Off the Grid: San Francisco's Ultimate Food Truck Gathering

By Antonio Barrios of The St. Regis San Francisco
Off the Grid: San Francisco's Ultimate Food Truck Gathering
Telstar Logistics, Flickr

If you didn’t get the memo, there’s a food truck revolution rolling through cities across the U.S. And in San Francisco, it centers around Off the Grid, a street food festival that roams to different spots around town, six days a week.

The big daddy of these events is held every Friday evening from 5 to 10 pm. Up to 30 food trucks from across the city settle in to the parking lot in front of Fort Mason Center, a waterfront landmark hub for conferences and cultural events in the Marina.

Foodies pour in from everywhere, lining up for delicious meals that cost a fraction of the price in a restaurant. They eat while standing and juggling delicacies from different vendors.

Arriving with an empty stomach is a must. With foods from so many cultures — Indian, Filipino, Japanese, Mexican, to name a few — you’re kind of stuffing your face all night long. Specialties from nitrate-free chorizos and ahi tuna, to crepes and crème brulée are served in paper to-go containers. A favorite curbside treat of mine are the escargot lollipops from Spencer on the Go.

Oh, and it’s not just the low prices that often make for thick crowds and long lines — there’s sometimes live music, too. So it’s a good idea to get there by 6 pm, and, as usual, bring a sweater! This place is by the water and tends to get windy around sunset.