San Francisco’s SOMA StrEAT Food Park

Appreciating street food in SOMA!

SOMA street food
PHOTO OLIVIA MOLINEUX

People often associate street food with dirty trucks filled with overpriced hotdogs.  However, in addition to being delicious, street food can be a great way to learn about and engage in the culture of a country.  While studying in Vienna, once a week I went to the Bitzinger sausage stand after class to practice my German with locals on their lunch break.  One night in Croatia, my friends and I followed locals to find late night bureks (warm pastries often filled with meat and cheese) after a night of dancing.  And whenever I’m in London and in a hurry, I look for the nearest pasty stand, filled with a variety of delicious savory pastries.

SOMA street food
PHOTO OLIVIA MOLINEUX

Far and away, my favorite place to get street food is San Francisco’s SOMA StrEAT Food Park.  Located in the SOMA (South of Market) neighborhood, the fenced-in area is surrounded by different food trucks that perfectly exemplify the melting pot that is San Francisco.  The park is open seven days a week – weekdays from eleven in the morning to three in the afternoon and again from five to ten at night. On the weekends, they are open from eleven in the morning to ten at night.

The trucks rotate so you’ll get a different selection every day. You can find anything, from Vietnamese and falafel to burgers and ice cream bars.  A list of all the trucks can be found online and if you’re looking for something specific, check out the schedule; however, it’s best to be surprised.  All of the food has a very creative spin on traditional dishes.  A year after eating them, I still crave the sweet potato fries covered in chicken tikka masala.  Last time I was there, I devoured two Hawaiian Sliders (pulled chicken on buns with delicious aioli sauce) from the Me So Hungry truck.  You’re bound to enjoy whatever you choose, and with such a huge selection, make sure you get something different each time you go back.

SOMA street food
PHOTO OLIVIA MOLINEUX

The crowd is generally young hipsters taking a break from work or stopping by the beer garden on their way home.  Everyone is extremely friendly and many people bring their dogs and enjoy sitting out in the sun.  For foggy San Francisco days, there is a covered and heated seating area with free WIFI, great music, and televisions that usually show sporting events in the middle of the park.

The best part about street food is that it’s usually fairly cheap and fast.  At SOMA StrEAT Food Park, you can get a delicious meal between five and fifteen dollars.  Wherever you’re traveling, look for where the locals are eating on the street: you’re almost always sure to find something delicious and maybe even make some new friends.

SOMA street food
PHOTO OLIVIA MOLINEUX

Olivia Molineux

Olivia grew up in Danville, CA. Her secret travel tip is indulging in street food which is often the best food. She can never travel without a pair of comfortable shoes. City bikes are her favorite travel discovery, "while living in Vienna, I loved biking around the city for hours. It was the perfect way to explore and burn off calories from all the Viennese cakes."

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