The Heavy Table began its inquiry into the state of street food in the Twin Cities in April 2009. In April 2011, the Minneapolis City Council concluded their mobile food trial and voted to expand the project’s scope, both geographically and quantitatively.
The floodgates have opened, and lucky downtowners (in both Minneapolis and St. Paul) can meander around their neighborhoods to sample grass-fed hot dogs, sambusas, curries, and more.
We will continue to update as vendors and locations change. Several of these trucks also accept credit cards. On all counts, it’s always a good idea to check with your food truck or cart of choice ahead of time via Twitter or Facebook.
128 Mobile Café, @128cafe, Usually found in downtown St. Paul, 651.645.4128, The mobile truck offers some of 128 Cafe’s regular items (a third of a rack of the restaurant’s well-known ribs, with chips and choice of slaw or pasta salad, goes for $11), but also offers new lunchtime salads and sandwiches, including a fresh fish sandwich each week.
A Cupcake Social, @ACupcakeSocial, Marquette Ave, St. Paul, various events, 651.243.1114, Bakers Jess Stone and Suzette Herr whip up delicious cupcakes ($3/each) in a “gourmet mobile bakery.” They cycle through roughly 30 different flavors, and by far the most popular flavor has been Raspberry Burst — raspberry filling with raspberry-white chocolate buttercream, over vanilla and chocolate cake. They can often be found in tandem with the Home Street Home truck in St. Paul. As for choosing flavors, we’ve yet to encounter a dud. [Full review]
Anchor Fish and Chips Food Truck, @AnchorFoodTruck, Various breweries and taprooms, The Anchor food truck offers the fried Irish delights of the brick-and-mortar NE Minneapolis restaurant. Pair the satisfyingly greasy fish and chips ($9) with the tangy house-made tartar sauce ($.50) and prepare for an afternoon food coma. [Full review]
Asian Invasion, @AsianInvasionTr, St. Paul – Mears Park, the Capitol, Chinese-American standards such as stir fries and egg rolls, presented competently but without any knocked-out-of-the-park stars. [Full review]
Aussie’s Kebabs, EDITOR’S NOTE: Off the street, Aussie’s gyro-like doner kebab ($7.25) with tzatziki and olives (25 cents), raw onions, and lettuce is mighty good. The variety of soft and crunchy textures, competing temperatures, and flavorful lamb makes it the sort of thing you’ll devour before crossing the street. [Full review]
AZ Canteen, @AZCanteen, See Twitter feed; visits both Minneapolis and St. Paul, TV food personality and chef Andrew Zimmern brings his outsized personality and interest in exotic eats to the streets of the Twin Cities (and beyond) with his widely roaming AZ Canteen. Try the Cabrito Grinder ($8), which offers the unique taste of goat sausage blended with spices such as whole fennel seeds. [Full review]
Bacon Trolley, EDITOR’S NOTE: Off the streets, A well-balanced, pork-centric menu with an impressive pedigree. The truck is run by restaurant industry veteran, and its menu was initially conceived by Harriet Brasserie’s Fernando Silva. We can’t get enough of the Banh Mi ($8) — paper thin, slow-braised pork belly with a vibrant carrot slaw, sliced jalapenos, and a soft, flaky baguette coated with a homemade garlic aioli and a chili-bean pâté. The Carnitas tacos ($8) are also very worthy renditions. [Full review]
Barrio Taco Truck, EDITOR’S NOTE: Off the streets, Seasonal offerings and standbys from the haute Mexican restaurant of the same name. Their lunch special ($10) includes two tacos, chips, guacamole, and salsa. Also toting a wide selection of Jarritos.
