Street Vendors

October 22, 2021

NYC Street Vendor Project launches a citywide scavenger hunt to help local vendors rebound

Beginning November 14, street food lovers are invited to join their favorite food carts and treats trucks for the first-ever NYC Street Vendor Scavenger Hunt. Participants will get to compete in fun challenges, meet the vendors and, of course, sample the food, to win prizes and help support the Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center–the city's only street vendor organization.
Gather your squad and start sleuthing
December 3, 2020

How NYC brought Christmas tree markets to the U.S.

The convenience of walking to the corner bodega and haggling for a Christmas tree is something most of us take for granted, but this seasonal industry is one that actually predates Christmas’ 1870 establishment as a national holiday and continues to be a one-of-a-kind business model today. In fact, in 1851, a tree stand set up for $1 at the west side's Washington Market became the nation's very first public Christmas tree market, the impetus behind it being a way to save New Yorkers a trip out of town to chop down their own trees. Ahead, find out the full history of this now-national trend and how it's evolved over the years.
The roots of the Christmas tree industry
November 5, 2019

Cap on street vendor permits would be nixed under proposed state law

A state lawmaker wants to allow more street vendors to legally set up shop across New York by lifting the cap on the number of permits issued statewide. The legislation put forth by State Sen. Jessica Ramos, who represents parts of Queens, would let municipalities decide where sidewalk vendors could operate. "The idea is to decriminalize street vending and do away with caps so that every vendor goes through the appropriate inspections," Ramos told Gothamist.
Learn about it
May 22, 2019

Street food competition Vendy Awards will host its final event this fall

The annual competition celebrating New York City street vendors will end this fall after 15 years. The last Vendy Awards ever will be held on Governors Island on September 21, providing one last chance to enjoy one of the city's greatest food events. The competition, organized by the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, launched with just four vendors in 2005. It has since grown to feature vendors from across the city, serving nearly two thousand hungry foodies annually, and becoming a career launch pad for vendors.
Learn more
December 7, 2017

City Council Speaker pushing legislation to expand NYC’s food truck industry

Before the end of her tenure on Dec. 31, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is making an eleventh-hour push for legislation aimed at expanding the city's food vending industry. As Politico New York reported, the bill adds 335 more licenses for food vendors over 10 years, with 35 set aside for veterans. Currently, there are 5,100 licensed food vendors in the city. While the bill's passage could be a victory for immigrant workers, many who make a living working on food trucks or carts, although sometimes on the black market, critics say increasing the number of permits allowed for rent-free vendors could hurt brick-and-mortar shops.
Find out more
August 27, 2014

Daily Link Fix: Robot Becomes BFFs with Seniors; Learn Survival Skills to Help You Escape Any Capture

Women Street Vendors Serve Up A Labor of Love: In ethnically-diverse low-income neighborhoods, you’ll notice that most of the street vendors are women. Listen in on WNYC’s podcast about the history of women vendors and the native South American foods they sell. SunBeamer Shines Light Into Dark City Buildings: Most buildings in the city don’t […]