Since I’ve been visiting, and it’s best seen at night, I’ve found I like to bring a picknick and enjoy the vibe over some food. Bring some chairs, watch the kids, soak it up.
Since I’m coming from the peninsula, the easiest route with strong to-go food options seems down 19th Ave, which means the Sunset. I don’t really want to spend more than 5 minutes picking up food. The lead artist, Charlie, likes a pizza place in the height, which is nice — I end up getting dumplings. Dumplings are ultimate finger food.
The two places I’ve gotten to-go from are Kingdom of Dumpling, and Dumpling Specialist.
Kingdom of Dumpling is thicker northern skins, and lots of different options. Fun meat-bun thing (kinda rao jia mo), lots of other stuff. And reasonable prices: the dumplings come by the 12.
Dumpling Specialist, OTOH, has good XLB. Thin skins, in little cups, lots of soup. But 6 to the order, and less variety.
Anywhere else you’d send me along the 19th ave axis that has easy pickup and take over to the park for enjoying the lights?
Dinosaurs has good Banh Mi and spring rolls, its just 1-2 blocks East of 19th on Ocean Ave and easy parking in front.
House of Pancakes is on Taraval a block West of 19th, and their beef roll pancake, dumplings and skewers are all hand food friendly.
If Ocean Ave is en route for you, +1 for Dinosaurs— I had them on Saturday and both me and my wife remarked about how they were particularly on their game with the combo and the tofu banh mi, respectively.
If you can get parking, Queens’ banchan, kimbop, etc. is my goto takeout for the park. Depending on the hour, Palm City Wines is another en route option.
a bit further up in Irving, but san tung on 11th (for their dry fried chicken) or lime tree (roti prata, murtabak, corn fritters, chicken satay) are pretty good options for finger food that might not be too messy
if yummy yummy has their banh xeo crepe, thats another worthy dish, but more messier. and there is always Arizmendi pizza
Unfortunately TC Pastry is closed at that time, but there is a Vietnamese sandwich place on 23rd that is quite good