Canada's Food Truck scene has been steadily growing over the last few years. While it's become pretty well established in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, new scenes are starting to develop in Montreal, Halifax and other cities. We hope to see more of this next year!
This month, while we still have some great summer weather left, we asked our Restaurant Roundup crew to fill us in on their favourite food trucks and carts in their cities.
Our Favourite Canadian Food Trucks
Starting on the east coast this month...
Halifax's Favourite Food Truck
Even Montreal, where selling anything out of a truck was illegal for more than 60 years, recently overturned the old law to allow for more than 40, some operated by the city's best restaurants. So what's up Halifax? Luckily, with several gourmet trucks currently hitting our streets, we are well on our way to a booming food truck culture. Bring on the street eats.
Enter The Food Wolf. Set up in so-called Squiggle Park at the corner of Faulkland and Gottingen, the Wolf serves up Korean and Asian fusion to North End's hungriest. On any given day the locally sourced menu can include kimchi quesadillas, Korean pork burgers, Mexican beef tacos, Korean green onion pancakes, and the hot dog of all hot dogs, the K-Dawg. Smothered in bacon, kimchi, a spicy Korean mayo, and a generous garnish of sesame seeds and green onions, it's got addiction written all over it. A hot dog a day can't be bad right?"
Quebec City's Favourite Outdoor Food Stop
While Quebec City shows no signs of changing its anti-street food regulations, initiatives like Panache Mobile still allow food lovers to enjoy fresh, high-quality meals on the go. An offshoot of renowned Panache, the restaurant of the award-winning Auberge Saint-Antoine in the Old Port, the mobile version (which now counts three locations) offers refined dishes made in trailers or small kitchens and served in the same spot all summer long.
Montreal's Favourite Food Trucks
We have two stops in Montreal this month!
The Montreal Food Divas were so excited to see Food Trucks in Montreal that they couldn't pick just one!
It has been 66 years since Montrealers have been able to eat street food. And the wait is finally over with over 25 food trucks roaming around the city. Since it is impossible to just choose one, we wrote a review of the must-go-to food trucks in Montreal... good luck finding them!
If you want to hear more about their experiences check out their roundup!
My favourite truck is the one that paved the way for everyone and the pioneer of the whole Montreal food truck movement – the original taco truck – Grumman78. With a rotating menu of great taco options, consider yourself lucky when you're lining up and find the Quebec lamb curry tacos or "banh mi" taco!
Ottawa's Favourite Food Truck
The gang at FoodiePrints decided on "bap" for their Ottawa food truck pick.
A number of street food pioneers opened shop several years ago in Ottawa, parking food trucks on private property. They were the first to serve fare beyond hot dogs and poutine. Suffice it to say, ours is a a fledgling street food scene. This year, the city lifted its moratorium on issuing on-street vending licenses, awarding 18 applicants the opportunity to park trucks and carts curb-side.
One of the new operations is Korean food cart "bap" by Raon Kitchen, which is owned by Hana Jung and Iruk Cho. Husband and wife, Cho and Jung, launched Raon Kitchen to sell handcrafted and small batch Korean sauces and vegetarian-friendly kimchi at local farmers' markets. "bap," goes one step further, serving bibimbap. Options include chicken, beef, and tofu. Filling and tasty, their rice bowls have been very well received by Ottawa food fans, lineups stretching down the street and around the corner. We highly recommend a visit!
You can see the full FoodiePrints review of "bap" on their blog.
Waterloo Region's Favourite Food Truck
Andrew from Waterloo Region Eats is also experiencing a brand new food truck scene...
The food truck scene in Waterloo Region is a growing one. Our proximity to Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara has been something of a catalyst to exposing people to trucks and has helped spur interest for local entrepreneurs and given municipal officials a taste of the possibilities.
A recent food truck “mini-festival” organized by the City brought nearly 3,000 people to Kitchener’s Civic Square, proof that if you build it they will come. The trick now is to figure out how to make food trucks work within the confines of bricks-and-mortar restaurant commerce given the demands of a public hungry for the food truck eating experience. Here’s a brief overview of food trucks in Waterloo Region with a peek into the popular risotto balls served by two of them.
You can read Andrew's overview of the food trucks in Waterloo on his blog.
Calgary's Favourite Food Truck
Whether it's the 'Hot Mess' sandwich, filled with chorizo, hot peppers, pepper jack, pimento cheese, sriracha mayo and a fried egg, or just a cup of the homemade tomato soup, Cheezy Bizness is always my number one. With a city that boasts around 40 active trucks, it's important to be putting out a tasty product that you can stand behind 100% and truck owner Nicole Fewell does just that. And, really, who doesn't love a perfectly crispy, gooey grilled cheese? God damn!
Vancouver's Favourite Food Truck
We have two Vancouver stops this month too.
Let's check out Sean at Sean’s Adventures in Flavourtown's (who also writes for Food Network's Eat Street blog) choice of Mangal Kiss MidEast BBQ.
Vancouver is blessed with street food options that will literally let you eat the world without having to leave the city. My choice for best food cart in Vancouver is also one of the city's most underrated: The Mangal Kiss Mid East BBQ cart. Serving up freshly grilled meats wrapped in Persian Taftoon bread and topped with Israeli cous cous, beets, hummus and a cornucopia of handmade pickled vegetables and mouthwatering aiolis, if you're looking for a real taste adventure, Mangal Kiss should be on your list. They're located in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery on Georgia Street. You can't miss them!
Be sure to check out Sean's full review on his blog.
Next up is Dee at Gastrofork and her choice of Eat Chicken Wraps.
Eat Chicken Wraps is a surprisingly great food truck that stays open after most food trucks call it a day. Their Hoisin Chicken Roll is made with tender, local chicken that they debone every night and wrapped in a delicious, crispy Chinese pancake. They also have secret menu items that are advertised through their social media accounts.
Vancouver Island's Favourite Food Truck
Extreme Eatz Food Truck in Parksville, Vancouver Island is all about the MEAT, and that's how it captured my heart. Almost every menu item is smothered in some magical combination of bacon, ham or Montreal smoked meat combined with a variety of cheeses, toppings and homemade sauces. No visit is complete without trying their over-the-top take on a Canadian classic - Bacon Poutine
You can read her entire review on her blog.
Big thanks to our entire Restaurant Roundup Crew for sharing their favourite Food Trucks. They’ll all be back next month their top picks for that back to school staple, soup and a sandwich!
Don’t see your city listed here? Do you review restaurants on your blog and are you an FBC Member? Then let us know! We’re still looking for folks in Kelowna, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Fredericton, St. John’s and Charlottetown. You can reach out to us through our Contact page.
***all images are courtesy of our Restaurant Roundup Crew unless otherwise noted.