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Food truck at Welcome to Thornbury
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Five food truck precincts will open in the City of Melbourne next year

Written by
Rose Johnstone

Melbourne is the food truck capital of Australia. That’s just a fact. Street food culture has been around in Melbourne for years, but the food truck trend really took off when Raph Rashid started serving up burgers from his Beatbox Kitchen truck in 2009. 

These days, there are many mobile feasts setting up all over the city, from street corners in Brunswick to food truck parks like Hank Marvin and Welcome to Thornbury. In the past few years, the one area of Melbourne that has shied away from embracing the food truck boom has been the CBD and its surrounds. Until now. 

Today, Lord Mayor Robert Doyle announced that five street eating precincts will open next year. They’ll be open permanently, with trucks rotating monthly. Hello, delicious weekday lunches! We've got the lowdown for you here:

Where will the five precincts be located?
St Kilda Road, outside the NGV and Arts Centre Melbourne 

Peel Street, next to the Queen Vic Market 

Lez Erdi Plaza, on the north bank of the Yarra River

Flinders Street Rail Underpass (Rebecca Walk)

Flinders Street Rail Underpass (the northwest corner of Flinders and Spencer streets)

How many food trucks will be operating?
Just 17 food trucks will be invited to participate. “We appreciate good food in Australia’s culinary capital, which is why we will only be accepting 17 of the best food trucks we can identify,” says Doyle. The City of Melbourne has already received more than 500 requests from food trucks. By the way, we have some suggestions.

How will the City of Melbourne choose which food trucks participate?
According to the council, they’ll be searching for food trucks who offer healthy options, follow sustainable practices and have strong social media followings. They’ll be putting out the call shortly – so if you’re a food truck operator, watch this space. 

When will all five precincts open? 
March 2017. Just in time for Moomba, the Food and Wine Festival and the Comedy Festival. 

So there you have it, food truck fans. Frankly, we’re not surprised that this forward-thinking project is spearheaded by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle. Under Doyle, we’ve seen the abandonment of damaging lock-outs in favour of all-night public transport on weekends and late-night licenses for small bars and restaurants – all in the name of transforming Melbourne into a 24-hour city. 

Read the full story on how Melbourne is transforming into a city that never sleeps, and find out how to make the most of late-night Melbourne.

Photograph: Vince Caligiuri

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