Chicago restaurants versus food trucks?

Across the nation, food trucks have become increasingly popular, and are "thriving street feature[s]" in cities such as Austin, Seattle and Los Angeles, according to the Chicago Tribune. Chicago, known for its high-end culinary options, has been lagging behind other cities in this food truck trend, the paper said, but recent developments could be of interest to culinary enthusiasts looking at real estate in Chicago.

Chicago's city council recently voted to approve new food truck legislation, NBC Chicago reported. With the new ordinances, food trucks will finally be allowed to cook on-site in the vehicles' kitchens and can hold longer hours of operation. However, a strict rule is still in place that mandates trucks to operate 200 feet from any restaurant. A $2,000 fine is the penalty for any offenders, and the measure additionally requires trucks to have GPS devices installed to track their movements.

The Huffington Post reported that the city's aldermen said the decision was made through an effort to balance the interests of both Chicago's food trucks and restaurants. Dissatisfaction on both ends could result in further discussions and ordinances, which could potentially change the landscape of eating options in Chicago.

Chicago currently has more than 7,300 restaurants that provide residents with cuisine from around the world. One way to look at the recent food truck developments comes from a WTTW report. In an interview with that news source, the president of the New York Food Truck Association, David Weber, said, "There's so much food available from so many outlets, that you can't view it as trucks versus restaurants. Everyone's participating in lunch these days."