I’ve eaten at a lot of food trucks. Individual roach coaches, of course, but also renowned food truck gardens in Austin, at San Francisco’s Off the Grid and Sundays in the Presidio, and various food truck rodeos in New York’s Capital District. Sometimes the food is good, sometimes not, but the food truck experience brings with it an existential problem: since you’re ordering from a truck, you’re eating in a parking lot. At times there are clever seating solutions; more often or not you’re just standing in the sun with the sauce from your order dripping down your arm.
Spark Social, a new venue in San Francisco’s Mission Bay district, solves this problem by designing the space around the food trucks. It was built from scratch in a formerly desolate neighborhood which has been innovatively developed in recent years with the UC Mission Bay medical school and related hospitals as a hub. There are various seating areas including a hollowed out two-decker bus, a shed serving bargain beverages and lots of picnic style benches. A rotating assortment of about 20 food trucks roll in and out. All were doing great business at lunchtime and there’s also happy hour and dinner service. (For residents of the spanking new apartments in the area, there’s not a lot else going on in the evening.) There are also special events (like a family ice cream festival this Saturday August 19) and you can rent out one of the dining areas for birthday and other special events.
I’ve got business in the area over the next few days and predict I will be back, often. Spark Social is at the corner of 4th Street and Mission Bay North. The current food truck list and calendar of events can be found on their website.