food trucks

Food
11:05 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Austin is Making It Easier For Food Trucks to Recycle and Compost

The Korean Komfort food trailer in West Campus. Trailers and trucks in established courts can possess freestanding recycling and composting services, but under current city code, solo trucks cannot.
flickr.com/sbogdanich

Baton Creole food truck owner Lynzy Moran has been cited twice by the City of Austin for trying to be more environmentally friendly.

Once it was for collecting grease to be recycled into biodiesel. Another time it was for trying to compost food waste. Now she drives the hot oil she uses to clean her fryers from her East Sixth Street location to a commissary for disposal.

"I'm literally having to travel with hot oil in my car every night, which is also very dangerous and pretty scary," Moran says. "[I've] definitely burned myself a few times."

Audio version of story that ran this morning

Read more
Food
7:50 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

New Food Truck Court to Open on Barton Springs Rd.

An artist's rendering of the Picnic, coming in March to Barton Springs Rd.
Ronnie Brooks

A new food trailer court is slated to open on Barton Springs Road in March, creating a new home for well-known mobile food vendors such as The Mighty Cone, Turf N Surf Po’Boy and Ms. P’s Electric Cock.

The Picnic, as it's to be named, will occupy one-third of a three acre site between Chuy's and Baby Acapulco where the Manor Mobile RV Park used to be. The other two thirds of the site is being developed as the Coldwater Luxury Apartments.

Unlike some food trailer courts that are located on undeveloped sites while landlords rent space to offset property tax until they can build something on the lot, the Picnic aims to be a long-term facility.

Read more
Austin Film Festival
6:00 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

New Documentary: 'Dog Days' for Vendors Missing Food Truck Boom (VIDEO)

Food vendor Siyone at her cart in a still from "Dog Days," premiering at the Austin Film Festival.
Credit dogdaysthemovie.com

KUT is a media sponsor of the Austin Film Festival.

Food trucks are white hot in Austin – and the story’s similar across the country.

Mobile restaurants feed a trend of quickly-served, affordably-priced gourmet food – perfect whether you’re at the bar, or barely have time to leave your office for lunch. 

But for those in the traditional world of street vending – old school hot dog carts parked on street corners – this new wave of mobile food vendors is a major disruption.

Read more
FOOD
5:06 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

After SoCo Food Park Closes, No Shortage of Alternatives

A pastrami sandwich at Melvin’s Deli Comfort.
Matthew Odam, Austin American-Statesman

The food trailer park on South Congress just closed down, and a lot of people were upset about it. But there is still a big food-truck scene here in Austin with a wide range of cuisines; you just have to know where to look.

Read more
Austin
6:05 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Austin's Food Trailer Migration: South Congress to South Lamar

The owner of Austin Frigid Frog Shaved Ice hopes his customers will follow him to South Lamar.
Laura Rice, KUT News

The story as it aired on KUT 90.5 FM.

The food trailer park on South Congress was one of Austin’s most popular. But the trailers had to clear the lot this week to make way for a hotel and retail space.

Four food trailers made the two-mile move to a vacant lot at South Lamar and Bluebonnet Lane – including Austin Frigid Frog Shaved Ice.

Read more
Austin
12:38 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

City Looks for Feedback on Austin's Food Scene

Austin's food scene may be booming, but the city is looking for input on how to combat food deserts and develop urban agriculture.
flickr.com/austins_only_paper

For the uninitiated, Austin food isn’t exactly orthodox. Like any big city, the culinary range is vast and eclectic – from tapas to tandoori, gourmet donuts to the ubiquitous breakfast taco.

But while Austin’s food scene may be a draw for taste buds here and abroad, it’s also a preeminent moneymaker – with an economic impact of over $4 billion, according to a study released last month. The city may savor that tax revenue, but it’s also asking citizens for ideas to improve Austin’s food culture as foodies look forward.

Read more
FOOD
1:55 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

The South Congress Food Trailers Have to Leave by May 25

The SoCo food trailer park, photographed last month.
Marissa Barnett for KUT News

It was perhaps the most well-known food trailer park in Austin, but now the mobile food vendors on the 1600 block of South Congress have been given a date by when they’ll have to leave: May 25.

SOCO ATX Development notified vendors last week. The company plans to build a three-story hotel on the lot, according to documents filed with the city. The building will include space for retail and a two-story underground parking garage. 

Read more
Food
10:39 am
Sat March 16, 2013

An Uncertain Future Awaits the South Congress Food Trailers

Food trailers at this popular South Congress spot may be getting pushed out soon by the construction of a hotel.
Marissa Barnett for KUT News

South Congress could be missing some visitors by the end of this weekend, and not just because the last of Austin’s South by Southwest visitors have fled to the airport: the land between East Milton and East Monroe streets on South Congress Avenue where nearly a dozen food trailers are parked each day could be vacated any day now.  

When KUT News visited the park on Friday, almost every trailer offered a different closing day: “this Sunday,” “by the end of March,” “sometime around April” or “nothing is certain yet.”

