Food Trucks in Canada, Au Pied De Cochon

The Best Food Trucks to Visit In Canada

An exterior photo of a food truck. The kitchen and counter are visible
A typical food truck design. Courtesy Mickey Parts

Food trucks are basically mobile restaurants. These culinary vehicles drive around to different locations and serve customers delicious food. Any type of fare can be sold at a food truck: from cheeseburgers to South Asian cuisine. What makes a successful food truck is its uniqueness: the food served is stuff you can’t eat anywhere else. And it also happens to be really good. The popularity of food trucks is partially due to convenience and accessibility. Food trucks are perfect for people, like busy office workers looking for a cheap and fast meal.

Almost every major city in the world has several food trucks operating in it. For the purposes of this article, the best food trucks throughout Canada will be covered. First off, let’s go on a quick journey through the history of food trucks.

Food Truck History

An image of a chuck wagon. The photo is in colour, and the wagon appears to be a part of a museum.
An example of a horsedrawn chuck wagon. Courtesy Mobile Cuisine

The birth of the food truck is credited to a rancher named Charles Goodnight. In 1866, this eccentric rancher decided to open a portable kitchen, called the chuck wagon. He intended to use the wagon while he embarked on his first cattle drive.

The wagon was an old army surplus wagon that Goodnight completely renovated. Goodnight equipped the wagon with shelves, storage space, counters, water barrels, and a canvas to haul firewood. The chuck wagon served mostly preserved foods like beans and salted meats. In addition, Goodnight served food he had gathered while out on the road.

Flourishing Industry

By 1872, the food truck evolved into the food stand. Walter Scott set up the first stand; he wanted to capitalize off of hungry, busy journalists. Scott cut windows into a covered wagon and parked the stand outside a local newspaper office in Providence, Rhode Island. His wagon served coffee and pie.

Leading up to the 1900s, the food truck industry continued to grow. In 1894, mobile sausage vendors sprouted up at Ivy League universities across the U.S. In 1936, sausage manufacturer Oskar Myer opened the first portable hot dog cart called the Weiner Mobile.

An image of a mobile hot dog stand and its vendor. The photo is in black and white and appears to be from the 1930s.
A mobile hot dog stand in the 1930s. Courtesy Pinterest

After World War II, ice cream trucks emerged, selling delicious treats to the baby boom generation. Food trucks were also expanding their reach. Vendors set up shop outside army bases and construction sites.

Evolving Cuisine

Today, many food trucks sell unique gourmet fare. However, early food truck grub was vastly different. The food was extremely basic, more for the blue-collar crowd. The greasy cuisine inspired a not-so-flattering nickname for food trucks: “Roach Coaches”.

So how did the food truck change its menu from blue collar meals to trendy food for Wall Street stock brokers? The answer comes from a Korean food truck named Kogi BBQ. This truck paired Korean BBQ with tacos. Kogi BBQ offered adventurous, exciting food, instead of the typical greasy burgers of other trucks. Their different menu made them popular, and Kogi BBQ ushured in a new era in the food truck industry.

Food Trucks in Canada

Just like other countries, Canada has its share of food trucks. From the Pacific coast to the Maritimes, here are some Canadian food trucks to definitely check out.

British Columbia

The Kaboom Box – Vancouver

An exterior photo of Kaboom Box. A woman is at the counter odering her food.
The Kaboom Box offers a host of great seafood dishes. Courtesy Yellow Pages

The Kaboom Box operates outside of downtown Vancouver on the corner of Gransville Robson. This truck serves seafood cuisine. The stand out dish is the hot smoked salmon sandwich. The sandwich boasts a sharp kick from the spicey mayonaisse and a distinct sweetness from the maple mustard coleslaw. Another notable dish is the B.C. Poutine. This dish is a take off of the famous Quebec version, except The Kaboom Box uses mushroom gravy to cover the fries and cheese curds. Whenever you’re in Vancouver, check out the Kaboom Box and its two remarkable meals.

Tacofino White Truck – Vancouver

Tacofino is named after the island of Tofino, which lies on Vancouver Island’s west coast. It operates in downtown Vancouver, serving world-class fish tacos. The fish is cooked to crisp perfection. The Walking Burrito is another signature dish. The burrito comes with crisp fish, red chorizo, and cheese sauce. Both of these dishes are made from scratch; nothing is prepared from premade frozen food. This is something the owners of Tacofino pride themselves on.

