Today is National Food Truck Day, an event created by Roaming Hunger to celebrate street food and give props to workers in mobile kitchens across the country. The organization encourages you to get out, share some great food and use the #NationalFoodTruckDay tag on social media. Not sure where to start? Here are ten of our favorite food trucks that cruise the city streets to bring you tasty eats.
Areyto Puerto Rican Food
Areyto makes our list for a sandwich called the jibarito, which replaces bread with strips of twice-fried plantain. Stuffed with your choice of steak, chicken, pork or veggies, the jibarito bursts with flavor from garlic mayo, cheese and Puerto Rican seasonings. If you track down Areyto for dinner or on the weekend, don't miss the mofongo relleno, mashed plantain with a choice of meats. Empanaditas, bolas de queso (fried gouda balls) and tostones also make for great Caribbean snacking.
Chef Alfred Rojas has traveled throughout Latin America to find the most craveable street eats, which he has combined onto one menu. Sample salchipapas, loaded fries with sliced hot dogs from Colombia; choripan, a zingy sausage sandwich from Argentina; tacos and tortas from Mexico; and arepas in many forms from Venezuela and Colombia. Save room for something sweet, like cajeta-drizzled churros or a crisp oblea, a wafer-thin waffle.
The Ginger Pig
This Boulder original takes traditional recipes gleaned by chef/owner Natascha Hess during her lengthy stays in China and turns them into portable bites, including crunchy egg rolls, char siu pork and Chinese fried chicken loaded with Sichuan peppercorns. Other Asian inspiration led Hess to create Bangkok balls (fried rice balls served with a red curry drizzle), a banh mi rice bowl, and a sweet Filipino egg roll stuffed with jackfruit, plantain and brown sugar. The Ginger Pig is a regular at the Rayback Collective and the Boulder County Farmers' Markets.
Denver has no shortage of Mexican food trucks, but Lily's draws long lines for its grilled tacos oozing molten cheese and stuffed with potatoes or a variety of meats. Fat breakfast burritos, carne asada fries and shredded pork sandwiches are equally tempting. Look for the truck near the corner of West Bayaud Avenue and South Tejon Street serving breakfast and lunch.
Polish pierogi prince Cezary Grosfeld and his crew can be found slinging savory dumplings at festivals and food-truck rallies around the city. Stick with traditional pierogies filled with potato and cheese or sauerkraut, or opt for something different from the daily chef's selection. Everything is so good that you might think your grandma bought herself a food truck.
Venezuelan native Igor Panasewicz and his wife, Beckie, have been building the street sandwiches known as arepas since 2010. Based on a corn-flour shell that comes in somewhere between a pita and a gordita, these arepas overflow with South American ingredients like black beans, fried plantain, juicy pulled pork and sliced avocado. A bright and tangy salsa verde makes every bite burst with flavor.
Saba's Ethiopian Food
Food truck menu prices from Denver's gourmet trucks can often be a little steep. But the moment you're handed your hefty meal through the window of Saba's food truck, you'll know you've chosen wisely. Get a trio of vegetables (stewed lentils, potatoes and beets, slow-cooked collard greens, for example), a duo of lamb and chicken, or a combo plate with a little of everything, and you'll have enough food for two. The house injera bread is as plentiful as it is tasty, and an order also comes with fragrant rice and a green salad. If you're just looking for a quick snack, lentil-filled fried sambusas are a great option.
Tacos el Huequito
Tacos el Huequito is a family-run mobile taqueria serving traditional Mexican street food. As the name suggests, tacos are the number-one option; they're kept simple with grilled meats, two-ply corn tortillas and blazing housemade salsas. Burritos, quesadillas and towering plates of nachos are also sure bets. Look for the red-brick paint job at craft breweries around town.
Denver's only Native American restaurant also has a food truck, so you can track down Indian tacos made on big rounds of fry bread when you're on the go. Braised bison, grilled chicken or vegetarian toppings along with hominy, green chiles and other toppings make for a perfect lunch rooted in the ingredients of the Southwest.
What Would Cheesus Do?
We admit it; we only went to this food truck because of its irreverent name, but once we had a taste of the gooey grilled cheese sandwiches, we were hooked. Owner Genevieve Hardin had just started her business in February when in May the trailer was stolen and gutted before being found. Fortunately, Colorado Food Trucks & Restaurant Equipment stepped up and, with the help of wholesale vendors, refitted the trailer at no charge to Hardin. So What Would Cheesus Do? is back on the streets grilling up sandwiches with a side of cheeky humor for all of Denver to enjoy.