It’s been more than a year since the launch of the pilot project that expanded Vancouver‘s street food from hotdogs and chestnuts to fresh international fare and local cuisine. Because of the project’s success, the number of mobile eateries has expanded, meaning it’s harder to find the really worthwhile carts and trucks. To help guide you, here are five must-try mobile eateries in Vancouver.
You’ll find this truck in the downtown core on the south side of West Hastings, just east of Burrard. The menu offers West Coast staples like the Chicken Fried Oyster ‘Po-Boy’ and Tuna Melt, as well as seasonal seafood sourced from local fishermen and ethical farms. Personally, I love eating poutine in Canada, and they serve their own spin on the fries and gravy meal with the “Local Seafood Chowder Poutine,” a mix of clams, mussels, salmon, cod and double-smoked bacon, and their “Chanterelle Mushroom Poutine” with Quadra Island chanterelles, cheese curds and green onions. Their focus is on being part of the change concerning unstable food sources, over-consumption of fossil fuels and over-harvesting of natural food resources. For example, they’ve created the industry’s first carbon-negative food truck. What’s also interesting is the moving eatery boasts having the city’s “only mobile dining patio,” making the vehicle even more like a typical restaurant.
Feastro, The Rolling Bistro
Located on the corner of West Cordova and Thurlow Streets, this food truck serves brunch and lunch all day. Items like huevos rancheros with homemade salsa, maple grilled ham steak bennies topped with Howe Sound beer and cheddar cheese and “Fisherman’s Pie” stuffed with Pacific scallops, red snapper, Alaskan line-caught ling cod, prawns and truck-smoked salmon make this a sustainable yet flavorful roaming eatery. Their focus is on creating unusual combinations with local ingredients, and you’ll be surprised that such delicious food can come from such a tiny kitchen.
With various locations, this mobile eatery serves southern style pulled-pork sandwiches that transport you from British Columbia to the deep south. One of the perks about having a menu with only a few items – pulled pork sandwiches, beef brisket and southern sweet tea – is you learn how to slow-cook the dishes perfectly. While you’ll get authentic southern flavor, this food truck places an emphasis on health and sustainability by using locally sourced and organic ingredients. You can find them Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hornby and Georgia Streets. On select Saturdays, they move to 800 Robson, between Horby and Howe. Additionally, each day you’ll find them at their cafe at River Market at Westminster Quay from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. At this location you’ll also find additional menu items.
While technically they do sell hotdogs, this mobile eatery is anything but ordinary. Probably the most famous food cart in Vancouver – and for good reason – JAPADOG serves wieners with Japanese-style toppings. Some menu items include the “Okonomi,” made with Kurobuta sausage with bonito flakes, the “Yakisoba,” created by topping an arabiki sausage with Japanese noodles and their signature hot dog, the “Terimayo,” topped with Teriyaki sauce, mayo and seaweed (shown above). While you’ll find JAPADOG in an array of forms throughout the city, their mobile shops are located at Burrand and Smithe, Burrard and Pender and Granville and Pender from around 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and later.
Mom’s Grilled Cheese
Located at Howe Street and West Georgia, on the corner of the Vancouver Art Gallery, this cozy food truck operates under the idea of bringing home to the road. They specialize in classic home-style grilled cheese made with love and precision. All their breads are artisanal and made fresh daily, with gluten-free options available as well. You can choose between making your own grilled cheese and choosing the breads, cheeses and add-ons, or ordering the daily special. For example, on Mondays they serve a thick slice of homemade meatloaf topped with mozzarella and marinara and served on French bread, while on Tuesdays you can get “Sam’s Special,” a helping of turkey and brie on cranberry pecan bread.
What’s your favorite mobile eatery in Vancouver?