By Contributor | Notable.ca
In the past five years, food trucks have somehow become more than just trucks with food.
And we don’t have to tell you we’re not talking about a sketchy chip wagon on the side of the road.
These gourmet meals on wheels offer unique and creative cuisine options that range from new spins on old favourites to healthier gastronomic delights.
Though they’ve been met with backlash from restaurant owners who don’t want the presence of a food truck to block their windows and compete with their offerings, we have some deep love for these street-side options:
They’re cheaper than a restaurant, but still satisfy foodie palettes.
For those with a taste for good food but a wallet that won’t support a daily restaurant habit, the food trucks offer a way better alternative than the typical mass produced fast food. Though a food truck meal can easily set you back $15 (if you go with all the fixings), it’s still more affordable than a restaurant.
They’re always a pleasant surprise.
Whether within a block of your office at noon, at a party, or festival – food trucks are always a welcomed sight. A group of food trucks offering limitless options for all your picky coworkers? Even better.
They help future restaurateurs launch their careers.
Many restaurants have started out as food trucks. Although running a food truck is no cheap undertaking (Toronto food truck operators must now pay a yearly fee of $5,067, not to mention gas and insurance), they offer a more affordable option to a bricks-and-mortar restaurant for those new to the business. Furthermore, they help to develop a loyal following of customers who may become future restaurant regulars.
They allow a casual and affordable way to try new types of food.
These days, pretty much every young professional is a self-proclaimed ‘foodie.’ We’re always looking to try the latest and greatest in food trends – and discuss them over brunch the next day. Because of the lesser amount of both time and money required to indulge in a food truck’s offerings, they offer a less risky way to explore different types of food. And different, creative types of food is what they do best.
One of the best things about food trucks is that they’re highly interactive, both physically and in the social media world. Because they are chef driven, food trucks bring the customer and the chef closer together. They completely cut out the middleman. And because they’re always changing locations, they’re also highly interactive on social media, keeping an open dialogue with customers to not only let them know where they’ll be, but to determine what they want.
They offer variety.
Sure, they don’t offer a menu as extensive as a restaurant, but what they do offer is variety. Not only is the food far from the typical chain burger and fries (with creative, gourmet spins on everything from fish tacos and BBQ, to grilled cheese and pressed sandwiches), chefs are able to switch up the menu often since they’re not tied to a specific menu.
They make everywhere they go better.
Concerts, festivals, parties, and parks are made more appealing with the presence of a food truck. For example, a main draw of Toronto’s Good Food and Drink Show was an entire section devoted to food trucks. At this summer’s Field Trip music festival, ample food trucks were as well received as the musicians. Even hitting Toronto’s CNE is made less nightmarish thanks to its ‘Food Truck Frenzy’ gathering of food trucks.
With the massive popularity of food trucks, it’s likely they’ll be around for a longtime. And we’re just fine with that.
In fact, we know what we’re having for lunch. Do you?