Your mama always told you not to eat food off the ground, but what about tasty treats from the back of a decked-out, mobile kitchen? It’s all fair game in Calgary and Edmonton this summer as the province’s two biggest cities serve up their best fare, not in stuffy, gourmet restaurants, but from the window of a food truck.
Most mobile eateries use Twitter and Facebook to update their location on a daily basis. However, there are some handy websites that have consolidated the locations of trucks: yycfoodtrucks.com in Calgary and streetfoodapp.com/Edmonton for the capital city. These are some of our top picks.
Nevin and Kara Fenske own Drift, a popular Edmonton food truck. Photo: Supplied
Drift Food Truck has a small menu, complete with sandwiches and sides. Each sandwich, ranging from pork belly to buttermilk fried chicken, is delectable. While you’ll go to Drift for the sandwiches, you’ll come back for the fries. These crispy, salty wedges are sure to curb your appetite. Drift can be found in various areas of Edmonton. Throughout the summer season you can find Drift at the 124 Street Grand Market from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and, of course, around the city.
Serving up eastern-European cuisine at its finest, Perogy Boyz is sure to please any Canadian born on the Prairies. Potato and cheddar perogies are served traditionally – with sour cream and onion – or with fun alternatives like salsa and melted cheese. Other favourites on the menu include kielbasa, cabbage rolls and borscht.
Bully Food Truck
Bully Food Truck’s famous Bully Mac contains six different types of cheese and is topped with a thick layer of crispy bread crumbs. This is not the kind of meal you eat on a diet. If the mac n’ cheese doesn’t tempt you, there are plenty of other options like the Philly beef sandwich (made with 100 per cent Alberta beef) or the Bully Bomb – a beautiful concoction of beef, pork, bacon and mac n’ cheese all served in a bun.
As their name suggests, Bandit Burger is all about America’s favourite food group: the burger. The meat is hand ground and topped with Monterey Jack cheese and fresh veggies. You can choose the Beef Bandit burger, a mix of chuck and brisket, or the Bacon Bandit, ground with bacon and pork shoulder. Bandit Burger can be found at Calgary’s hottest festivals all summer long.
Founded by Ariel del Rosario and Roel Canafranca in 2008, FiliStix is one of Edmonton’s oldest mobile eateries and a pioneer of the food truck movement in the capital region. Rosario and Canafranca describe their food as “great tasting, health conscious, Asian-inspired cuisine.” Menu favourites include a Filipino-style chicken adobo, southeast Asian-style coconut chicken curry, and Korean-inspired kimchi beef with green peppers.
Cheesy Bizness uses local ingredients and fresh vegetables to make their famous grilled cheese sandwiches. The truck supports a number of nearby farms and the bread is sourced from a local bakery. The menu ranges from a standard grilled cheese to the infamous Mac Melt: mac n’ cheese between two pieces of bread. There are also plenty of meat options.
Sailin’ On Food Truck
Photo: Willow White
For meat lovers, eating vegan may feel like selling your soul to the devil. But there’s no need to pull out your crosses and pitchforks just yet. Sailin’ On is Edmonton’s only vegan food truck and local carnivores will tell you — it’s damn good. The Sailin’ On menu rotates, so the best way to keep track of what’s being served is to follow them on Twitter. The owners Mike Brennan and Garrett Kruger have created a vegan coconut bacon that is so popular it’s sold at various retailers in Edmonton.
A Vietnamese food truck, Bun Boys offers freshly grilled vermicelli bowls and subs. High in flavour, the truck serves the authentic fare you’d expect to find on Calgary’s International Ave., but conveniently offered from Bun Boys’s mobile kitchen. Grab a classic Vietnamese-style coffee with sweetened condensed milk to accompany your spring rolls.
La Poutine’s brick-and-mortar restaurant is located beside Garneau Theatre near the University of Alberta campus. The mobile food truck, however, travels the city and can often be found downtown. The truck’s classic poutine is cheesy and authentic. There are, however, more funky options like BBQ chicken and “the Supreme,” which is topped in sour cream, bacon and green onion. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.
If you’re lucky enough to come across one of Fiasco’s trucks, you’d be crazy not to stop and try their icy treats. Fiasco uses as many local ingredients in their gelato as possible and you can taste the quality in each bite. There is no better way to finish off a food truck meal.