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Markets, festivals, special events

c
Carnivore Jun 25, 2007 06:24 PM

In Los Angeles there is El Mercadito a latino market in East LA with mariachis and food stalls, there is also Thai food stalls on random weekends at the Wat Thai temple in the valley, or a church in South Central that serves BBQ on Sundays.
Does anyone know similar attractions in the Bay AREA? Ethnic or regional markets or festivals? Neighborhood type deals? Im looking for foodstalls of any type of food, or markets with different products, and more exotic, or specific than 99 ranch. I want to crash the sort of events that no one is suppused to knoe about besides the community it is in, or just find some good cheap food. Thank you.

  1. rworange Jun 26, 2007 04:01 PM

    Churches are good for that information. Usually the food is free. St John the Baptist in El Cerrito has about 60 nationalities and there is often a festival going. Unfortunately they don't put them on the website, so picking up a buletin is the only way to know.

    Often picking up papers at ethnic ... leave me alone .. there' s not a better word ... stores or markets have ads for that type of event. Restaurants often have that type of info on the wall.

    That's how I found out about the Brazilian Festa Junino which you just missed.
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/46568

    Also in June/July are the Portuguese Festas
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/410126

    In October is the Nigerian Yam Festival
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/40497

    Just before Christmas there is the Filipino sunrise Simbang Gabi
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/41731

    In early December there is Guadalupe Day
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/42007

    There is Nooroz, Persian New Year in March
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/380828

    Here was a link about local Festivals
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/315408

    BTW, Chowhound changed their url's so the above will contain broken links. To fix them, remove the word 'show'
    Broken
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/20924
    Fixed
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/20924

    Hanging around churches on Sundays, especially Latino, usually turns up food
    http://www.chow.com/digest/2397
    http://www.chow.com/digest/877

    There's a Polish Fesival in Walnut Creek in September I keep meaning to check out.

    Be sure to report your finds for the rest of us.

    1. larochelle Jun 26, 2007 02:43 PM

      "I want to crash the sort of events that no one is suppused to knoe about besides the community it is in" -- I'll give you a research pointer.

      If you make a list of the ethnic groups that live in the Bay Area, use that list to find ethnic or regional societies or communities, then join (often you don't have to be from the place in question, you only need to be an admirer of their culture) or get on their mailing lists. Many of these organizations have social events that include tasty "native" foods. Also, many of these organizations have websites with a resource page that include events, festivals, restaurants and food stores that specialize in their particular cuisine.

      One example: http://www.usajapan.org/

      This idea was actually inspired by one of my husband's great uncles. I went to his funeral a few years back and all sorts of people where there. It turns out he liked to dance and "party" so he joined all these different groups. Everyone laughed and said "oh, we knew he was Mexican, not Swedish, but nobody cared 'cause he was great fun and danced with all the ladies." I thought "What a great way to live!" It was only after I started looking into these organizations that I realized I was getting access to interesting food as well as interesting people.

      1. b
        Bryan Gros Jun 26, 2007 02:41 PM

        The Thai buddhist temple comes to mind. In Berkeley, just a couple blocks west of Berkeley Bowl. You missed the Oakland Greek Festival.

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