You’ve probably heard about some of the great food on wheels here in Vancouver, like Roaming Dragon’s Asian fusion, the bacon-tastic Pig on the Street, or Fraser Street’s very own JJ’s Trucketeria. Some of them have the coveted license for a regular spot in the city so you can find them easily, but many of them are mobile and move around on a daily basis. If you’ve been meaning to track one down to try out their wares, here’s your chance: The Waldorf Hotel’s Food Cart Fest. It’s where to eat in Vancouver if you love (or would like to try) street food.
Where to Eat in Vancouver for Awesome Street Food
We biked down to the festival to check it out and have an early dinner. We saw quite a few families there, most of them sitting on picnic tables in the sand-covered ‘beach’ area, which offered sand toys and hula hoops to play with. Parked on the edges of the lot around tables in the middle was European food, the Juice Truck, Soho Road Naan Kebab, Earnest Ice Cream, Tacos Ricos, French Made Baking, Holy Perogy, Mom’s Grilled Cheese and the one we’d come to see: Pig on the Street‘s hot pink Westfalia conversion. Sadly, we were too late: Pig on the Street had completely sold out of their bacon-based menu.
On the bright side, being sold out meant Pig on the Street proprietors Krissy Seymour and Mark Cothey had some free time to chat about the festival. Krissy and Mark have been a part of the event from the beginning. “The Waldorf planned a Food Truck Fest for Canada Day this year and nobody was expecting it to be that big, but then it was 5000 people. That was nuts, the first day was insane!” Mark explains. “The success of Canada Day led them to think we should do it again.” A couple of weeks later, the Food Cart Fest started up: every Sunday from mid-July, the Waldorf Hotel has turned their parking lot over to a dozen different businesses who bring their tents, trucks, vans and even bikes to serve up some delicious food. The event was originally planned to run for just six weeks, ending September 2nd, 2012, but due to its immense popularity, the Food Cart Fest has been held over for the rest of the month. The food cart fest truly been where to eat in Vancouver this summer.
Gourmet Ingredients From a Food Cart
The success of the fest is no surprise to Mark. He enthuses, “We love being here at the food cart fest. It’s awesome! There’s a really good vibe, it’s a really good way to showcase what the city has to offer. And each week it’s gotten better and better.” Vancouver’s food trucks are definitely a step up from the traditional hot dog stand. Expect gourmet food with quality ingredients, like Pig on the Street: Chrissy and Mark make all their sauces and bread from scratch using local ingredients. They source their hormone and additive-free meat from a local producer who treats their pigs humanely. If you’re looking for Pig on the Street, you can find them weekdays at lunch time next to the Vancouver Art Gallery on Howe Street and follow them on Twitter or Facebook for more updates.
Though it was disappointing to miss out on the “Hair of the Hog” bacon caramel bourbon brownies I was so looking forward to, it gave me a chance to try pupusas for the first time, at Guanaco Truck. If you didn’t know–I didn’t before Sunday–pupusas are a flat bread filled with beans or meat and cheese. We ordered a couple of pupusa plates from the Salvadoran food truck, which also included some curtido (tangy coleslaw), yuca frita (chunky cassava fries) and a fresh tomato salsa. Tender, flaky with a mild flavour somewhere between russets and sweet potatoes, Guanaco Truck’s yuca frita are a great alternative to the usual fries. This was my first taste of cassava, but it won’t be my last. If you’re looking for a culinary adventure, this is where to eat in Vancouver.
The Food Cart Fest is outside the Waldorf Hotel on Sundays from 12:00-5:00pm until the end of September, 2012.
The Waldorf Hotel Food Cart Fest
Lisa Corriveau is our East Side Contributor. When not writing, she can often be found at the park chasing her little boy, sewing clothing, cycling, reading just about anything, performing on stilts, eating chocolate or drinking craft beer. (Sometimes several of the above simultaneously.) Lisa lives car-free in East Van, with toddler, husband and a few bikes. You can also find her on her blog, The Sprog.