Restaurant incubator La Cocina brings their 3rd annual San Francisco Street Food Festival back to the Mission this Saturday and with over 75 vendors in attendance, ranging from bacon-wrapped hotdog slingers to James Beard award winners, there's bound to be an overwhelming number of menu items available. So we've helpfully broken down our picks for booze, comfort foods, gourmet bits and adventure dining, as well as a roundup of logistical bits and what the foodies are looking forward to. Enjoy:
Logistics: First of all: the festival mostly takes place at on Folsom Street in the Mission between 22nd and 26th. There are a couple of side alleys and extra space at Cesar Chavez Elementary and Parque de Los Ninos Unidos as well. Check the vendor map to plan your gastronomic attack ahead of time.
Don't show up trying to swipe your Visa at any of the vendors. Not even with some Square doohickey. Street food is best enjoyed after a pleasant exchange of paper money for foodstuffs, so bring cash. Or, if you're feeling flush, buy a Passport ahead of time in $25 - $150 denominations.
Booze: Beer gardens are passé. We've moved on to cocktail gardens, apparently. Grubstreet reports these will include boozy sno-cones like the Lawrenceburg Swizzle from the cocktail geniuses at Rye. In our heads, we've already had three of these iceballs topped with Wild Turkey Bourbon, maple syrup, mint, lemon and bitters. For those of you feeling collegiate, there will also be some tequila jello shots. Gourmet ones with Espolón, of course.
Adventure Dining: Everybody has been getting jazzed up about these wax moth larvae tacos from Don Bugito's. We're intrigued by these things that are poised to be the next big insect dish since the health department banned grasshopper tacos. And everyone says they taste nothing like bugs, which is perfect for people who don't like eating bugs.
Also, while it's not necessarily adventurous cuisine, there will be six vendors flown in from around the country in case you're looking for something you can't get in town: The Peached Tortilla from Austin, Arepa Lady from NYC, Big-Ass Sandwiches from Portland, Skillet Street Food from Seattle, Global Soul from LA and Ingrid's Lunch Box from Madison.
Gourmet: Commonwealth has already garnered plenty of praise for it's high-end cuisine at reasonable price points and now they're bringing it out to the street. Their grilled lamb cheek dish will be measly $8 bucks this Saturday. Slanted Door will also be on hand slinging veggie or pork belly steamed buns. Nettie's Crab Shack will be doing dungeness deviled eggs, a decidedly Bay Area take on the summer potluck staple.
Comfort Food: Sometimes you just need a hamburger, and 4505's Cheeseburger ($8) has been called the best in the city more times than we can count. Same goes for Bi-Rite's salted caramel ice cream ($4), which should do the trick if the sun heats up. Or, if the fog rolls in, pick up a bowl of pork ramen ($8) from Ferry Plaza favorites Hapa Ramen.