Posts Tagged ‘Food Trucks’

The city of Downey celebrated their annual International Food & Music Festival this past Saturday evening on the streets of Downtown Downey. Free to attend for all ages, this street fair contained all sorts of activities and entertainment for the family. Visitors would find multiple stages for music and entertainment at the ends of streets, which contained dozens of food vendors, from booths of local businesses to gourmet food trucks. At another end of the event, rides and games awaited children and anyone else wanting to play with something. This event represents a good way to discover the local food of Downey aside from having the locally famous Porto’s Bakery right there.

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The Orange County Brew Ha Ha returns for its eighth iteration this Saturday at Oak Canyon Park in Silverado. Benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, this craft beer festival will feature over 90 different breweries, over 200 different beers, many food trucks, seminars from beer experts, live entertainment, and more. General admission costs $45 and begins at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $60 and begins at 12pm. All beers will cease pouring at 4pm, leaving the final hour to sober up and find food.

  • REMEMBER to bring PHOTO ID! Amazingly, many guests think they can enter without showing it to the front security.
  • Look up directions before arriving – cell phones receive no signal as you approach the park.
  • Basic toll-free directions: Get to the 55 freeway, exit Chapman Avenue, then drive east until you reach the lake, where a sign should point out when to turn left into the park.
  • Bring cash for parking in case they charge for parking. Because of the park’s location, I do not recommend riding a bike or walking, although you may get dropped off.
  • Food come at a separate cost, so anyone wanting to eat should arrive with extra cash. Click here for a list of attending restaurants and food trucks.
  • If you see that it has no signal, just turn off your cell phone during the fest. Smartphones can enter Airplane Mode instead.
  • Though the park contains many trees, consider applying sunscreen, and have extra sunscreen available. Security will not confiscate sunscreen from you.
  • For prolonged drinking, start with lighter beers and work your way to stronger beers. Click here for a list of attending breweries.
  • Try to hold on to your beer glass – guests receive no replacement for lost or broken glasses.
  • All beers stop pouring at 4pm. An extra grace hour will allow guests time to sober up and find food before leaving.
  • Oak Canyon Park only has two exits: one back towards Orange, the other through the mountains leading of Rancho Santa Margarita. Police WILL patrol both roads leaving the park!

Check out these pictures from last year’s OC Brew Ha Ha:

Beautiful California: a state unlike any other. From the luscious weather to the so-called California Girls, California almost represents a unique country of its own. As one of the major metropolitan states of this nation, California has one of the largest populations of virtually all demographics, but especially young adults. As society can guess, young adults sure love their hard beverages, and California has no shortage of festivals featuring hard beverages. Practically every week of the year, a festival occurs that features either craft beer, wine, or cocktails/spirits. When adults think festivals that include alcohol, they immediately think about what other activities and forms of entertainment to expect at the events. The days of simple tasting events have long gone by the wayside, and now people expect to find more than just drinking at such festivals. Typical events may include some games or live music, plus some some of food either included with admission or at a separate cost. The more these events feature, the more they feel like they bit off more than they could chew. Some events promise everything yet deliver underwhelming content, while some events promise the best of a few specialties and deliver all they can to satiate the attendees, such as at the 3rd Annual Beer X San Diego Beer & Music Festival.

The Beer X San Diego Beer & Music Festival returned for its third year running this past Saturday. Taking place at Waterfront Park in Downtown San Diego, this festival combines craft beer, drinks, food, and reggae music all in one location. With over a hundred different beers and other beverages to sip on, attendees had a plethora of options to get their buzz on. With so much to do in so little time, one would expect to try to rush around to see everything before the event ended. The beer stopped pouring at 4pm, while the entertainment continued to 10pm. This created an unpleasant crowding effect by the 3pm hour, as the people who attended primarily for the entertainment instead of the craft drinks continued to arrive even after 3pm. At this time, all the beer booths had ridiculously long lines, and almost everyone in those lines no longer cared about the beer pouring – they simply wanted to get drunk. This created a culture divide with the attendees of this event: those who care about the quality of the drinks, and those who attended for the entertainment that cared less for the drinks. Anyone who arrived early enough certainly got to enjoy any drink without needing to wait in lines, and could take time to discover the different types of drinks. However, as time passed, the type of attendees present quickly became apparent that no one cared for the drinks.

