Public Health cracks down on unlicensed Alki Beach vendors

Public Health – Seattle & King County announced this morning that it shut down seven unlicensed food vendors at Alki Beach last night for “operating without a valid permit.” They list the vendors in question as:

Botanas Lokas
Tacos El Amigo
Unpermitted chicharron vendor
Tacos Seattle & Hot Dogs
El Corre Caminos

Besides health, other permits are required for food vendors, as listed here. Meantime, you can check Public Health’s list of current food-establishment closures any time by going here.

78 Replies to "Public Health cracks down on unlicensed Alki Beach vendors"

  • bgrcoug June 24, 2024 (12:43 pm)

    OMG, about time, can barely walk down the sidewalk now in the summer with all the trucks on the sidewalk and other “booths” blocking the way    

  • Seattlite June 24, 2024 (12:43 pm)

    These types of blatant illegal  street vendors can be extremely dangerous to the public’s health and safety.  Unlicensed/unpermitted street vendors are not following any health standards for food prep except their own.   I hope these unlicensed/unpermitted street vendors are heavily fined.  No one wants to find themselves in a hospital with food poisoning. 

    • WS Resident June 24, 2024 (1:01 pm)

      I’ve gotten food poisoning from restaurants, cafes, vendors that had all the necessary paperwork so what’s your point? Am I condoning “illegal street vendors”? No. I’m just saying that having the “proper” paperwork sometimes doesn’t make a difference. I’ve eaten plenty of food from these vendors and I’ve never had an issue, it’s common sense to eat at your own risk.

    • Jethro Marx June 24, 2024 (1:54 pm)

      Are you concerned at all about the extreme danger to the populace posed by the tendency we have to make everything we don’t like seem extreme? If any of these vendors are force-feeding you their products then I will get all worked up with you but I don’t think that’s how they operate.

      ”I never wanted to end up with “food poisoning” and can’t imagine how this happened,” said one local man who ate a lukewarm bacon-wrapped hot dog from a dude selling them out of a car trunk.

      • Frog June 24, 2024 (3:18 pm)

        Well, as long as these vendors collect and remit sales taxes, and report the majority of their earnings to the IRS, like legal businesses do, then no problem, I say.

    • Alki resident June 24, 2024 (4:08 pm)

      Being licensed doesn’t make you safe. I’ve never been sick from eating unlicensed tamales from people. I’ve gotten sick three times from chain restaurants. 

  • Mike June 24, 2024 (12:58 pm)

    Wondered about these vendors.  Glad to see the crackdown.

  • C June 24, 2024 (1:02 pm)

    Any news on the folks operating the unlicensed race track?

  • WS Resident June 24, 2024 (1:04 pm)

    Sad to see Alki is losing this… it was my favorite part of being on the sidewalk. I loved having some delicious vendor food and enjoying the day. For all the people bothered by this, find a hobby.

    • Keep the wheels area clear June 24, 2024 (4:11 pm)

      Funny you say that since these unlicensed vendors are directly impacting my “hobbies”. They constantly block all or most of the bike blade run section with their booths or their customers. I’ve had very close run ins with unaware customers who are standing there waiting.Also besides public health issues there is the issue of taxes and licenses for these underground popups.Can’t have a different set of rules for some 🙄

      • Chip June 24, 2024 (5:20 pm)

        I bike there all the time. The bike path is obstructed by pedestrians, not by the vendors, who generally set up on the sidewalk. Personally I enjoy the elotes and hope the city helps these vendors get licensed so they can continue. Street food is part of having a lively city, and a good business for those who can’t afford a conventional storefront.

        • West Seattle Mad Sci Guy June 24, 2024 (8:30 pm)

          Not commenting on the vendor situation but it’s definitely the pedestrians. Biked here for years with and without carts.

    • Really June 24, 2024 (4:13 pm)

      They’re free to get a permit. Not sure what they expected to happen. 

