Food trucks are mobile vendors serving food throughout the Birmingham area. "Taco trucks" appeared on the scene in the mid-2000s, while SpoonFed Grill touched off a "gourmet" food truck flowering in 2009.
Food trucks are food service businesses licensed by the municipalities in which they operate, and permitted and inspected by the Jefferson County Department of Health. Some trucks operate as offshoots of established restaurants. In addition to serving street food on weekdays, many of the trucks are available for hire for private events, functioning as caterers.
By 2012 the Birmingham City Council began responding to private complaints by brick-and-mortar restaurateurs in the City Center by drafting a proposed ordinance to restrict operating hours and locations. The proposal has been debated in Council committee hearings, but has not come up for a vote. Public hearings were renewed in November 2013.
In response to the threat of restrictive regulation, several truck and food cart vendors joined together as the Greater Birmingham Street Food Coalition in early 2013 and proposed an alternate, less restrictive ordinance for consideration. The coalition has also developed a "Food truck lot" at 211 Richard Arrington, Jr Boulevard North.
List of food trucks
The following list includes typical locations, along with Twitter handles or semi-permanent locations:
- Cantina on Wheels (@cantinaonwheels)
- Dreamcakes (@dreamcakesbham)
- Fresh Off the Bun (@FreshOfftheBun)
- A Hole in One (@AHoleInOne)
- Me Gusta Truck (website)
- Melt (@meltbham)
- NOLA Ice (@NOLAIceBham)
- Off The Hook (@RUHKT)
- Saw's Street Kitchen
- Shindigs (@ShindigsTrucks)
- SlapHappy BBQ (website)
- Tacos Dos Hermanos, 1331 1st Avenue North
- Taqueria Guzman, 215 West Valley Avenue
- Taqueria Pineda, 1818 Pinson Valley Parkway
List of food carts
- Greg's Hot Dogs, outside Regions Plaza
- Respicci Italian Ice
- Steel City Pops
- Walter Simmons, outside Birmingham Central Library
Former street vendors
- McWhorter, Andy (August 5, 2011) "The Rise of the food truck". Birmingham Weekly
- Horn, Jason (November 6, 2011) "Birmingham food truck directory". Magic City Post
- Carlton, Bob (December 6, 2012) "Lawyer for food truck operators urges Birmingham City Council to reconsider mobile food ordinance." The Birmingham News
- Carlton, Bob (January 18, 2013) "Food truck operators form Greater Birmingham Street Food Coalition to promote, protect industry." The Birmingham News
- "Best Food Trucks in the South" (January 31, 2013) Deep South
- Crawford, Cindy F. (September 27, 2013) "Riding the food truck trend." Birmingham Business Journal
- Godwin, Brent (November 12, 2013) "Ordinance could shake up local food truck scene." Birmingham Business Journal