Adios & Cheers: The Final L.A. Food Fest

10th Annual LA Food Fest

Santa Anita Park

A decade of culinary, beverage and confectionery decadence has come to an end in Los Angeles, but the 10th Annual LA Food Fest delivered on it’s promise to be the talk of the town, even if it is the last. The foodie focused event raised several glasses and many forks for  one last celebration that brought together thousands of angelenos and 100+ restaurants, carts, stands, trucks, bars, beer, wine and craft cocktail makers together including some of the city‘s top chefs, restaurants and international guest chefs at Santa Anita Park, on June 29th.

The crowds were early and eager out on the in-field of the racetrack on that afternoon; from hats and sundresses to the live music and lively vendors everyone was ready for a good time. The LA Food Fest welcomes children, so the festivities had a wonderful mix of shenanigan-seeking singles, canoodling couples and foodie families.

Adding to the jovial atmosphere were the varied interactive entertainments sprinkle throughout the festival, which included a 7-piece Mariachi band, live performance by Black Crystal Wolf Kids, the “Gone Bananas” dunk tank featuring a man in a banana suit, Boomerang-style photos stations, play structures and Coachella-style mini-yerts among many other attractions.  Guests also got a special treat and taste of Gordon Ramsay’s UNCHARTED, featuring an exclusive preview of the upcoming National Geographic series and sample dishes inspired by the show all held within the glamorous NatGeo Lounge (with Aguirre Tequila tastings not far away). The VIP Lounge provided a pavilion of shaded retreats, with a HotPoint Lightbox Photo Booth, tastings from Alexander’s Steakhouse, treats from  FrankieLucy Bakeshop and pourings from Napa’s Wedell Cellars.

The foodie favorites from this final festival not only offered beautifully crafted treats and tastings, but also presented with flare and personality. The highlights included; Pez Cantina’s Micheladas (both green and red) , Maquina Taco pork tacos, Voodoo Donuts (of course), The Pie Hole, Fourth & Heart, Peaches Bakeshop, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, “Beer For The People” by Eagle Rock Brewery, The Donuttery (with a vast variety of Vegan & Gluten Free Donuts), Café de Leche and how could anyone miss, forget or not love the giant pink truck and tacos by Pink Taco.

As in past years, the Fest helped new chefs and restaurants make their debut into L.A. food culture; including Cuizina (Filipino street food), Quiadaiyn (authentic vegan mole), The Burristas, Cevicheria las OlasAfrican ChopEl Chef TacoKen’s RamenPOKEBARBig Grandma’s KitchenOak Smoke BBQ, EK’BALAM Yucatan Cuisine (formerly Delicias Yucatecas), The Vegan Salvi and Always Coffee, alongside neighborhood faves like Pasta SistersEagle Rock Public HouseComfort LAPinches FlautasBarranco Lounge by Chef Walther,Fishin for BrewsLow Key BurritosLuckdish CurryTakami SushiBearologyHumbleburgerzBite Me Gourmasian, Padthai Boran, Mama Musubi, and Nature Well among many more.

For the wine drinkers, local Riboli Wines returned, plus a new Wine Garden sponsored by Obvious Wines featuring acoustic tunes from Sylvia Bosco and games of pétanque from La Boulisterie Los Angeles. And for the beer drinkers there was the Stella AirstreamGolden RoadEagle Rock BreweryCALIDADBorder XElysian Brewing IPAGlutenberg BeerHop Valley Brewing and Michelob Gold Organic, plus Common Cider and Hard Kombucha.

The LA Food Fest was born as the LA Street Food Fest in 2009 founded by Shawna Dawson, Founder/CEO of Angeleno, Inc. She officially kicked off her very first event in Downtown Los Angeles in February 2010. With a lofty goal to not only to fill a gap in the event-scene by creating something that was the first of its kind, Dawson created a culinary community and a platform to support independent small businesses that has traveled from Los Angeles Center Studios in DTLA, the historic Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Exposition Park, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and to its destination Santa Anita Park in Arcadia.

“We couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve accomplished over the years. The thousands of restaurants, chefs and caterers we’ve had the pleasure of working with. The bevy of events we’ve inspired all over the country, and the world. Not to mention, making the term ‘Food Fest’ a common expression everywhere!” Dawson said.

A portion of the proceeds from the 10th Annual LA Food Fest benefits Food Forward, this year’s charity partner. Food Forward fights hunger and prevents food waste by rescuing fresh surplus produce, connecting this abundance with people in need and inspiring others to do the same. For more information, visit and

Photography by Effie Magazine staff

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