Start fasting now, Oakland’s biggest food festival is back for its seventh year. The Eat Real Festival
will take over Jack London Square Friday afternoon through Sunday, armed with over 50 food vendors, chef demos, DIY workshops, and panels. Here are six things you should know before you go.
1. Plan Your Attack.
Don’t go without at least a light study of the map and schedule
, as panels and workshops are split between two stages, a kid zone, and the new DIY drink zone. The easiest thing to remember? Entrance is free and bites are all $8 or under.
2. Get a Drink.
You’ll flow better with the big crowds if you hit up one of the bars before waiting in line for food. Find 20 local taps at the beer shed, $10 flights, a wine bar, craft cocktails at the Jam Bar, and a new cider bar. Head to the DIY drink section for summer cocktails, spirit tastings, and pairings. That said, bring a water bottle to take advantage of the free hydration stations.
3. The chillest day is Friday.
There might be fewer vendors, but it’s less of a clusterfuck, so play hooky if you can. Plus, from 4-8 p.m., our favorite Oakland chefs, like Preeti Mistry of Juhu Beach Club
and Dominica Rice-Cisneros of Cosecha
, will be demonstrating quick and easy global dishes on the main stage.
4. Learn something.
From the beef breakdown and butchery battle, to a panel exploring the wonders of legumes (yup, that is what it’s called), you could easily spend three days getting a free well-rounded food education. We’re so excited about learning to make chevre, roast our own coffee beans, and up our water-wise gardening game, that we’re going to let Chipotle’s guacamole demo slide.
5. Stick the kids in the kid zone.
It won’t be easy to maneuver a stroller, but the kid-zone’s got a pickling party with McVicker Pickles and a tortilla party with The Town Kitchen. We want invites.
6. Check out our favorites from last year.
And as with any food festival, go early, bring cash, take public transit, be respectful to local residents, and have something light before you leave the house so you don’t get hangry.
Eat Real Festival, Friday-Sunday, Sept. 18-20. Friday: 1-9 p.m., Saturday: 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday: 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Jack London Square.