San Francisco is known for being a beacon for fine dining, and with the rise in reality foodie television shows, such as Top Chef and The Great Food Truck Race, there has been a rise in restaurant openings. Many of those who lack the funding for their own restaurant have turned to an oldie, but goodie – the food truck.
There are many people who swear that food trucks aren’t clean and lack refrigeration, claiming that ingredients aren’t fresh. However, this is largely untrue. Food trucks usually use fresh ingredients from farmers markets for this reason, and many cities, such as Los Angeles, California, are changing their laws to match this growing business, requiring food trucks to post health regulation grades, as if they were a restaurant. Businesses that receive a grade of C or lower can find themselves out of business.
While the start up fees for food trucks are considerably less than that of a restaurant, there are still many factors to consider. Like a restaurant, you must take into account marketing, bookkeeping, managing employees, and food, but you also have to factor vending permits, the truck, truck storage, and truck maintenance
Luckily, with the rise of this business, there are many resources available for budding culinary entrepreneurs, such as La Cocina, an organization designed to “cultivate low-income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses by providing affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance and access to market opportunities” (La Cocina). La Cocina is the host to the annual San Francisco Street Food Festival, which showcases many of the culinary businesses they helped to establish, as well as many local favorites and many restaurants take on street food.
San Francisco also has Off the Grid, “a roaming mobile food extravaganza that travels to different locations daily to serve delicious food, with a free side of amazing music, craft and soul” (Off the Grid). It’s more like a gourmet street food caravan, where one has the opportunity to try a variety of street food vendors. They are usually stationed Downtown and SOMA, Upper Haight, and Marina. An updated schedule is displayed on their facebook page, and like most San Francisco street food vendors, Off the Grid transmits their location daily on their twitter account. Off the grid is also a part of San Francisco Cart Project, a site that has a wealth of legal knowledge regarding street food vending in San Francisco. It also has a schedule and map of where to find your favorite eats. Another great street food search is Mobi Much, which tells you all the paces to find your favorite street food culinary geniuses in San Francisco, as well as a long list of other cities.
Get out of the office for lunch and sample the local street food flare of your city!
La Cocina. About La Cocina. 4 Novmeber 2010 .
Off the Grid. Off the Grid. 4 November 2010 .