After two years too long, Off the Grid is returning to its home base at Fort Mason Center, and we couldn’t be more excited to eat ALL. THE. THINGS.
Every Friday From April 1 – November 11, more than 25 food trucks will roll up to Fort Mason Center from 5-10 PM, along with a fresh lineup of DJs, live music bands, a full bar from Rye on the Road, a Kivelstadt Cellars wine garden and plenty of fun surprises. There will be theme nights! There will be freebies! There will be food competitions! It’s going to be so. much. fun.
On the food front, we understand that choices are hard—especially when there are so many good options to choose from. While all of the 50+ food trucks that will be rotating in and out of our flagship marketplace throughout the season have must-try dishes, we had to narrow down the list somehow.
Here are the top dishes you can’t miss at Fort Mason Center this season.
This is ramen like you’ve never seen before. For this dish, SipNSlurp takes ramen noodles and tosses them in a creamy miso sauce that’s then topped with sweet corn, braised Szechuan-style ground pork, bean sprouts, spicy furikake, chili oil and a few fresh green scallions on top for good measure (and good photos). It’s one of our favorites on the truck and at the market.
We’ve had a lot of falafel in our day, and—without exaggerating—this is the best darn falafel in the entire Bay Area. Family run and operated for several decades, Sunrise Deli takes pride in what they do and you can taste it in all of their food. Pillowly, crunchy, moist and perfectly spiced, this falafel will change your life. The super falafel sandwich is made extra special with the addition of pickled cabbage and the creamiest of creamy hummus.
Aptly named, Hula Truck’s “Da Situation” is a situation you want to get into. Tots topped with a choice of meat (we recommend lechon kawali), Pico de Gallo, shredded cheese, sour cream and Hula’s special “Hula Verde” sauce are an excellent choice for sharing with a crew. While you’re at it, you might as well order a side of Mama’s Lumpia (which is rolled weekly by the owner’s mom) to go with.
This is the most perfectly wrapped burrito you’ll ever find. (Owner Evan Kidera makes sure of it.) If you can’t decide between all the epically delicious options at this legendary food truck, the Señor is your safest bet. It’s your choice of pork, chicken or tofu wrapped in adobo garlic rice, pinto beans, lettuce, Pico de Gallo and Sisig’s proprietary cilantro cream sauce. Pro tip: Ask for some extra Filipino vinegar to pour on top. That’s how Evan likes it.
This food truck two the best of two worlds—grilled beef skewers and miniature burgers—and turned them into one. These sliders are mini versions of the truck’s ever popular Satay Sandwich, which comes topped with jalapeños, slaw and Satay by the Bay SF’s signature peanut sauce (which owner Elly learned from her grandma). Exclusive to Fort Mason Center, you should definitely have these at the market because you can’t have them anywhere else. FOMO for real.
Consider this a chicken-lover’s version of a Cubano. With crispy fried chicken, a sweet and tangy coconut slaw, avocado and a fresh green sauce, this sammy is as savory as it is refreshing. While there’s a whole host of delicious fried chicken sandwiches to choose from at Off the Grid, this one is best for those who want to keep it on the brighter side.
There’s actually nothing on The Chairman’s menu not to love. Part of the original Off the Grid food truck crew, The Chairman has perfected the art of the steamed buns and kept its menu brief and on point. If you’re having trouble deciding between all these select, perfectly crafted options, we recommend the classic tender pork belly (either baked or steamed) with turmeric pickled daikon, green sisho and—here’s the kicker—a red miso glaze that drives it all home.
El Fuego’s opening day to the public was the day the entire city of San Francisco shut down. Still, they prevailed, if not only for their passion but for the fact that their quesabirria is one of the best in town. Perfectly balanced between the amount of beef and cheese, El Fuego’s crispy quesabirria tacos are made memorable because of the tortilla that’s dipped in a red chili sauce before being cooked on the plancha, which brings all the flavor with a little heat. Of course, you need to get them with a side of consume, which is the spiced broth the beef is cooked in.
We love it when food trucks take the best of two worlds and combine them into one. That’s what’s happening with the Alpastorta. A torta is a Mexican sandwich. Al pastor is usually served in taco or burrito form. What could be better than having Al Pastor in torta form?! Nothing, that’s what. While we were trying this creation (you know, for research) founder Miguel let us in on another little secret recently that we can’t get our minds off of—a signature grilled shrimp taco made with grilled cheese as the tortilla. This off-menu item is not only a keto-lover’s dream, it’s legitimately a delicious take on a traditional shrimp taco. If you know, you know. (And know you know!)
While you’re here, don’t skimp on dessert. Kayma’s baklawa is downright delicious and, hands down, the best we’ve ever. Made by the owner’s wife—unofficially dubbed the Baklawa queen of San Francisco—this baklawa has orange blossom water instead of rose water as a main ingredient, making it a truly memorable treat.
Want to add to this list? Go ahead, we’re listening.
That’s it. That’s our list to kick off the season. If you have favorites that you think should make the cut on our next roundup, send us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. We read all of our messages! Can’t wait to see you out at Fort Mason Center.