Top Philly Food Trucks
Proving you can get good food on the road
A city reveals itself through its street food, and Philadelphia has always had a bountiful spread of on-the-fly options. Local food trucks run the gamut from student grub in stainless steel carts to upscale eats in high-tech mobile kitchens to roving trucks that keep foodies up-to-date on their whereabouts through Twitter.
Here’s a look at some of Philly’s must-try trucks—serving soft pretzels, pork roll sandwiches, elegant pastries, espresso drinks, global fare and just about everything in between:
Local and humane farm products are the foundation for Yumtown’s creative cookery. Menu items include the PB&J, a hearty concoction made with pork belly, pumpkin butter and chile jam served on tostones, and the Bat out of Hell, a meatloaf sandwich with carrots, spinach, horseradish cream and spicy ketchup.
Details: 13th & W. Norris Streets, yumtownusa.com
The colorful Tyson Bees truck is the storefront for enticing Asian fusion eats like Korean BBQ short rib tacos and Thai basil chicken over rice and kimchi hot dogs.
Details: 33rd & Spruce Streets, tysonbees.com
Kung Fu Hoagies
Specializing in vegetarian and vegan fare, Kung Fu Hoagies has wooed the meat-free set with tofu banh mi, BBQ “beef” hoagies and sesame peanut “chicken” noodles.
Details: Roaming on weekdays and at Clark Park on Sundays, 43rd Street & Baltimore Avenue, twitter.com/kungfuhoagies
The Dolce Vita (topped with provolone, pepperoni and tomato sauce) and the Mack (topped with macaroni and cheese) are just a couple of the creative hot dogs at The Dapper Dog, parked during lunch hours at Temple University and during late-night hours in Northern Liberties (2nd & Poplar Streets).
Details: thedapperdog.org, twitter.com/thedapperdog
Lucky Old Souls
A jazz radio show and a concert series were the earliest ventures for Lucky Old Souls, which has since expanded into a burger truck, emphasizing farm-to-truck goodies like grass-fed beef burgers, hand-cut fries, thick milkshakes and freshly made condiments.
Details: Tuesdays and Thursdays, Love Park, 16th Street & John F. Kennedy Boulevard; Wednesdays, 33rd & Arch Streets; Second and Fourth Saturdays, Chestnut Hill Farmers’ Market, Germantown Avenue & Winston Road; Sundays, Clark Park, 43rd Street & Baltimore Avenue, twitter.com/losburgertruck
Coffee & Dessert
The shiny red caffeine truck known as HubBub Coffee purveys Stumptown espresso drinks drawn out of swank La Marzocco machines, as well as muffin tops, cinnamon rolls and cookies.
Details: 38th & Spruce Streets, twitter.com/hubbubcoffee
Call Me Cupcake
Among the goodies on offer at the Call Me Cupcake truck are carrot cake, red velvet and seasonal strawberry cupcakes. The roaming truck is in the process of establishing a new schedule.
Details: theyummycupcake.com, twitter.com/callmecupcake.com
From Love Park to South Philly and back again, Buttercream—helmed by “the cupcake lady”—brings cupcakes to the masses, in tempting flavors like banana with Nutella buttercream and yellow cake with peanut butter buttercream.
Details: buttercreamphiladelphia.com, twitter.com/buttercreamphl
A patisserie on wheels, Sugar Philly offers a seasonal menu of treats like peanut panna cotta with Concord grape sauce, spicy Mexican layered chocolate cake and mango rice pudding with basil syrup and coconut meringue.
Details: 38th Street between Walnut & Sansom Streets, sugarphillytruck.com, twitter.com/sugarphilly
Melange Tea Cart
The brewed beverages of University City’s Melange Tea Cart can be ordered iced or hot, and options range from rosehip hibiscus tisane to genmaicha and traditional black teas, all served in compostable corn cups. When possible, the cart appears at local farmers’ markets and other locations to bring tea to the masses.
