The Tastiest Food Trucks to Try Around Boston This Summer
Hop on a moveable feast of sunny Haitian cuisine, hot-pressed Brazilian hot dogs, and more.
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In a city full of young professionals and plenty of foot traffic, food trucks offer fast, convenient, and delicious meals for appetites big and small. Whether you’re strolling through the Rose Kennedy Greenway looking for something to nibble on or scrambling out of your Back Bay office to grab a quick roadside bite before your next call, there are plenty of options parked nearby to satisfy your cravings for tacos, bulgogi bowls, and even shrimp po’boys. Here are some of the finest meals on wheels rolling around town (and feel free to peruse the city’s official schedule to find even more moveable feast).
You just can’t go wrong with bibimbap—Korean rice bowls of white rice mixed with meats, veggies, and a fried egg—or with Bibim Box, a local food truck with a signature offering of seasoned beef balanced by crispy greens, sautéed spinach and bean sprouts for earthy crunch. Top that off with the fermented kick of gochujang dressing for a flawless construction of flavor or build your own bowl stacked with sumptuous options like chicken or pork marinated in spicy-sweet bulgogi sauce. Keep track of the week’s truck appearances via Twitter.
Sometimes last-minute decisions lead to the best results. Just ask Ali Fong and Patrick Lynch. After Lynch discovered the city’s food truck contest while searching for a job in urban planning, he and Fong (a former paralegal turned private school food director) decided to enter the competition on a whim. The duo surprised themselves by winning and collectively decided to make a sharp turn in their careers to build Bon Me, now one of Boston’s most beloved eateries. Their namesake sandwich is an untraditional take on the Vietnamese staple, filled with tender miso pork, pickled carrots and daikon, spicy mayo, plus a healthy slab of pork pâté. They also offer a couple more experimental deviations from the báhn mì formula, including a spicier Korean gochujang chicken variety and a “Cubanh-Mi” sandwich covered in melted cheddar cheese and spicy brown mustard. On chillier days, meanwhile, we recommend slurping Fong’s special pho, warmed with spices and roasted chicken.
Hours: 11 a.m.- 2:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday; Dewey Square, 585 Atlantic Ave., Boston. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; and 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday; Harvard Science Center Plaza, One Oxford St., Cambridge, bonmetruck.com.
The Chicken & Rice Guys
Surprise, surprise: This aptly named truck serves four simple takes on chicken and rice, a staple of Middle Eastern street cuisine. When you open your to-go container, you’ll be met with a mountainous pile of meat or a meat substitute (choose from chicken, lamb, beef, or tofu) set atop a bed of rice or chopped romaine—and that’s when the real fun begins. The C&R Guys put the power of sauce distribution in your hands, so squeeze wisely. With options including creamy garlic, barbeque, mint-cilantro jalapeño, hot, and extra hot flavors, you really can’t go wrong, but experts know that mixing and matching leads to the most satisfying results. (Trust us when we say that combining the creamy garlic with a splash of the extra-hot sauce leads to supreme tastiness.)
Hours: TBD, Downtown Crossing, 280 Washington St., Boston; TBD, Dewey Square, 700 Atlantic Ave., Boston; TBD, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Boston; TBD, 85 Bedford St., Boston; TBD, 200 Clarendon St., Boston; and TBD, 2 Blackfan Circle, Bostn, cnrguys.com.
The Cookie Monstah
The only thing better than a whopping scoop of ice cream on a hot summer’s day? Stuffing that cold confection between two freshly baked cookies. Before Cookie Monstah owner Melissa Gale dedicated her life to the humble ice cream sandwich, she spent years honing her baking skills in some of Boston’s most legendary kitchens, from the late great Locke-Ober to Joe’s American Bar and Grill. Start with her classic chocolate chip, which combines rich Callebaut Belgian chocolate with fresh local butter and bourbon vanilla. Then you can work your way through her 21 mouthwatering ice cream combos, including “The Rolo” (salted-caramel cookies with chocolate ice cream) and the delightfully decadent “Red Monstah” (red-velvet cookies with mint-Oreo ice cream). Let the sugar rush commence!
Hours: 12 p.m.-6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, the Greenway Carousel, 191 Atlantic Ave., Boston, thecookiemonstah.com.
If a road trip to Exeter, New Hampshire isn’t in the cards to hit up the brick-and-mortar sweetery of Clyde’s Cupcakes, rest easy that their food truck dishes out sugar highs at City Hall Plaza on Thursday afternoons. The rush will power you through any midday slump, whether you go for devil’s food cake topped with vanilla marshmallow buttercream and chocolate ganache, or a chocolate cake bursting with Nutella and topped with hazelnuts, Nutella buttercream, and ganache. As for the carrot cupcake packed with coconut and raisins and crowned with cream cheese frosting? Nothing short of ambrosia from the dessert gods.
