Hitting Vancouver's Food Trucks Scene, Flickr: goincaseVancouver is a food lover’s town. From Iron Chef Rob Feenie’s Cactus Club Café to steaming dim sum at Kirin Restaurant the cuisine of the Pacific Rim knows no bounds in this city filled with cosmopolitan sophistication. These days, the city has been in a bit of a food cart frenzy.  In 2010, city officials repealed an old law which only allowed hot dogs, chestnuts and popcorn to be served in food carts and the resulting culinary experience has been the talk of the town. Recently, the city asked citizens to suggest and vote on new food cart options for 2012, using creativity and their taste buds as their guides. Then the big news hit this week- this summer food carts are going to be allowed in select city parks for the very first time! Ready to hit the parks and streets and join Vancouverites in experiencing their new favorite way to dine? Here are some pointers for the newbie food cart enthusiast.

New to the food cart scene and don’t know where to begin? Consider taking the “Eat You Cart Out” walking tour from the Tour Guys. Two tours take place every 2nd Friday of the month at 1:30 P.M. and your $32 fee includes samples at every food cart you visit.

Every food cart connoisseur needs to include a stop at the Japadog stand on their tour. A throwback from the old hotdog, chestnut, and popcorn days, this stand was started by Japanese immigrants back in 2005 who dreamt of having a world famous food cart of their own.  Their Japanese-style hot dogs have taken the city by storm, including their signature Terimayo hot dog which is topped with Teriyaki sauce, mayo and seaweed.

The Pacific Northwest finds its Southern soul at the Re-Up BBQ Foodcart. Their extremely popular Boston butt pulled pork sandwich features secret sauce, slaw, and is served on a Portuguese bun. Their bacon is so popular that it is now being sold wholesale and the southern sweet tea is always flowing. If you happen upon the cart when they are serving meatloaf sandwiches, don’t pass one up. The pork meat loaf is stuffed with cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, wrapped in bacon and then smoked. Drool.

Roaming Dragon brings Pan-Asian cuisine to the streets with fried rice, short ribs, steamed pork buns, and inventive Korean tacos featuring slow-roasted Asian-spiced pork belly and crunchy pickled cucumber. The cart is so popular that it received top billing in Vancouver Magazine’s Best Food Cart category.  The pork belly sliders are said to be excellent hangover cures, especially when washed down with a lychee lemonade.

If comfort food is what you desire, Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck is the cart for you.  Folks stand in the pouring rain for a chance to consume a grilled cheese and a cup of tomato soup from Mom. Whether you go for bacon, onions, pepper jack, and tomatoes on marble rye or good old fashioned cheddar on sourdough, you are sure to walk away will a happy belly and a smile on your face. Those with dietary restrictions will be thrilled to hear Mom even has vegan cheese and gluten free bread.

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photo: leelefever


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