Big River Pizza, @bigriverpizza, Various farmers’ markets, 651.497.4202, Mobile wood-burning pizza shop dedicated to high-quality ingredients. Expect to find the best local produce topping their Neapolitan-style pies. Don’t miss out on their breakfast pizzas if you spy them early – featuring Sunshine Harvest Farms pork and a runny egg center. [Full review]
Bloomy’s Roast Beef, EDITOR’S NOTE: Off the streets, At $4.50 a piece, Bloomy’s quarter-pound classic roast beef might be one of the most affordable food truck sandwiches in Minneapolis. You can add a slice of melted swiss, house-smoked cheddar, or bacon for just a dollar more. Served on a griddled white bun, the sandwich is comforting, almost medicinal, especially when paired with a side ($2) of mysteriously toasty mac and cheese or mashed potatoes. [Full review]
Border/Frontera Tacos, Usually found on University Ave. in St. Paul, 651.366.0675, Its offerings are typical Mexican fast foods: tacos, burritos, tamales, and quesadillas, with a choice of meat included. In the case of their tacos ($2.13-2.40), the meat was clearly the star of the show, and it was full of crunchy bits and excellent flavor. Border’s tamales ($2) come with either pork or chicken, and are also quite tasty.
Brava on Wheels, @eatbrava, Skip the one-note chicken burrito at this reinvention of the She Royal truck and go for the texturally diverse, brightly flavored rice bowl. And taste the hibiscus iced tea, which is full-flavored.
Brothers Deli, EDITOR’S NOTE: No longer on the street, 612.341.8007, For a traditional and satisfying lunch / dinner / tea time, pick up a hot pastrami sandwich ($5.39) and house-made potato chips ($1).
Butcher Salt, @ButcherSalt, Butcher Salt’s efficient, griddle-based menu includes hash browns, sliders, hot dogs, and lots and lots of bacon. The only vegetables spotted anywhere near the truck are the pickles on the sliders and the peppers on the hot dogs. They live up to their name – get ready for a lot of salt.[Full review]
Cafe Racer, @CafeRacerMN, Found in various metro locations, Slow-roasted meats are the star of this truck’s show. We prefer the braised pork to the chicken but you can’t go wrong with either. Add on some roasted veggies and a carrot souffle (shredded carrot and queso fresco, mixed with egg and baked in a little muffin tin). Such flavor and balance – and not served on sliders buns! – makes this especially a truck for the gluten-watchers to know about.
Cajun 2 Geaux, @Cajun2geauxTim, Found in various metro locations, Serious beignets, po’ boys, and the occasional crawfish boil make this Louisiana-themed (and Louisiana native-helmed) food truck a serious street food force to contend with.
Cave Cafe, @TheCaveCafe, Usually found in St Paul, 651.600.6567, Though Teddy Negash’s truck totes “Afro-Italian fusion” as its specialty, it seems to skew more toward Ethiopian food with some nods to American classics, such as burgers ($5.50) and Philly cheesesteaks ($6.50). We tried their chicken curry ($9), a decent mix of veggies and really tender chicken served over rice. Hands down, the best part of the dish was the herbed flatbread, which is also the medium for the truck’s wraps. [Full review]
Chef Shack, @chefshack1, Usually found in St Paul and farmers markets, 507.358.4220, The farm-to-truck juggernauts feature a rotating New American menu including green curry, burgers, frittatas, and tacos. The Indian-spiced mini doughnuts ($5) are killer, as are the soft-shell crab sandwiches (get them this season for $10).
Cook-n-Wheels, EDITOR’S NOTE: Off the streets, Fresh out of North Minneapolis, Cook-n-Wheels offers wieners (Chicago- and New York-style), made-to-order deli sandwiches, sliders ($5 for 2), and salads. They tend to frequent NoMi and Midtown.
Cruzn Cafe, EDITOR’S NOTE: Off the streets, Mostly coffee drinks, but pulled pork, chicken sandwiches, and breakfast Tex-Mex on the way. The truck is affiliated with Darby O’Ragen’s, a downtown pub; we’re not sure how the link will manifest in the truck’s offerings, but it should be interesting.
Cupcake on the Go, EDITOR’S NOTE: Off the streets, A mobile version of the shop on University. Cupcake flavors (from $2-$3) vary based on what they are selling in the store — today they had 10 flavors, as well as a few other goods (croissants, scones, cookies), frosting shots for 50 cents, and coffee ($2) from True Stone Coffee Roasters in St Paul. They are hoping to get a St Paul license soon. Large or special orders that are called in to the shop can also be picked up at the truck the next day.
