A healthy dose of community spirit
THE bright lights and gentle hum of Launceston’s High Street warm the winter evenings as groups gather alongside the regular food vans on Eat Street.
Situated parallel to St George's Square, the foodie paradise has fast become a hub for the local community to get together and grab a bite to eat before heading to the adjoining park.
From Mexico to Turkey, Canada and France, there is something for everyone along the local streetscape.
Sweet and savoury scents fill the air; an eclectic mix of handmade delicacies influenced by cultures from across the globe.
Yusuf Karazor has run the ‘Turkish Tukka’ van on High Street for the past three years, serving delicious, authentic Turkish food and said Eat Street has gone from strength to strength since it first opened to the public.
“Even though it’s more of a spring and summer favourite, it certainly has it’s winter regulars which keep the trucks busy,” he said.
Migrating to Australia from Olympos in Turkey five years ago, Yusuf said his love of food came from his mother’s traditional Turkish cooking which influenced him to create his own, modern take on his homeland cuisine.
“We serve a lot of gozleme and meatballs to our customers and they really love it.
“The street is perfect for families and friendly gatherings and the kids love to come and wander around and play in the park.”
Yusuf said, like many of his fellow food truck comrades, he creates his dishes from locally sourced produce to ensure his customers are getting the freshest food experience.
“We take pride in buying our vegetables from Tasmanian farmers and the local markets - it’s great to help out the people who have helped me,” Yusuf said, adding the cheese and yoghurt for his dishes is sourced from Tasmania’s Westhaven Dairy with his spinach supplier based in Hobart.
While the fresh food may be the biggest drawcard to Eat Street, it’s the local, Launceston community who have created a cherished and inviting atmosphere, where people of all ages can enjoy a night out on the green.
“There is something truly unique about Eat Street - it has this kind of festival vibe where people can come and chill out.
“Sometimes there will be buskers who come into the area and entertain. It’s just very chilled out,” Yusuf said.
With up to five vans set up during the evenings, Yusuf said the area was a great space for small businesses to start out.
“We have created something really incredibly and some van owners have begun to look for a shop front after starting out here because they have been so well received by the community.”
Eat Street runs nightly from 5pm onwards with the majority of food van owners posting their weekly menu online.
“Most of us try to let everyone know what will be available so they can choose their night to visit us.”