Advice for Eat The Street Japan

I know, I know.

It’s crowded, the lines are long, there’s not enough parking, trunks ran out of food.

I got it.

But there are ways to avoid these potential potholes if you heed some of my advice:

Go early. That’s the easiest way to avoid most of your problems. Trucks will have enough food, lines won’t be as long, and you’ll find parking. That said, if all 5,000 people show up at 5 p.m., well, that would be an issue.

Know what you want. Our Nonstop team, with the help of organizer Poni Askew (@streetgrindz), put together a list of vendors to help. Map out the places you’d like to try and hit only those spots. If you’ve got extra time — or the lines aren’t that long — then eat at the others.

Bring your own beverage. While most trucks will be serving drinks, bringing your own beverage will keep you hydrated — and less irritable.

Tag team. You can always guarantee trucks like Melt and Eat Gogi will have long lines. So disperse. Have one friend stand in one line while you stand in another. That will help speed up the process.

Eat a little before. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but trust me. If you have to wait for an hour to eat a grilled cheese sandwich — and believe me, it’ll be worth it — and you’re starving, you won’t be a happy camper. But if you’ve got some food in your tummy — or if you brought your own snacks to nosh on — you won’t have that I’m-starving-and-I’m-hating-life feeling.

Bring cash — and small bills. This will really speed up the process, trust me!

Just have fun. Accept the fact that there will be thousands of people at tonight’s event. Accept that there will be long lines at some trucks. There’s no point in getting upset. Set small goals — eat a chimney cake or the soup of the day at Melt — and be happy with that. You can always patronize these wagons on Friday!

Happy eating!