After a solid five seasons of Eat St., it’s no wonder Canada’s love affair with curbside dining has become so profound. So here are 10 Canadian food trucks that are staples in their local food scenes and are totally worth waiting in line for.
Something to be noted: with the exception of Vancouver, most of these trucks won’t be operating once colder weather hits, so seek them out and have a taste while you still can.
Bandit Burger (Calgary, AB)
This newer addition to the city’s food truck scene keeps the menu concise with two burger options, a grilled cheese and their popular parmesan and herb fries. The namesake beef burger comes in the form of a house-ground patty (or two), slaw, marinated tomatoes, fried cheese (yes, fried cheese) and Bandit sauce.
Boîte à Fromages
Boîte à Fromages (Montreal, QC)
Whether you’re fluent in French or not, you’ve likely already assumed this truck is all about cheese, well, cheese and fries, for the most part. Get your gooey, cheesy fix on with toppings like cornichons and pearl onions (a good cut to the richness) or apple, caramelized pecans and fleur de sel. If you’re like any average cheese-loving individual, you might as well get a grilled cheese sandwich or an order of mac ‘n cheese too.
Braizen Food Truck (Calgary, AB)
Calgary’s food truck scene has slowed down since it came about in 2011, with the majority of the original trucks shutting down or morphing into other concepts. But weathering the storm is Eat St. alum Steve Glavivich is the owner of Braizen, which launched shortly after the “first generation” of trucks and remains a favourite in the city. Jerk chicken sandwiches, seasonal salads and braised pork tacos are a few of the dishes that Calgarian food truck fans will happily line up for.
Disco Dog Truck (Saskatoon, SK)
One of the most classic North American street food offerings, the hot dog, gets an indulgent upgrade on Saskatoon’s original food truck (circa 2013, the city’s still pretty new to the truck scene). Whether you’re ordering a dog with the usual suspects (ketchup, mustard or relish) or you’re going for a more over-the-top dog with toppings like pizza sauce, mozzarella, bacon and onions, you know it’s going to get messy.
Drift Food Truck (Edmonton, AB)
One of the city’s most popular trucks takes the sandwich route with its menu, serving up a few signatures like pork belly with chili mayo, buttermilk-fried chicken with house pickles and house-made falafel. If you can’t get enough of their “Drift spice” blend on the fries and potato chips, or the homemade ketchup you dip them in, buy a bottle to take home and use as you please.
The Feisty Jack (Toronto, ON)
This street vendor’s mish-mash of British and Canadian fare has definitely become a fan favourite in the past few years. Once you’ve locked down Jack’s coordinates on Twitter, it’s easy to spot this well-branded food truck from a mile away. Expect fish and chips (naturally), sticky toffee pudding, as well as a Yorkshire pudding-meets-poutine mash-up of potato wedges, cheese curds and tender roast beef.
Fit To Grill (Hamilton/Toronto GTA, ON)
Truck owner Alon Fuks won his own truck on an episode of Food Truck Face Off back in early 2015, making his dream, of owning a mobile eatery, a reality. His meals-on-wheels whips up sandwiches like catfish po’ boys, smoked chicken wings with white barbecue sauce and signature “hickory stick” fries that can also be upgraded to a poutine.
The Food Wolf (Halifax, NS)
With a “throw caution to the wind” kind of mentality when it comes to their menu, Halifax truck fans admit that you won’t know what to expect on Food Wolf’s menu unless you check their social media feeds. Drawing mostly from Asian flavours, you can expect things like warming soups, fusion sandwiches and, refreshingly, vegan eats too.
Red Ember (Winnipeg, MB)
Wood-fired pizza isn’t the most common food you’ll find from a food truck, but being Winnipeg’s largest truck, Red Ember can easily accommodate a pizza oven with room to spare. When it comes to the dough, the truck uses locally ground flour as its main ingredient. Couple that with their affinity for local suppliers and seasonal ingredients, and you’ll probably agree that it’s well worth tracking down this truck instead of just picking up the phone and ordering a regular ol’ pizza.
Vij’s Railway Express (Vancouver, BC)
Vancouver-based celebrity chef, Vikram Vij has a hard time creating something that people don’t absolutely love, and this food truck that started hitting the streets almost three years ago is certainly no exception. Though it’s unlikely you’ll find the former Chopped Canada judge working on the truck, his famous, tried-and-true Indian flavours are always around to fill you up and keep you warm on those chilly, rainy west coast days.
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.