Testifying at NY City Council: Lift the Caps!

Street vendors rally on the steps of city hall with signs that read I love immigrant NY and Support NYC smallest businesses and Help us to serve you

On April 11, the New York City Council Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing held a hearing on a package of bills affecting street vendors, most important among them a proposal that would raise the artificial cap put on the number of mobile food vendors that has been in place since 1983. For the third time in six years, we were at City Hall with the Street Vendor Project to make our voices heard.

Intro 1116 would take several steps to address the issue of black-market permit renting. While Mobile Food Vending Permits only cost $200 for two years, they can be renewed indefinitely, and there is a hard cap of 5,100 permits available. As a result, very few permits come back into circulation, and most permit holders don’t actually vend, but rent their permit to working vendors; the going rate is currently around $25,000.>> Continue reading

Traveller Australia: World’s 50 Best Day Tours to Take

A T in a turquoise circle on white background. The Traveller Australia logo

Traveller Australia, April 4, 2019

by Traveller Staff

SAVOUR THE FOOD CARTS OF NEW YORK

Hundreds of food carts patrol New York’s streets every day offering cheap, filling feeds with this two-hour tour visiting some of the best. Sample six dishes including Korean short ribs, Mexican quesadillas and Belgian waffles. You’ll get to meet the vendors and understand the challenges of selling food curb-side in the Big Apple.

ESSENTIALS Food Cart Tour of the Financial District, $US48. See turnstiletours.com

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Gabs: Supporting local small businesses in New York

Gabs Photography, January 11, 2018

by Gabriela Hengeveld

When we were invited to visit New York for a story about the Bronx we got in touch with Turnstile Tours an organization providing tours to visit and eat at different Food Trucks. The organization found a way of entertaining tourist whilst at the same time having a positive social impact. Supporting local Food Truck businesses, mostly run by newly arrived Immigrants. They not only help the entrepreneurs with customers but also providing them with legal advise through a specific NGO so they can better set up their businesses.

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PIX11 News: History of Food Carts and Vendors in NYC is Celebrated

Pix News logo with white text on blue background and an image that looks like the symbol for a pause button

PIX 11 News, aired November 29, 2017

by Greg Mocker

Greg Mocker of PIX 11 News not only attended our panel discussion at the Museum at Eldridge Street, which included panelists from the Street Vendor Project, 800BuyCart, Cinnamon Snail, Veronica’s Kitchen, and moderated by our own Cindy VandenBosch, he also made sure that he tried some street food from Midtown’s Royal Halal, one of our favorites.

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Explore the World of Street Vending at Museum at Eldridge Street, Nov 29

Veronica Julien stands in front of her metal food cart on Water Street and talks to a tour guide and tour group as they smile. wearing glasses in an apron and a young man next to her are both standing in front of a metal food cart on a busy street.

Join us on Nov. 29 at the Museum at Eldridge Street when Cindy VandenBosch will be moderating a conversation about street vending, past and present, covering the industry’s deep roots on the Lower East Side, hearing from some of today’s most popular sidewalk chefs, and learning about the the many other players that support this industry. Panelists will include Adam Sobel of the Vendy Awards-winning kosher vegan food truck The Cinnamon Snail, Jack Beller of multigenerational food cart fabricator Worksman Cycles-800BuyCart, Lower Manhattan street vendor Veronica Julien of Veronica’s Kitchen, and attorney and advocate Matt Shapiro of the Street Vendor Project.

Wednesday, Nov. 29, 7pm | Museum at Eldridge Street | >> More Information <<

Traveller Australia: Food Truckin’ in the Big Apple

A T in a turquoise circle on white background. The Traveller Australia logo

Traveller Australia, June 30, 2017

by Rob McFarland

“What do you think was the first food sold on the streets of New York?” asks Doug, our enthusiastic guide from Turnstile Tours. Our group stands in stony silence with furrowed brows. Everyone else is from an 18-35s Contiki tour and some of them haven’t been to bed yet after last night’s revelry. It’s a little early for quizzes.

The unexpected answer is oysters. New York once had vast oyster beds and in the early 1900s they were sold by street vendors as a low-cost snack.

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Harper’s Bazaar Spain: Esto es lo que se come ahora en las calles de Nueva York

Harper's Bazaar Spain Logo

Harper’s Bazaar Spain, May 4, 2017

by Sergio Cabrera

Las calles del Midtown de Nueva York se encuentran siempre en constante ebullición. En el que bien podríamos considerar epicentro del planeta, nunca se duerme. Y mucho menos ahora, cuando el lugar más turístico por excelencia se reivindica como uno de los rincones con más novedades que ofrecer en la Gran Manzana.

Imprescindible por sus iconos, tales como el Empire State Building, la Grand Central Terminal, el Rockefeller Center, las principales tiendas de la Quinta Avenida o Broadway y Times Square, el Midtown de Nueva York se ha convertido también en todo un encuentro de tendencias gastronómicas. Concretamente, las que giran entorno a la comida callejera. Puestos ambulantes y pequeños mostradores en tiendas de todos los tamaños compiten por convertirse en el negocio que ofrezca el bocado rápido más de moda. En torno al Bryant Park, hay docenas para elegir, a cuál más interesante.

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The Great War and NYC: Street Vendors and Public Markets

A mail truck transformed into a market wagon carrying food

April 6, 2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the US entry into the First World War. America’s involvement was comparatively brief, yet the war had massive impacts on American society. This year, we will be posting a series of articles about the ways in which the war affected the sites where we work in New York City.


New York City was far removed from the battlefields, occupied territories, and blockaded countries locked in the struggle of the First World War. While many of those places experienced food rationing, shortages, even deadly famines, the US was largely spared these deprivations. Nevertheless, the war was extremely disruptive to the food system of the nation and New York City, leading to the creation of new modes of food distribution to respond to this national crisis.>> Continue reading

Makansutra: Eating In New York

Makansutra logo

Makansutra, September 20, 2015

by KF Seetoh

I was taken on a food and heritage spin around Brooklyn, “to places where tourist would look out of place” ironically by Cindy Vandenbosch, founder of Turnstile Tours (www.turnstiletours.com), and her husband Andrew Gustafson, offering a range of tours and have 7 guides under their fold specialising in different fields, including food. A chunk of their profits goes to the Vendy folks to support their efforts in protecting the livelihoods of the migrant food cart vendors.

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Our Day at City Hall: Council Approves Package of Street Vendor Measures

As promised, Wednesday was an inspiring day, the culmination of years of hard work and campaigning by our partners, vendors, and friends. Though a seemingly small piece of legislation was approved by the New York City Council (and it’s not law yet, as the mayor has promised to veto it), it is something that will have a real impact on the lives of thousands of workers in this city, and the proceedings brought attention to important issues that usually get little public notice.

Our team members Cindy VandenBosch, Rich Garr, Andrew Gustafson, and Brian Hoffman were on hand for the session, though we saw them from slightly different vantage points – Cindy and Rich, from inside the City Council chamber, amidst vendors and supporters; Andrew and Brian, from the sidewalk outside the City Hall gates, then Andrew from an office computer via streaming video.>> Continue reading