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Added Jun 17 2012

I'm from back in NY, and we have food carts and trucks on EVERY corner back east. I miss being able to buy something grilled off the street and walk around the neighborhood with it. Why do I hardly see any food trucks/carts in Chicago? I don't always like sitting down at a table and chair with my food. The rest of the country has embraced the food truck phenomena in a big way from LA, NY, Miami, Houston, D.C., etc. This is the only major city in the US that I hardly find any food trucks. I only see it once in a blue moon when street festivals happen, and even then I see Chicagoans love them. We have plenty of cultural variety where I think food trucks would do well all year round. It would add independent jobs and would encourage folks to get out of their house and walk the streets a bit more.

I love this neighborhood, cause it's so forward-thinking and liberal, u would think Our neighborhood more than any would have a few. Do folks know of any in and around our neighborhood?

How come Chicago doesn't enjoy the food truck/cart culture?

Is it not legal to have one?

  • L

    I too love the food trucks in NY. The food trucks in Chicago are not allowed to cook their food. So, they cook it somewhere else and keep it hot or cold in the truck. They also have trouble finding places to park. There is ongoing discussion among the aldermen to change the laws to allow real food trucks, but as far as I know nothing has happened yet. I encourage you talking to your alderman.

  • Erin new to West Town. so far so good!

    This is currently being debated in City Council - current city regulations don't allow food truck operators to cook or prepare food aboard their trucks. Hopefully that will change soon.

  • That's really interesting L. Good article Erin. I didn't realize there were hurdles like this. I'd write a letter to whoever I could to show support. I just came back from LA this weekend, and alot of folks really thanked the food trucks for spurring alot more local business, not only in dining, but it adds people to the foot traffic for shopping at other retail shops nearby. Other than them being a threat to restaurants renting space, i can't see a reason not to encourage people to tell their local officials to support them.

    I think it would force some of these restaurants to cut down there outrageous delivery fee prices do to competition from the carts and trucks being so readily available on our corners if there were more of them around.

    But no one knows of any trucks or carts off hand in our neighborhood that they can recommend or have tried themselves?

  • Rocky:

    I am not inclined to help out a Yankees fan, but here goes:

    There are not neighborhood food trucks in Chicago. There is a modest number of food trucks operating throughout the city. They pick different spots to operate from each day and don't have fixed routes or schedules. People find them either by following trucks they like on Twitter or just serendipitously.

    Someone posted this link earlier, which is a good starting point.,3

    Also this site has a good locator:

    Personally, I like the Southern Mac truck and Tamale Spaceship. I've had those before.

    Finally, you should write your Alderman and the Mayor about food trucks. However, please avoid phrasing like "I'm from back in NY, and 'we' have food carts and trucks on EVERY corner back east. "

    Sounds like you think you've moved to the provinces.

  • L

    My husband also likes Tamale Spaceship.

    I have no idea why it is taking so long for this issue to be resolved by the aldermen. However, one is a restaurant owner and that might have something to do with it.

  • What can I say D, u can take the kid out of NY, but u can never take the NY out the kid.

    I've gotta check this Tamale Spaceship out. Any good burger trucks people have tried?

  • L

    Since they can't cook in the trucks, burgers probably wouldn't be that great.

    There is a dining out Meetup group that occasionally follows the food trucks around:

  • J East Ukrainian Village

    If you spend time in the Loop at all, there are usually a few and a bit of variety around the lunch hours

  • thx gurs. Its a start, i am glad they are giving the go ahead, but man, those restrictions of being 200 feet from not only restaurants, but conveneient stores too is not going to be easy to handle in the downtown area. And more than that, they will be limited to certain "stand" areas, and can't stay in any parking spot for more than 2 hours???????????? Thats absurd. In NY, a stand can sit there all day long if they wanted, but if u move, customers may not be as tempted to follow, or customers will be confused why ur not there when they need u, which makes the the trucks less dependable for buying meals. They need to lax up some of those parking restrictions if they want the trucks to have a fighting chance of becoming established.

  • Bex Runner, dog owner, food lover in the 60618

    They obviously don't want the trucks to have a fighting chance of becoming established.

  • Stella! West Town, there and back again.

    You can check out city of chicago food trucks at this fest next month

  • Dave The Dude

    Thanks for that link Stella. I had been looking for something like this.

    Does anyone know a website that lets you know which food trucks will be in specific locations and when they will be there in the loop?

  • Bex Runner, dog owner, food lover in the 60618


  • Erin new to West Town. so far so good!

    Dave - this is a good resource.

    Twitter is another great way to locate specific food trucks -- follow the twitter accounts of your favorite trucks and they'll usually post the day and time they'll be on certain streets or in certain neighborhoods.

  • Beth G 15+ year Bucktown resident

    If you have a smart phone, an app called eat st. is pretty good locating food trucks

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Posted to Noble Square

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