Bringing tasty treats to the streets, the food truck revolution has exploded in popularity across the nation.
Established chefs, as well as those wanting to make a splash in the culinary world, are creating great eats. From burgers and barbecue to Cajun and seafood, the variety is sure to please every palate. For a cool and inventive twist to any activity, mobile cuisine enables the food to come to your group.
If you have foodies in your group, consider adding a food truck stop to your itinerary next time you visit one of these cities.
Groups touring Philadelphia can enjoy great food truck cuisine in an inviting city atmosphere. At Love Park, where the iconic “LOVE” sculpture makes the perfect photo op, trucks serve breakfast and lunch. And in University City, numerous trucks use Twitter to publicize their menus. Philly Tour Hub offers an outing that explores a number of food truck hot spots in neighborhoods throughout the city.
The Taste of Three Cities — Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. — comes to Philadelphia on May 21 with a festival atmosphere. In addition to fabulous food, premium wines, beer, spirits and live music, there’s fierce competition among the three cities, where the judges are local celebrities, food experts and attendees. Visitors can cast their vote from their phones as they eat their way through the deliciousness. The competition will begin in April in Washington and, soon after, will hit the road for Philadelphia; its final stop in June will be in Baltimore.
In warmer months, the Philadelphia Food Trust hosts an ongoing street food festival called Night Market. The Food Trust picks a neighborhood, to which it brings 20 to 30 food trucks, plus live music. Among the standout Philly trucks is the Distrito Taco Truck owned by chef Jose Garces, who won the second season of “The Next Iron Chef.” His truck is available for outdoor parties. The IBG Food Truck is an offshoot of the Independence Beer Garden, located across from the Liberty Bell. The restaurant was so popular that chef Michael Schulson took his concept on wheels.
“Food trucks are typically lined up in fun and hip neighborhoods from May through October,” said Brian Said, executive director of tourism for the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. “And the Night Market allows visitors to experience our diverse and vibrant neighborhoods, as well as the real foodie culture of Philadelphia.”
Denver has food trucks — lots of them. At First Friday Art Walk, trucks are interspersed throughout the Arts District. During the summer, at Civic Center Park on Tuesday and Thursday, Civic Center Eats hosts a gathering of food trucks at lunchtime. From November through April on the second Thursday of every month, that same event morphs into Civic Center Nosh and Posh.
“The format is the same, but they add fashion trucks that sell accessories, clothing and gadgets that make great gifts,” said Ashley Taufen, communications manager at Visit Denver.
Infinite Monkey Theorem, an urban winery, takes to the streets in its wine truck, which serves wines by the glass and in the can. According to Taufen, the winery’s production of canned wine is a nod to the Colorado lifestyle because glass is prohibited in the state’s numerous parks and recreation areas.
Avanti, Denver’s modern-day food hall, houses seven different food concepts in shipping containers, among them Venezuelan, Indian and Japanese cuisine. It’s a modified, indoor food-truck concept, and several of the restaurants operate food trucks. Groups can use wristbands that allow people to try an appetizer from one spot and dessert from another with one tab at the end, making it easier for organizers to pay.
Visit Denver has coordinated a number of food truck events. The American Academy of Family Physicians hosted an event at the Denver Art Museum with 2,000 attendees. Seven different food trucks were parked nearby, and the museum provided seating inside and out. Another group closed a downtown parking lot for a block party with activities and food trucks.
“Some of our breweries and craft distilleries don’t serve food, so we’ve had groups hire a food truck to come to a distillery,” said Taufen. “People participated in a whiskey tasting or tour, and then went outside and ordered from the truck.”