New York City has a quota of 3,000 street food licenses with a years-long waiting list and the Vendy Awards, an annual cook-off to celebrate the city's best food carts. Meanwhile San Francisco, by all accounts an equally food-obsessed city, only has 120 licensed pushcarts—and 71 of them are inside a ballpark. Why so few carts on the streets?
Rules include leaving 10 unobstructed feet of pedestrian passage, not being within 18 inches of a curb, not stopping on sidewalks with colored curbs, not being within 12 feet of a building's entrance, and not selling food available in restaurants within 600 feet. Entrepreneurs complain that year-round licenses forbid cooking on the carts, so food can't be fresh but must be prepared ahead and reheated.
Also: no carts within 1,500 of a school. Oh SF, you nanny state, you!
Previously: my town can take your town.