Philadelphia’s reputation as a great food city has grown throughout the years with the rise of high-end restaurants, popular gastropubs and unique concept eateries. But when it comes down to it, Philly is still a street food city.
Every day, hustling and bustling natives live off of food trucks that populate the sidewalks and streets. For breakfast, they can get a cup of coffee and a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on a bagel. For a power lunch, it’s a soft pretzel with mustard, and for dinner maybe a cheesesteak or a hoagie.
However, you’ll find more than just your standard Philly fare on the streets. The city’s food trucks are as diverse as the city itself, and with Twitter and Facebook, you can follow many of your favorite trucks with live up-to-the-minute updates. Here are just a few of the more unique and delicious food trucks that Philadelphia has to offer.
The Dapper Dog
Weekend Late Nights: Northern Liberties, Corner of 2nd and Poplar
Lunch: Temple University, Northern corner of 13th and Norris
The Dapper Dog calls itself ‘Philly’s Late Night Food Truck’ and serves the Northern Liberties bar crowd Friday and Saturday nights until 2:30 a.m. During the week, from Tuesdays through Thursdays, owner Seth Russell sets up shop serving lunch to hungry students on Temple’s campus. You can get a regular hot dog, or get a little adventurous with a ‘Dolce Vita’ dog with tomato sauce, pepperoni, sharp provolone, and parmesan cheese, or a ‘Jersey Special’ with grilled potatoes, peppers, onions, and American cheese.
Temple University, 13th and Norris
A Temple University favorite, The Creperie offers sweet and savory crepes as good as you’ll find anywhere, and the long lines will attest to that. You can watch as they put your snack, lunch, or dinner together. On the savory side, you can get anything from chicken, beef, turkey or seafood in your crepe with the dressing of your choice. On the sweet side, the key word is ‘Nutella.’ The chocolate-hazelnut taste of pure joy goes well with banana, strawberry or other fresh fruits.
Honest Tom’s Taco Shop
Check http://twitter.com/HonestToms to find out where Honest Tom is each day.
Honest Tom McCusker vacationed in Austin, Texas and was inspired to bring a breakfast taco truck to the city close to two years ago. Since then, Honest Tom expanded to lunch. Tom says he serves breakfast tacos with sausage or bacon and for lunch you can get chicken, fish, sweet potato or plantain tacos. Guacamole and salsa is made fresh each morning and as needed throughout the day.
Sugar Philly Truck
38th and Walnut in University City
Sugar Philly Truck began serving pastries to University City sweet tooths in August 2009. Dan, co-owner and pastry chef, hasn’t been baking all his life, but says he learned from culinary textbooks in the library and went to the kitchen many early mornings to get the recipes right. The goodies are baked at a separate kitchen and ready to go each day. Chocolate Molten Cake and Vanilla Crème Brulee are among the favorites, but it is their famous French Macaroons that take the cake and get people come back for more.
Magic Carpet Foods
34th and Walnut in University City
Family owned and operated since 1984, Magic Carpet takes you for a unique, vegetarian ride that even carnivores will attest to loving. Tofu meatballs, hummus and falafel are just a few of your choices. No meat is served, but you can try a Seitan Grinder or veggie chili.
renaissancesausage.com for up to date information and locations.
Organic sausage served out of a food truck? Renaissance Sausage calls itself the city’s first all-local and organic handmade food truck and takes pride on researching the farms from which their meat comes from. Hamburg, Gap, Latrobe, and Stevens, Pennsylvania are the sources of their sausage. The menu changes as the seasons do, so check them out on Facebook, Twitter, or on their website for up-to-date information. The eye popper on the menu – the Mediterranean Sausage. It is made of Lancaster lamb and beef with Mediterranean spices and topped with hummus, tahini-dressed cucumber, red onion, tomato and feta salad. A tzatziki sauce finishes the job.
Buttercream Cupcake Truck
buttercreamphiladelphia.com for daily locations.
An old mail truck-turned-roaming-cupcake-vendor run by a lawyer-turned-‘cupcake lady’ has become very popular with city residents. Owner Kate Carrara serves up her passion for the sweet treats at various locations throughout the week. How does a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting sound? Or banana cake with Nutella buttercream? Chocolate with peanut butter buttercream? Not bad…not bad at all.
Reported by Tim Jimenez