Locals know that “summer” in San Francisco doesn’t always look like it does in other places. But! We don’t let that stop us from living our best summer lives. 

In addition to layering up, the most effective way to stay warm during those foggy San Francisco nights is from the inside out. And at Off the Grid, we have a number of food vendors who know how to turn up the heat. (Fire pits help, too.) Read on to find our picks.

10 of Our Favorite Spicy Dishes to Warm You Up From the Inside Out. 

1) Al Pastor Papi

Look for the hot pink truck and the chipotle-habanero salsa roja and jalapeno-tomatillo salsa verde squeeze bottles set up out front, which you’ll want to deploy on your burritos, tacos and tortas. Extra pro tip: ask Al Pastor Papi’s friendly chef/owner, Miguel Escobedo, if he’s got any jars of his acclaimed salsas for sale that day.

2) Momo Noodle

Belly up to a bowl of hot and spicy egg or rice noodles — we suggest the signature Spicy Momo Noodle amped up with additions of ground pork, tofu, and pork belly, the Spicy Chicken Noodle or the red chile-spiked Hot & Sour Rice Noodle. You can also pick up a bottle of their spicy and numbing Hot Green Sauce to go.

3) Chick N’ Bros

In the mood for a hot chicken sandwich? Chick N’ Bros has several levels of intensity for your face: the Angry Bird, Angry Bird Deluxe and Nashville Fire (also available as tenders with fries aka a Side Chick). All have lashings of spicy adobo aioli, which they affectionately call “Bro Sauce,” and the heat rises incrementally with each option. You may want to go slow.

4) Vegan Mob

Flavorful plant-based soul food meals are the specialty at Vegan Mob. And if you’re sticking with spicy, check out the Fully Loaded Mob Nachos, which have smoked plant brisket, barbecue sauce, nacho cheese, Mob sauce, guacamole and plenty of jalapenos.

5) El Sur

The Bay Area’s specialist of Argentine-style empanadas has long been a staple creator at Off The Grid. The traditional hand cut beef empanada has a hidden kick thanks to the inclusion of red chile flakes.

6) Korean Bobcha

Billed as “real Korean with a California twist,” Korean Bobcha is a great stop for when you’re craving some sweet and spicy Korean fried chicken (aka KFC).

7) Bun Bao

There are several spicy fluffy buns to be found on the menu. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, don’t miss the Szechuan Crawfish Bao, which has a filling of crawfish, shrimp and pork in chili oil, and the Jalapeno Beef Bao, which has a jalapeno and tomato based meat filling.

8) Capelo’s Barbecue

Mmm, Louisiana hot links! You don’t have to leave San Francisco to enjoy this spicy meat treat, a beef and pork blend made by local sausage company Schwarz.

9) The Chairman

Keep that capsaicin flowing with a spicy chicken rice bowl or steamed bun from The Chairman, which has been with Off The Grid since the very beginning.

10) Bacon Bacon

Get up on the spicy porky goodness of the Cuban sandwich, which has pork belly, bacon, pork shoulder and Swiss cheese with spicy mustard, green peppers and pickles. And don’t forget a Bacon Bouquet to show someone you love them.

Check out the Creator lineup for Fog Appreciation Day for more information on what you’ll be eating on July 22.


By Tamara Palmer