Last year we were hearing from the organizing team behind the wildly popular San Francisco Street Food Fest that they were struggling with the decision to possibly end it, due to issues with the neighborhood it takes place in. It was, basically, a victim of its own success, growing from just a one-block footprint in 2009 when, perhaps, the La Cocina team underestimated just how crazy for street food the Bay Area had already become to a full eight city blocks the last two years. Now today we learn via the Chronicle that the Street Food Fest has been saved, and it will relocate this August to Pier 70 and, for the first time, span two days, August 15 and 16.
The problems with the Folsom Street location in the Mission included parking woes and general crowd trauma for all the people who live there, but the festival had also begun to negatively impact small businesses on 24th Street where normally mellow taquerias were suddenly overwhelmed with business that day, and other businesses saw significant drops in traffic because their normal clientele stayed away.
Festival founder, La Cocina's Caleb Zigas tells the Chron, "To have it in an urban space was important to us," and so they landed on the still gritty Pier 70, which someday in the future will become a huge mixed use development.
In addition to expanding to two days, this year's fest will partner with Noise Pop and the Midway to handle the entertainment side of things. And as an added bonus, the bar areas won't have to be cordoned off as in past years, with cocktails and beer served in fenced-in areas. This year you'll be able to walk around with your drinks.
As always, the festival is free to attend, and each of the 80 or so booths will serve dishes in the $3 to $8 range.