What’s street food? It’s a label for something which is getting more and more popular today, but which exists since man walks on earth… According to Wikipedia, Street food is “ready-to-eat food or drink sold by a hawker, or vendor, in a street or other public place, such as at a market or fair. It is often sold from a portable food booth,food cart, or food truck and meant for immediate consumption”.

According to a 2007 study from the Food and Agriculture Organization, 2.5 billion people eat street food every day [1].

Sticking to Dublin [Ireland], a city I am very passionate about, street food is a flourishing reality which continues to grow. Why? Primarily for 3 good reasons:

  1. Irish are not able to cook, as average ;
  2. Street food is perfect for employees, which may be lazy or without time/skills to cook good food themselves ;
  3. Dublin has a rich economy at the moment, so average people can spend money [2] for take away food ;

To give you an idea about the money I am talking about, please consider that Just Eat, Online takeaway service received over two million orders in Ireland on year 2014, which worth more than £1 billion (€1.39 billion) [source]. Here I am associating street food and “take away/delivery” services because in my humble opinion they work on the same target of clients. 

I have several pictures about street food in Dublin, but for this article I would like to keep it simple: the Irish Village Markets (Spencer Dock Lunchtime Market, location).

On their website the Irish Village Markets organizers describe their project as working “closely with a select group of street food vendors, chefs and producers all operating in pop-up environments at various high-profile locations, providing high quality international street food for all occasions. Our lunchtime alternatives offer visitors the opportunity to experience diverse tastes while absorbing the sights and sounds of our busy street food markets, all located in idyllic settings”.

I never tried their food myself but from the smell it looks great. They create on early morning a stand in a small garden behind the IFSC area, which is a smart move as that neighborhood is full of employees which earn good money and are ready to pay for quality take away food.

The atmosphere is quite relaxed and people enjoy their meal close to the stands or taking it away. Trash bins are located all round the designated area and the organizers further clean up their space at the end of the working day.

Irish Village - Dublin street food - tables

Now a question. It would be nice to know how much these stands pay in order to be eligible to sell food. There is a set of laws which ensure fair competition between daily stands and food shops/fast foods in the same area? Yes because IFSC has also a number of pubs and food shops which pay very good money on rent, to be there. Last bbut not least, several offices even have an internal canteen managed by one or more companies which paid to sell food in the building …

I am saying this because in Italy the regulations are quite inappropriate to ensure fair competition between stands and regular shops, and this created more than one struggle.

“You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food”. Paul Prudhomme.

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*1-Spotlight: School Children, Street Food and Micronutrient Deficiencies in Tanzania”. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. February 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-20 ;
*2-According to a research published on 2013 [2009 CSO SILC survey], average individuals in the Republic of Ireland have an annual gross income of €26,800.
Disclaimer: Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, places, brands or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.