Would you buy food from a street vendor?

I don’t see too many street vendors in my town. Not too sure why, either. The only places I’ve seen street vendors are in California (near the beachfront) and in Mexico.

I have been thinking about opening a food cart downtown. I’ve done some research on the licensing and startup costs. Now I would like the opinion of my fellow dopers:

Would you eat a hotdog from a street vendor?:slight_smile:

Well I have before. Every so often I buy a hot dog from a vendor, usually when I find one downtown and I’m just hungry. I bet the ones down on Whyte Ave (more permanent vendors, but set up along the street) make a fair bit from the drunks in the evenings.

Mmmm. Street vendor hot-dogs. Is there anything better?

<viking salivates>

I buy them all the time. Never occurred to me that there’d be a reason not to :slight_smile: Well, OK, I had heard some paranoid whiner-freaks worrying about health and safety and all that, but I guess my opinions about that are clear :slight_smile:

I love street vendors, but I’m vegetarian so I wouldn’t eat a hot dog.

I’d love a samosa, or some roasted nuts, or some of those yummy chinese cookies.

I had a hot dog from a street vendor when I went to NYC. It was nummy. I also never think twice about getting food from food carts at fairs, flea markets or other events, and I don’t guess a food cart on the street at a non-event is significantly different.

I’ve often had hot dogs from street vendors, but they have to have the “Sabrett” umbrella on the cart. I’m a bit of a hot dog snob, and Sabretts are as good as it gets. I don’t even bother with Oscar Mayer, Ballpark, Lykes, or any of that crap.

Other than that, mmmmm, arepas! Nothing like an good arepa from an outdoor cart! (They are round pastries of sweet corn, fried, with melted mozzarella cheese inside.)

And if I’m at a carnival or something, can’t pass up the Italian sausage sandwiches with onions and peppers, elephant ears, hot soft pretzels, and fresh lemonade, no Sir!

I’ve done it forever. Only time I ever had He|| to pay was in Taiwan. Had the trots and a major fever for three days. I think it had something to do with the barbecued skewer of marinated duck hearts (or whatever that was). Thank goodness I was already holed up (as it were) in a three star hotel on business.

These days, there’s this wonderful Hispanic lady who sells the tastiest tamales (mole pork, red beef, green pork and chicken) out of her car’s trunk in front of FoodMaxx. For one frogskin each, they’re hard to beat.

Huh wha? Never occurred to me that there was some reason not to buy food from a street vendor. Where the heck do you live that doesn’t have street vendors?

Me, I love a good pigeon-on-a-stick. The rest of you probably think of them as shish-kebabs, but I know what they really are. When I was working down in the Strip district in Pittsburgh, I used to get them all the time. My boss would always call them pigeon-on-a-stick. One time, I asked him why. He looked at me knowingly, and said “you don’t see any pigeons around here, do you?” Gosh darn, but he was right!

FWIW, My mother-in-law’s building’s ground floor is the depot where the hot dog vendors put their carts overnight. It’s kind of funny, but if you walk out of her apartment in the evening, you’ll see hot dog carts coming at you from every direction. It’s pretty surreal.

My mother-in-law’s notoriously jerkish husband got into a big fight with the hot dog guys one time. The next day, he found that his car had been keyed. I think they could have done better, you know? I would have loved to have had him come downstairs the next day to find his car festooned with hot dog buns, stuck on with ketchup and mustard. :slight_smile:

Definitely. Unlike McDonald’s, the person preparing the food has a personal interest in how the business is run, so you’re much less likely to have unwanted ‘extras’ added to your food.

Yeah. The some of the best cheap food in the world. Guatemalan street food is probably some of the best food you’ll find there. Shucos, tacos, gauchitos, they’re all delicious and inexpensive.

Will and have. Around campus, there’s a few places that sell egg rolls and pizza and the like. You used to be able to buy stolen DVD players, DVDs, clothes, and a whole bunch of other stuff from them, too…but the police soon put an end to that.

Plus, what’s better on a trip through the streets of New York than a five dollar hot dog and a three dollar big pretzel?

Y’know, I had an anthro professor once who made a big point out of always making sure street vendors used a clean skewer. Just one of many useful things I learned in his class…

Have had it all over the world - good stuff.

New York street food is a must. Hot Dogs? check. Sausages? check. Chicken and lamb over rice with grilled peppers and onions, hot sauce and a Seagrams Ginger Ale? Oh, checkmate, baby!

I had a hot dog once while standing on a street in Philadelphia. When you see people doing this on TV it looks sooo good. The company was great, the hot dog… just a hot dog.

Hot dogs, coffee, ice cream, churros…mmmmmm churros!

I’ve never lived in a place that had street vendors. If the population is under a certain level, street vendors just aren’t profitable. Not enough hungry pedestrians in the area. In smaller cities, it’s just not the standard trapping that it is in larger areas.

All the time.

And I’m entirely sure that the guy who works his cart until Grand Central closes at 1:30 AM makes more money than I do. Two-dollar dogs, dollar sodas, and a continuous line of drunks Thursday thru Sunday.

I also lived in Philly, and “truck food” was some of the best food I’ve had.

Yes. I eat hot dogs in Toronto, souvlaki in London, chai in India, delicious unnameables in Thailand… I don’t know if street food is like food while camping (it tastes awesome at the time, but mixing beans and mashed potatoes in your own kitchen doesn’t do anything) or whether it really is better. I’d be inclined to say it is as the owner often depends on repeat business. Also, it is easy to make better tasting food than most fast food places.

Not sure whether I would do it outside of America and Europe, but I buy food from the vendors on campus at least two or three times a week. However, watching that Channel 10 (Philly) report on some pretzel vendors’ improper hygiene practices put me off those for a while.

I’d have no problem getting a hot dog from a street vendor, but I’d recommend bratwurst if you really want to catch my attention.

I love street vendors, including the campus-area foodstands El Elvis Rojo mentioned. I need to buy some fried rice from them soon to see if they’re still doing the odd split where one of them inlcudes peas and the other doesn’t.