HEADS UP: “Food Cart Fest” Successful In First Run, Ready To Go Again This Sunday


by Andrew Morrison | This past Sunday saw the first reincarnation of Food Cart Fest in its new location. It was awesome, though there is with room for improvement. I’d love to see more seats, for example, and a mighty big beer garden featuring all our local craft breweries (keep dreaming, sunshine), but really, the only real hassle were the line-ups. The interest from the public was a lot more than I think the organisers anticipated, so the queues at some of the food trucks were longer than I had patience for. We’re talking 30 people deep at some of them.

I’d eaten at most of the trucks assembled and knew there wasn’t a dud among them (Roaming Dragon, Tacofino, Mogu, etc), so my happy solution was to visit the one with the shortest queue. That’s what I suspect a lot of other people did, too, presumably with equally delicious results. Sitting down on the curb with my two kids and munching on delicious Jerk Chicken, Snapper, and Pulled Pork tacos from Feastro (why it had the shortest line up is beyond me), we soaked the place us with broad smiles. This is Vancouver street food, not crappy fast food. It’s definitely worth waiting for!

Ernesto Gomez, one of the event’s organisers, came by for a chat, and he, too, seemed to be amazed at the turnout. “We’re hopefully going to try and get more trucks for next time,” he told me. While he’s at it, it would be awesome to include a couple more non-food vendors, too (there were some, selling vintage duds, records, and such). I didn’t want to leave, even after I was full, so the inedible distractions were a big plus. Alas, it’s a “food first” gig, so no big deal there.

Really, I was just thrilled to see it again. I dug Food Cart Fest hugely when it was in the back parking lot of The Waldorf, so it was great to see it writ even larger like a laager next to False Creek, and never mind the few raindrops. The place was packed with happy munchers, friendly dogs, little kids, and – bless them – at least some of the food vendors had simplified their menus so they could turn and burn like champs.


And the really cool thing? It’s on again this Sunday and the next, and the next, and the…you get the idea. The weekly event is now part of our landscape, ours to enjoy with napkins and drool. See you there!

Happens every Sunday until September 22 (14 weeks)
215 West 1st Avenue | 12pm to 6pm
Admission is $2 (max charge for families is $5)
Children 13 and under get in free

Scout is a proud sponsor of Food Cart Fest. We’ll be seeing you there!

There are 9 comments

  1. Just moved to Vancouver and this was my first time at the Food Cart Fest. Loved it, even with the lines, and the music was great. I did regret my decision not to buy espresso coffee on the way, ended up with a nice iced late from Yolk’s but a coffee cart would have been the cherry on top!

  2. Thanks for the nice writeup. More trucks this week= less lines. More vendors in general and some of them will definitely be artisanal food. We just scraped by the licensing process so it was hard to confirm everyone in time. We have a lot of great programming in store…

  3. I’ve been to the food cart fest when it was at the Waldorf and enjoyed it, I think it’s a great idea. I can’t say I enjoyed it at the new location. I went with a friend and the music was unpleasantly loud, to the point where it was hard to have a conversation. We ended up leaving without getting anything to eat.

  4. $2 admission fee?? Absolutely ridiculous. Why is there a charge?? I thought it was a typo when I read it.

  5. A Clearwater-

    Do you think that renting the space and all of the technical stuff involved (tables, chairs, toilets, music) are free? Where do you think that money should come from? You pay to enter Playland, even though rides, food and everything else cost money once you’re in. Same with home and garden shows. Same with clubs. Don’t like it? Don’t go.

  6. D-Gail-

    They should charge vendors instead of eaters. Vendors should support the cost of the event if they want customers to come to try their food. That’s why restaurant pay rent! Don’t forget some vendors have increased their price at the festival (Sohoroad increased their price from $10 to $12). Not to mention the fact that they have done nothing to the area that’s held in. They didn’t even clean up the weeds. lol

  7. nah-

    Even if they charged vendors, then all of the vendors would have to significantly raise their prices. Either way you’ll pay more. “Vendors should have to support the cost of the event if they want customers to come try their food. ” Really? So do you recommend they don’t pay their employees, and take a bath on the deal? It’s not exactly cheap real estate.

    If you’re honestly complaining about a $2 entry fee then right here, present a better financial model for the event. Lay it out with details, I’m sure the producers would love to hear it.

    If you can’t do that because you don’t know the hard costs involved for everyone, then perhaps you’re not in a position to take issue.

  8. I won’t be going for the same reason I don’t go clubbing, paying money for the privildge of spending money inside doesn’t fly with me. Call me cheap if you want, doesn’t bother me. I’m sure the Chinatown night market should start charging admission too at least they provide some entertainment.

    I much rather pay higher prices for food if needed then admission costs and obviously I’m not the only one.