Skip to Content
Cheap Eats

L.A.’s Street Vendors Say “Legalize It”

1:24 PM PDT on August 22, 2013

    Photo by Janette Villafana for L.A. TACO.

    Photo by Janette Villafana for L.A. TACO.

    Part of the fabric of Los Angeles, equal in some regards but in others even more essential than the mighty taco truck, are our street food vendors. With products ranging from bacon-wrapped hot dogs to grilled chicken to fresh-cut fruit and juices, these hard working entrepreneurs serve a huge number of people every day in the city of Los Angeles. By and large, they do so on the fringes of legality. In fact, it’s illegal even if the vendor has paid the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health for official street vending permits and the vendor's cart is able to pass a sanitation inspection. Subsequently, street vendors are vulnerable to police and inspector harassment, intimidation, and loss of property.

    KCRW, which also has a number of good photographs of vendors in the city, reports that the

    That situation has gotten so intolerable for street food vendors that many are organizing themselves with the help of the East Los Angeles Community Corporation, a non-profit community development organization. In a series of evening town halls held across the city, vendors are coming together to voice their complaint and develop a strategy to get City Hall to overturn the city’s street vending ban.

    The ELCC has launched a petition which you can sign here. It reads, in part:

    Street vending in Los Angeles is part of the history, culture, and economy of our city. Estimates show that there are over 10,000 street vendors in our communities. Food vending offers employment and opportunities for business ownership for thousands of entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs have been struggling for decades as they experience discrimination, attacks on their livelihood, excessive fines, and even arrests. Our city currently criminalizes sidewalk vendors. We believe that these laws are negatively impacting vendors, community members, and the overall L.A. economy.

    Photo by the great Waltarrrr.

    Stay in touch

    Sign up for our free newsletter

    More from L.A. TACO

    What To Eat In L.A. This Weekend: Mexican-Style Pastrami, ‘Trashburgers,’ and Flamin’ Jim Morrisons

    Plus, a new shawarma spot in Tarzana and the country's first wine festival dedicated solely to orange "skin contact" wine happening in Hollywood.

    April 19, 2024

    The 11 Best Backyard Restaurants in Los Angeles

    Despite many requests to publish this guide, L.A. TACO has been somewhat protective of these gems to not "burn out the spots." However, we wanted to share it with our small, loyal pool of paid members, as we appreciate your support (and know you to be okay, non-NARCs). Please enjoy responsibly and keep these 'hood secrets...secrets.

    April 18, 2024

    Announcing the TACO MADNESS 2024 Winner: Our First Ever Three-Time-Champion From Highland Park

    Stay tuned for the new date of our TACO MADNESS festival, which was unfortunately postponed this last Saturday due to rain.

    April 15, 2024

    What To Eat This Weekend: Cannabis-Infused Boat Noodles, Thai Smashburgers, and “Grass & Ass”

    Plus, a pizza festival and a respected chef from Toluca, Mexico comes to Pasadena to consult for a restaurant menu, including enchiladas divorciadas, and more.

    April 12, 2024
    See all posts