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St. Vartan Armenian Church Bazaar & Food Festival 

When: Fri., Oct. 3, 5:30 p.m.-12 a.m. and Sat., Oct. 4, 12 p.m.-12 a.m. 2014
Price: $1-$3
If upscale food truck gatherings are a haven for hipsters, then the ethnic-specific church festival is a true epicure’s mother lode — a near-endless repository of authentic, inexpensive eats. This weekend, Oakland’s St. Vartan Armenian Apostolic Church (650 Spruce St.) hosts its 62nd (!) annual Armenian Food Festival, and whether you’re a diehard beoreg (cheese-filled phyllo pastry) enthusiast or a total novice to the cuisine, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more impressive spread of Armenian delicacies in the Bay Area. Don’t miss the koofta (lamb-and-cracked-wheat “meatballs”) and the wide array of baked treats, all lovingly homemade by members of the congregation. Full meals — served cafeteria-style with rice pilaf, bread, salad, and a kebab of your choice — start at $16. This is rib-sticking food, so consider staying for a vigorous session of traditional Armenian music and dancing, which kick off at 8:30 each night.
— Luke Tsai


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