Details: 3rd & Market Streets, melange-tea.com
An espresso bar on wheels, Rival Bros’ truck serves up lattes, pour-overs and drip-brewed cups. It also sells fresh-roasted beans by the bag.
Details: 33rd & Arch Streets, rivalbros.com
Customers of the Falafel Truck know that there are basically two choices at this Israeli eatery—the heftily portioned fried chickpea balls come in either sandwich or platter form—but the array of accompanying tastily spiced treats (beet hummus, fresh grapes, salads) changes daily.
Details: 20th & Market Streets
The spicy pork bulgogi, soba noodles and tofu stir-fries at the Koja truck (the name stands for “Korean-Japanese”) have been setting West Philly mouths afire for years now.
Details: 38th & Sansom Streets
Fans line up for the beef patties, curry goat and oxtails at Jamaican D’s, a friendly jerk-centric truck, which has become a mainstay of the Community College of Philadelphia campus.
Details: 17th & Spring Garden Streets
Soul and Caribbean foods mix and mingle on the giant platters dished out at Denise’s, a 30th Street Station landmark that specializes in jerk chicken, cornbread, mac and cheese and candied yams—all easily sopped up with slices of Wonder bread.
Details: 30th & Chestnut Streets
Since 1983, Yue Kee has been charming visitors with its no-nonsense proprietress and cheap, authentic Chinese- and Hong Kong-style eats like sesame chicken, fried fish in garlic sauce and stewed pork ribs with rice.
Details: 238 S. 38th Street
Pennsport Taco Loco
The tacos on offer at Pennsport’s Taco Loco include pastor, chicken, tripe, tongue and chorizo fillings, which are delicately seasoned with chopped onions and cilantro and best washed down with a bottle of Jarritos soda.
Details: Jefferson Square Park, between 3rd & 4th Streets and Federal Street & Washington Avenue
Tacos Don Memo
The wait for lunch can be long at Tacos Don Memo, whose passionate University City fan base swears by the tacos al pastor, vegetarian burritos and gigantic tortas layered with mayo, cheese and pickled jalapeños.
Details: 3800 Sansom Street
The grilled cheese sandwich is the raison d’être of Say Cheese, a Temple University favorite, and the variations include The Mary D (meatball grilled cheese), El Duke (Mexican-inspired) and the Frenchy (French onion).
Details: Mondays through Thursdays, W. Norris Street between 12th & 13th Streets; Fridays, Love Park, 16th Street & John F. Kennedy Boulevard, twitter.com/saycheesephilly
Catering to vegetarian eaters long before it was de rigueur, Penn staple Magic Carpet has a slew of meat-free options, from the Smurf ’n Turf platter (tofu meatballs, rice, veggies and cheese), to the Sloppy Jason pita sandwiches and the exquisitely light spinach pies.
Details: 36th & Spruce Streets, 34th & Walnut Streets
Sexy Green Truck
Templetown’s Sexy Green Truck is equally friendly to vegetarians and meat-eaters, with healthy options like salads and pita sandwiches—and not-so-healthy options like waffle cheese fries.
Details: 11th Street & Montgomery Avenue
Specialty burgers, hand-cut fries, cheesesteaks and creative concoctions like meatballs stuffed with sharp provolone, have made newcomer The Spot a highly sought-after lunch stop on Drexel’s campus.
Details: 33rd & Arch Streets
A mobile wood-fired oven bakes the eggplant, sausage and radicchio pies at Pitruco Pizza, which splits its time between Love Park and Drexel’s campus.
Details: Mondays and Wednesdays, 16th Street & John F. Kennedy Boulevard; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 33rd & Arch Streets, pitrucopizza.com
The red-and-blue-striped Creperie truck is a Temple University stalwart. Beyond the traditional fillings of ham and cheese and Nutella and banana, there are quirky combos such as buffalo chicken with blue cheese sauce, and gyro meat, pepperoni, cheese, tomato sauce and ranch dressing.
Details: 13th & Norris Streets