This Friday, it will be easier than ever to enjoy some street eats when more than 20 mobile food vendors gather in one place at one time for the first Columbus Food Truck & Cart Fest.
The menu will include hot dogs and tacos - and also grilled cheese, baked goods, bagel sandwiches, fried chicken and waffles. In Columbus, the trend of mobile food is rolling.
"I think it's taken Columbus by storm because it's a new way nationally for individuals to be their own brand and their own persona without having a huge cost for a start-up," said Timothy Wolf Starr, founder of the Small Business Beanstalk.
Those who have a delicious dream can sell it on the street for a fraction of the cost of opening a restaurant, Starr said. Earlier this year, the Economic and Community Development Institute lowered overhead even further by offering rental carts and accessories for first-time sellers or established restaurants looking to hit the road.
"Anyone can start up a mobile industry," Starr said. "If there's something that's not in Columbus that you want, you can make it yourself."
Mobile food has become so popular that the SBB is upgrading an app that locates on-the-go vendors across town.
Bethia Woolf, who guides taco-truck tours through Columbus Food Adventures, said that Columbus has simply caught up to a national trend that ignited several years ago in cities like Los Angeles, Austin and New York.
"Last year, we saw a couple of TV shows about food trucks, so there is more mainstream awareness of them," she said.
But, she added, the trend would die if the food wasn't good.
"People might try your food once if they're in the right place at the right time," Woolf said. "But they won't hunt you out. They won't follow you on Twitter."
Starr agreed that quality makes cravings, even when they're inconvenient.
"People have taken to it so well just because of the level of quality," he said. "It's worth standing in line."