Way before people sold crème brûlée on the sidewalk, there was great street food thriving in Oakland that didn't involve tweeting or "liking" on Facebook. One of the Bay Area's biggest experts on the scene is John Birdsall, editor of SF Weekly's food blog, SFoodie, and a longtime Oakland resident. Here's a look at two of the highlights of the tour he took us on in the Fruitvale neighborhood: a spicy, French-dip-meets-torta stuffed with tender braised lamb, sold from a sweet ’70s van; and chicken grilled roadside out front of Taqueria Durango and served with an amazing cactus salad seasoned with toasted oregano.
Pipirin Taco Stand
34th Avenue and Farnam Street, Oakland
No phone available
3829 Foothill Boulevard, Oakland
Chowhound's Tour video series features two theme-based travel series. There's 2010's Innovation Tour, which uncovered food-related innovation in SF, LA, and NYC, from people mashing up different cuisines, to handing out free organic vegetables to low-income folks, to presenting old dishes in a new way. And then there's 2011's Handmade Tour, which sought out real people making real, authentic food—from pupusas being slapped together by hand out of a food truck to whole-animal-to-plate antelope tartare—in Austin (TX), Oakland (CA), and Portland (OR). Watch, travel, and eat along with us!
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