National Street Vending Initiative


   vending publications
Download the Sanitation Report:
Street Eats, Safe Eats: How Food Trucks and Carts Stack Up to Restaurants on Sanitation
Download Streets of Dreams: How Cities Can Create Economic Opportunity by Knocking Down Protectionist Barriers to Street Vending
Download other IJ Reports:
Food-Truck Freedom: How to Build Better Food-Truck Laws in Your City
and Seven Myths and Realities about Food Trucks: Why the Facts Support Food-Truck Freedom 
Want a FREE “Legalize Street Food” sticker for your food truck or cart?  Email Make sure to include whether you'd like a slate gray or sangria color decal.

Legalize Food Carts in Chicago

Did you know that sidewalk vendors in the Windy City are not allowed to sell any food other than raw, uncut produce or frozen desserts? That means no tamales, no corn on the cob—not even a Chicago-style hot dog! Vendors live in fear of being caught for earning an honest living. Some have even been arrested for selling tamales to their neighbors in Little Village.

The Street Vendor Justice Coalition and the Institute for Justice have introduced a reform proposal to the city council, and you can help by signing our petition telling the city that greater lunch-time options are the tasty and constitutional way to go.



Help Miami’s Street Vendors Achieve their American Dream

Miami’s hard-working, mostly immigrant street vendors embody the entrepreneurial spirit. They provide a service that willing customers gladly seek out, and they provide a better life for their families. But Miami’s laws make it extremely difficult and sometimes impossible for these entrepreneurs to earn an honest living. Vendors are prohibited from standing still and they are not allowed to put anything on the ground. A simple bucket of flowers set on the ground can earn the vendor a $500 fine. Violating these or other regulations is a misdemeanor, punishable by outrageous fines and even jail time.

This is not the American Dream.

IJ and the United Vendors of South Florida are fighting to change the law. Tell the city commission that vendors like Esther have the right to economic liberty and that the law needs to change.



About the National Street Vending Initiative

Through its National Street Vending Initiative, the Institute for Justice works to defeat anti-competitive restrictions that violate the constitutional rights of street vendors to earn an honest living.  This initiative combines litigating against these restrictions in state and federal courts, helping vendors organize in order to fight these restrictions through activism, and educating the public about the importance—both economically and socially—of street vendors. 

Are you a vendor whose business is being hurt by protectionist laws? We can help. Email to join our fight to legalize street vending in your city.


Join Us
Join Liberty in Action to receive opportunities to take action in your state.





Chicago: Recipe For Success: Your Seat At The Table (May 3, 2014)


Tampa: World's Largest Food Truck Rally II (March 29-30, 2014)


Tampa: World's Largest Food Truck Rally (August 31, 2013)

Chicago Food Carts

Chicago: Recipe for Success (April 27, 2013)

Chicago Food Trucks

Pittsburgh: Community Support Rally (October 14, 2012)


New Orleans: Let the Food Trucks Roll (July 24, 2012)

Cranston, RI

Chicago: My Streets, My Eats Mobile Food Symposium (April 14, 2012)

El Paso



Hialeah, FL

Chicago's Fight Over Street Vending NPR (April 10, 2015)

Las Vegas

Why Doesn't Chicago Have Its Own Food Carts? Chicagoist (March 3, 2015)

Lexington, KY

Chicago not the only city in Illinois Keeping out food trucks Chicago Now (February 6, 2015)

Los Angeles

Street vendors organize, tak on Miami Laws Miami Herald (August 25, 2014)

Miami Food Trucks

Vendedores ambulantes de Miami buscan cambiar leyes El Neuvo Herald (Agosto 22, 2014)

Miami Street Vendors Study: Food Trucks May Be Safer Than Restaurants Time (June 19, 2014)

New Jersey

Food trucks are safer than restaurants, study says Fox News (June 17, 2014)

New Orleans

Food Trucks Thrive Under New City Laws Times-Picayune (April 1, 2014)


Your Favorite Food Vendor Could Get Arrested Salon (November 24, 2013)


Judge issues ruling that could mean vendors can return to work; city disagrees The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (July 2, 2013)


Street Fight: Food Trucks vs. Restaurants Wall Street Journal (August 9, 2012)


Get Your Kitchen Out of My Parking Space! Slate (February 22, 2012)


In food truck fights, libertarian law firm takes a stand The Washington Post (August 18, 2011)



Photos and Video

Asociación de Vendedores Ambulantes


Atlanta Street Food Coalition

Video: Una mujer y su carrito Atlanta Vendors Association
Video: Game of Thrones Food Trucks: Chicago Food Trucks
Central Florida Food Truck Alliance
Video: Food Fight in Washington: Let's Save DC Food Trucks DC, Maryland, Virginia Food Truck Association
Video: Mean Streets: El Paso's Attack on Mobile Vendors Keep Food Legal
Video: Streets of Dreams: Challenging Atlanta's Street Vending Monopoly The Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign
Video: My Streets, My Eats: Free Chicago's Mobile Vendors from Anticompetitive Laws Mobile Cuisine
Video: Buffalo Food Trucks Mobile Food News
Video: Free Pittsburgh's Food Trucks to Feed the People New Orleans Food Truck Coalition
Photos: My Streets, My Eats Mobile Food Symposium photos

Rochester Food Truck Alliance

Photos: Legalize Street Food/Vending

Street Vendor Justice Coalition


Tampa Bay Mobile Food Vending Alliance


The Street Vendor Project

My Streets, My Eats Mobile Food Symposium panels

United Vendors of South Florida (Vendedores Unidos Del Sur De La Florida)




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