Dandelion Kitchen, @dandelionktchn, IDS plaza on Nicollet Mall, 612.836.7636, The Midtown Farmers Market regulars bring their local-foods act to DT Minneapolis, where they offer a range of satisfying and creative sandwiches for $6.50 each (two vegetarian, two omnivorous). Their famous house-made sodas are also available for $2. All of their offerings are consistently well-executed, and the wait, always brief. Check out their ever-changing menu.
Emconada, EDITOR’S NOTE: Off the streets, Specializing in meat-filled cones, chicken and seafood. The cones were inconsistent. On one visit, they were bubbly and crispy; the other, dense and chewy like the crust ring around a pasty. Sides leave plenty to be desired. Go for the tangy, messy Chilean-style hot dog (completo).
Fork in the Road, @forknroadtruck, Usually found in St. Paul, 612.354.3233, Classic American lunch entrees, with salads, subs, and brats headlining. Their fresh pineapple snow cones ($2) and strawberry lemonade ($2) are refreshing enough to make you forget about global warming for a hot minute. Where Fork really shines is in their house-made sandwich and salad dressings: The poppyseed vinaigrette and avocado-garlic mayo are standouts.
Gastrotruck, @gastrotruck, Usually found in St. Paul, 763.607.6055, Helmed by Chef Stephen Trojahn (formerly of Cosmos and Bradstreet Crafthouse in Minneapolis), the self-described gastropub on wheels promises simple, sustainable fare at a reasonable price: So far, none of their menu items has exceeded $6. Well-thought-out sliders and smoked chicken dishes abound. They also serve breakfast on occasion.
Get Sauced, @ChefDrivenCo, Marquette Ave btwn 7th and 8th Sts, 612.239.6994, Get Sauced features tacos ($7, in Asian or Mexican styles), barbecue meat sandwiches, and a revolving cast of other menu items. On a recent visit, we sampled a lobster roll (above, upper left; $10) with Mexican-influenced flavors, and a cob-free take on elote, or Mexican grilled corn (above, lower left; $4). A small quibble: The cooks’ bedside manner could use a little work, but we understand how cooks can be sometimes. [Full review]
Greek Stop, EDITOR’S NOTE: Off the streets, Most Greek Stop wraps clock in at about $7. Falafel, lamb, chicken, and hummus all make appearances and the entire menu reads simple and familiar to anyone who’s ever grabbed a gyro with both hands. We tasted an underwhelming salad and a falafel wrap that was nice but certainly B-list material. But in terms of a satisfying lunch, this sandwich was flavorful, fairly clean to eat, and would do in a pinch.
Hibachi Daruma, @HibachiDaruma, St. Paul – Kellogg or the Capitol, Painted with a pink-to-purple fade, the Hibachi Daruma truck looks as though it might have driven right off your iPhone. They serve Japanese style hibachi cuisine — grilled meat, tofu, and vegetables with rice or noodles. The truck has the cooking process down — the meat was tender and cooked to perfection — but they could use some oomph in the marinade department. [Full review]
Hola Arepa, @holaarepa, Marquette Ave and 5th St, 612.217.0635, Hola specializes in arepas, which are cornmeal patties cooked on a griddle, split, and filled. They use local, free-range meat from Kadejan Farms and Fischer Farms. Their fillings vary, but so far have included pulled chicken, pork, chicken / avocado salad, and black bean and queso fresco. These are all $5-6. They also offer the following sides: chips and salsa ($2), guacamole ($1), and pickled cabbage slaw ($1).
