You know what warmer weather means: Canadian food trucks are finally back out on the streets waiting to feed you.
If you’re looking for some delicious meals-on-wheels this spring and summer, here are 12 unique trucks across Canada to get you started.
Ace Burger (Saskatoon, SK)
If you’re looking for a good burger at any one of Saskatoon’s many outdoor summer festivals, or if you simply have a craving while roaming downtown, you can probably find this mobile eatery grilling up juicy burgers dressed with all the fixings for a perfectly messy meal. Be sure to grab some napkins!
Cheezy Bizness (Calgary, AB)
Everyone loves a good grilled cheese sandwich, and truck owner Nicole Fewell brings a lot of love to her sandwiches, opting for local ingredients and cheeses to make her crispy, gooey pieces of goodness. The Aloha Arkansas is a go-to here with homemade pulled pork and smoked cheddar, as are the mac ‘n cheese melts, only available once a week which — I’m sure your taste buds will agree — is a crying shame.
El Gastronomo Vagabundo (Niagara, ON)
While Toronto was still struggling with bylaw issues to permit food trucks on their city streets, Gastronomo was happily serving its globally-inspired dishes to people in the Niagara area. Lucky them! Chef/owner Adam Hynam-Smith, originally from Australia, travelled the world (hence the truck’s universal menu) before eventually settling on our lovely country and launching one of the first gourmet food trucks in Ontario. Toronto has no shortage of trucks these days, but this Eat St. alumnus remains ahead of the pack in Ontario as a whole.
For all you cookbook lovers out there, Hynam-Smith has just put out a book of his own, Curbside, where he shares a myriad of recipes for street-eats, including many for dishes that people have come to love from Gastronomo.
Gecko Bus (Halifax, NS)
If only to walk up and see this truck in all its green, lizard-y grandeur, the Gecko Bus is one of Halifax’s premier food trucks and quite possibly the largest one in Canada. The menu is fairly simple, offering a mix of tacos, burritos and salads, but its charm lies mostly in its appearance and the fact that you can actually go inside of the truck/bus to order and wait for your meal. If someone in this country has turned a school bus into something more creative, then I haven’t found it yet!
Green Canteen: Fish Tacos (left) and Grilled Cheese (right)
Green Canteen (Kenora, ON)
Though it’s technically in Ontario, this small lakeside town is only a two-hour drive from Winnipeg, thus making it a popular summer destination for most Winnipeggers. MasterChef Canada finalist Mike Green, who lives in the Manitoban city, grew up in the small town and recently opened up this seafood-centric truck with friends.
Enjoy some crispy, fried fish tacos or grilled cheese sandwiches while sitting lakeside to find out why Ontario lake country is truly a sight to be seen.
Grumman 78 (Montreal, QC)
We’re touching on many original street food businesses in this list, but it’s important to acknowledge the trendsetters as well as the newer folks that do a trend proud. Grumman, which has a restaurant location as well, is credited with being the city’s first food truck; still drawing long line-ups with its Mexican-inspired eats, including street corn and tacos.
JAPADOG (Vancouver, BC)
Alright, so this one isn’t a truck, or a trailer… It’s a series of carts (a brick-and-mortar location now, too). But this once small hotdog vendor was doing something creative before food trucks were even a twinkle in Vancouver city’s eye. Their fun combinations of different meats like pork or turkey wieners with anything from seaweed and Japanese mayo, to kimchi and black sesame, are still as delicious today as they were when they first opened for business 10 years ago.
Me.n.u (Toronto, ON)
Like Roaming Dragon, Me.n.u is serving up an Asian fusion menu, frying up rice balls with bulgogi beef and kimchi (“Gangham Style”), tacos filled with Malaysian-style chicken and more. The dish that’s likely to pique your interest most, though, is the Smokin’ Peking Duck Poutine, made with hoisin-marinated duck, crispy duck skin, gravy, cheese curds and green onions.
Roaming Dragon (Vancouver, BC)
A staple of Vancouver’s street food scene, this food truck is hard to miss because of its bright red decor with black dragons flying along the sides. Their specials change often, but people seem to love it all. With offerings like a chili-lime marinated tofu burrito with peanut sauce and Chinese pork sliders, it’s easy to see why.
Soho Road Naan Kebab (Vancouver, BC)
You can never go wrong with Indian-style kebabs wrapped up in a warm pita. Well, not with these guys anyway. Eat St. alum Soho Road dishes out bold Indian flavours from their little trailer to hungry folks all around Vancouver. If it happens to be a little rainy when you stop by (I heard that happens sometimes in this city), make sure to order a chai latte to warm you up!
Sticky Ricky’s (Calgary, AB)
Bringing a little Creole flavour to the streets of Calgary is this vibrant, Mardi Gras-coloured truck. Try their gumbo/jambalaya hybrid, loaded with andouille sausage, chicken and grilled shrimp, blackened catfish po’ boy sandwich or their spin on poutine with chicken pan gravy.
While you’re waiting to order or waiting for your food to be ready, Ricky’s serenades you with lively jazz music for that extra New Orleans feel. Gotta love it!
Totwheels (Winnipeg, MB)
Top Chef Canada season one alum Darryl Crumb has been running this truck for a few years and, as the name suggests, using crispy tater tots as a blank canvas for a variety of toppings. If you’re in the mood for breakfast or lunch, try their morning tots topped with eggs, chorizo, mushrooms and onions. Not healthy food by any means, but everyone needs a cheat day.
Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.