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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Making a Lunch Pit Stop at Truck Stop SF

Posted By on Tue, Oct 1, 2013 at 2:00 PM

click to enlarge LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante

Our monthly review explores the city's food trucks gatherings, one at a time, breaking down each one with statistics, descriptions of the scene, and vital info to help you plan a trip there.

Location: 450 Mission, in the alley

Schedule: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Market Info Website: Facebook (has the most updates)

Approximate Number of Trucks: 2-3 each day

Parking/Public Transit: Parking is tough, Market street transit makes it easier

Music: No

Booze: No

Seating: Outside in the courtyard of the Fremont Center that connects to the alley

Best for: Quick lunch bite on sunny days

Other notes: Lines get long fast; take an early lunch for best service

Easily one of the hidden gems in the food truck rallies is Truck Stop SF. Tucked away in a small alley barely big enough for the trucks and lines of patrons, this rally hosts a great selection of food trucks, like Hapa SF, KoJA Kitchen, Phat Thai, and the ever-popular Chairman. While it doesn't offer any seating in the alley, it has an unexpected advanced of having access to the courtyard of Fremont Center at 50 1st Street. On a nice day, large groups of co-workers share tables or bench space underneath trees.

See also: Food Truck Bite of the Week: Four Great Food Trucks for Vegetarians

Revisiting Thursday's Ferry Plaza Market, the OG Food Truck Rally

How S.F. Food Vendors Prepare For an Event Like Outside Lands

click to enlarge Courtyard lunchtime action - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • Courtyard lunchtime action

Because of the narrowness of the alley, it's hard to scan truck menus, and sometimes it's even harder to make your way to the truck farthest away from the entrance. Get there a little early and you'll do well, or get there on the late side (though at your own risk since some items may sell out).

click to enlarge Look for the signs! - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • Look for the signs!

The off-street placement of the trucks can make it a little tricky to find the first time, so keep an eye out for the bright yellow sign, and if you hit it right at peak lunch, the lines that can spill out to the sidewalk.

If you're the hardcore planner, its good to know that their schedule is usually updated for the week late in the day on Monday on Facebook and Twitter, but rarely it seems on their website. We've found the most consistent updates show up on the Truck Stop SF Facebook page, especially when trucks aren't able to make their scheduled appearance for technical reasons.

While it's small, there isn't anything else in the area that offers a consistent location for vendors at lunch five days a week, making this a great spot to put on your regular lunchtime rotation.

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