A.V. Club Chicago covers IJ Clinic "My Streets! My Eats!" Campaign
Street food has been a part of America’s culinary history since the hot dog met the bun. For many families, hocking ice cream, tamales, and other fare has helped buy homes and finance college educations. With media coverage of street food increasing, there’s an argument to be made that some of the best chow around right now comes from the inside of a truck or a parked cart. But, as Chicagoans well know, not everyone is a fan of the street food revolution.
Chicago’s ongoing local debate began in June 2010 when Matt Maroni started the engine for the city’s first food truck, the Gaztro-Wagon. Should the city of Chicago be allowed to restrict food trucks and street vendors from business districts to protect brick-and-mortar businesses from competition? And can food trucks really be successful without doing any onboard cooking?
These are among the questions that My Streets! My Eats!, the grassroots campaign launched last month by the Institute For Justice Clinic On Entrepreneurship at the University Of Chicago Law School, will ask. Last Tuesday, the clinic brought together law students and entrepreneurs to start getting serious about trying to change Chicago’s vendor/food truck parking regulations and rules against onboard food preparation.