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City of Seattle

July 13, 5:09 PM click here to comment > 1

Hungry? Try your local sidewalk, starting in September

If legislation is passed by the City Council on Monday, Seattleites will start seeing more street food vendors serving a wide variety of delicious food right up to the sidewalk as early as September.

People who have been in cities with an active street food culture are likely familiar with the activity that comes along with it: more visitors out and about in neighborhoods, more people on the street and more opportunities to start a business with lower overhead. Over the last year, we’ve been working with departments to make street food a reality in Seattle.

Food vending in our city to the South (that's right: Portland).

Right now, businesses are limited to serving popcorn, hot dogs and espresso on the street unless they’re on private property. Setting up shop on private property is what has allowed some of the more popular “street food” vendors to be successful. This legislation will give them (and hopefully many others) the ability to set up shop in more places.

While many have benefited from a late night hot dog or coffee on the go, these changes would allow for a wide range of food to be served on the street. If you’re reading this during lunch hour and haven’t eaten yet, we apologize in advance for making your mouth water. Would you like enchiladas rancheras from the taco truck? Chipotle mac n cheese? Kimchi Rice Bowl with an egg on top? Maybe a pulled pork sandwich? What about some Molly Moon’s ice cream for dessert (salted caramel? Honey lavender? Balsamic strawberry)? The list goes on.

We worked hard with stakeholders and city departments to address some of the tougher issues that come along with these changes, such as enforcement of health codes, keeping sidewalks free from obstruction, competition with brick and mortar restaurants, and more.

It will take a while for us to be ready to receive applications for permits after City Council passes this legislation. The Office of Economic Development is building a “one stop shopping” page on their website that will tell you everything you need to know about street food vending in Seattle.  Watch for it!

Posted by: Rebecca Deehr


Comment from Görkem CAN
Time April 24, 2013 at 6:34 am

Street trading is great and tasty here in city Istanbul. Stuffed mussels, grilled fish sandwich, Turkish bagels and much more.. Hope you visit us and take photos.