    • Anne June 24, 2024 (4:26 pm)

      Happy to see Alki losing those that that can’t be bothered to get the proper permits.  For all those that do bother to do it right-I’ll be stopping by for sure-that’s my hobby- patronizing those that follow the rules along with established Alki restaurants. 

    • TacoFan June 24, 2024 (4:27 pm)

      Exactly.I eat from these vendors occasionally, never had a problem. Losing them eliminates a lot of the flavor from Alki. But I suppose that’s how “some people” want it…

    • John June 24, 2024 (4:52 pm)

      I make sure to not support illegal food vendors.

      • Alki resident June 24, 2024 (9:16 pm)

        I support those willing to work to help feed their families. Every state has side hustles and those people deserve to live too. Great food and great people. 

        • OrcaSound June 25, 2024 (11:08 am)

          Then they should get legal status, apply for a stable job with benefits for their families, and/or get an education and get actual good paying jobs. Instead of selling sketchy food illegally on the streets…. There are WAY better ways to support a family. I absolutely do NOT want our beaches to be like Mexico’s… hassled nonstop by vendors.  

          • Alki resident June 25, 2024 (12:05 pm)

            Not sure where any of this states these people are illegal. Strange assumption. I have friends who work full time plus have products they sell just to make ends meet. This isn’t something new and it keeps roofs over their head. Are you happy being taxed to death in King County. Are you willing to pay more for more families on the streets? 

        • Really June 26, 2024 (4:51 pm)

          And their side hustle requires a food handling permit….

  • Pinto June 24, 2024 (1:11 pm)

    I love street food. Especially when traveling. might end up with her Hershey squirts but worth it. However, at that location they are taking business away from chupacabra cactus and other places.

    • Alki Crow June 25, 2024 (8:11 am)

      They are free to compete with El Chup, Cactus etc. if they get the proper permits to do so. Nothing wrong with competition and they serve different markets. Not everyone wants sit-down table service and would rather eat down on the beach or while strolling. Plus, Cactus regularly has hour long waits to get a table! I hope the city can work with these vendors to help them get licensed and continue to contribute to the lively community atmosphere on Alki in the summertime. 

  • Qwerk June 24, 2024 (1:18 pm)

    I’ve wondered about these vendors. They often setup next to the bike trail, which can completely congest the trail. WSB (or anyone), is there a policy for vendor selection and compliance at this location? Since this is a park and the link in the article indicates that vending in parks need to be associated with an event (see below), are any of these legal? I couldn’t find any permits for this location using the city’s interactive map. Park – Permit May Be Required

    • Any vending locations in city parks operated by the Seattle Parks Department must generally be connected to an event. Work with the event organizer to determine permit needs.
  • lucy June 24, 2024 (1:25 pm)

    How about the horribly obnoxious ice cream vendors blaring their “It’s a small world after all” muzak?

    • D-Mom June 25, 2024 (7:30 am)

      YES!  they camp out in my neighborhood with that droning tune driving me to madness. Make it stop!

    • Joah June 25, 2024 (7:36 am)

      I thought “The Entertainer” was the go-to ice cream truck melody around here. Has that changed?

  • waikikigirl June 24, 2024 (2:05 pm)

    I’ve always wondered about the vendors on Ambaum Blvd. SW. No bathrooms, no hand washing facilities…UGH! 🤢

  • Kadoo June 24, 2024 (2:14 pm)

    I wonder if the food vendor in the Alaska Junction park near QFC has a license or food handler’s permit. 

    • WestSeaddle June 24, 2024 (6:28 pm)

      If you mean TheHomeSkillet person, they’ve been shutdown before for no permit so it wouldn’t be surprising if they are doing so again. 

    • Ms. West Seattle June 24, 2024 (8:33 pm)

      Yes he does.

  • Chelle June 24, 2024 (2:19 pm)

    Hopefully they keep up regulating these. I always see the fruit and other food sitting in the sun. 

    • Hick June 24, 2024 (5:22 pm)

      With high turnover, fruit in the sun for a few hours really is not a serious health concern.

