Vancouver wants to add some zest to its street cuisine ¬– salmon, tacos, Korean BBQ, anything but hotdogs.
For the next week and a half, the city is accepting applications for new food carts at 17 locations.
“We have such a vibrant city with such a huge, multicultural food culture here,” said Coun. Heather Deal, who first proposed expanding the food vending program in 2008.
“Having that (food culture) not reflected in the streets was frustrating for me, because one of my favourite things is a lively street scene.
“I want to hear music. I want to see great food. I want to see people walking around – this is before the Olympics. Now I really want to see it.”
Deal said her original proposal met with some resistance, despite what was happening in other cities.
In Portland, the most bandied comparison, the multiplicity of street food includes Vietnamese and Mexican cuisine, smoked pork sandwiches, paninis and flatbread.
Deal expects a fair number of applicants for the 17 licences. High-demand locations will be determined by lottery.
Also, while the majority of the licences will be kiosks, like traditional hotdog or nut stands, three of the sites will be curbside. This will allow movie-style catering trucks and should vastly increase the variety of food available, Deal said.
Next year, the program will look to expand beyond public space (sidewalks and parking stalls), possibly into private-owned parking lots as is done in Portland, she added.
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