Although I did not attend the previous years, I believe that this event marked the first time the organizers teamed up with the organizers behind OC Brew Ha Ha. As such, I would expect that they would handle the festival quite well as they always do with their events. However, prior to entering, I clearly saw faults that Brew Ha Ha would never commit, such as having an inefficient entrance and laying out the booths in confusing spots. Nevertheless, I believe that the genre of music had a large effect on the people who showed up. Consider that the entrance still had a massive line in the final hour of drinks, and that the reggae culture eventually overtook the craft side of the festival. In the meantime, check out Beer X on Facebook and Twitter for future updates, and for news about upcoming events.

Los Angeles Chinatown brought back their recurring Summer Nights event this past Saturday night. Free to attend for all ages, this evening festival brings together food, music, art, and entertainment in a multicultural setting. Throughout the Chinatown main plaza, visitors would find food trucks, merchandise, arts & crafts, live music, live DJ’s, a dance floor, and other forms of entertainment. While this event usually starts at 5pm, the true nightlife does not start until after sunset, when the bright lights go on and firecrackers get lit up all over the plaza. Chinatown brings back this event often every summer, usually taking place once a month. Check out their website linked above for all the dates that this event will occur on.

The 8th Annual Los Angeles Renegade Craft Fair returned for its semi-annual Summer Market this past weekend at its original home of the LA State Historic Park outside of Downtown Los Angeles. This free and all-ages event sees thousands of visitors all coming to see over 250 select independent artists, crafters, and vendors all exhibiting and selling their wares. Among all the possible merchandise, visitors could purchase anything from clothing, accessories, home goods (candles, soap, wind chimes, etc), kitchen supplies, artisanal eats (candy, preserves, etc), music records, pet supplies, and so much more. What makes Renegade Craft appealing revolves around every single vendor, all independently crafting their own handmade goods as opposed to manufacturing them in a factory. In addition to the multitude of aisles filled with vendors, Renegade Craft also offers various hands-on workshops, art installations, live DJ’s, a photo booth, gourmet food trucks, and more.

With the change in location came a change in the lineup of vendors. This past weekend’s event appeared to have fewer amount of vendors compared to the past couple of years at Grand Park. This does not denote a bad thing, as the organizers had to deal with a smaller area this time, despite returning to its original location. Renegade Craft exists to introduce the locals to new vendors that they would have never heard of, and this past weekend’s event certainly did that for me.

If you attended Renegade LA this past weekend, I would love to know what you purchased. Please share your items by commenting on this post, or by posting on my Facebook page. Keep in mind that Renegade runs twice a year in Los Angeles – the holiday show will occur on the weekend of December 9-10 later this year. As a free event open to the public that lasts two days, Renegade Craft Fair can easily fit into anyone’s schedule. Shop local, and support local business – doing so drives the local economy and greatly benefits your local community. Support Renegade Craft Fair by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The night market trend continues to gain popularity, as it exponentially attracts more and more visitors with each passing event. Derivating from populated Asian countries, a night market represents a food & entertainment festival packed with many different types of food, vendors, and various forms of entertainment, including live performances and games. In the past few years, night markets have spread globally due to the increased desire for Asian food, one of which has landed in Koreatown just west of Downtown Los Angeles. This past weekend, the folks over at the Ktown Night Market hosted their annual event at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Koreatown. This weekend-long all-ages festival brought the nightlife of the east to the west, and showed the locals what goes on at night in populated Asian cities. Admission only cost $5 per person, while guests had to pay for everything else once inside. As an event with “Food Fest” in the name, visitors could expect to discover tons of authentic and interesting foods here. While most of the food found here derived from Korea, visitors could find cuisine from other regions of Asia, such as Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, and more. The organizers did not categorize any sections of the street – visitors could encounter food, merchandise, food trucks, games, and more all scattered throughout the area.

