Just so you know, San Francisco supports its street food culture. The 2nd Annual SF Street Food Festival celebrated mobile food vendors and also raised awareness about the need for formal policies to support these vendors. Not only did I go to the Mission District to enjoy the food and bolster the city’s mobile vendors but it reminded me just how amazing street food around the world can be. I’ve boiled it down to four reasons why a menu down on the street is the way to go.
1. It’s Fresh
When we’re in a foreign country, we can be quick to judge the unknown dish because we are afraid. In actuality, street food is probably the safest way to go because it is made right in front of you. You can see what goes into your food and you know that it is fresh. You don’t want to regret missing out on something really tasty just because you were unsure.
2. It’s Authentic
I believe that the best way to get to know a city and its people is to try the food at a street vendor or at a food market. You can avoid the chain restaurants that are tourist traps and instead sit down at a bench or take a stool next to a local. You will be sure to taste a dish that you can’t eat anywhere else.
3. It’s Fast
The lines were long at SF Street Food Festival but one of the benefits of street food is that it’s fast so the lines weren’t discouraging. When you only have a certain amount of time in a city, you don’t want to waste it at a sit down restaurant when you could be galavanting around town exploring the new. Stopping at a street food vendor for a quick bite to eat saves time and fills your belly for a long day of sight seeing.
4. It’s Cheap
All of the food at SF Street Food Festival was between $3 and $8 which meant I didn’t have to stop at just one stall. The affordability of street food is a perk for travelers on a tight budget. You can buy a quality meal for practically nothing and its a hearty meal that will fill you up so you can spend your money on museums, bars, shopping, adventure or whatever else your heart desires.
Have you had some really good street food?