The Kerala Jackfruit at Vij’s Railway Express
Credit: Erin Ireland

The Kerala Jackfruit at Vij’s Railway Express

Location: Georgia and Thurlow
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Price: $11
Web: vijsrailwayexpress.com

You can’t make a list of must-try food truck dishes without including Vikram Vij. You just can’t. Led by Dragons’ Den’s newest star, this Indian take-out truck boasts a rotating menu chock full of tantalizingly fragrant menu items, like the Kerala Jackfruit. It’s big, bold and meaty-textured, but (surprise!) it’s actually vegetarian. A mouthful of this tropical fruit is dense, satisfying and reminiscent of an artichoke heart. Braised in a tomato masala, it’s served with wonderfully fresh cumin basmati rice and tender naan. This standout dish originated at Vij’s 11th Avenue restaurant, which speaks to the high culinary bar set for the mobile menu.

Quick Bites

  • Vij’s Railway evening service launched at the end of May.
  • Vij’s Railway is one of only a few food trucks that serves Ocean Wise seafood.
  • Vij’s Railway’s cassava fries (with date and tamarind chutney) are amazing.

The Brussels Breakfast Waffle at Patisserie Lebeau
Credit: Erin Ireland

The Brussels Breakfast Waffle at Patisserie Lebeau

Location: Tuesday and Thursday: Mercedes dealership on Terminal, Wednesday and Friday: check Facebook and Twitter
Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Price: $7.25
Web: grababetterwaffle.com

Belgian waffles are seemingly abundant here in Vancouver, but are they authentic? Pastry chef Olivier Lebeau has his doubts: “Pearl sugar is what makes a Liège waffle [named after a city in Belgium] a Liège waffle, and it’s really, really hard to get.”

Patisserie Lebeau, chef Lebeau’s eponymous Kitsilano-based specialty store, might be the only spot in town with ingredients that live up to the Belgian standard. Luckily for us, a shiny new Lebeau food truck means these delicacies are more accessible.

Try a Liège waffle dipped in chocolate or go savoury with a Brussels waffle stuffed with bacon, ham (both from the Fraser Valley), a fried egg and finished with a warm layer of provolone.

Quick bites

  • Lebeau’s waffles contain all seven nutrients recommended by Canada’s Food Guide.
  • Lebeau sources a special flour from Alberta – this results in a much cleaner carbohydrate and renders it easier to digest.
  • Most other waffles in town are made with previously frozen, preservative-filled dough.

Vancouver foodie Erin Ireland picks five must-have food truck dishes
Credit: Adam Blasberg

Vancouver foodie Erin Ireland picks five must-have food truck dishes

For the fifth year running, Vancouver summer streets will be filled with an array of top-quality, attractively priced, multicultural dining options – on wheels. From fresh and healthy to fried and fabulous, mobile dining has never offered up so many delicious choices. On any given summer day, there will be 50 to 55 trucks serving Vancouver, so if you’re overwhelmed by all of the meals-on-wheels options, click through for five dishes you absolutely must experience.

 

App-etizer
Can’t find your fave truck? The Vancouver Street Food App shows you where and when to visit: streetfoodapp.com/vancouver.

The Saltimbocca Sandwich at Via Tevere
Credit: Erin Ireland

The Saltimbocca Sandwich at Via Tevere

Location: Tuesday: Railtown, Wednesday to Friday: Burrard and Pender
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Price: $7.50-$8.50
Web: viateverepizzeria.com

This year-old food truck brings Italian authenticity to your midday meal.The Saltimbocca sandwich is a popular street dish in Naples that, when translated, describes something so flavourful it jumps in your mouth. 

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The buns are made with pizza dough and fired in the 900-degree wood-burning oven for about 90 seconds until they are slightly charred.

The Ciccioso, loaded with meat and cheese, is the most popular of the four sandwiches, but the Caprese, piled high with basil, arugula and thick slabs of fior di latte mozzarella (specifically chosen for its excellent melt) will hit the sweet spot for any pizza purist.

Quick Bites

  • 2-slide-inset1.jpgVia Tevere has a bricks-and-mortar location on Victoria Drive.
  • Via Tevere’s second food truck opened in early May.
  • All of Via Tevere’s wood-burning ovens are made in Naples.

The Kick Ass Rice at Le Tigre
Credit: Adam Blasberg

The Kick Ass Rice at Le Tigre

Location: Check Facebook or Twitter for updates
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Price: $9
Web: letigrecusine.ca

You probably won’t be able to read the loopy font scribbled on the sides of this yellow and maroon truck, but look for the guys in Hello Kitty glasses and you’ll know you’ve arrived. So what makes Le Tigre’s Kick Ass Rice such a draw? The base is sake, dashi and garlic infused rice. 

3-slide-inset-2.jpgThe topping is what fans have nicknamed “Crack Salad,” because it’s that addictive: a knee-weakening mix of deep-fried vegetables finished with Parmesan, fried onions and a seven-spice mayo. With the dish’s crazy popularity, co-owner and chef Clement Chan says Le Tigre typically goes through 20 pounds of cauliflower a day. And just when you think it can’t get any better, you’ll discover the runny, sous-vide poached egg. At this point, you’re wondering: How on earth can this gourmet grub have come from the street?

P.S. If you’re still hungry, go for the beet fries with plum powder and seven-spice mayo on the side. They’re shockingly good.

Quick bites

  • You can choose pork belly or chicken as a topping for your Kick Ass Rice.
  • The chefs/cooks call themselves the Thundercats and all wear Hello Kitty glasses.
  • Co-owner Clement Chan appeared on season three of Top Chef Canada.

The Daily Salad at Culver City Salads
Credit: Adam Blasberg

The Daily Salad at Culver City Salads

Location: Check Facebook or Twitter for updates
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Price: $9-$10
Web: culvercitysalads.com

If you think salads are simply greens and dressing, you’re in for a surprise. This little green food truck will make your salad dreams come true. Owner Christina Culver’s goal is to create salads that “even the heartiest of meat-eaters would enjoy and feel full from.”

5-slide-inset1.jpgChoose a base of quinoa or rice noodles (or go grain-free) and leave the rest to Vancouver’s vegan salad queen. Toppings include avocado, yams, hummus, kale, guacamole and so much more. The dressings (available for purchase), however, are the fireworks that light up these hefty, plant-based meals. They’re light, flavourful and tahini-based. They’re so delicious, in fact, that you might be tempted to drink them.

Here’s a bonus for the extra-busy person: downtowners can enjoy a Culver City creation without even hitting the pavement. Order at least two salads ($10 apiece) and you can have your meal delivered.

Quick Bites

  • Culver City Salads also serves up a seasonal selection of soups.
  • Everything is made in-house (guacamole, hummus, dressings).
  • Culver City Salads’ dressings are vegan and gluten-free.