The Cod Squad
Wellesley native Kim Marden decided to take her grandfather’s wholesale seafood company, Captain Marden’s, on the road when the Boston food truck craze was hitting its stride in the early 2010s. Turns out, the mobile fish shack was a hit with city slickers, who can snag high-quality lobster, clams, salmon, and other pricier proteins at a fraction of the regular restaurant cost. While the team’s classic New England lobster roll is their most popular dish, we recommend going for the fried-crab-cake sandwich served on a fresh Hazel’s Bakery roll with lettuce, onion, and a juicy tomato slice. Want to give it a try? Keep an eye on the Cod Squad’s social media to see where they’re parked for the day; lately, they’ve been docked at their brick-and-mortar location in Wellesley.
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday through Friday, 279 Linden St., Wellesley, captainmardens.com/food-truck.
Fresh Food Generation
This food truck and catering company’s mission is just as fresh as its flavorful Caribbean-American cuisine: to bring nutrient-rich local foods to communities in every corner of Boston (and serve it all on compostable plates). Besides its admirable intentions, though, Fresh Food Generation also puts out stellar rice and salad plates. Case in point: scratch-made jerk chicken that’s an alchemy of spices and rich brown sugar, all rounded out by a hint of cinnamon. Other stars of the dairy-, gluten-, nut-, and soy-free menu include the vegan red bean stew that overflows with slow-simmered flavor and the side dish of sweet plantain with perfectly caramelized edges. You can often find the truck at the Longwood Medical area dishing out daily specials, and with a little luck, the delights du jour might feature their fantastic fried Brussels sprouts.
Gogi on the Block
Sean Kim grew up enjoying his mother’s family-style Korean meals every weekend, and those very same recipes inspired him to quit his day job and start a food truck. To this day, Mama Kim approves every item her son creates (down to the condiments) before it hits the menu—filled with some of the most reliably delicious Korean-fusion dishes in the city. Ordering is simple: Choose from a rice bowl, a burrito, or a salad, and then pick a protein. While the classic sweet bulgogi pairs well with the house-made red-pepper chili paste, gochujang sauce, and crunchy bean sprouts, we prefer the slightly spicier dweji bulgogi for a fierier punch to the palate. Need something to wash it all down? The homemade maesil honey plum smoothie is the perfect sweet-and-mildly-tangy way to round off a meal.
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday, Dewey Square on the Greenway, Boston; 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Tuesday, 150 Cambridge Park Dr., Cambridge; 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Wednesday, High St. on the Greenway, Boston; 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursday, School St. at Athena Health, Watertown; and 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday, Milk St. on the Greenway, Boston, gogiontheblock.com.
Keep an eye out for the pink flamingo painted on the side of this truck, a 2021-launched newcomer to Boston’s food truck scene. This is where you’ll find classic Haitian dishes based on the family recipes of founders (and cousins) Nathalie Lecorps and Karyn Glemaud. A must-try is the griot, a delight of citrus and scotch bonnet pepper-marinated pork that’s simmered and then deep-fried, and best served on a mound of red beans and rice. If you’re keeping pork off your fork, opt for the poul fri or the poul nan sòs—fried chicken or stewed chicken, respectively. The standout dishes are all accompanied by a zinging pickle slaw, which is also available jarred, if you want to bring some of its sunny heat to your own home kitchen.
Hometown Café and Poké Bar
Hailing from Rhode Island, this West Coast-inspired Hawaiian poké shop serves up colorful rice bowls topped with sushi-grade fish and house-made sauces. The popular food cart opened a brick-and-mortar in Providence back in 2018, but, fortunately, Hometown heads down to Boston twice per week to assemble vibrant dishes packed with your choice of ahi tuna, Atlantic salmon, shrimp, chicken, or tofu, plus a variety of fresh mix-ins such as dried nori and seaweed salad. Their “Hometown Classic” bowl, for instance, comes with their signature pineapple-infused sauce, a furikake seasoning blend, and crunchy wontons, but if you prefer something that’ll get your tastebuds tingling, go for the kimchi-garnished “Korean Kick” bowl drizzled with spicy chili sauce. On a bright spring or summer afternoon, we recommend soaking up some sun with a poke bowl in tow along the Rowes Wharf Harborwalk, where the truck parks on Tuesdays. It isn’t the shores of Kauai, but it’ll do just fine.
