This is our second Vancouver installment of Restaurant Roundup. Be sure to catch the first one, Vancouver's Best Kept Secrets For Chinese Eats, as well.
Vancouver is a food lovers paradise with not only great restaurants but an amazing street food scene. For the last 3 years street food has taken the city by storm with dishes and menus that take you from breakfast to lunch to dinner all in one afternoon.
With over 115 food carts and trucks in the city these are my 4 top choices for great street eats that you won’t find anywhere else in the city.
Yolk's Breakfast Cart
One of the great things that we’ve seen happen with some Vancouver food trucks is the opening of store front locations as well. Yolk's, Tacofino, Re Up BBQ, La Taqueria, Vij's, Via Tevere and soon the Roaming Dragon all have successful brick and mortar locations.
Yolk’s Breakfast Cart is the city’s only breakfast food cart and they serve up perfectly poached eggs that rival some of the best restaurants. House specialties include Chicken and Waffles. The classic Double Smoked Bacon Eggs Benny is served in the restaurant as well as on the food cart and it’s also available to eat on the run in breakfast sandwich form.
Mangal Kiss Mid East BBQ
Lunch time is a bonanza street food wise with tons of options. My go to for a healthy and unique street food lunch is the Mangal Kiss Mid East BBQ food cart. They specialize in wraps that are packed with pickled vegetables, couscous and sauces that are all made fresh daily by the lovely Phyllis. They offer chicken, sirloin steak and lamb which is all grilled to order so you're assured your food will be hot and delicious. With all the different food trucks and carts in the city this is one of my favorites and the menu cannot be found anywhere else. They say that you eat with your eyes so if you grab a bite here you're in for a feast!
Fat Duck Mobile Eatery
If you're in the mood for something a bit more indulgent for lunch the Fat Duck Mobile Eatery has you covered. This is one of the newer trucks on the street food scene and they have quickly made a name for themselves among hungry Vancouverites. The truck specializes in Urban Country Cooking - conceptually familiar, uniquely interpreted with a focus on slow food fast. The must try item on the truck for me is the Duck Confit "Philly" style sandwich with marinated mushrooms, pickled red onions, Swiss and a truffle/Parmesan mayo. Another outstanding item is a truck creation called Dirty Rice. It has all the meats offered on the truck - pork belly and duck confit - along with the respective toppings and a perfectly fried sunny side up egg with a runny yolk.
Vij's Railway Express
The final truck that I recommend anyone visiting the city must eat at is Vij's Railway Express. This truck is the flavour train of the godfather of Indian cuisine in Vancouver, the wonderful Vikram Vij. I've had the pleasure of meeting and working with Vikram - he is just like his food-warm, comforting and approachable. Speaking with Vikram over lunch he explained how the menu would work:
I’ll have specials every week – one week it’ll be all Delhi, another week, it’ll be Bombay and the next, Calcutta. I wanted to bring awareness to the cuisines and showcase Indian foods and the regions of India
The food from the truck is what you would expect to get in Vikram's world-famous restaurant with dishes like a puffed rice and chick pea salad, a Goa inspired curry of coconut with masala staring halibut cheeks, the Lucknow Lamb Kebabs and the Cassava Fries with Tamarind and Date Chutney. All the dishes are priced between $5 and $13 dollars so you can have a 5 star Indian meal and not break the bank. You can see more of this fabulous food truck on Season 4 of Food Network Canada's Eat St. and in the accompanying cookbook by James Cunningham, Eat Street: Recipes from the Tastiest, Messiest, and Most Irresistible Food Trucks.
Street food is what I first started blogging about and I'm extremely proud of the what has developed over the last 3 years on the streets of Vancouver. We have one of the most diverse street food scenes anywhere in the world. With all the food trucks located in the Downtown core and our mild climate it's possible to spend a whole afternoon and evening dining without having to spend a moment in a restaurant.
A born and raised Vancouverite, Sean Neild has taken the time to find some of the best food that Vancouver has to offer. With a background in the video game industry, Sean has taken his love of technology and applied it to his love of photography and good food by creating Flavor Town Adventures. He has been published in Chatelaine Magazine as well as the Eat St. Cookbook and is the British Columbia Correspondent for Food Network Canada's Eat St. blog on Foodnetwork.ca. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+.