Off the Grid is a mobile food truck festival in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, USA.

Coffee and doughnuts food truck, Fort Mason, San Francisco


Off the Grid travels to different locations and serves a variety of food. Similar to a night market or a bazaar, a group of vendors gather in an outdoor space on certain days of the week. Originally based in San Francisco, California, Off the Grid now extends its markets throughout the Bay Area.[1]

Off the Grid is owned and operated by Matt Cohen, who got the idea of a mobile food feast while teaching in Japan. There he saw street vendors drive around and serve food cooked from fire pits in the back of their motor vehicles.[2] Off the Grid’s first event was on June 25, 2010 at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. It had live music, alcohol, and vendors serving Latin and Asian food.[3] In 2010 a total of three markets were opened. In 2011 Off the Grid opened nine more, and today there are 15 total markets that run weekly. 100 different vendors participate in Off the Grid.[4]

Off the Grid offers a variety of food at each market, and it changes the combination of vendors so that each event is unique. [5] It also tries to help local businesses by charging the vendors a fixed cost that is lower than other standard rates for events and spaces. Off the Grid does, however, frustrate immobile businesses and restaurants that must compete when the food trucks park outside their business. One restaurant owner has reported a daily revenue loss of 30-40% when the trucks are nearby at one of Off the Grid's 15 weekly locations.[6]

The vendors that take part in the Off the Grid markets have come to serve a broad range of international foods, which include but are not limited to, American, South American, Taiwanese, Indian, Japanese, Mexican, and Mediterranean.[7] Due to its increase in popularity and demand, Off the Grid is now expanding its services to school campuses special events or parties.[8]


  1. ^ Schell, Joseph. "Scenes of the City: Off the Grid's Food Truck Markets", San Francisco, 2 November 2012. Retrieved on 23 January 2013.
  2. ^ Rubio, Laura. "Hot 20 2011: Matt Cohen, Off the Grid owner and operator", 7x7 SF, San Francisco, 5 July 2011. Retrieved on 23 January 2013.
  3. ^ Palmer, Tamara. "Off the Grid, a Roaming Mobile Food Party, Starts Next Friday", SF Weekly, San Francisco, 17 June 2010. Retrieved on 23 January 2013.
  4. ^ "About Us". Off the Grid SF. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Kauffman, Jonathan. "Off the Grid Celebrates Its First Birthday: An Interview with Organizer Matt Cohen", SF Weekly, San Francisco, 24 June 2011. Retrieved on 23 January 2013.
  6. ^ Sabatini, Joshua. "Proposed new food truck rules in San Francisco seek to please both mobile and stationary eat", SF Examiner, San Francisco, 3 January 2013. Retrieved on 23 January 2013.
  7. ^ Sullivan, Kathleen. "Food trucks offer international fare: samosas, soups, sandwiches and sliders", Stanford University, 23 January 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  8. ^ Ray, Elaine. "University develops new program for food trucks on campus", Stanford Report, Stanford University, 29 November 2012. Retrieved on 23 January 2013.