The Eat Real Festival Returns to Oakland September 23rd-25th


IZ IT food truck will be serving surf scampi, organic tofu katsu musubi, and fried chicken; photo from Eat Real Festival’s Facebook.

Do ya get excited when you hear stuff like food crafts, DIY, street food, locally sourced, and urban homesteading? And of course our fave four-letter word: free? Then you should be excited about the return of the ~EAT REAL FESTIVAL~ to Jack London Square in Oakland the weekend of September 23rd-25th ‘cause it’s all about small-scale artisan food producers, local and sustainable eats, do-it-yourself food projects, and fun for all ages. It’s a wallet-friendly event: admission is free, and all food is priced from $1-$5.

Not only are the eats affordable, but there’s a ton of variety too. Keep clicking “next” over on the Eat Real vendors page to see who all is gonna be serving up tasty eats using at least one or two organic, local, or sustainable ingredients—the list is much longer than it looks at first sight. Expect all the usual street food suspects (Chairman Bao, Hapa SF, Pizza Politana …), a number of brick-and-mortar joints from all over the Bay (Homeroom, Osteria Stellina, Sam’s Chowder House …), plus some unexpected dishes, like a “kimchilicious” Koreatown Wagyu dog by Belcampo Meat Co., French/Afro/Latin fusion pastries by Cynful Eats, and fried smelt and mushroom perogi by ForageSF. Get a drink to wash it all down from any of the 20 breweries, 15 vineyards, or 2 Bev Shacks (non-alcoholic refreshment) that’ll be onsite.

Then there’s the eats to take home. Grab your canvas bags and shop the Craft Marketplace for locally made crafts and handmade foods, including confections, honeys, jams, pickles, pasta, and pastries. And don’t fret about schlepping around your purchases all day—just drop off your bags at the complimentary bag check.

You won’t just be eating, you’ll be making too. Get hands-on and get schooled in the ways of DIY foods at workshops on sauerkraut, homemade bitters, butter, and more, like bread baking in the onsite community oven. DIY veterans can enter the open competitions for homemade bread, salsa, sweet spread, and pickles. And backyard farmers can meet their fellow enthusiasts to talk animal husbandry, or just go to meet some cute lil’ baby goats.

There will be no lack of entertainment throughout the weekend. Friday, Litquake will hold a food-centric Lit Fest on the Master Craft Stage at 6pm. There’ll be butchery demos/contests, food skills demos, urban farming installations (bees, chickens, goats), and beer and wine gardens to look at too. Plus bands and DJs will provide music, and the stage will also be graced by storytellers.

There’s bound to be something for everyone here between the eating, drinking, demos, contests, and entertainment, especially when there’s no entrance fee, though be aware that food and other purchases will be cash only. And don’t forget a hat and sunscreen! Fri 1pm-8pm, Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-7pm. 466 Water St. at Washington, Oakland.

Event Info

Friday Sep 23, 2011 – Sunday Sep 25, 2011
Fri 1pm–8pm, Sat 11am–8pm, Sun 11am–7pm
Free admission
Jack London Square, Oakland