An update on the Philly food truck scene
Image courtesy Nomad Pizza Truck
Food trucks remain hot as can be in Philadelphia this year, with Night Market Philadelphia continuing its runaway success. We’re lucky to have one of the best food truck scenes in the country right in our own backyard.
Held throughout the farmer’s market season in a variety of neighborhoods (past locations have included East Passyunk, University City, Mount Airy and Chinatown), the Night Markets have attracted the mobile operations in town, from Capogiro’s amazing gelato to Hardena’s Indonesian food, as well as plenty of pizza, tacos and pho.
In addition to the diverse food offerings, attendees enjoy a beer garden, live performances, free giveaways and more. 2012’s calendar will bring a whole new set of flavors to explore after work.
2011 marked Philly’s first annual Vendy Awards, also taking place in New York and L.A., where competitors took over the Piazza at Schmidts to show off their culinary skills. In summer 2012, the winner, jerk chicken purveyor Gigi and Big R, will have to defend its title against a whole new set of contestants.
If you like your food trucks in a static and dependable location, head to the Northern Liberties, where the recently opened Garden Variety is making a buffet of food trucks available all year round. Current occupants of this open-air market include La Copine (brunch), The Dapper Dog (hot dogs), Always Sunny Grilled Cheese Company (grilled cheese, my favorite) and Foo Truck (Asian street food).
Famous chefs like Jose Garces are even jumping into the food truck game, while conversely, some food truck owners are taking up residence in stationary kitchens. In late 2011, Honest Tom’s Taco Truck expanded into a shop in West Philadelphia.
Nomad Pizza, a stationary pizzeria and roaming vintage REO Speedwagon equipped with brick oven, will plant more roots this year when it opens as a true pizza parlor in Bella Vista.
Lucky Old Souls, which won acclaim for its burger-fries-and-shake truck, is slated to open as a jazz club, bar and restaurant in South Philadelphia with a focus on locally grown ingredients.