Five Tips for Navigating This Weekend's Eat Real Festival

Meredith Brody/2009
Organizers are expecting 100,000 to descend on Eat Real this weekend.
​Oakland's three-day Eat Real Festival starts tomorrow, and since organizers expect 100,000 eaters to frolic through Jack London Square, it's bound to get more than a little crowded. Fear not: Gluttony is still possible in the face of big lines. Consider these tips for maximum festival enjoyment:

1. Take public transportation. There will be a free shuttle running from the 12th Street BART station to JLS every 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Bring water and food containers. A reusable shopping bag with a bottle of water, Tupperware, or a few plastic bags will go a long way to extend your tasting excitement.

Meredith Brody/2009
Eat Real tip No. 4: Divide and conquer.
​3. Prioritize. It'll be tempting to stop at whatever booth looks awesome the second you get there, but if you take an extra five or 10 minutes to walk around and survey the scene, coming up with a plan should be easy. Don't prevent yourself from discovering something transcendent because you filled up too quickly.

4. Split up with your friends to get the most popular items. Crème Brulée Cart's Curtis Kimball suggested this strategy on Twitter, and it's good advice. Tackle two impossible-looking lines in half the cumulative it would otherwise take.

5. Arrive early! The party begins at 2 p.m. Friday (tomorrow), but should really get cracking shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Those who got to last weekend's SF Street Food Fest at start time had way more to choose from than people arriving just two hours later. Get there as close to opening as possible, and Eat Real should be your oyster. Or cupcake. Or Korean taco.

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