food truck toronto

Toronto food truck switches from streetside service to home delivery

Food trucks rely on streets full of people to do business, but because of social distancing we're not seeing a lot of that here in Toronto this spring.

One food truck that just started up has been hit especially hard. The Smoke Stop had its first official day of business on March 25, as it seemed like more people were staying home than ever.

They specialize in Mediterranean BBQ, serving smoked pork, chicken, beef and tofu in pita. Owner John Poulis says they were only getting three to six customers per day out on the streets trying to do business as usual, though they were an enthusiastic few.

"People are genuinely happy to see us out there, saying words of encouragement like hang in there, good luck and great idea," says Poulis.

smoke stop toronto

The Smoke Stop launched its food truck during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Fareen Karim.

Seeing that people enjoyed the concept but weren't venturing out in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the people behind The Smoke Stop came up with an innovative idea.

"Since we are new, we had some followers on Facebook and Instagram asking where we are and want to come out and visit us," says Poulis. "But given the times we are in and since we are to be practicing social distancing, we didn't want people to get out of their houses to find us so we decided to take the truck to them."

They've been able to serve far more people this way. "On Friday, texted a few people around dinner time, and next thing you know, in an hour we equalled our sales three days on the street," says Poulis. "As of Monday morning , we have already doubled Friday's orders and are still waiting for more to come in."

In fact, it's going so well, The Smoke Stop is doing away with regular streetside roaming food truck service altogether. 

Hi everyone, here we go!!! Our delivery routes for our first week are: Scarborough on Monday, East York on Tuesday, Old Toronto and York Wednesday, North York Thursday and Etobicoke Friday. We will deliver for Dinner this week. 2 delivery times between 4:45pm to 5:30pm and 6:30pm to 7:15pm. So how to order, simple DM me on Instagram from our menu attached. You can pay at the door with Cash, Debit or Credit, for contactless delivery we are going to need credit card details in advance for prepayment. Thank you everyone for your enthusiastic support!!! Scarborough you’re up first!!! #torontoeats #blogto #foodtrucksTO #bbq #torontofoodies #delicious #supportlocalbusiness #delivery #contactlessdelivery

A post shared by The Smoke Stop (@thesmokestopbbq) on

"We are going to take a break from the street for now," says Poulis. "We are going to concentrate on this delivery service and are working to expand our service to our first responders and front line healthcare workers. This week we are in East York on Tuesday, Old Toronto and York Wednesday, North York Thursday and Etobicoke Friday."

This week they're starting out delivering dinner in rotating neighbourhoods during two time slots: 4:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Find their menu on Instagram and DM to order, and pay at the door with cash, debit or credit. For contactless delivery, credit card details are needed in advance for prepayment.

You can find The Smoke Stop on Instagram and Facebook if you have other questions about delivery from the food truck and when they're going to be hitting up your area.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim


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