Is it Saturday yet? 5 (vegetarian-abled) Street Food Festival snacks we can't wait for

Clairesquare's gooey-dangerous deep-fried caramel pop

The Bay's press has been salivating ever since July 26, when La Cocina's Street Food Festival hosted a passel of media types at Fort Mason Center with tables upon tables of the snacks that we'll all get to freak out over at the festival on Sat/18. Read on for some of our favorite snacks that we're having a hard time holding off on until Saturday.

Bonus! If mornings aren't your deal, you've got options this year. On Fri/17, you can jet down to the Alemany Farmer's Market for the fest's Night Market. 25 vendors will be selling sub-$10 treats, including American Masala Farm's Suvir Saran serving up Indian food, Ryar Farr from 4505 Meats, and Tijuana's Javier Plasencia of Mision 19. Plus, craft beer and cocktails.


Go early on Saturday. Lines for vendors, which range from La Cocina participants who have hardly sold commercially before to some of SF's hautest eateries, tend to be pretty long by lunch time, and this is one fest that does not award the fashionably late. You'll also be able to pick up a paper copy in the Guardian on newsstands today. Here's some treats you'll wanna queue up for as soon as you fall out of bed, veggie-friendly all. We dare you to do all five -- tweet their photos to @sfbg if you do and we'll figure out some kind of reward for gluttonous you. 

1. El Buen Comer esquites

Something about corn, cheese, and mayo soup sounds vaguely unsettling, but take it from an avowed mayonaise h8r, these are cups of pleasure and you want at least one. La Cocina graduate Isabel Caudillo makes them, bringing this Mexico City recipe straight to SF bellies. Perfect if Saturday gets chilly (please no.)

2. Chiefo's Kitchen moi-moi

Chiefo Chukwudebe makes these West African firm cakes made of pureed black eyed peas, topped with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and carmelized onions. The deliciously chewy version that was being sampled at Fort Mason was topped with flakes of corned beef, but vegetarian versions were available. 

3. Hella Vegan Eats pad thai egg rolls

The plucky Tiffany and Sylvee Esquivel of this rad catering outfit didn't give their Street Food Fest offering quite as catchy a moniker as some of their repetoire ("vegans are better lovers" lasagna comes to mind), but no matter -- this Asian-inspired nuggets are the kind of stoner snack you normally only dream of. Noodles inside egg rolls? *Eyes roll back into head, Homer Simpson-scruff sprouts instantly* Much props to these ladies for the hundreds of free vegan cookies they baked for the Dyke March this year, by the way. 

4. Clairesquares' deep-fried caramel pop

One quibble about these devilish, gooey, troublesome-in-a-good-way dessert snacks -- is that spear in the center really necessary? After all, the first time you crunch into one the thing is going to require two hands so that it doesn't fall off the wooden skewer onto the -- NOOOOOOOOO! -- ground. That's not what you want, so this is your official reminder to pay attention to sugar bomb of satiation. Clairesquares is the brainchild of Ireland's Claire Keene, who re-interprets traditional recipes into decadent desserts that have popped up all over town in the last few years. 

5. Sweets Collection artisan Jello shots

I went on the record last year over how much I love these things. Nothing combines a love of pastels and a love of getting drunk more than Rosa Rodriguez's mouthfuls of booze and condensed milk flower. They are magic, and you can find them at the Street Food Festival bars, waiting for you cheefully when you're done eating the fest's more nutritious options. 


Street Food Festival Night Market

Fri/17 6-9pm, $25 entry

Alemany Farmer's Market (free shuttle leaves from 25th St. and Mission, SF)

100 Alemany, SF

Street Food Festival

Sat/18 11am-7pm, free entry

Mission District (Folsom from 20th to 26th St., 21st and 25th Sts. from Treat to Shotwell, Cesar Chavez Elementary School parking lot, Parque de los Ninos Unidos and Jose Coronada Playgrounds), SF