A Closer Look at Vancouver’s Street Food Scene

It’s been almost six years since Michelle Ng founded Vancouver Foodie Tours in 2010, a business that stemmed from her passion for food and people. But Jane’s Walk was the catalyst. “They’re a non-profit organization and they were looking for people to host walks around Vancouver…so I contacted them and said, ‘Why don’t I offer some food tours for you?’”

“The street food scene in Vancouver… it is a scene that’s full of gourmet food trucks utilizing a lot of local ingredients, oftentimes organic,” says Ng. “And they’re all supportive of the local food artisans, which I think is great.”

One of these gourmet trucks is Soho Road, a mobile concept that delivers authentic Indian street food — and even has a tandoor oven on board. Its name, says Soho Road’s owner Sarb Mund, was inspired by a road in England.

“We couldn’t find a great curry here anywhere, so we thought that the coolest thing to do was [to] be able to showcase a tandoor oven, have it on the street, and have everyone be able to enjoy it like we do,” says Mund. Soho Road specializes in naan kebabs.

Mund says one of Soho Road’s menu standouts is the butter chicken, a naan kebab that’s not been done anywhere else, as far as he is aware.

“Our mission overall is just to make sure that everyone gets that amazing bite,” Mund says. “You definitely don’t sacrifice quality when you have street food. You can find some of the best food on the street in Vancouver.”

Butter chicken naan kebab at Soho Road

Butter chicken naan kebab at Soho Road

tacofino
Tacofino's fish taco

Tacofino's fish taco

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Tacofino is an operation with two food trucks and three brick-and-mortar locations. As its name suggests, Tacofino is a Mexican-inspired concept. The fish taco is what they’re most famous for, but menu items like the tuna taco take a playful spin: seared albacore tuna with cabbage, salsa fresca, ginger, wakame, and wasabi mayo. Tacofino, like many Vancouver food trucks, take a local sourcing approach. All of their produce and proteins are sourced locally, and all of the fish used is sustainable.

“When somebody orders dishes from our food trucks, they’re really able to experience the produce and the seafoods and the meats that we’re able to produce around this area,” says Ng. 

And what’s a food truck scene without some grilled cheese? At the aptly named Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck, owner Cindy Hamilton and crew have built a gourmet menu on a classic comfort staple. Mom’s includes a build-your-own format grilled cheese but also features options like The Sweet Little Val — lemon mascarpone, poached blueberries with thyme and honey, and slivered toasted almonds grilled between buttered brioche.

Hamilton’s mergence into the food truck biz is a bit different than most food truck owners. “I was rock climbing one day, and I overheard two guys talking about how there was a Hollywood film coming to Beijing, and no one [there] did any Western-style catering,” says Hamilton.

She had always loved to cook but had never done it for a living, so she told them she’d cater the film for them. That film just so happened to be “Kill Bill,” and two days later, Hamilton was on the set, in Beijing, catering. She stuck with TV catering for five years until having a child. Starting the food truck and quitting film was the only way she could afford a flexible schedule to spend time with her daughter. But it seemed a natural fit. “Anywhere I travel, the first place I hit to eat is on the street,” she says.

Locals and visitors alike are taking to the streets of Vancouver for a bite.

“A lot of times, food trucks are competing with the food shops and the food courts, and even the restaurants that don’t necessarily use a lot of local ingredients,” says Ng. “And so, there’s a lot of people in Vancouver and also visitors that do want to experience what we can produce locally, and it’s also better for your health because it’s fresher ingredients, it’s more sustainable, it hasn’t traveled miles and miles to get here, so I think it’s a great thing and a lot of people are behind it in Vancouver.”

Check out the “On Foodable Side Dish” episode above to get a closer look into Vancouver’s local (and delicious) food truck scene.

Hot Wheels: Detroit’s Food Truck Scene Keeps Growing

Hot Wheels: Detroit’s Food Truck Scene Keeps Growing

By Dorothy Hernandez, Foodable Contributor

Entrepreneurs are helping revitalize Detroit one creative business at a time, especially in the local food scene with alternative business models such as pop-ups and food trucks. With such an influx of food-focused ventures, one would think it would be a cutthroat industry. Not in the Motor City.

“The truck offers the ability to collaborate and be a part of a lot of the exciting things happening in and around the city,” says chef Marc Bogoff of the popular food truck Stockyard. 

He noted that since they started the truck in 2014, there has been a “a steady climb in new trucks throughout the city, and it’s only been a couple of years. I would love to see more public locations begin to take shape on a daily basis as the industry continues to grow.”

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The Evolution of San Diego's Food Truck Scene

The Evolution of San Diego's Food Truck Scene

By Brian Murphy, Foodable Contributor

San Diego has seen catering trucks cruising the streets WAY before food trucks were “cool.” Trucks have been servicing businesses, office buildings, and docks for workers that come from cubicles or the warehouse to gather and purchase a meal.  A basic, yet tasty breakfast sandwich, a machaca burrito wrapped in deli wrap, and a two ounce portion cup full of salsa. Lunch was the standard fare: griddled American items and tasty, yet no-frills Mexican food like tortas or carne asada burritos. Should your business be a lucky one, the mariscos truck came by with fresh options; this is the truck that is now enjoying the food truck craze. Options were a bit more authentic.  A bit more unique.

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11 Food Trucks to Try This Summer

streetfood

Let the good times and good food roll in -- literally.

Food trucks are considered the great culinary equalizer -- they offer a variety of cuisines at low price points, with unique flavors made from scratch, flavors that can't be found anywhere else. Interested in taking your taste buds for a spin? Check out these 11 food trucks driving the Twin Cities insane with their awesome eats!

Green and the Grain

Salads don't have to be boring. Green and the Grain pulls all the stops with premium ingredients and classic flavor combos. Enjoy a Mexican-influenced Cowboy salad, for instance! Cooked chicken, pico de gallo, corn off the cob, black beans, matchstick radish, tortilla chips, Jack cheese and jalaño ranch? How many ways can you say yum?

Daruma Sushi

You might be surprised to see a sushi food truck, but try out these rolls made by the very same folks who brought us Hibachi Daruma. Delicate, made-to-order goodness, well-seasoned rice and cool seafood is waiting for you. 

Vin's Italian

Even food trucks keep it in the family. Chef Vin Spica uses his family recipes in his meals, with a little twist, from his meatballs to his cannolis. Juicy sandwiches, balsamic-doused watermelon and eggplant with mint pesto, here we come! Read More

Roaming Hunger Helps Revive Fading Interest in Local Food Trucks

Local Food Truck  | Facebook

Local Food Truck | Facebook

In Los Angeles, the birthplace of the food truck movement, the streets are lined with an ever growing number of these "restaurant on wheels" operations.  Yet despite the growing number of food trucks, consumer interest has been diminishing over the last few years.  LA based website Roaming Hunger, however, is hoping to usher in a second wave.  

By compiling an online directory of local food vendors, Roaming Hunger founder Ross Resnick offers potential customers real time information about over 6,000 mobile vendors. And best yet, no vendor is too small, with Resnick going to extreme ends to track down some of the city's best local street vendors.  

Resnick hopes that with this resource made accessible to hungry customers, it will make great street dining options easy to find as well as offer more avenues for these food trucks to make additional income.  Read More