Home Street Home, @HomeStrtHomeTrk, All over St. Paul, 651.600.0962, “Globally inspired comfort food,” like quesadillas, grilled cheese, pulled pork and other classic lunch staples. We found the Korean BBQ Tacos ($7) quite tasty, but understuffed — a good option for a light lunch. The burger ($8) is one of the best you’ll get from a truck in St. Paul — with grass-fed from Ridgeroll Farms in Buffalo and bun from St. Agnes bakery in St. Paul. The blue cheese inside the patty is nearly liquefied, while the homemade citrus ketchup strikes the same sweet / bitter note as the grilled red peppers on top. [Full review]
Hot Indian Foods, @hotindianfoods, Can be found on 2nd Ave., North Loop, Northeast Farmers Market and elsewhere, High prices and long waits paired with good food and great service make this food truck a rolling contradiction. The Indurrito is smaller — thank heavens — than the mammoth Chipotle burrito. It is sweet and light on the greens, a bit ketchup-y, even, but there’s the fresh crunch of cabbage and carrots and the texture of the rice and paneer is perfect. And the fries — a battered and spiced mixture of white and sweet potatoes, with a garlicky mayonnaise for dipping — are exactly what you might crave on a random weekday when you need some salty indulgence.
House of Hunger, @houseofhunger, Downtown Minneapolis, With an eye on the late night crowd, culinary first-timer Wesley Kaake totes deep-fried hotdogs, smoked meat sliders ($5-$7), cut-to-order french fries ($2), and locally made cheesecakes on a stick ($3). The truck tends to hang out around Sex World from 8pm – 12am twice a week, and serves lunch downtown on weekdays. [Full review]
Jake’s Street Grille, @JakeStreetTruck, Usually found on Marquette in downtown Minneapolis, Standbys typical of neighborhood grills populate the menu of this food truck – we enjoyed the Jakewings, which were juicy, tangy, and even better with blue cheese sauce.
Kabomelette, @kabomelette, Butcher Salt’s efficient, griddle-based menu includes hash browns, sliders, hot dogs, and lots and lots of bacon. The only vegetables spotted anywhere near the truck are the pickles on the sliders and the peppers on the hot dogs. They live up to their name – get ready for a lot of salt.[Full review]
Little G’s Mobile Pizzeria, Corporate events and downtown Minneapolis, 612.558.5763, This pickup truck/trailer/pizza oven combo offers decent 10-inch wood-fired pizzas. Fast service, quality ingredients, and inventive specialty pies make it a good option for lunch downtown, but don’t expect the same caliber you’ll find at wood-fired pizza spots like Punch or Pizzeria Lola. No credit cards accepted. [Full review]
Little Red Wagon, Nicollet Mall and 6th St, This 30-year-old Mall institution serves snacks like kettle corn and slushies. More snack- than lunch-oriented, but they’re open during the Holidazzle.
Lulu’s Street Food, @LulusStreetFood, Usually found on Marquette in downtown Minneapolis, The menu features a mash-up of Southern and Caribbean flavors. We were impressed by the speed at which all of the food was delivered — and that it was piping hot. Also, while many of our orders featured purple cabbage, all of the slaws had their own flavor and suited the plate. The serving sizes were large; we were hard-pressed to finish our sandwiches.
Magic Bus Cafe, Editor’s Note: Off the streets, The bus serves primarily hot dogs and sides, offering both Boar’s Head all-beef frankfurters with natural casings and Jumbo Smart Dogs made with soy. In keeping with the theme, the menu features such dishes as the Grateful Dog (with psychedelic curry relish, $4.75) and the Give Beets a Chance dog (with garlic beet sauerkraut, $5). The frankfurters are everything we love in a dog: juicy, salty, and sporting a nice pop when you bite into the casing.
Marie Antoinette Crepes, Editor’s Note: Off the streets, Sweet and savory crepes made right before your eyes. Owner Molly Miller recommends the Croque Monsieur ($7) — ham, swiss, Mornay sauce, and Stella Artois mustard. The egg, cheddar, and bacon jam breakfast crepe has drawn huge raves. The sweet crepes are just as good. The raspberry preserves and white chocolate ($6) beg to accompany a mug of strong coffee and a sunny Saturday morning. [Full review]
Melch’s Meat Wagon, Call: 605.999.6676, Usually found on 2nd Ave. in downtown Minneapolis, Daily specials run the gamut from prime rib to alligator and goat, with sides like fries and baked potatoes. It’s a good idea to stick to the meat, though. The Cowboy Burger is a narrow tower of beef patty, pepperjack, barbecue sauce, and two crispy onion rings. The thick, slightly dry patty is saved by a buttery, toasted pretzel roll and the sweet drippings of barbecue sauce and salty bacon.
