Who Doesn't Like Street Food?

mattgould's picture

Ask anyone who has travelled to most major cities in East Asia and they'll say that one of their favorite experiences were the street food vendors. What's better than leaving your favorite establishment with a late night craving and seeing kobe burgers or chorizo chilaquiles to spend that last $5 on?

http://events.sfgate.com/san-francisco-ca/events/show/135945545-the-2nd-annual-sf-street-food-festival-2010

I love street food and would love seeing more places allowed to operate within the city. It could only add to the culinary diversity that SF has come to represent.

Allowing anyone to set up shop anywhere would be ridiculous. But if we ensure that the tenants are paying their taxes, what do we have to lose?

gcotter's picture

I, too, like street food

Hey, mattgould, I think you have a good point.  While I like going to nice restaurants I also like street food.- especially for lunch or a quick snack.  I'd love to see more hot dog stands, more pretzel stands, tacos, kabobs, cupcakes, fresh fruit, ice cream; all great for a quick lunch or snack so you can grab a bite and still have time to run errands before getting back to the office.  And each stand creates jobs and generates sales taxes.

Knowing SF, the restaurants will make noise, and the City Government will throw enough red tape, fees, permits, regulations, etc. at vendors that they can't make any money and, therefore, jobs and entrepreneurship will be stifled.  But I think that street food really isn't competition for restaurants other than maybe Burger King or other fast food, so as long as fees and permits are affordable, it would add jobs.

The only downside I can see is that tracking food safety for street food stands is probably a major headache - especially if some of the food is prepared at home.  But I still think it's a great suggestion.

mattgould's picture

Ahhh

I didn't consider food safety... that would be a MAJOR headache.

Kate Maeder's picture

Who doesn't LOVE street food?

Street food is a great way to share cultural cuisines, to bring the community together and to stimulate the economy. A number of restaurants had to shut their doors recently for financial reasons - but some have taken it to the streets. Love it. Excited about the food festival.

DonRoss's picture

Food Saftey

Just like restaurants, each street vendor has to have a permit, and is inspected by the Department of public health - if we're talking about trucks or carts etc. Not too burdensome, just need to make sure they are following good health standards like the restaurants. I think SF could certainly add more street cuisine and give others the chance to start a business.

I'm all for the expansion of street food!

Bernadette's picture

One Possible Problem

I am a huge fan of taco trucks and other types of street food!  The food they sell is cheap, convenient, and very delicious.  While the convenience aspect pertains to customers (you can find some just down the street from your office) and to the truck owners themselves (depending on their permits, they have many options of where to do their business), there could be some backlash from restaurant owners.  This would be adding to the restaurant owners' competition.  As long as those possible concerns were addressed, I think increased food trucks would be a great addition to the city!

Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137