Stylish Snacks: Street Food Festival Dazzles Eyes and Stomachs

This colorful number, from Kama Food Labs, is an Indian street food sandwich of vegetable fritter in pita bread accessorized by charming pink pickled vegetables and paneer for pinache. Photo by Dan Hirsch.

La Cocina’s Street Food Festival is happening right now on Folsom Street between 20th and 26th and from 21st to 25th streets between Shotwell and Treat. Vendors from across the city and the world are offering a wide variety of cuisines that look as good as they taste.

When asked how the day was going so far, Sylvia Esquivel, owner of Hella Vegan Eats and a graduate of La Cocina’s incubator program, was unequivocal.

“Today has been awesome,” she said, in between taking orders for vegan burgers on doughnut patties and vegan mac n’ cheese tacos. This is Esquivel’s second time as a vendor at the Street Food Festival, but her excitement hasn’t worn off.

“It’s so heartfelt. We feel great to be part of their (La Cocina’s) group of small business owners, and great to be part of a community of women entrepreneurs.”

Waiting in a line of more than 40 people for Nombe’s Ramen Burger didn’t deter Michele Mar. “This is my third year coming,” said the SOMA resident. “I love coming and experimenting with new flavors.”

Caleb Zigas, La Cocina’s executive director, was feeling good about the day but hoped people would see beyond the delicious dishes being offered.

“I hope people don’t just come for the food, or because it’s cool, that they don’t just come to take pictures or rate the food, or tweet about it, but that they come to be part of a community,” Zigas said. “If they just come for the food they’re missing something. I hope they think about where it comes from and what it means that it’s here today. We try to make a space where people can meet each other and neighbors can interact.”

Enjoy the slideshow above, which highlights some of the yummy treats you’ll find. And then hurry up and head over there! The festival runs until 7 p.m., but the lines are growing every second.

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