San Francisco had Off the Grid, an organized schedule of food truck gatherings around the city, and a permanent food truck parking lot, open for lunch and dinner. Portland had food trucks organized into permanent pods, or groups of food trucks. Seattle and Vancouver…food trucks continue to be sprinkled here and there, and haven’t quite been domesticated to hang out together.
If you’re trying to locate the nearest food truck to you in Seattle, try the Seattle Food Truck website or Roaming Hunger. As a tourist without a car and wanting to stay as close to the free transit zone as possible (includes only the downtown core; free zone to be eliminated this fall 2012), the number of accessible food trucks was minimal. We did try two that were a few blocks from Pike Place.
Downtown, 2nd at Pike Street (@somepigsseattle)
Seeing that the whole food truck is shaped like a cool-looking pig, you might guess that their specialty is pork. Pulled pork to be exact. We happened to visit the truck on Taco Tuesday, so we had 3 tacos for $6: pulled pork, grilled chicken, and black bean & sweet potato. Each taco was topped with some cole slaw. It was all very delicious!
Downtown, 2nd at Pike Street
If you’ve ever tried JapaDog in Vancouver, serving beef wieners topped with Japanese-influenced ingredients, this must be the Seattle rival. We tried the Sukiyaki dog for about $5.50 (I write ‘about’ because I forgot to record the exact price paid for this food truck). It was tasty, particularly because the salty beef weiner just hit that magical spot for me that day, but I prefer JapaDog overall.
If you’re trying to locate food trucks in Vancouver, definitely check the Street Food App website to see all of the food trucks open that day plus their open times and locations.
Its tag line is ‘the rolling bistro’ and it specializes in soft tacos with mostly seafood influences. We tried the fish taco for $8 and my friend had their watermelon mint lemonade for $4. The lemonade was beautifully refreshing on a hot summer afternoon. The fish was cooked well and sat atop a bed of veggies. It’s near impossible to roll this baby up like you would with a standard taco, so to share, we cut it in half and messily ate our half portions hovering over the sidewalk.
This food truck seems to have a name for itself. Whenever I asked friends to recommend food trucks, this was one that kept being mentioned. The truck serves Asian-influenced cuisine. We tried the fried rice balls for $4 and the Bulgogi Gordita for $6. After looking up what a Gordita is, I’m not sure how what I ate is a Gordita…but oh well. Both of the items were interesting, something a little unexpected about both. I’m not sure I’d get either again but it was definitely worth the try.
Started in Tofino on the island a few years ago, this truck seems to have made its mark on the Vancouver food truck scene. Although I was too full to try their fish tacos, I had to try their chocolate diablo cookie after hearing about it on the Food Network’s Eat St. show and on a blog somewhere (whilst researching the best trucks to try in Vancouver). The cookie had ginger, chili, chocolate chunks, and salt. All in a chocolate batter. And yes, it was scrumptious. I wish I had access to these cookies whenever I want! A cookie was $2.50 and the portion was more than generous. Definitely recommend this cookie!
Meat + Bread
1033 Pender Street between Burrard and Thurlow (or 370 Cambie Street at W Hastings)
Okay, small disclaimer here…I’m going to tag on a place that we went to because we couldn’t find any food trucks that we wanted to try (there were a few taco stands around and we weren’t in the mood for tacos) but that was pretty darn amazing.
Meat + Bread has two locations in downtown Vancouver and they’re both super popular. We picked up lunch at around 11:30am and while we ate our sandwiches in a little plaza beside the restaurant on Pender Street, we noticed that a steady line ran out the door between noon and about 1:30pm. The number of menu options can be counted on one hand, but from the feel of the place, I felt like they throw all of their love into making the few options they offer.
I had their signature sandwich, pork porchetta with salsa verde, served in their delicious baguette for $8. The pork was mouth-watering delicious…apparently it’s quite possible for one to drool whilst eating food because said food is just so darn good. The pork has crispy skin and some fatty bits…needless to say, a sandwich not meant for vegetarians (though I recall a vegetarian option being on the menu). We also tried their daily special sandwich, which was a jerk chicken with pineapple jalapeño salsa, also for $8. Although this sandwich was tasty and had more veggies than the pork porchetta, consensus between the two of us was that the pork porchetta wins hands down.