10 Ideas for Foodie Street Fairs That Haven't Been Tried Yet

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Why not put these babies in a bun?


I had high hopes when I visited the Hester Street Fair on Saturday, but walked away disappointed. While last year's Korean tacos had seemed fashion-forward, this year's meatball sliders seemed hopelessly retrograde -- especially given the proximity of the Meatball Shop, a few blocks distant. Have they no shame?

So I got to thinking. Is it so difficult to find other great choices for street-fair food, or even invent them? Read on and see if I've proved my point.

1. The smoky ground-meat kuftas made in tandoori joints would go really nicely in a bun. Actually better than a hot dog, with a real smoky flavor rather than an artificial one. Dressing? How about spicy yogurt? Doctored ketchup? Mixed Indian pickles chopped fine?

2. A vegetarian barbecue stall that offered seasonal vegetables (this week ramps, green tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, etc.) done over charcoal, with spice rubs or marinades. Offer a mixed-grill basket, too.

3. Serve excellent homemade pâtés in a bed of salad with a choice of mustards.

4. Create, say, four moist, colorful, and well-dressed composed salads representing different cultures, and offer one, two, three, or four, at discount if you get all four: Italy, bread salad; Thailand, ground pork larb; India, bhel poori dressed with tamarind and cilantro chutneys; Germany, bacon and vinegar potato salad with extra bacon.

5. A wurst-o-rama offering a choice of sausages in specially made buns. Signature could be two dissimilar wursts sharing the same elongated bun, with funny historical names. A selection of premium or even homemade mustards could add value.



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13 comments
San Francisco Street Fairs
San Francisco Street Fairs

 If you're in SanFrancisco Street Fairs, there should never be a day when you'retotally out of things to do. There are so many things to do and see in thiscity that even if you're a little short on cash or imagination, you can findsomething fun. San Francisco is full of annual events that are cheap or free,and adding them to the yearly rotation of your family calendar is a great wayto build some traditions and memories for the whole family.

San Francisco Street Fairs
San Francisco Street Fairs

 If you're in SanFrancisco Street Fairs, there should never be a day when you'retotally out of things to do. There are so many things to do and see in thiscity that even if you're a little short on cash or imagination, you can findsomething fun. San Francisco is full of annual events that are cheap or free,and adding them to the yearly rotation of your family calendar is a great wayto build some traditions and memories for the whole family.

San Francisco Street Fairs
San Francisco Street Fairs

Oneof the earliest street fairs is the Union Street Festival, which focuses mainlyon the arts. It always happens the first weekend in June. Later in June, youcan enjoy the North Beach Festival. This street fair features an Italian flavorand also celebrates the Beat heritage of this area of San Francisco. You canenjoy delicious, authentic Italian flavors while you enjoy amazing chalk art onthe sidewalks and even listen to live poetry readings.

San Francisco Street Fairs
San Francisco Street Fairs

Oneof the earliest street fairs is the Union Street Festival, which focuses mainlyon the arts. It always happens the first weekend in June. Later in June, youcan enjoy the North Beach Festival. This street fair features an Italian flavorand also celebrates the Beat heritage of this area of San Francisco. You canenjoy delicious, authentic Italian flavors while you enjoy amazing chalk art onthe sidewalks and even listen to live poetry readings.

San Francisco Street Fairs
San Francisco Street Fairs

Oneof the earliest street fairs is the Union Street Festival, which focuses mainlyon the arts. It always happens the first weekend in June. Later in June, youcan enjoy the North Beach Festival. This street fair features an Italian flavorand also celebrates the Beat heritage of this area of San Francisco. You canenjoy delicious, authentic Italian flavors while you enjoy amazing chalk art onthe sidewalks and even listen to live poetry readings.

San Francisco Street Fairs
San Francisco Street Fairs

 If you're in SanFrancisco Street Fairs, there should never be a day when you'retotally out of things to do. There are so many things to do and see in thiscity that even if you're a little short on cash or imagination, you can findsomething fun. San Francisco is full of annual events that are cheap or free,and adding them to the yearly rotation of your family calendar is a great wayto build some traditions and memories for the whole family.

San Francisco Street Fairs
San Francisco Street Fairs

 If you're in SanFrancisco Street Fairs, there should never be a day when you'retotally out of things to do. There are so many things to do and see in thiscity that even if you're a little short on cash or imagination, you can findsomething fun. San Francisco is full of annual events that are cheap or free,and adding them to the yearly rotation of your family calendar is a great wayto build some traditions and memories for the whole family.

konbit
konbit

A Koshari stand!

Drew Hunkins
Drew Hunkins

When I lived in Manhattan in the mid 1990s you could buy a hot potato knish with mustard in the middle from certain street cart vendors around the city.  They were delicious.  I subsisted on those babies when I was a broke grad student! 

I haven't been back to Manhattan in several years.  Does anyone know if you can still buy a hot knish from Manhattan street cart sellers?  Do they still sell those babies?  Thanks.   

Notthateasy
Notthateasy

Please tell me you've worked in food before. You make it sound so easy!

esquared
esquared

also keep the price down or low.

rsietsema
rsietsema

Unfortunately, Drew, those "Coney Island" knishes were officially outlawed from street carts several years ago, on the grounds that, at the temp they were kept, the knishes were breeding grounds for bacteria. I think the health department has backslid on that prohibition, though, because I saw them being sold recently from hot dog carts in Times Square, so maybe they developed a better way of handling them.

Drew Hunkins
Drew Hunkins

Thanks for the very interesting and informative reply.  I loved those things! 

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