While that all important vote for food trucks may have been pushed back, another prominent food writer has entered the fray. Writing for New City Resto, Michael Nagrant steers mostly clear of the glories of street food and how delicious everything will be, and instead spends most of his time explaining the very practical reasons why Chicago needs food trucks: “I believe one of the primary reasons we’ve ascended as a food city over this last decade is due to the availability of reasonable rents (as opposed to NYC), thus allowing chefs to take chances, experiment and build a business without burning all their operating capital on lease agreements.” He seems to make the case that with food trucks running rampant in other cities like L.A. and New York, Chicago may lose that advantage.
For him, it all comes down to money: “There are far more talented chefs in the city of Chicago than smart, patient investors willing to endure the ups and downs of a fickle business built on razor-thin margins.” That last point is something we hadn’t thought about before, but makes a lot of sense.
As an example, he points to the great success that bakeries have had in the city due to exposure at Green City Market: “Just as the Green City Market has served that purpose for many successful storefront bakeries like Floriole, Bleeding Heart and Hoosier Mama Pie Co., food trucks will serve as a base of operations for the next generation of restaurants.”
Check out the full argument at New City Resto, along with his picks for some of the best street food in Chicago.
My Favorite Things: Street Food Edition [New City Resto]