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Oakland’s neighbor, Emeryville, cracks down on food trucks

on September 16, 2010

Many of the food trucks we see cruising around Oakland, like Jon’s Street Eats and Seoul on Wheels, post up in Emeryville during the lunch rush. In addition to being full of office parks with lots of hungry customers, Emeryville also has a streamlined permitting process that makes it easier for these mobile restaurants to park, cook and serve. But this may all change.

According to an article in SF Weekly’s SFoodie blog, the Emeryville City Council is looking at tightening its rules. SFoodie Editor John Birdsall writes, “Fueled by complaints of unfair competition by brick-and-mortar restaurants, Emeryville’s City Council has agreed to look at the city’s mobile catering ordinance ― last amended in 1988 ― to protect brick-and-mortar eateries from what certain business owners are alleging is unfair competition.”

The Emeryville City Council is creating a task force to review current mobile food rules and make recommendations about possible vending restrictions. The task force members will be announced during the council’s September 21 meeting.


  1. Karen on September 16, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    I hope E’Ville doesn’t crack down and I hope Oakland makes it easier for food on the go. Let’s open up the competition so Oaklanders can enjoy good food at good prices. Maybe brick and mortar restaurants are just so 20th century and it’s time to think Food On the Go for us working folks!

  2. Tony on September 16, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    I love having options to the brick & mortar establishments (Summer Summer Thai, Ruby’s), which are overpriced and not the best when I need to get in and out.

    There have been growing pains with the street food scene in E’ville. Competition for parking spaces has been fierce. At least the city is paying attention to this instead of leaving the trucks to fend for themselves.

  3. Lakeside on September 21, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Oakland has some pretty amazing food trucks in the Fruitvale district. Most of them are the mobile offshoots of brick and mortar restaurants. It cracks me up that anyone would go to Taco Bell or Pollo Loco when the trucks offer fresh, authentic, delicious tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. There are workers lined up every day getting the best lunch in town for $5 or less.

    I avoid Emeryville like the plague it’s always been, but nothing’s stopping restaurant owners there from running trucks of their own if they want to get in the game. But no, “Nobody wants to eat at our cruddy, overpriced place, so please shut down the popular competition.” Ya, there’s a business plan.

  4. lover of trucks on September 26, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Look at Portland as a model. They have decked out stands, campers and other portable units in designated areas mainly parking lots which are hard to come by here. The vendors pay permit fees for the space and they seem happy. Maybe brick and morters should reevaluate their business plan. Not everyone can afford a brick and mortar operation. The trucks should stay.

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