San Francisco has food trucks down to a science. From tacos, to seafood, to ice cream, even a truck devoted strictly to bacon… I’ve never seen a city do it better. And at the mecca of all of this is Off the Grid, a traveling food truck festival providing delicious food to the good people of the bay. If you’re visiting the area, put Off the Grid at the top of your SF Bucket List. As a frequent Off the Grid go-er, I have compiled a list of my personal favorite street foods for your viewing pleasure. Be warned, it’s quite an extensive list (so maybe put Off the Grid on your bucket list twice).
My first time at Off the Grid (OtG) at Fort Mason, I was seriously in awe. I was new to San Francisco and a fellow foodie/coworker recommended it to me for a fun Friday night. I don’t like to pass up an opportunity for upscale street food, so I started making plans… figuring we’d check it out for an hour or so and then move on with the rest of our night. Wrong-o! As I pulled up to the lot, my eyes almost popped out of my head and I immediately knew I was in trouble. I made a beeline for the bar, grabbed a cocktail and took a lap to take it all in. Bright lights, live music, great food and drinks, and the view of the Golden Gate Bridge as the sun is setting…. it’s a hard view to beat on one of your first Friday nights in the glorious city.
These trucks move all around the bay area every week, with specific locations so you don’t have to worry about tracking them down. Check out the website to see which food trucks are at which locations, and starting planning your menu. I have only been to the Fort Mason event on Fridays (because we all know I’m at home in bed by 10pm during the week), so I can only vouch for the food at that event, but if the other events are anything similar, you will not be disappointed!
Cheesy Garlic Naan Bread with Tikka Dip. I’m pretty positive my friend Zoe actually ran full speed ahead when she saw someone eating this and figured out the source. So simple and so flavorful! This is a great warm-up item. I recommend grabbing this to accompany your cocktail, and enjoy during your first lap around the trucks while you scope out your next move.
Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts. Oven roasted vegetables disguised under reggianito cheese, balsamic reduction and doused in aioli and more. If vegetables tasted this good all the time, I’d definitely be eating them more! (Kidding – I love me some vegetables.) To balance all of those veggies, order a side of their Mac & Cheese spring rolls (available at OtG Fort Mason only)!
Southern Comfort Kitchen
Crab fries. Need I say more? Founded by three brothers born in New Orleans, you know this truck is the essence of southern soul food. Warm French fries loaded with real crab (no imitation nonsense), garlic aioli, and a variety of seasonings…. this is a bold flavor and unique combo that is definitely worth a try.
Mix and match your own poke bowl. As far as toppings go, I always think ‘the more the merrier’, right?! The picture above has spicy ahi, jasmine broken rice, avocado, spicy crab, tobiko flying fish roe, furikake, ginger, wasabi, and jalapeños. It is by far one of the best poke bowls I have ever had!
The Lobsta Roll. Obviously. If you’re in the bay and you don’t eat seafood at least once every 24 hours, you’re doing it wrong. It’s simple and delicious: fresh lobster on a toasted split roll with mayo or butter (I recommend butter). Think of it this way: you can get Fisherman’s Wharf, without actually going to Fisherman’s Wharf. I’ll chalk it up to a win.
Ice cream + tacos. These are a few of my favorite things. Mix them together? I call it a masterpiece. I recommend the ginger peach ice cream taco topped with coconut and cacao nibs. But hey, that’s just me.
Other honorable mentions that I have yet to try:
Frozen Kuhsterd – My old coworker used to track this truck. Some days I would walk into the office and he would be gone, with just the Frozen Kuhsterd website open on his computer, almost as evidence of his escape. It’s definitely on my list.
Senor Sisig – Filipino Fusion Food. Can’t believe I haven’t tried this place yet, but honestly there is just SO MUCH GOOD FOOD at OtG, it’s hard to keep up! My friend raves about the secret menu item of burritos with french fries added. Sounds like a win to me!
Basically everything else – Honestly, you can’t go wrong with the variety at Off the Grid. There is sure to be a truck for every quirky food craving you have, so come one, come all to OtG and enjoy the best street food out there!
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This made me so hungry