Street Cart Renaissance Hits Mainstream

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    April Kim buys a cup of the fruit with lime and chili. When I asked how long they had waited in line, her friend said, "about 30 minutes, [the line] got a lot shorter after the [bacon wrapped] hot dogs ran out."

    Get used to seeing those street food trucks around town. In fact, expect to see a lot more. San Francisco's about to fix its cumbersome permitting process.

    Despite the obstacles erected by the city, street food has been experiencing quite the local renaissance in recent years, buoyed by such local celebs as The Creme Brulee Cart. Last weekend, the Off The Grid fest arrived in Civic Center, serving local delicacies in the balmy weather underneath the shade of the hideous sycamores.

    Supervisor and Mayoral candidate Bevan Dufty is introducing new legislation to streamline permits for selling food on the street. Oddly, it's expected that oversight of the food carts will be transferred from the Department of Public Health to the Department of Public Works, which typically manages issues like sidewalk repair and graffiti abatement. That could be a signal that city leaders see street food as more of an infrastructure issue than a safety issue.

    In a city known for its labyrinthine permitting processes, the process for selling street food is particularly confusing. That's probably why so many vendors skip the permits altogether and just hope they won't get caught. Of course, that means that nobody's inspecting their food or equipment, so who knows what their customers are actually into their bodies. In the long run, making it easy to obtain a permit benefits everyone.

    Despite the obstacles erected by the city, street food has been experiencing quite the local renaissance in recent years, buoyed by such local celebs as The Creme Brulee Cart. Last weekend, the Off The Grid fest arrived in Civic Center, serving local delicacies in the balmy weather underneath the shade of the hideous sycamores.

    And SF Weekly wrote a roundup of the ten best-named street trucks. If you don't want to click one-by-one through their tedious clickbait, the best ones are Buns on Wheels, Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, Patty Wagon, and Kim Jong Grillin'.