Miss out on this night market? Keep in mind that many other night markets take place, now that its popularity has risen substantially. In Southern California alone, in addition to Koreatown, night markets occur in Arcadia, Downtown LA, Costa Mesa, Monterey Park, Westminster, and San Diego. I believe that within a year from now, many more night markets will pop up – a quick search revealed at least two more in Northern California, so look up some night markets in your area, and experience how locals celebrate their culture in the far east.

The Long Beach edition of the Spring 2017 Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival wrapped up this past Sunday at Marine Stadium in the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach. This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at three different locations: Santa Ana, Long Beach, and Oakland. Patchwork Fest emphasizes supporting the local community, and does so by not allowing anything corporate within the boundaries. To envision Patchwork Fest, imagine an arts & crafts fair, but catered to a modern trendy crowd that features local independent designers. Many locals set up their booths here, selling their wares, merchandise, apparel, accessories, foods, desserts, music, and so on. Twice a year, thousands of visitors descend upon Patchwork Fest to discover and revisit the hundreds of vendors present. No matter who shows up, all visitors will definitely find something that will please their interests.

Completely free to attend to the public, Patchwork Fest openly welcomes pets, and boasts a free bike valet for visitors. Each branch of the streets featured over a hundred different local vendors all selling their various goods and/or services. Visitors who get hungry could enjoy fresh hot eats from the various food vendors throughout the event area, or can browse through the various food booths in the fest for portable eats. Much like every iteration of the Patchwork Fest in Long Beach, the day saw plenty of sunshine and cool sea breezes, making it a comfortable day to spend some time here. Of particular note, a majority of the vendors here exhibited soaps and candles, adding a fresh scent to the event. Sun, sea, and soy collided as these scents waft through the air.

The Santa Ana edition of the Spring 2017 Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival wrapped up this past Sunday in Downtown Santa Ana. This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at three different locations: Santa Ana, Long Beach, and Oakland. Patchwork Fest emphasizes supporting the local community, and does so by not allowing anything corporate within the boundaries. To envision Patchwork Fest, imagine an arts & crafts fair, but catered to a modern trendy crowd that features local independent designers. Many locals set up their booths here, selling their wares, merchandise, apparel, accessories, foods, desserts, music, and so on. Twice a year, thousands of visitors descend upon Patchwork Fest to discover and revisit the dozens of vendors present. No matter who shows up, all visitors will definitely find something that will please their interests.

Completely free to attend to the public, Patchwork Fest openly welcomes pets, and boasts a free bike valet for visitors. Each branch of the streets features over a dozen different local vendors all selling their various goods and/or services. Visitors who get hungry could enjoy fresh hot eats from the various food vendors throughout the event area, or can browse through the various food booths in the fest for portable eats. Unlike the previous year where it rained on the event, this year’s event saw plenty of sunshine, which did not stop the vendors from going strong, nor did the heat stop the hundreds of visitors from seeking out great gifts.

The series of Patchwork Festivals happens twice a year: in Spring and Fall. With each series, it runs weekend after weekend at different locations. The next Patchwork Fest will occur in Long Beach in a few weeks. In addition to new foods to try, the lineup of vendors changes, so you may find some great new gifts for your friends & family. Give a like to the Patchwork Festival on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to see what they have in store for you at future shows. For a free fest, what have you got to lose?