      • OrcaSound June 25, 2024 (11:16 am)

        Uhm wow, yeah no, that’s completely wrong……definitely said like someone with no safe food handling experience and zero knowledge of the prepared food hold Temperature Danger Zone… For your example of cut fruit:  Are they labelling and dating foods? Do they have chilled hold areas at or below 40/41F? Are they using cross-contaminated knives to cut the fruit? Are they washing the outside of the fruit first? Are they continuously cleaning utensils and surfaces for a sterile prep area? Likely all no, no, no, no, and no. 

    • Alki resident June 24, 2024 (9:17 pm)

      I take it you’ve never been to Mexico? Florida? Hawaii?

      • OrcaSound June 25, 2024 (11:20 am)

        Mexico beaches SUCK. Constantly hassled by vendors passing by (and going from “You want bracelet?” to ” You want weed?” to “You want blow?” really quickly… ) Not to mention other countries have completely different gut bacteria that can handle different foods… Plus, MX beaches are known to have regular contamination from overflowing sewage lines running right into the water and up onto the beaches…. IF you know anything about MX you’ll know people get sick from trips down there,  ALL THE TIME. 

        • Alki resident June 25, 2024 (12:08 pm)

          I don’t know anyone who’s been sick from their good. I know you’re not supposed to drink the water. Seems to me they’d stop going down there twice a year if they were getting sick right? Those vendors rely on tourism. They offer to do your hair, sell you crafts and much more. It’s how they survive. Don’t go if you don’t like it. 

        • Chuck June 25, 2024 (12:14 pm)

          How did we get from Alki to Mexico?

          • AStoMX June 25, 2024 (9:01 pm)

            Alaska Airlines?

  • R June 24, 2024 (2:26 pm)

    Eh, I thought they were fun. A small way for folks to make some money. Never got sick and felt that it lifted the summer-beachside energy. 

    • Docton June 24, 2024 (4:00 pm)

      AGREED!  If you find these offerings sketch, pass.  

  • DC June 24, 2024 (2:40 pm)

    Boo! Street vendors (yes, even those who don’t go through the years long, expensive, onerous, and arbitrary bureaucratic process of licensing) are a vital part of vibrant cities around the world! Why is everyone such party-poopers. If you’re worried about the safety of the food, don’t eat there. Let the rest of us enjoy the delicious food!

    • Pete June 24, 2024 (2:47 pm)

      Yeah! It’s nice to have affordable snack options right there on the beach 

      • Jim June 24, 2024 (7:45 pm)

        Affordable?! These places were all highway robbery prices 

    • Alki resident June 24, 2024 (4:11 pm)

      YES agree. I was pleased with the mango slices recently and the lady was friendly. People are simply trying to survive right now.

  • Jeff June 24, 2024 (3:03 pm)

    This stinks. Leave the vendors alone!

    • ERIC June 24, 2024 (5:09 pm)


    • PDiddy June 24, 2024 (9:12 pm)

      Not fair to all the businesses paying for rent, taxes, etc while these cheaters setup on the right of way. I wanted then gone a long time ago. Scabs IMO.

      • Runner June 25, 2024 (6:41 am)

        Totally agree! Trying to run a business is always hard especially when the cheap street vendors are allowed to place themselves between your business and the potential beach customers. We should support the people that are investing in full time business in Alki. 

  • JTM June 24, 2024 (3:23 pm)

    Really the least of Alki’s summer problems, tbh.

  • Alki res June 24, 2024 (3:24 pm)

    Such a shame. I’ve really liked the vendors and their offerings! Only super friendly interactions and so nice to grab a quick bite!I’ve felt it complements the area well. I hope they can return. 

  • dhg June 24, 2024 (4:10 pm)

    I like having the health department vet spaces and people.  They’ve done such a great job that some people are complacent.  This youtube video is for you:

    A Man Ate Pork Tacos From An Illegal Food Truck. This Is What Happened To His Brain.        