Meritage, @meritage_stpaul, 410 St. Peter St, 651.222.5670, Meritage’s street food offshoot didn’t fall far from the tree: The stand is right outside of the restaurant. They only sell two types of crepes ($4) on any given day, but the flavors are wildly varied and total knockouts. Flavors are announced on their Twitter feed.
Messy Giuseppe, @MessyGTruck, Usually found in St Paul, 612.237.5721, Messy G’s is the mobile offshoot of Cafe Zia in Roseville, serving up the mothership’s signature take on the Sloppy Joe in locations around St. Paul. The truck’s offerings include the Messy Giuseppe (above, left), hot Italian beef (above, right), a hoagie, and their Ultimate Grilled Cheese (all $6). All said, their Messy Giuseppe definitely tastes worthy of a spin-off truck, with great seasoning and an utterly addictive, buttery bun. [Full review]
Mid Nord Empanada Truck, @MidNordTrucks, Downtown St. Paul and various locations, Empanadas and Tostones from a Minnesota-native who learned his craft from an Ecuadorian family, then fled the Big Apple to start a truck here. We like the chicken version ($7) but you can’t go wrong with the beef. They’re hot and chewy, and served with a bright citrus mojo sauce. [Full review]
Moral Omnivore, @Moral_Omnivore, Usually found on Marquette in downtown Minneapolis, Offering sliders and salads, Moral Omnivore sells two of the former per order. We tried a Fried Tomato BLT and a Beet Slider – the two sweet little sandwiches had lots of little surprises going on, from the lightly spiced crunchy breading on the tomatoes to the generous scoop of sweet slaw playing up the smoky bacon; from the beet itself to the positively inspired accompaniment of smoked gouda.
Motley Crews Heavy Metal Grill, @MotleyCrews, Found in Bloomington, St. Paul, special events, This truck’s Philly-inspired sandwiches are all the warm, soft, gooey, cheesy meat bombs they probably should be. A fatty, dense shot through the heart (sorry, couldn’t resist) and if that’s your thing, the truck will suit you just fine.
Natedogs, @Nate_Dogs, Hennepin Ave and 4th St, Locations in DT St Paul, With free-range wieners from Pastures A Plenty Farm, amazing homemade sauerkraut, and FIVE varieties of mustard, Nate Beck’s hot dogs and brats ($3 a pop) are a far cry from the dirty water dogs of street foodists’ nightmares. Stay tuned for his Twins game special ($5 for two dogs).
Neato’s Burgers, @NeatosBurgers, Rice Park, other St. Paul locales, Duck fat French fries, Coney dogs, and retro burgers. The fries are faintly crispy and studded with large flecks of salt, and they feature a meltingly tender interior. They aim to fill the old-school burger void left by the closure of Porky’s. Beef is ground daily and cooked on a ripping hot flat top for maximum char. A regular burger only sets you back $3 (or $4 with cheese), but opt for the Neato’s Deluxe ($6) with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and Neato Sauce, which is their version of Thousand Island dressing. [Full review]
Origins Coffee & Tea, EDITOR’S NOTE: Off the streets, Joseph Struyk’s cart is an island of good cheer and craft drink slinging. The menu is simple — just drinks — though that encompasses a wide selection. He uses beans from Dogwood Coffee, cocoa from Valrhona, and local milk to make some of the best coffee drinks in the metro, without the fanatical attitude that tends to alienate people at other coffee shops. Minneapolis is lucky to have Struyk out on the pavement, and we highly encourage you to stop by. [Full review]
Paulette Bakery, @paulettebakery, Paulette’s baked goods are no pale, floppy grocery store croissants. They’re the real deal, as flaky and as fluffy as Dieu in heaven intended. And ribbon of chocolate in the pain au chocolat is dark and cocoa-y and not too sweet. The savory croissant varies, sometimes spinach, sometimes ham, always rich, and ideal with a cup of Paulette’s Peace Coffee.[Full review]
Potter’s Pasties, @PottersPasties, Rice Park on Wednesdays / Mears Park on Thursdays, Potter’s peddles traditional English pasties, which are buttery empanada-like pastries usually filled with meat and vegetables. Fillings range from chicken, pork, and beef to egg and “Thai Veg,” all for $6 a piece. They also serve candy straight from the UK, frozen grapes, Heinz beans, a dessert pasty called Banoffee Pie ($3), tea, Vietnamese coffee, and some killer ginger mint limeade for $1.50.