If you plan to party on this weekend a week prior to Easter, make it count by attending the 4th Annual Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival, brought to us by the ensorcelling minds behind OC Brew Ha Ha. Taking place this Saturday from 12pm to 9pm at its new home of Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, this festival follows up on its previous years’ iterations of a craft beer festival with all the celebrations necessary for a Cinco de Mayo party, moves it a month earlier, and throws in lots of live music. Dozens of chefs, restaurants, and food trucks will make an appearance here to serve up some delicious gourmet tacos, all conveniently priced at $3 each. Unlike previous years, this year’s event will function more like Cali Uncorked or Ye Scallywag, other festivals from the same organizer. The unlimited beer tasting occurs until 4pm – after that, all attendees will need to pay for drinks. To keep guests entertained this festival will have live Lucha Libre wrestling and live music all day. If guests choose to get involved somehow, they will find plenty of outdoor games to partake in, such as glorified Jenga, beanbag toss, and more. If guests simply want to relax, they can locate the cigar lounge and rest with some of the great cigars available. Though this event takes place outdoors, the event organizers will kindly provide free water to all the attendees.

The 4th Annual Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival runs this Saturday, April 8th, from 12pm up until 9pm. Guests may enter as soon as 11am, but will only have access to the food section. The gates to all the beer will open at 12pm. General admission costs $70 and starts at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $99, starts at 12pm, and includes access to a VIP lounge. Non-drinkers may purchase a designated driver ticket for $45 at the door. Read up on some more tips to make the most out of your visit:

  • REMEMBER to bring PHOTO ID! Amazingly, many guests think they can enter without showing it to the front security.
  • Absolutely nobody under 21 may enter the festival. Do not even think about bringing your kids or pets.
  • Arrive early to secure parking at the venue, since the venue has extremely limited parking. For those planning to arrive a little later, they should park at the Outlets at San Clemente and purchase a shuttle pass for $10.
  • Food come at a separate cost, so anyone wanting to eat should arrive with extra $1 bills.
  • Though the venue contains many trees, consider applying sunscreen, and have extra sunscreen available. Security will not confiscate sunscreen from you.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the festival. All attendees receive FREE water on the premises.
  • Dress appropriately for hot weather. Southern California has seen a heat wave recently, and the combination of heat, salty food, and alcohol will quickly lead to dehydration.
  • For prolonged drinking, start with lighter beers and work your way to stronger beers.
  • Try to hold on to your beer glass – guests receive no replacement for lost or broken glasses.
  • All beers stop pouring at 4pm. The music will go on until 9pm, but guests will have to pay for drinks during this time.

Take a look back at last year’s Sabroso Fest for a glimpse at what may go down this Saturday:

Despite a little wet weather, the Crave Expo went on as planned this past Sunday afternoon at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim. The Crave Expo represents a gathering of food vendors all in one spot for attendees of all ages to check out and dine from. The organizers originally set this up as a ticketed event costing $5 presale or $10 at the gate per person; however, with the weather forecast showing rain all weekend, the organizers decided to nix the admission fee and allow people in for free as long as they preregister; otherwise it would still cost people $10 to enter if they just show up. Once inside, attendees gained access to all the vendors and could eat from whichever they chose. Basically, think of this as a food court, since attendees still needed to pay for any food or drink they wished to consume.

When I first heard about this event, it immediately appeared to me as a food truck fest. Remember food truck fests from 2010-2012? You paid some crazy amount of money to get in, then had to pay again for food. Once people realized that you could visit these food trucks elsewhere for free, people stopped going to food truck fests. Instead, people opted to go to weekly food truck gatherings, or the monthly ones such as First Fridays. Undaunted, I waltzed in to Crave Expo with a little over $40 in cash and checked out what they had to offer. Not surprisingly, I had seen most of these vendors before, either at other similar food events such as Artisanal LA or OC Night Market, or at local food truck gatherings such as Street Food Tuesday. Regardless, I did not want to walk away on an empty stomach. By the time I left, I had over $10 in my wallet.

I do anticipate that Crave Expo will return again in the future, but I advise to keep an open mind about how this event works. Remember that you can indeed find and visit most of these mobile food vendors elsewhere for free, thus avoiding paying for some sort of admission fee just to visit a food truck. Stay active with the local food truck scene by following your favorite food trucks on Twitter, and you will get to visit lots of them without needing to go to another “food truck fest” for some fee.