If you happen to be in Vancouver, visit Tacofino on your lunch break. And if you’re looking for a sit-down meal, Tacofino has brick-and-mortar locations in Vancouver and Victoria.

Alberta

Perogy Boyz – Calgary

Calgary is home to the Perogy Boyz, who serve their version of the famous Ukrainian dish to hungry Calgarians. Perogy Boyz make the classic bacon and potato perogy, but they have many different versions on the dish. Two notable examples are the perogy poutine and the dessert perogy made with apple and cinammon. Lastly, Perogy Boyz offer a much talked about borsh.

With their one-of-a-kind perogies, Perogy Boyz remain a favourite stop for locals and visitors to the city of Calgary.

Spaghetti Cone-Edmonton

Two images of spaghetti cones. The left is of a meatball marinara, while the right image appears to be a shrimp based dish.
The Spaghetti Cone food truck serves the increasingly popular spaghetti cone. Courtesy Narcity.

A Spaghetti cones is just like it sounds, spaghetti in a cone. And the Spaghetti Cone truck in Edmonton serves many different types. The truck is run by Tiramisu Bistro, a local Italian restaurant. Some of the cones served are fromagio, marinara and meatballs, and beef ragu. The truck also offers catering for events. When you’re in need of spaghetti, the Spaghetti Cone has got you covered.

Saskatchewan

Bon Burger – Regina

An exterior photo of the Bon Burger food truck.
Regina’s Bon Burger offers several unique hamburgers. Courtesy Regina Leader Post.

Bon Burger serves up the classic food truck item: the burger. All the beef, buns, and toppings are locally sourced. This gives the burgers a distinct fresh taste. What makes Bon Burger stand out is their creative approach to the burger. One such example is The Haus: a burger with maple glazed bacon and a special sauce with a distinct cognac taste. Another example is The Mustang, which has maple mustard, spicy ketchup, and slices of fired salami. Lastly, the Le Bleu burger has blue cheese, caramelized onions, and a red wine barbecue sauce. With these tasty burgers, Bon Burgers goes beyond the standard food truck offerings.

El Tropezon – Regina

This food truck serves authentic Mexican food. El Tropezon originally started in 2017 at the Regina Farmers Market. This food truck specializes in traditional Mexican dishes made from family recipes. This includes chorzio and a tamales recipe passed down from the owner’s great-grandmother. Currently, El Tropezon has expanded to include ready to eat and take home meal options. If you happen to be at the Regina Farmers Market, make sure to check out El Tropezon.

Manitoba

El Torrito – Winnepeg

Winnepeg’s El Torrito taco truck attracts customers with low prices: five dollars for a taco. This is substantially lower than other gourmet food trucks.

Despite their small menu, El Torrito creates fresh and flavorful tacos. Popular items include the beef or chicken taco. A crowd favourite is the chorzio dog: served on a bun with tomatoes, onions, salsa verde, cilantro, and mayonaise. Along with these ingredients, the chorzio dog packs plenty of heat. Come lunchtime, El Torrito’s affordable menu and delicious items are sure to attract a large crowd.

Bao House – Winnepeg

An image of a baos. It contains red onions, shalots, and either pork or chicken.
This delicious baos is one of the items you can get at Winnepeg’s Bao House. Courtesy Tourism Winnepeg.

Opened in 2018, Bao House offers Japanese-inspired hot dogs and sliders along with traditional Japanese food like sushi. Instead of serving baos the usual way (a bun wrapped around a filling which is formed into a ball and steamed), Bao House uses the bun like a taco shell.

The restaurant has continued to grow since its inception. Bao House became so popular that it led to the opening of a Bao House restaurant. Make sure to check out both Bao House locations next time you’re in Winnepeg.

Quebec

P.A. & Gargantua – Montreal

The grilled cheese sandwich is a perfect comfort food, and P.A. & Gargantua specialize in making this classic sandwich. You can get the classic grilled variation with an added twist: smoked butter and Ile-aux-Grues aged cheddar. If you’re looking for something different, P.A. & Garagantua have plenty of grilled cheese styles. Two popular sandwiches are the bacon grilled cheese with a shallot confit, and the Liam’s Brisket, which contains spicy barbecue sauce and marinated onions. With all these delicious sandwiches, P.A. & Gargantua has mastered this comfort food staple.

Au Pied Cochon – Montreal

The exterior of the Au Pied Cochon food truck. The slaty window is in the image.
Five-star restaurant Au Pied Cochon has brought their amazing food to the streets of Montreal. Courtesy TripAdvisor.

