By: Marco Ovies, Peak Associate
The Columbia StrEAT Festival is happening again on July 27 from 4–10 p.m. It’s the largest one-day food truck festival on the continent featuring over 100 different food trucks. In addition to that, there will be numerous beer gardens, swing-dancing lessons, a local farmers’ market, the fashion freeway, and an artisan market. With all those options, you want to make sure you hit up all the best spots. So stress not and keep reading as I map out my top ten most anticipated food trucks visiting the festival this year.
If you’re looking for something different than your typical street food, get prepared for the WhataFood food truck. The menu offers a variety of Brazilian savoury and sweet pastries filled with all kinds of delicious goodies. The truck specializes in pastéis, large rectangular pastries that are among the best known Brazilian street foods. They offer lots of fillings, like beef, calabrese (smoked sausages and sauteéed onions), cheese, and my personal favourite — the S’more Pastel. If you’re looking for a vegan option, be sure to try the sun-dried tomatoes, arugula, and tofu pastéis.
This truck takes the traditional Sicilian recipe, risotto, and turns it into a portable delight in the form of a ball. Trust me when I say you won’t be able to get enough of this deliciously gooey treat. The idea had come to Mr. Arancino while studying abroad. He took a trip to Sicily, spent all his money on cooking classes, and returned to Vancouver with this delicacy. Plant-eaters will delight when they see that over half the menu is vegetarian with options like creamy mushroom-filled arancini. But if you’re an avid meat eater, don’t fret: there are still plenty of meatatarian options like the Bacon Pesto Arancini and Pizza Arancini.
What Vancouver street festival would be complete without the JAPADOG stand? This classic food truck will be serving up Lower Mainland classics such as their Terimayo dog with mayo, seaweed, and teriyaki sauce. However, if you decide to skip this truck at the festival, you can always go downtown and try one of their many stands there.
This ice cream truck isn’t the one you remember visiting your neighbourhood as a kid. Ice Cream by Mario’s Kitchen are serving up unique gourmet flavors that will satisfy any sweet tooth. Alongside flavors like Raspberry Cheesecake, Rootbeer, and Sea Salt Caramel, you can enjoy classic floats as well. It is the perfect treat to end your day of good eats.
I mean, it’s mac and cheese, need I say more? This food truck is offering up the classic childhood favourite with a fun twist. Try these uniquely named flavors like The Godzilla (topped with nori, teriyaki sauce, and Japanese mayo), Snoop Dogg (beef hot dog and panko breadcrumb topping), and The Jurassic Pork (pulled pork and crispy onions). This truck is the perfect place to visit to open up your palette for the Macaroni and Cheese Festival hitting Vancouver from August 9 to 11.
This truck takes the world’s favourite side dish and turns it into something beautiful. Taters gives people the choice of trying one of their premade creations like the Sea Ya Later Tater with lobster, crab, and cod, or the option to create your own with their list of 15 toppings.
Japadog is going to have some hot hot dog competition at this festival with Dogs n Roses. This truck’s gourmet spins on your traditional barbecue favourite will have you drooling. I 100% recommend trying out the Salmon Belly smokie or their signature bacon onion rings. Their menu might be small, but each item is packed full of flavour.
It’s right there in the name, and this truck serves up some of the best sandwiches ever. Bread and Cheese is a chef-run gourmet sandwich shop that offers sandwich combinations that will leave you drooling. You can’t go wrong trying their Cubano with pulled pork, Dijon mustard, Swiss cheese, bacon, and pickles. The amount of quality of each ingredient and each handcrafted sandwich is what lands this truck in the number-three spot.
Not only is Tacofino’s Pink Truck incredibly hard to miss, but it also has some of the best tacos in Vancouver. You can stick with classics such as fish or chicken, or get a bit more adventurous with some of their more interesting fillings such as the Bahn Tofu taco. While these tacos are insanely good, they only hit number two because tacos are super common at any food truck event.
Trucks like these are what make the food truck business thrive. This fusion of American and Japanese cuisine is, in my opinion, not only the most original idea at the festival, but also the most delicious. These burgers are made with hand pressed rice buns instead of regular bread, and they are not your classic cheeseburger either. Each sandwich has an Asian influence, such as their Korean Spicy Pork or Chicken Katsu. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can grab the Farmhouse Burger, which is chicken, beef, and pork all crammed together. The pure originality and great taste of these rice burgers is why I give it the number one spot on this list. Make sure to go out of your way to try these once-in-a-lifetime burgers.