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Posted by Amanda

Probably no form of mobile catering is more recognizable than the street cart caterer. Long a tradition in the streets of New York and Los Angeles, the street cart caterer has been satisfying people’s hunger for ages. It’s not certain when the street cart caterer was actually born, but they are documented back to post World War I days, and may have been around even sooner than that.

There are basically five different venues that you will find with the street cart caterers, although there may be others. The following is a listing of the five major varieties of street cart vendors that are operating today. Looking around the Long Island area, these vendors may be few and far between, but it is well documented that New York City has always been a haven for them.

  • Hot Dog Carts (also hot dog stand) – This is one of the two most common street cart caterers out there. Typically the hot dog cart is found in front of major shopping centers or department stores (Lowe’s and Home Depot). Major street sidewalks, and in public parks or at the beach.

  • Ice Cream Carts – Ice Cream is the other primary venue. Again you will find these in similar locations to where the hot dog carts can be found. Sometimes there is more to be found than ice cream. They will oftentimes vend snow cones and other “ice” desserts.

  • Taco Carts – Typically, these are found in deep urban locations with heavy Hispanic demographics and other ethnicities. Old Town in Sand Diego is famous for the presence of these vendors.

  • Coffee and Bagels – This is a more recent addition to the street cart venue. It is growing in popularity. Additionally, you will also be able to find donuts, egg sandwiches, and other breakfast items on these carts.

  • Halal – Halal food carts include Gyros from Greece, but also foods involving the use of chicken or lamb over rice. Falafel is another cart item that is found with this type of vendor

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