We love food trucks around here (every year we round up a list of the 101 Best Food Trucks in America,) but critics of street food say that the trucks take up valuable parking, emit toxic fumes, and like any other vehicle, they run on costly gas. Introducing the food bike: the eco-friendly solution to the urban craving for street tacos and kimchi. Most food bikes simply carry ice cream and other pre-packaged treats, but others run as compact on-the-go kitchens, like Hot Bike in San Francisco. Hot Bike offers velo-food on the go, and is equipped with a working stove.
Of course, bikes do have their limitations, and are better-suited to beverage-peddlers like Two Rivers Cider Co. in Sacramento, Calif. and Trailhead Coffee Roasters in Portland. After all, it’s a lot easier to carry a cooler of cider on your back, or a giant coffee thermos instead of a portable kitchen. Plus, most cities require on-site hand-washing stations for hygiene purposes. To get around this, Alfonso Dominguez prepares the wares sold from his El Taco Bike off-site at his family restaurant in Oakland, California.
But these food bike peddlers are experts. According to an interview with NPR, Charlie Wicker who owns Trailhead Coffee Roasters, can lug around 200 pounds of coffee at one time, even uphill.
"On a bike, you're basically impervious to traffic jams," he tells Eco Watch. "I can calculate my delivery time down to the minute."
Of course, you can forego the bike completely and carry your wares on your back via the GrillWalker, a mobile grill device that allows you to walk your bratwurst over to your customers. No traffic-weaving necessary.