R.A. Mac Sammy’s, @RAMacsammys, Energy Park, Eagan, special events, check website calendar, 952.452.0211, Kevin Huyck’s blue-collar food truck. Classic Mac and Cheese ($7) with the option to build your own with a dozen add-in ingredients at $0.50 each. Expect a featured mac of the week, along with a few sandwiches. Mini portions of Mac ($4) are also available. [Full review]
Red River Kitchen, @RedRiverKitchen, Republic’s food truck, Red River Kitchen, seems designed with flexibility in mind to suit multiple venues. At Artcrank, they were slinging fries and cheese curds, alongside tacos, burgers and chicken chorizo sausage. The next morning, at the Linden Hills Farmers market, we spied them with breakfast tacos (scrambled eggs over romesco potatoes) breakfast sandwiches, and that same chicken chorizo now featured in a breakfast poutine.,
Ruhland’s Strudel House, Various farmers markets and events throughout the Twin Cities, 651.276-3697, Ruhland’s concession truck has locally-sourced strudel for everybody, featuring both sweet and savory pastries decently sized for the $7 price tag. Try the spinach artichoke feta strudel with hummus for a flavorful vegetarian meal or treat yourself to the Haralson apple strudel with homemade caramel sauce and cinnamon ice cream. [Full review]
Rusty Taco, @rustytacomn, Marquette between 7th and 8th Sts, 651.698-2777, Decent tacos from a chain? Yes, believe it or not. And the people standing in the long lines at the Rusty Taco truck think so, too. (Rusty Taco has storefronts in Northeast and St. Paul — our review here.) These are generous, flavorful tacos with fresh toppings, any two for $7. The eponymous taco is a chile-rubbed pork with (canned) spiced pineapple and the fish tacos have a nice, kicky bite. Our one complaint: Stack the tortillas! Corn tortillas always need to be two-deep, so the inner one soaks up flavor and the outer one holds the thing together. These tacos fall apart more often than not. [Full review]
Sassy Spoon Truck, @SassySpoonTruck, Mears Park, Capitol, other downtown locales in St. Paul, 612.214.5252, This bright pink truck is all about “wholesome food with attitude.” Run by dietitian Tamara Brown, serving well-balanced, health-conscious lunch combos. Entirely gluten free, sourced locally and organic when possible. We love the Pig-Pen ($10) — a big heap of miso-braised pulled pork accompanied by an equally huge pile of lightly ginger-dressed cabbage slaw. Also don’t miss her sweet potato hash. [Full review]
Saucy Burt’s, EDITOR’S NOTE: No longer on the street, Specializing in gourmet Italian-American meatball subs, Saucy Burt’s takes the ordinary meatball grinder to new levels by using a silky smooth blend of beef, pork, and veal for its meatballs and using specially made bread for its buns. At $7 a piece, the subs are upscale, but the quality supports the price. [Full review
Scratch Food Truck, @scratchfoodtrk, Downtown Minneapolis, Scratch specializes in sandwiches with an Asian vibe, gleaned from owner Geoff King’s family-centric Filipino heritage. Scratch’s pork and shrimp patty ($7) bursts with deep, salty flavor, cooled by lots of crunchy pickled mango, papaya, and carrots. To cut the savory intensity, the ginger rice crispy bar ($2) is delightful. [Full review]
She Royal Coffee Company, EDITOR’S NOTE: This truck is now Brava on Wheels, Though She Royal’s takes on American classics — such as the Philly cheesesteak sandwich and the 1000 Hills hamburger — are definite crowd-pleasers, it’s the cart’s vegetarian platter ($7) that really shines. Roasted beets, stewed lentils, and other simple-yet-bold components are served with a side of injera bread for dipping. Look out for their killer sambusas, too.
