This past Saturday, the 6th annual LA Street Food Festival was held at Pasadena’s famed Rose Bowl. The LA Street Food Festival is basically the biggest party you could ever throw for your stomach! Guests that attended the event get treated to a curated selection of signature street-inspired eats from over a hundred vendors including many of Los Angeles’ top chefs and award-winning restaurants, plus the city’s best gourmet food trucks, old school carts and stands. Additionally, six craft beer gardens, five craft cocktail bars, wine, a tequila tasting tent, iced coffee and donut zone, ice cream social, and more help to round out the most mouthwatering experience of the summer. All you can eat and drink for a general admission tickets at $60, or get in early with VIP tickets at $90.
Despite what your taste preferences were, there was something for everyone. Before attending the event, the LA Street Food Festival sends out an email with all sorts of tips. Two of which are extremely important.
“Plan ahead. There’s no human possibility anyone is eating everything at the Fest. Check out the guide and map and make sure you plans to hit your faves first. Yes, you can have dessert first. “
“Most importantly, pace yourself! It’s far too easy to have eyes bigger than your belly and nothing can kill your day like a case of premature food coma. Pros know not to eat too much at one spot or blow all their belly room on the first few booths they see. As tempting as it is to eat it all, or even go back for seconds for that foodgasm worthy somethin’-somethin’, unless it’s a little bite, split and share to save room to try more. Trust us. “
These were all too true. Having never been there before, we didn’t quite listen to these important tips, and may have had seconds at places that tasted too delicious to just have one… Well, they weren’t kidding. It is physically impossible to eat everything there! Which is a shame, as every dish looks great, and you want to try it. The only negative part of the day, was at the end when we couldn’t manage to try any more food, yet there were still tons of mouth watering samples to try!
So how did it work? You enter the Rose Bowl and they give you an empty cardboard tray with a map of the vendors on them. You then strategize on what your plan of attack is going to be. Start with some drinks? Maybe the tequila bar? Or how about that delicious burger I see over there? No, no, definitely dessert first!
Once you decide what route you’re going to take, you can go from booth to booth to food truck and sample what each place is featuring. With so many restaurants in LA, this is a great way to get familiar with a lot of them in just one evening. You pickup sample after sample until your tray is completely full.
You then find a shady spot to sit down and eat all your tasty plunder, before venturing out and doing it all again. Want a more unique place to eat though? Why not head down to the actual field and eat and relax there! You could actually walk around the entire field of this famous stadium despite the International Champions Cup taking place the following week!
While all the food was delicious, we had a few favorites. We particularly enjoyed what they called the Ice Cream social- tons of booths serving ice cream. There must have been around fifteen different ice cream shops giving scoops of their most popular flavors! Our favorites included Salt & Straw, which originally is from Portland, and now have come to Los Angeles. Also, McConnell’s, originally from Santa Barbara, had a food truck there. They were serving a flavor called Sea Salt Cream & Cookies, which may have been the best ice cream I’ve ever tried! On the drink side, we particularly enjoyed Tequila Don Nacho at the Tequila Tasting Tent, which had a remarkably smooth taste to it. Also, Cabotella Baja Brewery which provided the perfect thirst quenching drink out in the hot sun. And how could we forget Tom’s Urban, which had the best grilled cheese I have ever tried hands-down. It was so good, that I had to try another (I know, that goes against the tips, but it was just too good).
We left the 6th annual LA Street Food Festival with super full stomachs. I couldn’t have eaten anything more if I had tried. We also got a great sense of a lot of new restaurants and such in the LA area that we will be sure to check out soon. This was such a fun outing, and we will be sure to make it back next year to see what is new! However, we’ll make sure not to eat beforehand next time!