When you like good meals, two meals festivals make Oakland the place to be this weekend
Why only go to one food festival this weekend when you can walk to two who are right next to each other? Newcomer Town Eats will attend the Eat Real festival in Jack London Square from Friday to Sunday. The festivals are not related, but both are about great food and drink. So if you are planning to visit one, it might make sense to visit the other as well.
The Eat Real Festival began to celebrate the amazing Oakland food. Now, seven years later, it’s partly fair, partly street food festival, partly block party and focuses entirely on food and drinks that contain regional and sustainably produced ingredients. Plus, entry is free and everything costs less than $ 8, which makes the event incredibly popular. This year the festival is expected to attract between 80,000 and 100,000 people, although the San Francisco Business Times reports that festival director Ally DeArman actually doesn’t want it to get any bigger. “About 120,000 people came in a year, and the crowds and long lines actually hurt salespeople’s bottom line,” she said.
This year, Eat Real will have over 60 grocers including Belcampo Meat Co., Chairman Truck, Mozzeria, Rice Paper Scissors and Sweet Bar Bakery. It also offers wine and spirits, as well as a new cider parlor and nearly 30 breweries, including Fort Point Beer and Magnolia Brewing. 100 percent of the proceeds go to the Food Craft Institute.
Meanwhile, the Town Eats Festival, a celebration of local Oakland pride, is hosting its first ever event at the north end of the square, sponsored by Oaklandish, Lungomare, Drake’s Brewing and Hangar 1. Miles Perkins will start the celebrations with a live jazz performance on Friday at 6pm and on Saturday and Sunday there will be DJ sets throughout the day.
In terms of food, Saturday is all about the chefs from Lungomare, Chop Bar, alaMar, Haven and ChowHaus competing against each other over a 5-way roast pork. Get a $ 4 tasting serving or do a $ 20 all-you-can-eat platter. On Sunday there are $ 4 bites from Lucky Three Seven, Revival Bar + Kitchen, Blackwater Station, and Abura-Ya Fried Chicken. And all weekend long there are $ 4 Hangar 1 and Drake’s Brewing specialty drinks. Proceeds from the festival will go to Planting Justice, a local nonprofit food justice organization.