Oakland’s Jack London Square was ground zero this weekend for a gathering of food trucks and grass-roots food businesses showcasing the great tastes of the area, with crowds enjoying the warm weather and unique food.

In its fourth year, the Eat Real Festival hasn’t slowed down at all, although this year for some odd reason it shifted. The layout of the food trucks and booths moved south a few yards, taking over the parking lot but leaving empty the heart of Jack London Square. (Not sure if it was a tactical decision by the event planners or Jack London Square not wanting the festival at the main square, but the event seemed to have lost some of its luster not taking over the spacious square.)

The planners tried to spice up this year with a few special events, such as a Meatopia meat demonstration on Friday night. I went mostly for the food, looking for some new tastes. A bowl of organic miso ramen from Youki Ramen was satisfying, even though it was a hot day for ramen. And the Korean koja (a toasted rice bun sandwich) from Koja Kitchen proved to be the popular truck with a consistently long line.

Eat Real this year kept it real with a nice selection of meat, vegan alternatives, and sweets, making it possible to keep eating all weekend long.

Crispy pork belly bowl from Plum restaurant was delicious although the pork belly pieces were fatty and chewy. Instead of a typical rice bowl, the pork belly was served with quinoa.

Firing up the pork belly at Plum’s grill station

Peach basil soda from SF Soda Craft. It was a bit too sweet and I didn’t get much basil flavor.

Dave the Butcher competing in a butchering contest inside the marketplace. Funny how breaking down meat always draws a crowd.

Sliced meat at the butchering competition

Deep-frying corn dogs by the water

Miso ramen from Youki Ramen. I enjoyed the broth although the noodles were a bit overcooked.

This section of the festival drew the most lines, featuring the food trucks Koja Kitchen, Sam Chowder House, and Frozen Kuhsterd

Kouign Amann from Starter Bakery

No, I didn’t get a kim chi shot, although I was tempted.

Growing in popularity, INNA Jam

Alfajores for sale

Brewing coffee at Ritual’s truck

Beef bulgogi koja from Koja Kitchen was tasty and served uniquely on a toasted rice pieces

There were more than food for sale

I tried the Blue Bottle Coffee flavored frozen custard from Frozen Kuhsterd. It had an amazingly strong flavor. I probably could have gone without the burnt caramel drizzle.

Food trucks offered a variety of foods for festival goers

4 Responses to Street Food Invades Oakland’s Waterfront

  1. Carolyn Jung says:

    Ooh, Blue Bottle frozen custard? Now, I’d wait in line for that! 😉

  2. Row says:

    I would have had a shot of the kimchi juice… but only if I had the beef bulgogi koja as my chaser. 🙂

  3. foodhoe says:

    great pictures! we got there late and couldn’t stay very long so I didn’t get a chance to look around much beyond staying in line for food, so your post covers the many things I didn’t get to see. Yeah, if I had seen the kimchi shot, I probably would have stayed in line for that!

  4. Dave Nguyen says:

    very nice write-up and pics… this post makes me wish I was there!