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Tuesday, Rowes Wharf Plaza, Atlantic Ave. and High St., Boston; and 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursday, Massachusetts General Hospital, 45 Blossom St., Boston, hometownpoke.com.
Just Wingin’ It
Whenever the craving for chicken wings hits, fly on over to this 2019-founded food truck, where soaring flavors meet never-frozen, extra-crispy wings. Specials posted online ahead of appearances—often at City Hall Plaza and Granite Coast Brewing in Peabody—include wings doused in scratch-made blackberry chili sauce and a hot honey “srirancha” spin. And, no, “srirancha” isn’t a typo; it’s the blessed union of sweet-spiked-Sriracha and ranch. The far-from-mundane everyday menu, meanwhile, features Greek-inspired versions, plus hot honey Cajun wings, and heat-meets-sweet mango habanero. Dunk the beauties in a host of dipping sauces, while you’re at it.
Love Dog Hot Dog Buffet
A hot dog buffet sounds like a sliver of heaven, doesn’t it? Well, you can now experience the nirvana of Brazilian-style hot-dogs by visiting a parking lot in Everett, where Love Dog heaps its franks with as many toppings as you can fit in your mouth. Sure, you can opt for plain dogs, but you’re really here to load things up from a full list of corn, peas, bacon breadcrumbs, potato sticks, mashed potatoes, and more. Hot tip: Order your overloaded dog hot-pressed for the fullest flavor experience.
1865 Revere Beach Pkwy, Everett, 617-869-1705, facebook.com/vandeju.
It is simply impossible to make a wrong turn when Moyzilla’s driving. With hand-folded dumplings, Japanese karaage chicken, and scallion fried rice, the talented team has stuffed their small menu with some of the most mouthwatering Asian comfort foods. It takes a lot of self-restraint not to inhale their signature pork and napa cabbage dumplings, which are plump, juicy, and slightly crispy. That urge is even more difficult to subdue when Moyzilla’s cheeseburger-style dumpling, covered in a secret sauce, is available. Similarly addicting are their twice-fried karaage chicken bites, doused in pineapple teriyaki and sriracha aioli. For those who like a little bit of everything, we recommend the sampler plate, brimming with dumplings and fried chicken, plus a spring roll and your choice of rice or garlic noodles.
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Wednesday, Dewey Square, 700 Atlantic Ave., Boston, moyzillaboston.com.
It’s hard to miss this bright turquoise truck, parked across from Muji on Newbury Street. Helmed by Alden & Harlow alums Amanda Howell and Robert Preciado, the fiesta on wheels is the satellite location of Central Square’s beloved taqueria and offers a compact menu of tacos, tortas, and a few small sides packed with big flavors. For less than 20 bucks, you can get three tacos and a side dish—a pretty good deal in the world of gourmet tacos. If you’re craving something hearty, go for their cochinita pibil (pulled pork) taco, topped with cilantro crema and sweet pickled onions. Heat seekers, meanwhile, should consider ordering the pavo (braised turkey leg) torta slathered in jalapeño jam and chipotle aioli. No matter what handheld meal you choose, though, don’t leave without trying their cotija-laden street corn off the cob, smothered in chile de árbol aioli; the delectable riff on elote (grilled Mexican street corn) bursts with potent chili pepper that will light up your tastebuds. Make sure to have a guava Jarritos soda on hand to sip after each sizzling bite.
Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, 354 Newbury St., Boston, nacocentral.com/truck-on-newbury.
Papi’s Stuffed Sopapillas
Sometimes less is, in fact, more. This award-winning team specializes in just one dish, but they’ve managed to come up with 23 ways to keep you and your appetite intrigued. While traditional sopapillas tend to fall on the sweeter end of the flavor spectrum, Papi’s handheld creations offer several savory takes on the fried puffy pockets. The menu changes daily, with options ranging from a gruyere and fire-roasted green chile sopa to a pastrami sopa stuffed with tangy coleslaw and gooey muenster cheese. Of course, you could stick with their original honey-smothered sopapilla, sprinkled with powdered sugar, or enjoy a pocketful of nostalgia with their marshmallow fluff and peanut butter sopa. Either way, you’re in for a treat.
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Tuesday, Rowes Wharf Plaza, Atlantic Ave. and High St., Boston; 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursday, Dewey Square, 700 Atlantic Ave., Boston; and 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday, Massachusetts General Hospital, 45 Blossom St., Boston, stuffedbypapi.com.