  • Kravitz June 24, 2024 (4:19 pm)

    Wow, the ‘rules don’t apply to me’ entitlement mentality in the comments section is laughable. Why shouldn’t these vendors have to follow the same rules and permitting that your favorite local brick and mortar businesses or properly licensed/permitted food trucks follow? I’m betting that those whining about the crackdown are probably driving around with expired tabs from 2021, or letting their Labradoodles play on the Fairmount Playfield because it’s “too far to go to Westcrest,” and “my dog doesn’t need a leash because he’s friendly.” 

    • John June 24, 2024 (7:47 pm)

      Well said! Although ironically my tabs were expired on one of my cars from that long ago but it was because it was at a property that my parents own up in Snohomish county and was basically being used as a strictly off-road vehicle I just recently got some repair work done on it to make it street legal again and got the tabs updated but I had to drive it back to Seattle with expired tabs I was nervous the whole way 😅

  • K June 24, 2024 (4:35 pm)

    Funny how many people are all “rules are rules!  Lock ’em up!” when we’re talking about parking vehicles over 72″ (RVs) on city streets, but are suddenly all “what’s the harm?” when they can’t get cheap tacos at a public park.  Every person operating a business without a license is engaging in tax evasion.  No matter how much you like their food.

    • K2 June 25, 2024 (9:19 am)

      People finding protection in our sanctuary city are also not “following the rules”. I think a lot of people, rightly, find sympathy with rule breakers when the rules are punching down or hurting vulnerable people. The food truck rules, as they stand, require navigating a multitude of departments and inspections taking many months (several of the required permits quote 2 month lead times) if not over year all-in, and thousands of dollars to get permitted. These hurdles mean only people who can afford a long-delayed income can follow them – so the wealthy and established businesses. Shutting down the neighborhood roasted corn vendor is not doing anything for the public good. I got food poisoning at Daniel’s Broiler, despite all the rules they follow – I’m much less concerned about getting ill from roasted elotes on the beach.

  • AG June 24, 2024 (4:35 pm)

    Enforcing these regulations… yes, definitely easier than doing something about actual problems along Alki Ave. My heart goes out to every single person forced to eat food sold by a vendor; after all, no chance you could have just walked away…(Seriously, some of y’all have way too much free time to complain about trivial stuff. Tch.)

  • grocerylist June 24, 2024 (5:13 pm)

    Next make sure they shutdown all the kids Iin WS selling un-permitted lemonade!

    • PDiddy June 24, 2024 (9:14 pm)

      A kid selling lemonade is not the same as these folks setting up pavilions on the Alki right of way and reselling costco and other goods way over value. No rent, no taxes, no labor laws. Get rid of them. This is a recent trend I want stopped asap.

      • Alki resident June 25, 2024 (4:30 am)

        So someone can sell lemonade but just not hot dogs, tacos and mangos? Money is money. Why so choosy?

        • Josh June 25, 2024 (7:11 pm)

          kids selling lemonade is cute, unserious, and basically a donation drive. Adults cutting to the front of the line because they can’t be bothered to get a permit (it’s not hard to get a permit for a legit business) or figure out how to make an honest living. You are comparing apples to lemons. 

  • Mike June 24, 2024 (5:33 pm)

    About time, good riddance! The restaurants pay a premium to be down there, the vendors do not!

  • KidTaco June 24, 2024 (6:40 pm)

    Obviously the bleeding hearts that can’t get their sliced mango on the cheap don’t go to Alki often. I agree with others that they and their patrons block the side walk. Also, some leave a mess as well. If it was one or two vendors ok but there are too many! Get a permit, pay taxes, be legal like all the other restaurants that pay taxes and rent!

  • Alki Lover June 24, 2024 (8:06 pm)

    We love these drinks and snacks! We do not like the street racing, which is much more dangerous and is much more of a nuisance. Address the gun violence down there. Or maybe how many people wander out on the bike path endangering riders and walkers alike. Seems like they picked the low hanging fruit on this one.

