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Anthony Bourdain Supports Law That Would Double the City’s Food Carts

Carts are vital to a city, says Bourdain

Food carts outside The Met
Nick Solares

Anthony Bourdain wants to see more street food vendors in New York City, the globe trotting TV star declares in a new video. The video is from the Lift the Caps campaign, a push to increase the number of permits and licenses for NYC vendors, spearheaded by the Urban Justice Center’s Street Vendor Project. "There is nothing more vital to a city and a city’s health than good street food and more of it," Bourdain says in the video. "More permits, not less."

Bourdain’s support comes just over one month after the City Council introduced the Street Vending Modernization Act, a law that would increase the number of permits to about 8,000 by 2023. Currently, about 2,500 people are on a wait list for vendor permits, leading to a black market that charges as much as $25,000 to run a cart. Permits cost $200 when obtained through the city.

"It's time that New York stops ignoring its vibrant and growing street food industry," says Sean Basinski, Director of the Street Vendor Project. "For too long, food vendors have been exploited and stifled by an arbitrary and outdated permit cap." If passed, the law would be the first increase in food vendor permits since 1983. Stay tuned for more news on the Street Vending Modernization Act as it becomes available.