Au Pied Cochon is a five-star restaurant located in Montreal. Recently, the restaurant decided to bring its popular food to the streets. What makes this food truck unique is that it has a salty and sweet window. One window only serves salty food, while the other sells sweet treats. At the salty window, grab a nice helping of the foie gras poutine. After you polish that off, line up at the sweet window for the stuffed donut.

Ontario

Pretty Sweet – Toronto

For those with a sweet tooth, Pretty Sweet Mobile Cupcakery is the food truck for you. Traditional cupcakes like vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet are readily available. Pretty Sweet also bakes unique offerings like mint-chocolate and apple caramel. Cotton candy, cake pops, and ice cream sandwiches are also sold at the truck. And if you can’t get enough of the cupcakes, Pretty Sweet sells packaged mini cupcakes, six for five dollars.

Urban Smoke – Toronto

Urban Smoke is the barbecue food truck champion of Toronto. And like any good barbecue restaurant, Urban Smoke piles on the sauce. This makes for a truly messy meal. The must-eat item from Urban Smoke is the brisket poutine: tender, juicy beef brisket served on a generous serving of poutine. The menu is full of traditional barbecue foods along with fusion fare like the brisket poutine. In the tradition of Southern barbecue restaurants, Urban Smoke cooks the meat in a giant smoker hitched to the back of the truck.

Images of Urban Smoke: the exterior of the truck, the menu, and one of the dishes. The dish has beef brisket, coleslaw, beans, and cornbread.
Urban Smoke brings Southern barbecue to Toronto. Courtesy Yelp

Urban Smoke has all the things that make a great barbecue restaurant packaged into a mobile food truck.

The Maritimes

Nomad Gourmet – Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Nomad Gourmet food truck can be found at the Halifax Farmers’ market on Lower Water St. And this food truck certainly has the menu of a nomad. Popular items include their burgers, burritios, and smokehouse chili. But the dish that brings the crowd is the chicken and waffles. The Nomad Gourmet version consists of lightly breaded fried chicken tucked in a Belgian waffle sandwich, then dressed with apple slaw. This meal has a sweet and salty taste and is the main reason for Nomad Gourmet’s popularity.

Jobie’s Mobile Kitchen – Bathurst, New Brunswick

Jobie’s is all about comfort food. Located by the Bathurst Causeway, a popular menu choice is the Jobie Burger: a beef and pork patty topped with caramelized onions. The pulled pork sandwich with apple-cabbage slaw is another popular meal. And to top it all off, special offerings like the three-cheese mac and cheese and the Italian arancinis are sure to get your mouth watering.

Out To Lunch – Summerside, Prince Edward Island

Out To Lunch has a menu that stretches the globe. The food truck serves almost any type of food, from Southern pulled pork sandwiches to Greek food souvlaki. To maintain variety, Out To Lunch occasionally mixes up the menu. One week will feature butter chicken, and the next week will be German schnitzel.

Out To Lunch’s world flavours makes it a unique Canadian food truck.

Ziggy Peelgood’s – St. Johns, Newfoundland

A serving of Ziggy Peelgood's fries. This is is the plain version: just the fries.
Ziggy Peelgood’s specialized in french fries. Courtesy Twitter

Ziggy Peelgood’s is all about french fries. Ziggy’s famous fried potatoes can be enjoyed multiple ways: on their own, with poutine, or in a creative way. One creative dish is the Mex-Zig-An, a combination of fries and mozerella cheese, jalepenos, salsa, and sour cream. This popular item brings the right amount of spice.

For many years, Ziggy Peelgood’s has been a fixture at summer parades and festivals in St. Johns. Their delicious French fried concoctions ensure Ziggy Peelgood’s will remain at these parades and festivals for years to come.

A Land of Food Trucks

A black and white nighttime shot of a food truck. Two people are lined up at the counter.
Food trucks can be found across Canada and the world. Courtesy Canva

The food truck has come a long way since its humble beginnings, evolving from a simple chuck wagon into a gourmet restaurant. In almost every city in the world, you’ll find a food truck. This is certainly true in Canada. From Vancouver, British Columbia to St. Johns, Newfoundland food trucks serve appreciative customers unique and tasty food. This article highlighted some of these food trucks. Hopefully, you’ll get a chance to visit one of them and gobble down their culinary treats.

2 thoughts on “The Best Food Trucks to Visit In Canada

  1. Canada remain one of the destination remaining on one’s bucket list and looks to be very interesting and one to visit once in lifetime

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