Oakland, California

In 2011 the Oakland City Council licensed food trucks to specific neighborhood corners, giving a tremendous boost to aspiring chefs and small family operations unable to clear the financial hurdle of finding retail space. My neighborhood, south of I-880 between Brush Street and Oak, is part of Oakland’s Jack London District, where people are more likely to want pressed duck for lunch than a hot dog. Sleek, smartly painted trucks, Wi-Fi–enabled and ventilated by whirling turbans of stainless steel, offer smoked meats, Indian samosas, Vietnamese banh mi, Gulf Coast shrimp and oyster po’boys, as well as artisanal cupcakes and rocket-fuel coffee.

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