Simply Steve’s, @Simplysteves, Downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, One of the only trucks open for breakfast, with burritos (small for $7) and egg sandwiches ($3-$4). Their lunch offerings are pretty much “X in a bun,” but the selection is fairly creative and very affordable. A $5 grass-fed burger is a definite rarity in this town.
Smack Shack, @Smack_Shack, EDITOR’s NOTE: Mostly off the streets for the summer of 2013, What in the world is a Smack Shack? It’s not a heroin shooting gallery, but nice try. The latest venture from Josh Thoma bangs out solid lobster rolls (4 oz of lobster for $12; 8 oz for $18), po’boys ($8.50-$9), and other crustacean-themed fare.
Sonny’s Ice Cream, EDITOR’S NOTE: No longer on the street, The Sonny’s Ice Cream cart’s offerings are pricey, but refreshing ($4 for a single scoop, $7 for double, and so on). Check out their rotating list of gourmet flavors, such as cherry zinfandel sorbet and sweet corn ice cream.
Stanley’s on Wheels, @stanleyswheels, Marquette between 7th and 8th Sts, 612.788.2529, Stanley’s Northeast brings downtown workers the most beloved (and most portable) sandwiches from their long bar menu. Get the barbecue brisket or the pulled pork on a smushy-soft buttered roll. It’s hefty fare, heavy on the sauce and the salt, true to this food truck’s bar roots. [Full review]
Sushi Fix, @sushifix, Downtown Minneapolis, From salads, to sashimi, to colorful platter combinations, Sushi Fix’s menu is impressive and always fresh. “I get my fish flown in overnight from Tsukiji fish market from Tokyo or I get it from Hawaii,” says owner Enkhbileg “Billy” Tserenbat, who was the head sushi chef at Yumi’s for many years. And if you really want to experience sushi Billy-style, splurge on the 2-14 roll ($14). [Full review]
Taco Taxi, East Lake Street and Lake Street K-Mart, 612.722.3293, A simple, streamlined menu and fast service make this mobile outpost of the Lake Street taqueria a great option on-the-go — and at $1.50 per taco, it’s a bargain! (Vegetarians are out of luck — the bare-bones menu is meat-centric, with raw onions, cilantro, lime, and salsa playing supporting roles). Skip the chicken (a tad dry and one-dimensional) in favor of the lightly spiced, juicy asada (steak) — or try a variety plate with equally flavorful pastor (pork) and cabeza (cow head). [Full review]
Taqueria La Hacienda, Downtown Minneapolis, Small authentic tacos ($2-3), as well as tortas and quesadillas make this mobile outpost of the three-restaurant Tacqueira La Hacienda a force to be reckoned with on the streets. Try the flavorful tacos arabes ($2.68), which consist of soft flour tortillas filled like envelopes with melty mozzarella, your choice of meat, and sweet grilled onions. [Full review]
Tiki Tim’s, @TikiTims_MN, Usually found in downtown St. Paul, The amount of true island flavor delivered by Tiki Tim’s is minimal, instead serving up some classic staples with a faint tropical echo. You’ll often find this bright blue converted camper in St. Paul for lunch, and you’ll be mostly happy if you do.
Tollefson’s Family Grill, @tollefsonpork, 5th & Nicollet weekdays, Lake Nokomis weekends, 507.327.8419, One of the state’s most respected names in pork farming, no longer confined to the farmers markets. Check out their featured sausage ($4, two for $7) and be sure to have them top it with their exemplary pulled pork ($.50). Or, just get a full sandwich of the pork ($6), you won’t regret it. [Full review]
Tot Boss, @TOTBOSStruck, St. Paul and east metro, Tot Boss’s Dan Docken serves up humble Ore-Ida tater tots in a variety of indulgent configurations, including burrito-style tater tots in a tortilla ($6) and bacon-wrapped tots ($4.50), plus a tot-based version of poutine, complete with melted cheese curds from Ellsworth, WI ($6).
