The top 10 new food trucks in Toronto this summer
The growth of the food trucks scene in Toronto is a story of ingenuity and perseverance in the face of the numerous obstacles created by City Hall, the restaurant lobby and local BIAs. Even though we've seen some food trucks disappear from the local landscape in the last few months, there have been more than an equal number of new trucks take to the streets in an effort to elevate our street food beyond the forgettable a la carte initiative.
Joining the ranks of Toronto's mobile kitchens, this freshman class of new food trucks finally seems to reflect the appetites of the people in this city. Dishing up impressive diversity, you'll find that street foods du jour come in the form of roti, rice balls, samosas, regional BBQ and acai bowls.
Here are my picks for the top 10 new food trucks to eat at this summer in Toronto.
Stoke Stack BBQ
Catch this truck in service at a regular spot equipped with picnic tables on Gerrard, next to the Zero Gravity Circus, when it's in between catering gigs. The menu features Texas-style BBQ, meaning that the meat is seasoned simply with just salt and pepper and relies solely on thick smoke, low heat and patience to draw out the best flavours. The sampler platter with a slab of Wonder bread is awesome, or look out for a rotating selection of sandwiches and fully loaded poutines.
Co-owned by a mom and son team, this food truck idolizes burgers and cites the seven deadly sins as inspiration for its indulgent line-up of Cumbrae's beef patties nestled into puffy brioche buns. The menu tempts with selections like the Sloth burger, dressed with hickory sticks and Velveeta, or Greed, stacked with bacon and bourbon sauce.
This highly-anticipated food truck finally hit the streets this spring after a well-documented year of research, working the line on other trucks, travelling, food testing and then vending at pop-ups and in rented trucks. Now with four wheels to call their own (courtesy of the now defunct Stuft food truck), owners Allen Tan and Brian Siu-Chong are making the most of their city-issued curbside license and serving up fried rice balls, rice burgers and peking duck tacos.
The launch of this frozen treat truck coincided perfectly in time to piggyback off World Cup fever and a piqued interest in all things Brazil. Since debuting in May, the menu, specializing in smoothies and fruit-topped sorbet bowls, has introduced Torontonian street food junkies to the sweet, refreshing superfruit that is the Amazonian acai berry.
Kal & Mooy
Toronto's first East African food truck is introducing Somali home cooking to the thriving curbside scene. The mom 'n' pop operation is helmed by Ahmad Duale and his wife, Aisha Mohamed, who have been dishing up a comforting, grab-and-go menu of beef, chicken and vegetarian samosas, and wraps assembled on sabaya, a traditional pan-fried Somali flatbread.
Steel Cut Coffee
Coffee trucks are the best. Seeing one at an open air market, festival or even at a food truck rally where your stamina is being tested by so, so much tryptophan can be (and, for me, has been) the highlight of many excursions. While Steel Cut Coffee is neither the first nor the only coffee truck in town, it's the only one brewing locally roasted Pig Iron espresso and offering hearty oatmeal bowls along with fresh baked goods.
Having launched a first food truck late last season and second one this spring, there are double the opportunities to mow down on house-made doubles, stuffed rotis, hearty stews and soups from this roaming West Indian kitchen.
Specializing in an all time festival staple, this mobile kitchen offers an alternative to the deep-fried foods that dominate most curbside menus. Keeping things simple and straightforward, the menu offers buttered corn on a cob or in cup, plus fun fully-loaded options like Mexican corn topped with queso and chili.
No longer do Torontonians need to wait for the CNE to indulge in over the top, bacon covered delights. The food truck rolls with its established menu featuring bacon, bacon and you guessed it, more bacon. Order up a Pig Mac or Notorious P.I.G burger and wash it down with a Peanut Butter Bacon Milkshake or bacon wrapped, deep fried Mars bar for dessert.
Funnel Cake Dream
Making fried confections its niche, this sweet new food truck is taking this classic festival staple on the road. The menu features freshly fried, sugar-dusted funnel cakes dished out with the usual assortment of vanilla ice cream, fruit coulis, whipped cream and syrups. If that doesn't sound gluttonous enough, entertain the option of smothering it with maple syrup and sprinkling bacon bits over top.
Thanks to Pure Leaf for sponsoring our summer adventures. For more things to do this summer, check out our Best of Summer page.
Did I miss any? Give props to your favourite new food truck in the comments.