  • Jenna S June 24, 2024 (8:15 pm)

    Thank you! This was long long overdue.  

  • Alki isa June 24, 2024 (9:18 pm)

    I love having the vendors here. It really adds so much to alki beach culture, fun ,and beauty. But I agree that they should be licensed, and also agree that one should eat at their own risk. I once acquired food poisoning from a very well known restaurant on the Seattle waterfront.

  • Bob June 24, 2024 (9:29 pm)

    FINALLY. They are ruining the nature preserve that is Alki. Next up is getting rid of the bikers and bladers scaring the harbor seals and birds! 

  • Admiral-2009 June 24, 2024 (10:40 pm)

    It’s about time the City/County leveled the playing field for all restaurants.  

  • Jackson June 25, 2024 (12:18 am)

    All these people hating on hardworking individuals trying to make a living. God forbid these street vendors attempt to make a living, because all of a sudden it is a public health issue. Don’t come at me with get a permit its the law. Instead of worrying about street vendors, worry about the big corporation who have permits, who are legally poisoning you. If you are so bothered by it, don’t purchase, but don’t ruin it for everyone else. Quit policing people for trying to survive world.

  • CAM June 25, 2024 (1:13 am)

    I hope everyone realizes that the Public Health department regulates food establishments, not SPD. This isn’t something that was done instead of policing. It’s an entirely different group of people. I look forward to commenters now pointing out that Public Health should have their funding cut and reallocated to SPD because they’re wasting it on regulating businesses. Not that you’d all be getting sick daily at every restaurant and likely cooking at home too if Public Health didn’t make sure people followed the laws. 

  • wetone June 25, 2024 (9:05 am)

    Growing up at Alki in the 60’s by gas station ( burger joint), city would not allow us to sell Kool-Aid on either side of Alki ave. Police would walk over buy a cup from us then tell us to pack up the wagon. We were young 7-10year olds trying to get .10 cents a cup. Now if we stayed off strip we really never had a problem. The real money maker back then was getting up at sunrise and collecting beer bottles. Made a killing on the stubby’s @ .02 cents apiece. Did get away with selling (donations)wagon loads of fire wood leftover from home remodels ;) What I see today going on here and many other places in this city should be held to same practices as all other businesses in area. Making all equal and accountable………

  • Trash Everywhere June 25, 2024 (12:31 pm)

    As a local neighbor who frequents the beach often I can tell you that the amount of trash these stands produce is extraordinary.  Seattle Parks Dept garage cans cannot keep up with these pop-up restaurants and the basura makes its way all over the beach, bike path, and neighborhood sidewalks.  We are all trying to survive right now in these difficult times, but that doesn’t let you break-the-rules. If you are not going to stop and keep doing this can you at least stop playing the loud music through your DJ speakers?  Forcing all to hear up to a block away your favorite music playlist is cruel and unusual punishment.  That is all.. (:

  • Conan June 26, 2024 (5:01 am)

    The U. S. is a litigious society, which I think is generally a good thing (frivolous money-grabs and comical warning labels aside).  I believe I heard Sara Nelson mention once that the City and/or its insurance provider spends $4M a month just to settle trips-and-falls claims from uneven sidewalks, etc.If street food vendors aren’t permitted, they’re likely not insured, which could leave the County/City/taxpayers exposed to more claims.

  • SLU June 26, 2024 (6:54 am)

    Thank you WSB for the APB. Ya know, its just good to know. No beef from me.  😐

  • West Seattle Resident June 26, 2024 (5:11 pm)

    I support this small business, All they are doing is is try to take care their families…just as you would if you love your family. They are not stilling, they are earn their money. 💯 support it!!Thank you for being at the Beach ⛱️ 💙 

  • AlkiDreamin June 26, 2024 (9:53 pm)

    Bummer! I had the best fruit cup last weekend. I’m all for more flavor on the beach. Look forward to buying from the vendors again. 

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