Vancouver has some of the best food trucks and Food Carts in North America.
They are in all the best locations downtown so you are never far from delicious food at a fraction of the cost of restaurant food. And some of the food trucks are extensions of great restaurants.
Here are a list of some of the best along with their locations. Vancouver food truck locations, of course, are subject to change. To see a larger list, visit: http://roaminghunger.com/yvr/vendors
Feastro the Rolling Bistro
Location: Thurlow and West Cordova, across from the 2010 Olympic torches
Feastro boasts one of the largest menus of any truck in the Lower Mainland, which includes a variety of local seafood, pork and chicken smoked right inside of their purple truck. Be sure to try their bonzai prawns – local prawns, sautéed in white wine, garlic, tomatoes and lemon, all served on a bed of basmati rice and topped with a grilled pineapple skewer. Or, if you are craving a taco or two, you are in luck! Vancouver Magazine has rated Feastro with “the best soft tacos in the city…an unexpected and delicious take”. Full breakfasts have recently been added to their menu.
Location: Near 655 Burrard
Bada Bing specializes in (generously sized) philly cheesesteak sandwiches. The sandwiches come on a foot-long Italian-style bun with your choice of chicken or steak, melted Monterey Jack cheese, sauteed mushrooms, onions and green peppers. Once you receive the sandwich, you have the option of dressing it with BBQ, honey mustard or teriyaki sauce. If you are really hungry, I suggest ordering a side of fries, poutine (my personal preference), or the “Animal Fries” (grilled onions and melted Cheddar, topped with the Bada Bing creamy and tangy “secret sauce”). Highly recommended if you are looking for a hearty carnivorous meal.
Location: Dunsmuir and Hamilton, in front of the BC Hydro building
This socially conscious and environmentally responsible truck specializes in hand-made Korean fusion tacos. All of their ingredients are all made or sourced locally. For the meat eaters, you have two options – grass-fed, free range ribeye beef from Pemberton Meadows Farm and free range pork butt from Fraser Valley Farms, both prepared in the traditional Korean style of Bulgogi. The meat is topped with your choice of house made salsa (red or green), kimchi, onions and cilantro with a lime wedge on the side. The tacos are gluten-friendly as the tortillas are made from corn, water and lime. Make sure you try the delicious and fresh green papaya salad with kimchi vinagrette and toasted pepitas as well!
Finest at Sea Fish Kart
Location: Robson, in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery
Experience fresh locally sourced seafood on the go! Finest at Sea Fish Kart offers a variety of seafood chowders, sandwiches, rolls and salads. One of their most popular menu items is the curry halibut seafood roll ($6) – grilled halibut, eggplant and crispy coleslaw all wrapped in grilled naan bread. The flavourful yellow curry is creamy and perfectly compliments the crunchy and tangy coleslaw. There are also a number of sandwich options on the menu (or “Fish on a ‘Weck, as they call it), which include your choice of wild B.C. salmon fillet, local albacore tuna steak or seared B.C. ling cod fillet. I definitely suggest rounding out your meal with their roasted halibut bisque and a refreshing green tea ginger lemonade.
Location: Four Downtown Vancouver locations – Trucks: Burrard & Smithe, Burrard & Pender, Granville & Cordova (in front of Waterfront Station); Bricks and Mortar: 530 Robson, just off of Seymour
JapaDog is arguably Vancouver’s most popular food truck. They have revolutionized the hot dog world by remixing the traditional hot dog by giving it a Japanese twist. Their menu consists of 15-20 of both their own creative concoctions and more standard options. Their most popular dog is the “Terimayo”, which is topped with teriyaki sauce, mayo and thin strips of seaweed. More adventurous items include my favourite, the “Oroshi”, which is topped with freshly grated daikon radish and a special soya sauce, and the “Okonomi”, a juicy Kurobata pork hot dog topped with dried bonito (fish) flakes. The carts are equipped with a variety of toppings, and the service is fast and friendly. The menu varies from cart to cart, so check out their website for each location’s offerings. If you get a chance to drop by their restaurant location, make sure you order a side of the “Shaked Fries”, which come in a variety of Japanese flavours.
The Juice Truck
Location: Abbott & Water
The Juice Truck offers cold-pressed juice made from the best locally sourced organic produce. The cold pressing technique uses no heat and preserves the natural flavours of the produce, which yields more essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes than any other juice extracting method. Their menu includes creative and combinations like “The Remedy” (pineapple pressed with cucumber, wheatgrass, mint and ginger) and “The Almost Chocolate” smoothie (banana blended with medjool dates, almond butter, raw cacao, raw maca and soy milk). Healthful non-juice items are offered as well.
