One of the Hello Kitty truck employees hands an item to the customers purchasing at Stonestown on June 24, 2023. (Tam Vu / Golden Gate Xpress) (Tam Vu)
One of the Hello Kitty truck employees hands an item to the customers purchasing at Stonestown on June 24, 2023. (Tam Vu / Golden Gate Xpress)

Tam Vu

Hello Kitty Cafe Truck returns to the Bay Area for its annual tour

Sanrio fans stood in line for hours at the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck pop-up in Stonestown Galleria

June 25, 2023

Sanrio fans decked in Hello Kitty sweatshirts, Kuromi headbands and Cinnamaroll backpacks formed a line that wrapped around Stonestown Galleria to buy Sanrio-themed snacks and limited edition merchandising at the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck on June 24.

Sara, 16, and her family were the first people in line for the event. Her cousin Jennifer, 14, said she had heard about the event from a friend.

“We woke up at about four and then we came from Oakland. We got here at 6:30 a.m.,” Sara said.

When the truck opened at 10 a.m., they were first in line to order the lemonade and Hello Kitty plushie.

Aaliyah Mangono poses for the camera, showing off her new Hello Kitty merchandise which she purchased from the truck at Stonestown on June 24, 2023. (Tam Vu / Golden Gate Xpress)

The truck, which first debuted in 2014, is one of only two circulating in the United States –– one on the east coast and one on the west coast. San Francisco was just one of four stops in the west coast trucks Bay Area tour. The truck had previously made an appearance at the exact San Francisco location in June of last year.

Aaliyah Mangono said she got in line at 7 a.m. and waited almost three hours before making it to the front of the line. Dressed in a “Hello Kitty and Friends” tee shirt and Cinnamaroll backpack, Mangono proudly showed off her new black Hello Kitty hoodie and pink Hello Kitty tote bag.

“I always really liked Hello Kitty,” said Mangono. “I really love the whole Sanrio universe.”

Experienced café truck shoppers advised others online to go to the event early to secure a spot, some saying people had previously arrived at the Hello Kitty events as early as 5 a.m.

Diane Alvarez and her daughter, Analisa, have attended the Hello Kitty events for years. The pair sported matching pink Hello Kitty zip-ups and mentioned they bought matching Hello Kitty clothes at every event.

“If she wants to come, we come. We get it,” said Alvarez.

When asked why she returned year after year, Analisa responded, “Oh, I just love it. Well, it’s Hello Kitty, Who can’t.”

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About the Contributors
Photo of Andrea Jimenez
Andrea Jimenez, Staff Reporter
Andrea Jiménez (She/Her) is a reporter for Golden Gate Xpress. She is a double major in journalism and apparel design and merchandising. She has previously written for YR Media in Oakland, California and has published audio pieces in KQED's "With a Perspective" series.


Photo of Tam Vu
Tam Vu, Photo Editor
Tâm Vũ (she/her) is a Vietnamese-American photographer for Golden Gate Xpress and Xpress Magazine. She is a fourth-year photojournalism major with a minor in Asian American studies. She originally entered SF State as a print and online journalism major, but switched to photojournalism in her second year after finding her passion for visual storytelling. Her special interests include Asian American identity and music journalism. In the near future, she hopes to make a video documentary on her parents' immigration story to highlight the generational impact that the Vietnam War has on many families. Outside of school, she loves to attend live music shows, find new music, and crochet.

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