Read more
Texas
10:00 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Houston Wants to Follow Austin's Food Truck Lead

Food trucks are a popular stop along South Congress. Houston food truck owners want more lenient rules for operation.
flickr.com/Matt Peoples

While food trucks have been embraced in Austin and can be found clustered throughout the city, Houston food truck owners are struggling to change city ordinances that impose limits on their operations. 

Yesterday, dozens of food truck operators and enthusiasts came before the Houston City Council to petition for changes in mobile food unit ordinance, which bans food trucks that use propane stoves and grills from operating in the busy downtown area.

The Houston Mobile Food Unit Collective has proposed that the mobile food unit ordinances be amended to allow trucks with propane tanks under 40 pounds to operate downtown, eliminate the required 60 feet of space between trucks and permit food trucks to provide up to three tables and six chairs for patrons.

Read more
food
12:22 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Development Pushes Out Another Food Trailer Court

Snap Kitchen is one of several food vendors that will have to leave this lot on June 10.
Photo courtesy of Snap Kitchen, snapkitchen.wordpress.com

Several food trailers downtown were told Tuesday night they have to move by June 10, to make way for a J.W. Marriott hotel that will be built there.

“It’s upsetting,” said Martin Berson, co-owner of Snap Kitchen, one of the food vendors on the site at Congress Avenue and Second Street. “My hope is that we’re not going to have to move out of downtown.” Berson says he’s been offered lots in north and south Austin, but is trying to find another spot downtown.   

Other food vendors at the site include Padika CoffeeKebabaliciousTurf ‘n’ Surf Poboys, and Chi’Lantro.

Read more
SXSW
10:00 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Food Trucks Become Corporate Ads at SXSW

A man takes a free hamburger made by P. Terry's at a food truck operated by the web host Squarespace.
Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

One of the trends at this year’s edition of South by Southwest involves major national brands using food trucks to create a kind of interactive marketing experience. But they’re relying on Austin eateries to inject some local flavor into the mix.

Read more
Events
4:21 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Will the Gypsy Picnic Redeem Itself This Year?

It's time again for the Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival, which takes off this Saturday from 11 am to 8 pm at Auditorium Shores.

Last year's picnic was anything but. Long lines (up to an hour for a donut), nightmare parking, vendors running out of food, and massive crowds soured many attendants.

The festival received a two-star rating on Yelp!, and led John Kelso of the Austin American-Statesman to quip: "If you wanted something to eat, it would have been quicker to sit on the corner with a tin cup, collect change and grab a tuna sandwich at a convenience store. Or bag a possum and build a fire."

This year promises to be different, according to Festival Marketing Manager Lindsay Hoffman of C3 Presents, which is producing the festival.

"Last year was the first year of the festival, so everything was unknown. We couldn't even anticipate those kind of numbers," she told KUT News.

"This year we're working with those kind of [anticipated] numbers, so it's a lot easier to work with the food vendors and prepare them to get their menu out faster," Hoffman said. "We've taken in all the feedback from last year."

Read more
food
12:34 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

Austin's Food Truck Market Saturated?

There’s no question that Austin’s food truck scene has grown over the past five years. Travis County had fewer than 700 mobile food vending permits in December 2006. Today, the official count is above 1,300.

But a closer look at county data obtained by KUT News through an Open Records Request shows the number of mobile food vending permits has remained relatively stagnant since mid-2009. While that number doesn’t tell the whole story, it may raise questions over whether the city’s food truck market is approaching saturation.

The county changed how it counts mobile food permits in September 2010 to include delinquent permits. Those are permits that have expired in the last six months. It makes comparing 2006 to 2011 difficult.

Read more
food
12:00 pm
Thu June 2, 2011

Austin Food Trucks Get Politically Organized

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The number of food trucks and trailers in Austin continues to expand rapidly. Now a new organization has popped up aiming to organize the hundreds of mobile food vendors in the city to confront issues ranging from permitting issues to what to do with used grease. 

The Food Trailer Alliance is largely organized by Tony Yamanaka, a marketing guy at Austin's Better Business Bureau. We called him up to find out more about his organization.

Read more
Business
11:06 am
Wed February 9, 2011

In Last 6 Months, 253 New Food Trucks Opened In Austin

Cory Nunez has sold pressed sandwiches out of his Austin Daily Press cart for more than a year. Upwards of 250 food truck operators have opened in the last six months in Austin.
Photo by Caleb Bryant Miller for KUT News

Today's bone chilling winds are no friend to the city's food trucks, but occasional bad weather is not stopping the rapid growth of mobile food vendors in Austin.

Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services, which runs food permitting and restaurant inspection, says 386 permits were issued since August 2010. Of those, 253 permit holders have actually opened new mobile food establishments.

Read more
Business
2:33 pm
Mon January 31, 2011

Austin's 1000-Plus Food Trucks Brace For Chill In Business

Food trucks like this one, Bits and Druthers, expect to take severe cuts to their sales when the artic chill moves in this week.
Image courtesy Speedye http://www.flickr.com/photos/speedye/

Temperatures are expected to dip into the upper teens this week as an arctic blast bares down on Central Texas. The deep freeze will make life tough for homeless people and their pets, and Austin's food truck entrepreneurs have also been suffering from winter weather.

Read more