Picnic at the Presidio
It sounded too good to be true: good food and drinks, stunning views overlookign the Golden Gate Bridge, baby friendly, and completely free. But, Off the Grid's Picnic at the Presidio in San Francisco met all our expectations and more. In fact, it was one of the best foodie events we have been to this year.
Off the Grid ups the game for the food truck lover. They organize and work with hundreds of food trucks and food vendors across San Francisco to organize and coordinate food trucks at different locations. They've got a brilliant constantly updated map that shows the location of food truck vendors across the city. And, they run special weekly events throughout the year, including a twilight event at the Presidio and a Friday weekly market at Fort Mason Center.
Views of Picnic at the Presidio, including the bar and Bubbly Bar
We headed to Picnic at the Presidio on a glorious Sunday afternoon, sun and warmth replacing San Francisco's usual buffeting wind and fog. We flung aside our fleeces and meandered through the Presidio's Main Lawn, unsure of which of the thirty vendors we should visit. People sipped on champagne and mimosas, purchased from the Bubbly Bar, and beer and wine from the main bar in the center of the lawn.
Picnic at the Presidio
Behind me, a group of food lovers debated the respective merits of Napa Valley Merlots and Rieslings, while we tasted and judged our own food. Funny thing is that we're definitely raising a foodie. This kid will clamp her lips shut if you try to give her frozen fish nuggets but will happily devour an adult's portion of $12 per pound North Georgia smoked trout. And, truth be told, most of her food choices are the exact ones that we would have picked.
Her winners at the Picnic at the Presidio were our winners, as well. Amara was so delighted with Patrick's pierogis from the Old World Food Truck --- creamy, soft, and delicately spiced potato dumplings --- that we barely got bites. She wasn't impressed with my lemongrass tofu on a vermicelli salad from the Little Green Cyclo Vietnamese truck and I agreed that the flavors were bland and uninspired, lacking in punch and spice. We rounded out our meals with vanilla and nutella and strawberry creme brulees from the Creme Brulee Cart and all of us preferred the cleaner and lighter vanilla option. The fresh strawberries in the nutella creme brulee muddied the texture and flavor of that creme brulee.
But, honestly, those are just nitpicks. I would suggest Picnic at the Presidio even if the food wasn't good, and, for the most part, it was good. It was one of those lovely events --- full of good food, drinks, pups, babes, and happy people in the bright sunshine --- that I wish every city had.
Off The Grid's Picnic at the Presidio is located at the Main Lawn on the Presidio. It is a seasonal event, running from April until Octoberish. Food trucks line one side of the lawn and food vendors, primarily from local restaurants, line the other side. The main bar and bubbly bar are located in the middle of the lawn. There is also a truck that provides dog supplies and a tent that has picnicking gear.
The food is a bit pricey, but most meals are under $12. Picnicking supplies are very expensive so I would suggest bringing your own.
The views of the bay are beautiful and, if you walk a bit to the end of the Presidio, you get great views of the Golden Gate Bridge. It's cold at the Presidio, so bring a jacket or blanket. But, on sunny days, the sun hits hard and there's no shade, so bring sunscreen and possibly a pop up tent to keep out the sun. As with all weather in San Francisco, prepare for every season in one day.
The grass is nice and lush, perfect for baby feet and dogs. This is a very kid-friendly event . We brought Amara in a stroller, which was convenient since we were able to keep her a bit shaded and also put food on her stroller tray. If possible, I suggest bringing a small bottle of bubbles with you for the kiddos because the breeze is perfect for bubbles. The picnicking station sells bubbles for $10 for a bottle (!) which we thought to be ridiculous. Many people bring games, such as bocce balls and such, up to the picnic.
This is a great dog-friendly event and we saw many adorable dogs around. Dogs must be on leash but there is lots of space to spread out so if your dog is a little shy, you can still find a bit of space for him to spread out.
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