The Best Food Festivals In The Bay Area, San Francisco

Photo of Amanda Jones
8 November 2016

The San Francisco Bay Area is not only a destination for iconic parades and festivals such as the Gay Pride Parade, St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Outside Lands Music Festival, but also for unique and passionate food festivals that take place from San Jose to beyond the SF bay. People come from all over the country to experience the vibrant culture of the streets of SF, as well as the local vendors’ authentic cuisine. Here are five of the best food festivals that you won’t want to miss.

Street Faire Chefs l | © Miramar Events

A La Carté & Art

For years now, downtown Mountain View has been a foodie destination featuring cuisines of all ethnicities, and their A La Carte & Art festival is no different. On Castro Street, hundreds of vendors from the Bay Area fill the street with art and music, as well as all types of cuisines such as burritos, burgers, crepes, locally made wines and brews and even the classic snow cone that every child seems to crave. All of these cuisines, dressings, marinades and freshly picked nuts provide not only a tasty afternoon, but also a prime opportunity to stock up on fresh, organic foods that are guaranteed to satisfy anyone’s palate.
Castro Street, Mountain View, CA +1 650-964-3395

Taco Truck Festival l © Alexander Bauzon
Taco Truck Festival l © Alexander Bauzon

Taco Festival of Innovation

Living in California it is hard not to be obsessed with Mexican cuisine, and the Taco Festival of Innovation is exactly where you want to be if you love tacos! Over 30 taco trucks fill History Park in San Jose, and at only five dollars a plate, you can fill up with meat, fish or even ice cream tacos. While you eat, you can enjoy music and dancing from ten different acts and explore local street vendors’ handmade goods, all while trying different interpretations of the beloved taco. This festival is the perfect place to eat, listen and fall in love all over again with tacos from some of the best trucks in California.
1650 Senter Rd, San Jose, California

Festival Truffle Bars l ©
Festival Truffle Bars l ©

San Francisco International Chocolate Salon

Everybody loves chocolate—it’s a known fact. And nothing caters better to a chocolate lover better than the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon. Located in the heart of Fort Mason overlooking the beautiful San Francisco Bay, for $30 you have full access to over 65 vendors, as much chocolate as you can eat and as much wine and spirits as you can drink (if you’re 21, of course). To entertain while you indulge are presentations by local chefs, demos on the chocolates being served, wines and cakes and even locally made jams—every chocolate lover’s dream.
The Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion, 1 Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA

Corn on the Cob l © Eddie Hernandez Photography
Corn on the Cob l © Eddie Hernandez Photography

San Francisco Street Food Festival

A festival that has been growing rapidly for years, the recently relocated San Francisco Street Food Festival has become a destination festival. Now located on Pier 70, these stalls fill the pier where hundreds of food and drink vendors from all over the Bay Area embrace the NorCal culture with names like ‘Hella Vegan Eats.’ The dishes vary from bacon creations to funnel cakes to classic (and fresh) seafood and Mexican cuisine, making any line worth waiting in. In addition to the delicious food and local beer and wine, other unique drink vendors have an area of the festival all to themselves! This festival is the prime spot for getting the best bang for your buck and for exploring the variety that San Francisco has to offer.
70 Pier, San Francisco, CA

Soul Food l © Jennifer Woodard Maderazo/WikiCommons
Soul Food l © Jennifer Woodard Maderazo/WikiCommons

Black Cuisine Festival

If soul food is your guilty pleasure, the Black Cuisine Festival is your hidden treasure. Located in Bayview, SF, this festival is home to classic soul foods like fried chicken and barbecue, rice and beans and of course drinks and desserts. There’s a ‘Kiddieland’ for your kids to play in while you sit back and enjoy the food, music, dancing and entertainment from artists all over the Bay Area. With participation growing every year, this food festival has rapidly become one of the best cultural festivals in San Francisco.
1706 Yosemite Avenue, San Francisco, CA

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