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Aug 3, 2011 09:00 PM

Outside Lands Festival - Which Food Vendors are worth Trying?

First trip to San Francisco, we'll be there for the Outside Lands Festival. We have a car and we are staying on Haight Street near the Park.

There are several food vendors and food trucks at the festival; does anyone have any opinions on what's worth trying?

And since we'll be in your great city, where should we grab a bite? I am thinking:
Magnolia Pub on Haight
Alembic Gastropub on Haight
Yank Sing if we do dim sum (is it worth it?)
and maybe Bar Tartine for our final night.

Also, is the Sunday Street thing worth going to, it will be in the Tenderloin the weekend of our visit.

Thanks in advance
Sharon from Houston, TX

Yank Sing
49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

Bar Tartine
561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

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  1. Thumbs up for Namu especially their fried chicken. No idea who the other vendors are.

    Sunday Streets is bicycles without cars, targeted at families. Fine if you have a bike or roller skates and the weather is good. Not sure how it will work in the Tenderloin with the hills.

    If you're staying near the park, you could have dim sum nearby (S&T on Noriega and 33rd, Hong Kong Lounge on Geary and 19th, other places) rather than go downtown to Yank Sing. Yes, it has its fans, although I'm not one of them. If you do go to Yank Sing, go on Saturday when the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market is on and have breakfast and lunch there.

    Abandon your car somewhere. You don't want to drive, especially that weekend. Enjoy.

    Yank Sing
    49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

    439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

    Hong Kong Lounge
    5322 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94121

    1. Outsidelands - These are the vendors that I've tried and recommend.
      Rosamunde's (beer)
      Brass Knuckles (everything)
      4505 Burger (everything)
      Nombe (grilled rice balls)
      Criolla Kitchen (poboys)
      Farmer Brown's Little skillet (fried chicken)
      Namu (everything)
      Ritual (coffee)
      I'm also curious about Straw (I've never had their mobile version but I enjoy their brunch.)

      I like your shortlist. Yank Sing is a lovely experience. It might be worth it if you've never had upscale dim sum and might not have the chance to go to LA or China anytime soon. And, yes, Sunday streets will be fun plus there are great eats in that area.

      Yank Sing
      49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

      1 Reply
      1. re: scarmoza

        4505--sausage! But really anything Ryan makes, especially the chicharonnes.

      2. if you get there early, parking actually is surprisingly not too bad by the festival. getting out might be a pain if you don't know back roads. keep in mind that public transit will be incredibly slow.

        that being said,

        last year i had:
        andalu's fried mac and cheese (excellent)
        new ganges' samosas (very good)
        pacific catch's sweet potato fries and ceviche (very good)
        maverick's pulled pork sandwich (good)
        tacos at tacolicious (ok)

        gordo has excellent burritos, although (at least in the taqueria), they steam the cheese onto the tortilla before, which i love but some people hate.

        2nd on namu.

        el huarche loco is very good

        as is pica pica (venezuelan)

        and woodhouse

        and as others have said 4505, is excellent

        1. Bar Tartine has a new chef, and the concept, just as a heads up.

          Magnolia Pub, and Alembic are from the same owner...Magnolia is the gastropub, where Alembic is more known for high end cocktails, and small plates, some of which are plays off comfort food. Alembic is the better of the two. Magnolia features a heavier microbrew menu.
          Kezar on Cole St. is a gastropub that's nearby. The food ranges from just alright to outstanding, and they do a lot of in-house preparation (baking their own buns for burgers, etc.)...just to let you know of another option.

          Yank Sing is pricey, and not spectacular or anything, but it's not bad. I can't think of another place more reliable to send you for sit down service. I prefer the takeout buns and egg tarts from Golden Gate Bakery in Chinatown, and some of the dim sum in Richmond/Sunset to take out a piece or two.

          Some other places to check out:
          Outerlands , and Trouble Coffee (might be swamped with business due to location).
          Nopa, features local ingredients, and it's a hop down from the Haight.

          Golden Gate Bakery
          1029 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

          560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

          Yank Sing
          49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

          Bar Tartine
          561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

          6 Replies
          1. re: sugartoof

            What do you get at Trouble? I like the idea of the place but the coffee drinks I've had have been horribly bitter. Wasn't crazy about the cookies either.

            1. re: Windy

              Oh, you know I just checked, and they may have switched roasters. They used to use De La Paz beans, and it looks like the espresso is now Ecco. I've ordered coffee and Americanos there, which were syrupy and dark but not bitter. Hmm.

              Never tried their cookies...nothing about them looked appealing. The cinnamon toast is actually good, but really goofy, and they cut open coconuts for fresh milk.

              Mostly I just think it's a fun stop off for a cup after a meal at Outerlands, since they're both quirky.

              1. re: sugartoof

                Actually that would make sense as far as roasters go. I don't usually like Italian roasts. We did notice the whole coconuts in the case.

                Speaking of quirk in that neighborhood; the hemp pesto "pasta" made of shaved raw zucchini at Judahlicious is kind of amazing. And Outer Avenues coop has great prices on locally roasted coffee in the bins. Sightglass beans are cheaper there than at Sightglass.

                1. re: Windy

                  Outer Avenues health food coop really is a great spot to pick up beans. They were carrying RItual retail bags which were also a little cheaper than direct.

                2. re: sugartoof

                  Doesn't Trouble Coffee also have their own roast and blend (Elbow Grease is mentioned on their website)? The single origin espresso, called The Hammer, is roasted by Ecco Caffe.

                  We went there on a really bad day when they were over an hour late to open and wouldn't let anyone inside. You had order at the door and weren't allowed to step inside. We ordered two drip coffees that were incredibly bitter and harsh. This was definitely not Ecco Caffe or De La Paz. I wanted to talk to them more about the coffees but the guy taking our order was pretty rude when we asked about the toast and coconut. Bad Coffee + Ahole service. Before all of this I had been very excited about this business since I used to live up the street.

                  1. re: scarmoza

                    I can completely see them doing that - but usually the place is pretty kick back and friendly. Of course, that can also turn into poor service really easily. It's a shame that businesses can't fathom their customers are going out of their way to give them business, especially in the far out Avenues.

                    Elbow Grease blend would be the De La Paz. I prefer their single source beans.

            2. Favorites of course are 4505 Meats and Tacolicious! The name for Tacolicious is a bit funny, but the food is amaaaaaaaazing. Perfect tacos!

              4505 Meats
              1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111, CA

              2031 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123