Your Guide to This Summer's Food Truck Events
Keep on truckin’ with our food truck primer and roundup of upcoming festivals.
Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled cheese is one of many local trucks participating in food truck festivals this summer. (Photo by Cherrylet via Flickr)
Craving something deliciously different this summer? Take a vacation from traditional sit-down restaurants and track down some (or all — we won’t judge) of the numerous food truck festivals taking place throughout the season both in and outside of the city. Ahead, a lineup of upcoming events and a primer of what you need to know about the participating trucks.
Upcoming Food Truck Festivals:
Greenway Mobile Food Fest in Boston. Although it’s not officially part of the Food Truck Festivals of New England (see below), the Greenway Mobile Food Fest will wheel on into the Rose Kennedy Greenway this month. The event will consist of 22 food trucks, bikes, and carts, as well as a spring cuisine cook-off — grilled Korean rice cakes and vanilla-scented strawberry rhubarb, anyone? — judged by chefs David Chinta (Miel Brasserie) and Jason Santos (Blue Inc.). Six bands plus backyard games like croquet, bocce, and ladderball will provide for entertainment while you break to digest. 5/5, 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free admission; Rain date: May 12. For more information, visit rosekennedygreenway.org
The Food Truck Festivals of New England. From June 10 through to October, 11 different food truck festivals will take place throughout New England, kicking off at the UMass Boston Campus Center. Each festival will feature 20 to 30 of the participating trucks, and tickets will allow for guests to chow down on one free sample per truck — which means, yes: upwards of 30 samples from local favorites like Roxy’s Grilled Cheese and Kickass Cupcakes, as well as from newer trucks like the NYC-inspired Chicken and Rice Guys.
Now here’s the deal: All festivals will be open from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on their scheduled days. The food trucks themselves are on rotation though, so there’s no telling what will be where and when. Review the list below to figure out just how far you’re willing to travel for your perfect meals-on-wheels, then check out @foodtruckfestne to get a better idea what to expect as the day draws nearer. 6/10 – 10/20, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets range from $10 to $40, free for children 5 and under. For more information, visit foodtruckfestivalsofne.com.
- The Boston Food Truck Festival at the UMass Boston Campus Center. The season kicks off right next door and close to home (a bonus when all you want is a quick meal and a long stroll) on the UMass campus. 6/10
- The Charlestown Food Truck Festival at Pier 4, Charlestown. This one is a chance to take a break from the Boston scene and indulge in some gourmet street grub with the Courageous Sailing Team. When you’re full, consider climbing aboard a sailboat with the team to tour the harbor and snap some photos of the breathtaking Boston skyline. Float on, foodies! 6/16
- The New Hampshire Food Truck Festival at Rockingham Park, Salem, NH. If you’re planning to escape north this summer, time it right so you can swing by southern New Hampshire and hit up this festival on the way. 6/30
- The Worcester Food Truck Festival at Elm Park, Worcester. Back to Massachusetts! Take your family and friends down to Worcester and find yourself a perfect picnic spot in the historic Elm Park. 7/14
- The Charles River Food Truck Festival at DCR’s Artesani Herter Park, Brighton. Love that dirty water? Head to Brighton for the Charles River Food Truck fest and scope out some more of your favorites. 7/28
- The Cape Cod Food Truck Festival at Barnstable Fairgrounds, Falmouth. This year, forgo the staple restaurants and park it at this food truck fest to sample shoreline delicacies on the go. 8/25
- The Lowell Food Truck Festival at the Tsongas Center, Lowell. With summer on your mind, you may not be ready to think about fall. But if you’re in the Lowell area on September 8, cure your end-of-summer blues with some on-the-go chow. 9/8
- The Suffolk Downs Food Truck Festival, East Boston. Bostonians, rejoice: the party returns to Boston in late September. No travel needed. 9/22
- The Shipyard Food Truck Festival, Hingham (Shipyard). The food trucks will hit the coast in late September. 9/29
- The Framingham Food Truck Festival at Shoppers World, Framingham. Before the first signs of winter hit, head over to Shoppers World in Framingham for the penultimate truck event of the season. 10/6
- The Newport Food Truck Festival at the Newport Yachting Center, Newport, RI. The New England Food Truck Festivals sadly come to an end in Newport on October 20. Celebrate in style at the Newport Yachting Center and perhaps take a tour of the plush town with native Rhode Island street food samples in hand. Then finally, finish the festival tour off the right way with a well-deserved food coma. 10/20
Get Prepped: Previous Food Truck New and Reviews
- Rush Hour: Staff Meal Food Truck Slings Over 100 Tacos a Day, April 2012. A glimpse into the busy lunch service at the unconventional food truck.
- A Preview of This Year’s Food Truck Schedule, Effective April 1, March 2012. The spring lottery took place to determine the scheduling in prime locations. Here’s a look at the results.
- Man Food: The Chinese Sausage-Stuffed Steamed Bun at the Staff Meal Food Truck, November 2011. While well-known trucks like the Clover Food Lab, Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese, and Bon Me may be the current darlings of the street-food scene, we’d like to throw another contender into the ring: Staff Meal.
- Man Food: Quest for the Ultimate Banh Mi, November 2011. I consider myself a Banh Mi novice, so I decided to do my due diligence and sampled versions from three different buzzed-about spots: 163 Vietnamese Sandwich in Chinatown, Pho Viet in the Super 88 food court in Allston, and, of course, the much-hyped Bon Me food truck.
- Clover Food Lab Launches Yet Another Truck, New Brick-and-Mortar Locale in the Works, October 2011. It’s a tough economic climate to open a single restaurant right now, let alone several. Impressively, the Clover Food Lab formula appears to be recession-proof: offer meat-free fare, smartly source ingredients and keep everything under five bucks. It’s a business plan that’s allowed them to launch yet another truck two weeks ago, in the Longwood Medical Area.
- Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese Truck, Chez Henri to Serve a Three-Course Face Off Next Month, October 2011. The team from Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese has been serving their signature cheese-on-toasty bread sandwiches from their bright yellow truck since early last spring. On Thursday, November 3rd, however, you can try the gang’s fare in a brick-and-mortar locale: Chez Henri.
- Food Truck Nation to Debut “Lobsta Love” Truck on Harvard Campus, September 2011. Food Truck Nation, the food truck company that’s the force behind the popular Grilled Cheese Nation truck, is set to debut a brand new lobster-centric truck concept on Harvard’s campus tomorrow. We just hung up with co-owner Todd Saunders, who gave us the lowdown on the truck, dubbed “Lobsta Love.”
- Kickass Cupcakes: No Fork Required, August 2011. It’s not uncommon to hear voices of seasoned cupcake patrons begin to plan their attack for which of the nearly 20 Kickass Cupcakes flavors they would try that day, whether or not they should buy one for their spouse, or whether or not they should take one for the road. Fortunately for them, taking one for the road just got a lot easier than heading the whole way to Somerville.
- Tastemaking: Hot Wheels, June 2011. Food trucks finally roll into Boston this month. Who’s hungry?
- The Food Truck Revolution Hits Boston, August 2010. This weekend’s First Annual Food Truck Festival proved that Boston’s caught a bad case of the food truck bug. The only problem is, the trucks themselves aren’t totally ready to handle the feeding frenzy.