First published on 6 Feb 2012. Updated on 28 Feb 2013.
Holy deliciousness Melbourne! All kinds of awesome things are happening in the world of meals on wheels. A slew of new snack-mobiles have hit the street, and City of Yarra has officially opened itself up for trade. As of July 1st 2012, vendors are now able to get a permit to trade anywhere in the inner loop – that means Richmond, Burnley, Clifton Hill, Fitzroy and Cremorne.
Time to charge your GPS enabled devices and start stalking these guys on Twitter, or better yet, check out our food truck locator which lists them all in one place.
Their rotating range of frozen yoghurt flavours are all natural, non-fat and high calcium, so you can get your summer sweet fix on without winding up looking like a ball of dough wrapped around a pole. Plus, they have over 25 different toppings including Pocky sticks and Gummy Bears. (Twitter @yogurddiction)
Jim White is pushin’ all American awesome in the form of barbecue ribs with apple ‘slaw, beef brisket rolls and pulled pork nachos, all slicked with a fat slap of smoky barbecue sauce. (Twitter @Smokinbarrys)
Seems sort of obvious that there should be a Thai food truck, and this one adds some Japanese accents to the mix. White Guy will be hitting the streets at the end of October with dishes such as chicken and water chestnut gyoza (dumplings), fish with three flavour sauce and sweet corn cakes with asian relish. (Twitter @whiteguythai)
Le Sausage Food Truck is no more but Jakob's Kitchen has filled the gap, serving European sausages out of a not-dissimilar fire engine red wagon. Get the beef and pork skinless Chevapi or a fat kransky with all the sauces swaddled in a crunchy baguette. (Twitter @Jakobskitchen)
Taco showdown! The dudes behind bad ass taco haus Chingon are hitting the streets in a copper-coated wagon of Mexican deliciousness. Tacos! Flan! Flaco Jimenez music pumping from an American lowrider. The Best. (Twitter @chingontacotruc)
There’s a lot to like about Gumbo. They’ve got fried green tomatoes on board and Cajun tunes pumping out of the portable speakers, but we wish they had a bucket cocktail to complete the New Orleans theme – the rib-sticking snacks suit an alcohol-lined stomach. Check out the beef debris ($13) – meat braised in gravy till it melts, upended over a pile of thick cut fries with a slick of spicy mayo punctuated with a single gherkin. The seafood gumbo is a shirt staining mess of tenderised squid, shrimp and the odd yabby claw bobbing around in an ocean of herb laden gravy. Head straight for the shrimp po’ boy ($10/$13). You want large, or huge? You get a forearm-sized hunk of bread, slathered with spicy Cajun mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and pickles and bombarded with breaded deep-fried shrimp till it just can’t take no more. You can’t go wrong. (Twitter @gumbokitchen)
Hernan Palacio presents for your pleasure smoky hot Agentinean style barbecue and an outstanding moustache. He transports his charcoal grills and meat (beef short ribs, chicken and chorizo) to functions and festivals all over town (find him weekly at the St Kilda markets) but he's also opening a store in Balaclava - with the help of crowd funding. Awesome. The meat is patiently smouldered over a bed of charcoal till cooked to charred, smoky surrender. It’s anointed with Palacio’s chimichurri – a blitz-up of oregano, mint, garlic, chilli, vinegar, oil, and his own twist, cumin. It’s meat built for bread and street side consumption. (Twitter: @ArgentineanBBQ)
Melboune’s got a fever, and the only cure, is more taco. Raph Rashid (owner of Beatbox Kitchen- below) is selling some of the better soft shell tortillas going. For $12 you get a snack box with two soft shell tacos and a side of tortilla chips. The lightly battered and fried rockling fish fillets, with a rough 'slaw, squeeze of lime and poppyseed aioli, or the smoky strips of beef, polka dotted with radish slices and salsas galore are our pick, but there's a mushroom option too. The tacos occasionally require some DIY flavour assistance on the receiving end, but there’s enough El Yucateco hot sauces in mild green and painful red if you yearn for the burn. (Twitter @tacotruckmelb)
It’s pretty hard to find anyone who doesn’t dig a Raph burger ($11). When the Beatbox clan isn’t busy thrilling the music festival crowd (they know how to turn on some full throttle charm), they cruise the Carlton and Brunswick strips. It’s a simple formula: a quality beef pattie served pink, the accoutrement applied with a thorough understanding of burger balance. Cos lettuce, tomato, grilled onion, cheddar and 'stereo sauce' in a burger bun built for on the hoof consumption, not cutlery. They do a mean grilled field mushroom number too, and of course it wouldn’t be the Beatbox without some sick beats. (Twitter @beatboxkitchen)
Dhaba Food Van
A mobile spin-off from Dhaba at the Mill Indian restaurant in Kyneton, they have a street snack focus with lots of handheld gear you can grab and run with, plus a series of rotating curries over rice for propping it up on a grassy knoll. Hit 'em up for pumpkin curry in a mild-like-your-nanna cinnamon, turmeric, mustard spiked coconut sauce or grab the butter chicken and a fistful of samosas and run. (Twitter: @dhabafoodtruck)