Trinh Food Truck, EDITOR’S NOTE: Off the streets, Bahn Mi – plain and simple. Bread from Trung Nam French Bakery with all the standard fixings. We like the grilled pork version ($6) as opposed to the House Sandwich with the pate and cold-cut pork. [Full review]
Turkey to Go, @turkeytogo, Nicollet Mall & 8th St / 6th St, Lagoon Ave and Girard Ave S, Turkey To Go, an offshoot of a popular State Fair stall, may look modest, but their signature sandwiches ($5.50) are fantastic enough to resuscitate the reputation of an often-mishandled meat. Served without any condiments or vegetables, the simple combination of a specially baked bun, turkey, and its jus knocks it out of the park.
Undead Frank’s Zombie Bites, @undeadfranks, The food at Undead Frank’s is more appealing than the name, yet would benefit from more sassiness. A trio of “meltie” sandwiches, for example, (chicken, beef, or vegetarian, $7-9) isn’t exactly new and exciting, but each has a decent combination of aged cheddar and fontina cheeses, thoroughly grilled so they ooze out of the sandwich with no half-baked parts in the middle. [Full review]
Untamed Cart, EDITOR’S NOTE: Off the streets, The spot serves up two to three sandwiches a day at $7 each (including chips) til about 1:30 on weekdays. Sandwiches are big and meat-centered, such as the peppery Porketta, served on New French Bakery ciabatta bread with arugula, homemade pickled onions, and horseradish mayo. The cart offers water and soda, and accepts Visa and MasterCard. A nighttime menu is in the hopeful works.
Vellee Deli, @velleedeli, Marquette Ave and 5th St, Various locations in St Paul, The street food equivalent of Chino Latino (unaffiliated) offers inventive spins on a tired genre: Mexican-Asian fusion. What will it be: a bulgogi burrito? Fish tacos? A veggie quesadilla? Finally, Los Angeles’ Asian taco revolution has reached the Mississippi! They’ve been selling out like crazy every day since they opened; we definitely think that Vellee is poised to become the Cities’ next street food titan.
The Waffle Van, Usually found in St Paul, 651.433.5801, The Waffle Van is the Bikery du Nord’s venture into mobile fooding, filling in the Belgian waffle-shaped hole in the Twin Cities’ urban soul. Manned by an honest-to-God Belgian, the van offers only waffles and coffee from the mothership in St Croix.
World Street Kitchen, @eatwsk1, 4th St and Nicollet Mall, 612.840.2522, The latest project from Saffron owners Sameh and Saed Wadi, this truck offers an affordable blend of Middle Eastern standbys and global fusion food. An ever-changing “seasonally inspired salad” ($4.50) is consistently good, as is the kofta meatball sandwich ($5.50), which features the bright zing of pickled peppers and cilantro. If you’ve got a taste for sugar, though, try the salted caramel ice cream sandwich ($4.50) — worth every penny, it offers all the best qualities of your favorite childhood treat with a more complex, grown-up flavor.
YumMi, EDITOR’S NOTE: Off the streets, YumMi, run by culinary grad Hoa Nguyen and ex-corporate guy James Schanen, covers the classic Vietnamese banh mi sandwich. They sell four variations with adorable monikers: the Korean-style beef Moo Mi ($8), sweet braised pork belly / shoulder Oink Mi ($7.50), five-spice chicken Peck Mi ($7), and lemongrass-soy marinated tofu Bean Mi ($6.50). They shy away from tradition, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on how much you love jalapenos and pate. [Full review]
Originally compiled by Soleil Ho; recompiled by John Garland and Emily Schnobrich; additional reporting by Hannah Rogal, John Garland, Aaron Landry, Tricia Cornell, Jeanne Foels, Maja Ingeman, Lauren Huisinga, Kenzie Zimmer, Amy Rea, Ted Held, and James Norton
Photos by Hannah Rogal, Emily Schnobrich, Aaron Fenster, John Garland, Becca Dilley, James Norton, Tricia Cornell, Katie Cannon, and Soleil Ho
Coding and editing by Ian Davis, Aaron Landry, James Norton, and Emily Nystrom
Last updated: June 16, 2014