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Feb 24, 2012 12:25 PM

Treasure Island food desert - food, events, wine tasting

Any updates on Treasure Island?

They have two cafes, wine tasting, two convenience markets, event facilities and on a brilliant, sunny afternoon Mateo's hot dogs had a cart.

I didn't get a chance to stop. I stupidly missed the Grand Avenue exit and wound up in the bus lane where i probably should have smiled for the cameras. Exiting on Treasure Island I asked the cop waiting to snag the next speed fiend and explained my predicament. He wasn't sympathetic and said "How could you possibly miss the exit?

So after jotting down his name and badge number, I turned around hoping that info and my receipt from Telegraph in Oakland a few minutes later may convince the traffic police that i really, really didn't mean to cross the bridge ... because look at the time on the photo. Look at the time on my receipt. Do you think i really wanted or had time to go to SF.

Anyway, I noted a few businesses while beating it from TI.

The last time i was there was 2005.

Delancy Street seems to have left and Crossroads Cafe is now Treasure Island Bar and Grill. Here's the address

There was a sign for Oasis Cafe which opened Feb 2011. Here's the address

Next to the Oasis sign was a sign for wine tasting ... I think it was Nightswood, Hoffman something, and Stein. A google turned up a cruise to TI with a one hour stop for wine tasting. Don't know if that still happens.

While I've never been at an event there, I remember seeing their event facilites once. Way back then they were lovely.

Searching around didn't give much useful info except for this insightful article by someone who lives there

She writes ...

"Treasure Island -- It offers fantastic views of the bay and cheap housing, but there is little fresh food to be found on Treasure Island ...

The island is one of several Bay Area neighborhoods labeled by the US Department of Agriculture as a ‘food desert,’ areas characterized by both high poverty rates and limited access to grocery stores'

It is an interesting article about island life especially the lady with " her daughter’s small Chihuahua in her arms in front of the open freezer door. Watson’s strategy can be summed up as buy in bulk, then freeze—Eggos, corn dogs, Hot Pockets"

There is some sort of organic garden there and chefs who stop by every now and then dressed in their kitchen whites.

Seems like a nice place but I wouldn't want to live there.

Has anyone stopped by recently or held an event? From what I'm reading the cafes are a nice place to sit on a sunny patio with decent enough food. The Oasis cafe did have a Persian flamenco night once

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  1. Nice of you to make a report from a driving faux pas!

    1 Reply
    1. re: sydthekyd

      And possibly additional 'proof' I screwed up. If no one has any updates, I might stop by and check out some of the joints.

      it just seems like such a waste of a view. You would think some serious restaurant would consider opening up there.

      Then again, you probably don't want someone with a few drinks trying to get back on the bridge from those awful. exits. i sat for 15 minutes trying to get back on the bridge because the three huge trucks in front of me were having problems trying to find a break in the traffic.

      Maybe Mr. Forbes Island could expand to a real island and run a boat out there.

    2. I got a groupon-type email recently promoting a Flea Market on Treasure Island one weekend a month. It's this weekend for February. There will be food trucks and wine tasting as well as the flea market vendors.

      I went to the Treasure Island music festival a couple of years ago, they had free shuttles to take everyone back over the bridge.

      MUNI has a bus line that goes there.

      There used to be an Officer's Club that hosted wedding and events, not sure what the status of that is since there is no military presence there anymore.

      8 Replies
      1. re: pamf


        i'm exhausted trying to keep up with the food truck of the moment (is there an app for that?) but from the facebook page it seems An the go, Harveys Gourmet Donuts, Dript Mobile Espresso, Mama's Empanadas, HAWAIIANESE IZ IT, Eat Le Truc, Chairman Bao, Veritas & SF Soup Co will be there on various days

        This is the link to the current event facilities

        1. re: rworange

          Heh, I've wound up on Treasure Island twice for similar reasons, and once went through the bus lane.

          There are some apps, but I haven't had much success with them. Instead try:


          1. re: rworange

            Just wanted to remind people about this event today and tomorrow from 10-4. The lines for the food trucks were quite short at lunchtime today, just 5 or 10 minutes, and I can't think of a more beautiful view. It's a great way to try the food trucks and have picnic on the grass. Dog friendly, too.

            1. re: Glencora

              Imagine by delight when I found food trucks, and uncharacteristically short lines, at the flea market today.

              Entrance fee is $3 and today had showings by the Chairman, Kasa, Rib Whip, Mama's Empanadas, Littlegreencyclo, Tara's Cupcakes, a frozen custard truck that also sells Dynamo Donuts, Harveys Gourmet Donuts, Dript Mobile Espresso, a guy selling hard cider, someone selling wine in plastic cups, and others. Messy food can be washed off at the portable hand washing stations.

              This is worth the trek to Treasure Island. Great views and one of the easier ways to try food trucks without the hour long waits at Off the Grid events.

              1. re: hyperbowler

                I missed this thread when it first came around. How cool! Thanks for the update.

                1. re: hyperbowler

                  Sounds great. Though I haven't waited in a long line at Off the Grid in a while.

                  Did you try the frozen custard? And cider!

                  1. re: Windy

                    Really? Which OTG event do you go to? I gave up about a year ago.

                    I actually did try the frozen custard! Having lived in upstate NY over a decade ago, it was strange to see frozen custard that's not just vanilla or chocolate.

                    A scoop of the cornflake custard was $3.25 I think, and was smooth, rich but not overly dense, and had no ice crystals. It's minus the bourbon of course, but a soft custard may actually be a better medium for cornflakes than Humphrey Slocumbe's secret breakfast.

                    Google is telling me the place is called Frozenkusterd

                    Chairman Bao's steamed buns continued to unimpress me. The clam shell bao don't really taste much or do much other than keep your fingers from touching the filling. That said, they're really onto something with the delicious chicken and sesame filling. The braised pork didn't do anything for me. The fried wontons with togarashi and shredded seaweed were awesome--- as good as the best fried wontons skins you can get at NY Chinese takeout places, but with a modern flare.

                    1. re: hyperbowler

                      I've been to the Thursday Haight event and even Ft Mason (on the early side) in October.

                      There are lots more food truck events than a year ago, so it's less packed. But I don't like lines, so I just skip any truck with them. I didn't think Chairman Bao's bao was great when I tried it; not bad, just pricey.

                      Frozenkusterd sounds wonderful. Bring your own bourbon.

          2. I stayed there for a few months after grad school and basically lived off of once-weekly supermarket trips to San Francisco. I've been to the sundry shop, which was nothing special, and I tasted wines made by two Treasure Island-based wineries. They were pretty good.

            I'm not sure how much investment there will continue to be considering that everyone is waiting for their move-out notices before the redevelopment formally begins.

            1 Reply