by Meaghan Paulosky
Thanks to some crafty kitchen work and the advancement of social media, mobile eateries are on the rise in Philadelphia. Whether you’re looking for a creative bite to eat on your lunch break or for something new to do at night, local food trucks are making their aromatic presence known. From gourmet cupcakes and desserts to the mac n’ cheese of your dreams, lunch trucks and food carts are quickly forming their own culinary subculture.
You can usually spot them on the city’s college campuses or around some of the up-and-coming neighborhoods. They’re quite literally everywhere and serve everything. Near North Philly for lunch? Join Temple students at The Creperie or Sexy Green Truck. A little farther west? See what has Drexel students beside themselves with at 33rd and Arch, an apparent destination for some of the most delicious food to come from a four-wheeler. On any given day you can find nearly ten food trucks, including Spot Burger, Say Cheese, Rival Brothers and their coffee, Street Food Philly’s take on classics, and Kami’s Korean fusion on this single corner. And if that isn’t enough, a whole rotation of other specialty trucks make their way over at least a few times a week.
One of the more noticeable trucks on the corner is the bright pink newbie Mac Mart. This buzz-worthy truck opened less than two months ago and is already being cited by local publications as the place to dine. The owner is a recent Drexel University graduate, Marti Lieberman, who decided to make the risky switch from PR to food trucking after casually making mac ‘n cheese for party guests. After lots of thought and nine months of hard work, Mac Mart now supplies some of the most imaginative mac ‘n cheese dishes around to over 75 customers a day. (In under three minutes!) There really isn’t a bad choice at Mac Mart, but the top three customer favorites are the Return of the Mac Grilled Cheese, BBQ-in-a-Bowl and Little Italy. As if macaroni and cheese wasn’t already flawless.
Just a few streets over you’ll find even more students at the Thai you must try, Cucina Zapata, and crepes worthy of their one-at-a-time wait at La Dominique.
Drexel and Temple are just two foodie epicenters in this citywide takeover. Almost every neighborhood in the city boasts its own array of truck du jour. In Northern Liberties? Try Foo Truck, serving Asian-style wraps, or the Dapper Dog, sufficiently named serving hot dogs the likes of which Philly has never seen. Fortunately for those of us stuck across town during the day, Northern Liberties is also often the site of late-night trucking.
Most recently, eight of the city’s greatest met up at the Piazza to share their take on moonshine appetizers. Jimmies Cupcake, Cupcake Carnivale, Foo Truck, Farm Truck, The Cow and the Curd, Ka’Chi Truck, Mac Mart, and Chewy’s Philly were all there Saturday evening, February 23rd, offering free Spodee infused treats! Spodee was a moonshine popular during the Depression and the Spodee Spiked Food Truck Round Up certainly gave this Prohibition-era drink a kick. Look out for more food truck events that are always taking place – especially with the summer months fast approaching.
These trucks are literally just a handful compared to the seemingly never-ending supply littered throughout Philadelphia, all of them offering food that you never knew you were craving at a price you can afford. Being so mobile, these trucks can travel all over the city, bringing caloric joy wherever they go. Now it’s even easier to follow most of them without having to ever take to the streets. Look for your favorite truck on Twitter and online where they post their whereabouts, food festivals, daily menus, and more!