If you haven’t heard people raving about Pennypacker’s porchetta sandwich, then consider this a much-needed wakeup call. The deceptively simple dish is composed of the most tender slow-cooked smoked ham you’ve ever tasted, plus whatever accompaniment Pennypacker’s feels inspired to slather on their house-baked ciabatta that day (hopefully, it’s their seasonal mostarda). Brined with rosemary, garlic, and fennel, this is the kind of aromatic meat that melts in your mouth and leaves you wondering if you’ll ever be able to find another slice of pork as mind-blowing. If you don’t think you can take on something quite as rich, Pennypacker’s grilled asparagus sandwich with ricotta and watercress is light, well-balanced, and ideal for a late lunch.
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday, Dewey Square, 700 Atlantic Ave., Boston, pennypackersfinefoods.com.
While we’ve already established that Boston can hold its own when it comes to evoking the slow-smoked, saucy BBQ of the South, you don’t want to miss out on the city’s Cajun and creole cuisine, either. Thankfully, New Orleans transplant Brian Ledet and Georgia-native Lance Giddens decided to make it their mission to bring a bit of the Bayou to the Hub. Once Revelry rolled into the city with their fried shrimp po’boys, fragrant bowls of red beans and rice, and fluffy, powdered sugar-dusted beignets, Bostonians were instantly hooked. Plus, Ledet and Giddens aim to provide customers with the most authentic Big Easy dining experience possible. They serve their po’boys on Leidenheimer’s French bread with a side of Zapp’s potato chips and spice their jambalaya with Louisiana’s prized Crystal hot sauce. Nothing tastes as good as hometown pride.
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., City Hall Plaza, One City Hall Square, Boston; and 3 p.m.-8:30 p.m, Trillium Garden on the Greenway, Atlantic Ave. and High St., Boston, revelryboston.com.
The Sausage Guy
Owner David Littlefield technically serves his beloved street food from a cart, but we think his legendary operation deserves a spot on this list all the same. Covered in grilled peppers and onions, the Lansdowne Street regular’s Italian and pork links perfume the air, drawing in mobs (yes, mobs) of Sox fans and late-night bar hoppers who can’t resist the urge to indulge in Littlefield’s signature sausages. The next time you’re at Fenway, be sure to stop by his red, white, and blue cart for a little bit of small talk (he’ll most likely be on-site) and some great post-game grub. Yes, the lines will be long, but we guarantee the Sausage Guy’s charm and tasty offerings will make it worth your while.
Hours: TBA. 49 Lansdowne St., Boston, thesausageguy.com.
Simultaneously satisfy your sweet tooth and get your caffeine fix at this traveling boba tea shop along the Greenway. Tea Station brews a variety of green and black teas, all blended with tapioca pearls or lychee jelly and milky mix-ins that come in a variety of flavors, such as lavender, taro, and honeydew. The green tea-based drinks tend to pair best with more tropical flavors like passion fruit, pineapple, and guava. If you prefer thicker, dairy-based beverages, though, the coconut milk tea is especially rich and creamy. Can’t decide? Opt for one of the fan-favorite mango slushies, which are sweet, tangy, slightly floral, and refreshing enough to instantly cool you down on a humid day.
Hours: 12 p.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Sunday, Greenway Carousel, 191 Atlantic Ave., Boston, bostonteastation.com.
Vaz & Mac Tex-Mex
Chef-founder Ruddy Bello created and named his taco and Tex-Mex food truck after a pair of fictional action stars, although you don’t need to know that backstory to appreciate the Pow! Bam! flavors. Take the house-made corn tortillas with classic slow-simmered chicken tinga in a three-chili sauce, or the cultural mashups like the falafel taco with habanero emulsion. Finally, don’t miss the El Duende, a blockbuster-level explosion of house-made vegan chorizo and sweet potato tots. Where to find it all? Vaz & Mac is parked outside Mass General Hospital most days.
While ice cream trucks will always hold a special place in our hearts, we must admit that Zinneken’s Belgian liège waffles might be our new favorite roadside dessert. These doughy, pearl-sugar-encrusted delicacies are not your typical diner waffles. Leavened with yeast, this variety is much chewier and gets its signature caramelized flavor from the sugar that melts into the dough as it cooks. There’s no real need for toppings since the plain liège is delicious on its own, but it’s hard to resist options like Zinneken’s Belgian chocolate drizzle or spiced Speculoos cookie butter. If it’s too much pressure to customize your toppings, the team has 10 pre-determined combinations that will ease your indecisiveness. The “Dame Blanche” with whipped cream and imported chocolate, for one, offers the perfect bite of Belgium, but if you want to channel your inner maximalist, indulge in the “Oreo Freakin’ Party” with Oreos, raspberries, and a sizeable dollop of fresh whipped cream. Go big or go home, right?
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m. (August through May), 640 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, zinnetruck.com.