Foodservice Equipment Reports

Pushcart Wars: Chicago’s Street Vendors Angle To Sell Cooked Food

Two years after Chicago’s City Council made it legal for cooking on board food trucks, the Windy City’s pushcart vendors are making a renewed push to legally sell cooked food.

Chicago remains one of the country’s only major cities that ban street vendors from selling anything more than frozen desserts and uncut fruits and vegetables. That hasn’t stopped hundreds of push-cart vendors from roaming the city selling tamales, hot dogs and other cooked food. But they’re tired of being outlaws; they have formed the Street Vendors Justice Coalition and crafted an ordinance worded to ease the city’s inspection burden.

The incremental approach would allow vendors to sell food they’ve made in (or bought from someone who made it in) a licensed kitchen and allow the city to inspect kitchens rather than carts all over the city.