jambalini (jambalaya croquettes) are fried balls in the style of Italian arancini, with a Creole aioli for dipping. This has been a top bite at the bar for years. Thankfully, it's also at this year's Street Food Fest.
Rye on the Road's Lawrenceburg swizzle & spicy paloma - You'd want Rye on the Road at any party. The experts behind beloved bars 15 Romolo and Rye are handling the bars at Street Food Fest. Watch for the snow cone-like fun of a lawrenceburg swizzle: Wild Turkey 101, maple syrup, lemon, Creole bitters, garnished with mint. Or go for a little heat with a spicy paloma: tequila, grapefruit juice, jalapeno syrup, salt.
Azalina's Malaysian bites - Azalina's fills the far too vacant Malaysian food gap with a few Malaysian items, including a creamy, savory coconut chicken curry on green onion buns, perked up with spice, cut with blueberry cucumber pickles.
For the first time, there will also be six mobile vendors from across the country: The Peached Tortilla (Austin), The Arepa Lady (New York), Big-Ass Sandwiches (Portland), Skillet Street Food (Seattle), La Cocina grads Global Soul (Los Angeles), Ingrid’s Lunch Box (Madison).
Passports ($50-$250) offer discounts on food and eliminate cash purchases or you can just stop by for a couple individual bites.
-- Subscribe to Virgina's twice monthly newsletter, The Perfect Spot