Eat Real Festival Set for Sept. 22-24

The ninth annual fest in Jack London Square will feature hundreds of local foods and drinks.


Kristan Lawson

Jack London Square and the Food Craft Institute announced last week that the Eat Real Festival will return for its ninth year on the Oakland waterfront.

“More than ever, we feel it's critical to celebrate our wonderfully diverse community and our way of doing that is through food," said Eat Real Festival director Ally DeArman.

Set for Sept. 22-24, the festival celebrates local sustainable artisanal foods and drinks -- and their makers, with products and demonstrations galore. 

Highlights include a Food Craft Patio presented by the Food Craft Institute, featuring curated tastings and educational sessions; a Drink Real section offering $10 tasting flights, meet-the-brewer pop-ups, alcohol pairings and the cocktail-tastic Jam Bar; a Family Fun Zone, featuring hands-on activities such as pasta- and coffee-making demonstrations for fun-lovers of all ages; live music and a musical-instrument "petting zoo" thanks to the Oakland Symphony. 

Bringing It to the Table gives attendees a front-row view of the Oakland-based Iron Chef-like reality show of the same name. 

Participating vendors include Donut Savant, El Sur, Shades of Sugar Bakeshop, Petit Pot, Mozzeria, Aburaya Japanese Fried Chicken, Clove & Hoof, Bombzie's BBQ, Humphry Slocombe, Gerard's Paella, Fat Face, Frozen Kuhsterd, Chico Chai, Rocko's Ice Cream Tacos, and more. Jack London Square merchants including Belcampo Meat Co., Baia Pasta, California Canoe & Kayak, and Lungomare will be offering weekend-long specials and interactive activities linked with Eat Real.

Admission is free to the festival -- whose founders describe it as a combination of street fair, food fest, and block party.

"We're filling three city blocks with an incredible array of sustainably sourced street food made by our favorite local makers -- some familiar ones and plenty of new faces, too," DeArman said.

Festival hours are 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22; 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23; and 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24.

"Not only is everything delicious," DeArman added, "but our festivalgoers are making a real impact because every dollar spent on food and drink at the festival helps support the efforts of Food Craft Institute to educate and empower craft producers who are making real food done right."

Festival sponsors include Jack London Square, Food Craft Institute, Safeway, City Ventures, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Hangar 1 Vodka, Bai, Humphry Slocombe, Clover Sonoma, Late July Snacks, Purity.Organic, Health-Ade Kombucha, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, 21st Amendment Brewery, Firestone Walker Brewing Co, Drake’s Brewing Co, Red Branch Cider, Kevita, Farmhouse Culture, Greenleaf, Kite Hill, Essentia Water, Matthiasson Wine and more.

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