Need something to do this weekend? Here are five Vancouver food trucks worth giving up your reservation for.
Tacofino is more than just a food truck—in both a literal and a metaphorical sense. Literally, the Tofino-born taco masters actually operate three movable eateries, plus another fourbrick-and-mortar spots in Victoria and Vancouver. Metaphorically, mowing down on the shop’s signature Baja-inspired fish tacos—a heaping hunk of fresh, perfectly battered lingcod on a warm flour tortilla, piled high with cabbage, chipotle mayo, and a refreshing kick of salsa fresca—is more of a religious experience than anything. Okay, so maybe we're exaggerating a little bit. But the trucks do feature a rather tongue-in-cheek imagining of the Virgen de Guadalupe holding her hands in prayer—with a taco pinned firmly between them, no less—so we can’t be that far off the mark, right? In case you’re not feeling the seafood, you can also try chicken karaage, pork al pastor, or a vegetarian option in taco or burrito form. Cap it off with an order of banana churros or a chocolate diablo cookie—an irresistibly gooey morsel made from a spicy combo of ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne—and consider yourself converted.
The comfort food here lives up to the retro graphics that emblazon the pastel-turquoise truck: gooey cheese oozing from between thick and crispy slabs of homemade bread, served up in a Leave It to Beaver–era red-and-white-checkered paper cone. Choose from breads like sourdough and marble rye, and from cheese like Swiss, provolone, and Havarti. Don't forget to order a giant dill-pickle slice on the side. The truck dresses things up with a daily special: try Thursday's lethal Jackson 3, featuring three slices of sourdough with intermelting brie, boursin, and Gruyere, or Friday's feisty Mister Marley, complete with mango chutney and pepperjack. Wash it all down with an old-school Pop Shoppe.
Most Vancouverites are probably familiar with this food truck franchise that is scattered across the Lower Mainland. Japadog has become so popular that they’ve even expanded to Los Angeles, with a stand at the famed Santa Monica Pier. Why the hype? It’s an all-American classic hot-dog with a Japanese twist that brings mouth-watering combinations like seaweed, miso sauce, and bonito flakes. Try their signature Terimayo hot-dog—a juicy sausage covered in teriyaki sauce, mayo, and seaweed. Or opt for their Spicy Cheese Terimayo—it’s the same dog but with three kinds of cheese and a bit of spiciness to bring out extreme flavour. You won’t need the ketchup, mustard, and relish because this is so much more.
Fliptop Filipino Fusion
Even before you’ve stepped up and ordered, it’s obvious the Fliptop Filipino Fusion folks aren’t exactly staunch traditionalists. Forget a lovingly rendered streetscape capturing the old-world charm of Manila: the truck is plastered with graffiti-inspired hip-hop art. And forget Agot Isidro—to judge by what’s banging out of the in-kitchen stereo system, the staff saw Straight Outta Compton six times during opening week. Friendly as that staff is, their menu has no shortage of attitude. Sorry, pulled pork purists, but you’ll never dream of South Carolina’s finest dish again after trying Fliptop Filipino Fusion’s mountainous take on the American classic (think house-made barbecue sauce, pickled green papaya, crispy leeks, and a sinfully delicious roasted garlic aioli). Or choose the Pacman Pandesal Sliders featuring pickled cabbage, carrot slaw, hoisin-laced mayo, and soy-citrus marinated beef. You know that Public Enemy song “Don’t Believe the Hype”? That doesn’t apply to Fliptop Filipino Fusion, which is arguably the most street-stylin’ food truck in the city.
We at the Georgia Straight do not claim to know the true provenance of the pie, a thing that has seemingly been with us for millennia and which spans more cultures than we can probably count. But based on the quality of his work—not to mention his aggressive PR stance—we’ll go along with Aussie Pie Guy and just pretend that it was some bright ocker from down under that first decided to marry meat with pastry, served piping hot with a creamy dollop of mashed potatoes and the world’s fartiest side dish, mushy peas. We recommend you start with the basic Aussie Pie (beef, onion, Howe Sound Rail Ale–infused gravy) and work your way down the menu to Chook (or chicken, if you live in this hemisphere).