Follow Me Foodie: Is Vancouver’s street food overpriced or underappreciated?

Vij's Railway Express (3)In Vancouver, the idea of street food seems to be synonymous with “cheap food”, and, as result, many popular food trucks struggle to stay in business. — Rob Newell

Follow Me Foodie: Is Vancouver’s street food overpriced or underappreciated?

Mijune Pak — WE Vancouver
July 14, 2014 03:20 PM

Vancouver is one of North America’s strongest food cart cities, and it takes the lead in Canada with over 100 mobile eateries. But while there is an advantage to being on the West Coast, where weather is moderate, it’s still a struggle to stay open year round, and many can’t afford to do it.

Just like our summer, food carts come and go, and many of the operators I’ve talked to (at least 40) pray to make it another year. Some even work a couple of jobs to sustain their food cart business.

It’s a labour of love and customers don’t always see the “behind the scenes” or have sympathy for it. Well, enough sympathy to want to pay more for it… In fact, price often comes up when discussing Vancouver’s street food scene. Relative to other North American food truck cities, like Portland or Austin, which are casual, Vancouver’s food truck scene is posh – with prices to match. Read the full story.

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  • Ben Morton says:

    Those prices look about the same as they do here in Vermont.

  • Jayda Home says:

    Thank you for this article. It always irks me when people compare the food truck scene in Vancouver to other countries where the trucks deliver dirt cheap food. You do the purveyors of these trucks a great service in pointing out the extremely high costs there are in operating, insuring, hiring, etc…. there are for them. Plus, the demand for fresh quality ingredients. Most of these food trucks support local growers and producers as well so their costs are quite high since they are not just using mass produced low grade ingredients. I honestly enjoy the oppurtunity to sample creative foods without the commitment of having to set aside an hour or more of my time in a restaurant. Plus I can try things on my own without having a have a dining partner…. something I’m less inclined to do if I want to try out a menu at a restaurant.

  • Steve says:

    The big things that stands out to me is “Many food trucks are actually meeting the above criteria (and more or less need to if they want a good chance at getting a permit), but the value isn’t registering with customers.”

    The problem isn’t really about consumer understanding then, it’s about being forced to buy something we don’t want because of city/permit mandates (eg. I understand what local ingredients are, but when I want street food I have no interest in paying for it). It would be better if it were not up to the city to determine what “belongs” and just let consumer demand dictate. Then you’d have a better mix of high and low price with more variety.

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