July is proving to be THE month of kid- and family-friendly food happenings. Just on the heels of recovering from July Fourth-related food hangovers and meat-toxing comes a slew of food events to fill the remaining weekends.
First off, the Original Farmers’ Market on Third and Fairfax continues its Summer Family Fun series. The next one is scheduled for this Sunday, July 10, from noon to 3 p.m., and features two performances by The Sunflowers. Each Family Fun day is free and includes live entertainment, arts, crafts, and other activities. Plus there’s the annual Taste of the Market party on Tuesday, July 12. (Tickets cost $35-$65.)
The punishing lines and heat of the inaugural L.A. Street Food Fest became the stuff of legend, a badge of bad ass, hardcore foodist honor for those who waited two hours for Ludo’s fried chicken and other street treats. After a major retooling that included a much bigger venue (um, yeah, doesn’t get much more spacious than the Rose Bowl), loads more vendors, and promises of smoother logistics, reports last year made the L.A. Street Food Fest sound pretty awesome. I didn’t attend, but this year that will change come Saturday, July 16 — especially since we don’t need to cross the 405 to get to Pasadena. The LA. Street Food Fest 2nd Annual Summer Tasting will also occupy the adjacent Brookside Park, affording families plenty of room to romp and eat, and keep out of the regular grown-ups’ way. Check out the staycation info, too. Or throw in a visit to Kidspace if you’re all up to it. Regular general admission tickets are $60 and include basically all the food and drink you can consume, plus other exciting components, such as noted chefs from Baja and the Ice Cream Social. And kudos to the organizers, Sauce|LA and Unique LA for offering family packages.
The day is divided into two sessions from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Family Pack tickets (pre-sale ONLY) include admission for two adults and one junior (ages 8 to 12) for $130, or $150 for two adults and two kids. Junior individual pricing is $25, and children under the age of 7 get in FREE with a paying adult. The “Date Night” evening round is for the 21-and-over crowd only, as is the whole Luxe Lounge deal. There’s so much food and drink to look forward to, but personally I’m psyched to eat delicious brik from A Taste of Tunisia, which is owned by two terrific L.A. moms. (Read more about them here.)
Here’s to food events held in gorgeous Art Deco former industrial building complexes! Taking place on that same weekend is the Oakland-based Eat Real Festival at the Helms Bakery District in Culver City. (Helms is getting a little closer to the 405 than I’d like, but there’s still some safe distance there.) Anyhoo, this event, which according to a press release “combines a state fair, a street-food festival, and a block party to create a celebration of good food,” is spread over two days during Saturday, July 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, July 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Conceivably you can hit BOTH the L.A. Street Food Fest and Eat Real in order to subject your kids to an embarrassment of ethical edible riches. Eat Real focuses on local and sustainable food production, so that means hands-on workshops and demos about topics such as bee keeping, canning, urban farming, chicken raising, pizza tossing, and a butchery competition (hmm, perhaps for more mature kids?), and other super informative and fun topics. I wish I’d seen a pickle-making demo when I was a kid, because my one ignorant attempt to jar cucumbers turned into a festering moldy disaster. A whole mess of food trucks will be in the mix, of course, and my friend’s brother will introduce his new line of sandwiches. All Eat Real programs are FREE, and if you want to bring home souvenirs, food items will be available for purchase.
Lastly, talk about tastes that will taste AMAZING together! Genius L.A. treasure Charles Phoenix and soda maven/”King of Pop” John Nese join forces at Galco’s Soda Pop Stop on Sunday, July 24 for a “poptails” tasting and fundraiser event for Friends of the Southwest Museum. OK, so maybe drinking soda at 5 p.m. on isn’t ideal timing for your family. But this is a special occasion for Highland Park and for our city. Advance $12 tickets can be purchased here.