The Road to Street Food: Dead Ends and Detours

Mike Cutno, a graduate student in City Planning at Georgia Tech, recently wrote a paper about food cart regulations for a planning-law class. Based on what he calls a “rudimentary research of the ordinances and legal precedents in place,” Cutno came to the conclusion that “the only way to get food carts on the streets legally is to seek a political solution.”

If you are interested at all in the topic, whether as a possible vendor or, more likely, a frustrated consumer, read the paper and educate yourself about the many issues and the way they have been addressed in other cities.

Of special interest: the section about the Vending Advisory board and its composition and an extensive bibliography that should inspire further reading.

[photo by Vene Franco]

Street Food Within Reach

Farm Cart

Seen in the parking lot of Design Within Reach last Thursday serving free food: the Farm Cart of Athens-based Farm 2555 “Had a good crowd out there,” says tipster Seth Berman, who took time away from the tasty shrimp and house-smoked cod rolls and “real nice” cart cookies to shoot us some juicy pictures!

Berman also pointed out a piece in the Flagpole written by Hillary Brown detailing the frustrations and roadblocks experienced by local food vendors.

From Our Far-Flung Correspondents

Espresso Truck

Cool-hunter and muse Alfredo Aponte, who launched our blog and recently moved to Denmark and, hopefully, a career in design, filed the following from Copenhagen with a sincere hope that Octane should take note and perhaps give Atlanta a version of the KobenKaffe!

Tips From All Over

Dave Jones recently returned from a short vacation in Seagrove Beach, Florida, where he ran across a bunch of Airstream trailers parked on the central square in prissy Seaside. “I only got a chance to snack at the Barefoot BBQ trailer,” he writes, “but all seemed to be doing a rollicking business. All together, there was the barbecue, a fruit stand/bar, cupcakes, ice cream and a juice bar.”

Jones, who has been interested in the idea of a street food scene in Atlanta since a trip to Asia some years ago, hopes to get involved.

“Nice to see some movement!” he wrote us.


[photos by Dave Jones]

Top Chefs Speak Up

While in Chicago with the Top Chef Tour, Chef Kevin Gillespie of Woodfire Grill in Atlanta and his colleague Mike Isabella from Zaytinya in D.C. declared themselves in favor of street food.

Gillespie thought that “food carts would get people to try new and different food” and that they are “a perfect way to showcase a few treasures from all sorts of cultures.” Debunking the notion that food trucks hurt brick-and-mortar restaurants, Kevin stated that food carts actually increase the likelihood of someone going to an actual restaurant.

[Photograph and quote borrowed from]