The farm-to-table movement has taken to the streets, with food trucks from coast to coast embracing the local bounty and turning out their own distinctive versions of freshly sourced grub. If you’re hungry to try some of this good food on the go, here are 10 trucks bringing the farm to a street near you.
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
You’ll find trucks shilling lobster rolling all over the U.S., but none possess the street cred of Bite into Maine, a lobster-roll truck sourcing these most sought-after crustaceans direct from the icy cold waters of the Atlantic. In addition to the most classic of lobster rolls made with just a kiss of mayonnaise, Bite into Maine offers a variety of riffs, including Connecticut and Picnic styles, the latter pairing large chunks of lobster meat with coleslaw, hot butter and spices.
The name of the game at Clover Food Lab is simplicity, though there isn’t anything simple about this rapidly growing, vegetable-focused, self-dubbed “fast food company.” What started as a food truck on MIT’s campus in 2008 has grown into a fleet of trucks and several brick-and-mortar establishments, all of which are focused on sourcing food locally and cutting and prepping all ingredients at the time of ordering to ensure the ultimate experience in freshness, like their Chickpea Fritter Sandwich. Fun fact? There isn’t a single freezer in the entire operation.
The brainchild of husband-and-wife team Jessica and Neil Barley, thoroughFARE became a quick favorite of the citizens of Greenville when their truck took to the streets in 2013. The menu is updated weekly, but you’ll nearly always find some version of their Meatloaf Sandwich—topped with homemade pimento cheese? Yes, please!—and their salad special, often tossed with freshly whisked garlic vinaigrette.
Becoming Michigan’s first farm-to-truck mobile restaurant was a no-brainer for Nina Santucci and Anthony Maiale, given the variety and wealth of home-grown food found throughout the state. The Purple Carrot was founded with a mission to bring the food of Michigan to its own hungry residents, traversing the northern landscape and delighting locals with their ever-changing creations including a plethora of homemade soups and the beloved BELT sandwich, a classic BLT topped with a perfectly fried local egg.
5. Chef Shack
Indian Spiced Organic Mini-Donuts, Grass Fed Beef Tongue Tacos, Housemade Charcuterie and Paté: these are just a few of the eclectic and downright addictive dishes turned out by Chef Shack, a Minneapolis based food truck known for celebrating the flavors of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Working with ingredients both grown in and raised on the local soil, freshness comes first at Chef Shack and their popularity has lead to a mini food truck fleet as well a permanent restaurant location.
6. Easy Slider
It’s #NationalKaleDay!! Fight the man and come eat a burger with bacon and peanut butter on it. We’re slingin’ at Sigels 5757 Greenville til 8! ??Crazy in love with this pic from @feastdallas, thanks for snapping and posting!?? #easyslider #dallas #foodtruck #nuttypig #peanutbutter #bacon #burger #foodporn #cute #bringjamesfranco #francoeatssliders #rebel #fighttheman #beefitswhatsfordinner
Deciding which signature Easy Slider burger you want is made that much easier, given the fact that these angus beef patties come in miniature form. Go ahead and order three, you won’t be sorry! Topping their burgers with fresh Texas produce, all of the Easy Slider creations stick out, with the Sweet and Lowdown Slider and it’s strawberry-jam-meets-bacon-and-goat-cheese goodness leading the pack. Vegetarian? Their Baby Bella is for you, the mushrooms extra delicious given their Texas roots.
What’s in a name? Everything, particularly when it comes to this Denver-based farmers-market-on-wheels. Farm to Truck’s mantra “food is love, sourced locally” is emblazoned on their truck, their message made clear, and they’ve become known for a handful of delicious favorites that nearly always grace their rotating menu. The Lamb Burger with Arugula, Fried Onions, Goat Cheese and Mint Aioli is particularly popular, along with their truck-made sausages, which change weekly.
The food cart scene is where it’s at in Portland, with virtually hundreds of mobile stands scattered throughout this foodie city on any given day. Picnic’s menu is small but mighty, with four sandwiches, two salads and a cookie on offer. When you craft your food with punchy and powerful local flavors, you need little else—the Carrot and Parsley Pesto Sandwich is a shining example of what it means to embrace the local bounty.
9. Roli Roti
San Francisco, Calif.
With a masters degree in organic farming under his belt and his family’s recipes for rotisserie meats mastered, Thomas Odermatt left his childhood home in the Swiss Alps and headed to the Bay area, where his food trucks now pepper the various farmers markets in town, turning out Porchetta Sandwiches and whole roasted birds to throngs of hungry Californians who appreciate the fact that Roli Roti can tell them exactly where each ingredient was sourced.
Excited to be featuring fresh Kona Kampachi (a relative of the Hawaiian amberjack or Kahala). Farm raised in deep ocean pens off the Kona coast by Blue Ocean Aquaculture, these fish features a fatty flesh similar to hamachi. Locally raised and sustainable seafood! On the menu tomorrow night at the Hawaii Seafood Month kickoff party at Migrant Wailea. Tickets still available. Mahalo to Tropic Fish Maui for these beauties! @tropicfishmaui @kkoa808 @b.k.k.m #HiSeafoodMonth
Having grown up amongst the farmlands of Maui, Chef Kyle Kawakami knew he wanted the locally grown riches of his homeland to be the star of the show when he introduced his mobile eatery to the streets. Menu themes may rotate weekly, but the onus of fresh, local and delicious food never changes. A recent Southeast Asian inspired menu offered up a Mahi Shattered Spring Roll Salad, as well as crispy Nuoc Cham Chicken Wings.
About the Author: Also known as foodie-girl, Lindsey McClave is a full-time food, wine and travel writer based in Louisville, Ky. You can take a peek into Lindsey’s ever-growing recipe box on her website, where you will also find travel logs, cocktail tips and a healthy dose of wine education. Keep up with Lindsey’s food, wine and travel adventures on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.