The Kaboom Box
Location: Robson & Granville
The Kaboom Box offers fresh, sustainable, healthy and local food using only Oceanwise seafood and sustainably produced meat. My favourite is “The World Famous Hot Smoked Salmon Salmwich”. The salmon is hot smoked on the cart and served on a toasted whole wheat bun with spicy mayo and house-made maple-mustard slaw. Other items include “The Kaboom Box Fish and Chips”, “The Gulf Island Fried Oyster Po’Boy”, “The Vanburger Veggie Burger” and “The BC Venison Burger”. My friend tried the venison burger and returned the following two days because it was just that good! Poutine, fries and salads are also available to round out your meal.
Nu Greek Street
Location: Granville Street, in front of the Bay by Granville St. Skytrain station
The Nu Greek Street food truck was opened by Harry Kambolis, the owner of the award-winning RainCity Grill and C Restaurants. The menu includes a number of salads, grilled souvlaki pitas, dips with pita, filo triangles and even Greek poutine! Meat options for the grilled souvlaki pitas include the regular suspects (chicken, lamb, vegetable and falafel), in addition to salmon and octopus. For a well-rounded meal, select from one of their “Nu Combos”, which includes both a wheat-free and a dairy-free option. The meat is tender and flavourful, the salads fresh and the pita is made in-house. Finish off your meal with your choice of baklava or Greek cookies.
Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck
Location: Howe & Georgia, on the Vancouver Art Gallery corner
Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck serves up classic and creative versions of everybody’s favourite childhood sandwich – grilled cheese. Build upon the “Mom’s Classic” – first, choose from a selection of fresh made daily artisan breads and cheeses. Then, if you desire, there are deluxe and super deluxe add-ons, which include options like a scoop of chili, sliced dill pickle and double smoked bacon (yum!) Speciality options, like “The Jackson 3”, are also on the menu. This triple cheese, triple decker grilled cheese is not for the faint of heart. Three pieces of sourdough are surrounded by melted brie, boursin and gruyere. If you are looking for something sweet, order the “Sweet Little Vals” (caramelized apples, candied pecans and cinnamon marsarpone cheese on brioche) or “The Fat Elvis” (peanut butter and banana with a sprinkle of smoked sea salt on white). Delicious and comforting food, just like your Mom’s!
Location: Hornby & Georgia (Thursdays and Fridays only, from 11am-3pm)
The Re-Up BBQ is one of Vancouver’s most loved food trucks, and Vancouver Magazine voted it the best Vancouver Food Cart award for 2012. Their menu is basic with two items – a pulled pork and a beef brisket sandwich. The pulled pork is the more popular of the two options. The meat is moist and plentiful, and is served on a soft Portuguese bun with “secret sauce” a side of fresh coleslaw. Wash it all down with a refreshing Southern sweet tea. The Re-Up BBQ has been featured on the Food Network’s Eat St., which features notable food trucks across North America. If you are having a hard time deciding which truck try first, the Re-Up BBQ is the perfect place to start!
Location: Robson & Burrard
Roaming Dragon offers a unique spin on Pan Asian cuisine. Their most popular item is the Korean short rib taco ($3). The flavourful meat is accompanied by bean spouts, carrots, sauteed spinach, shitake mushrooms and seaweed. I also suggest the Chinese Pork Slider – at 2 for $5, you can’t go wrong. The braised pork is served on incredibly soft pillowy buns with pickled cucumber, green onion and hoisin sauce. The refreshing lychee and basil lemonade will act as the perfect compliment to your meal. Roaming Dragon won the 2011 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Award for “Best Food Cart”, and was featured on the Food Network’s Eat St.
Location: The Orange Truck – Robson Square (closed during winter); The Blue Burrito Truck – Burrard & Dunsmuir, Monday to Friday, 11am-3pm
Originally from Tofino, Tacofino takes tacos to a whole new level. They accomplish this by making everything from scratch, and using fresh local produce. Their menu boasts items such as the popular Baja-inspired fish tacos, burritos, tortilla soup, and other local seasonal specials. The fish taco uses tempura battered ling cod with chipolte mayo, shredded cabbage and salsa fresca on a fire-toasted flour tortilla. The fish is lightly battered and crunchy, with the chipolte mayo and salsa fresco adding the perfect amount of spice, citrus and freshness to the taco. Tacofino has been accurately decribed by the media as having “possibly the best Mexican, or at least the best fish tacos in BC”.
**For more information, check out the Street Food app and the Eat St app in the iTunes App store.
**As locations and hours vary, check the website for more information.