It wasn't five years ago that visitors to Boston would find exactly zero food trucks in the city, but now it seems like a new truck appears almost daily. However, while this unique meals-on-wheels lunch option got its start with roach coaches and taco trucks, the cuisine has come a long way. Some of Boston's best food trucks feature not only fantastic fare, but quality and technique that could give the five star restaurants in the city a solid run for their money.
Roxy's Grilled Cheese
Roxy's has gone from early food truck trailblazer to a Boston institution, and it did it all on the back of simple grilled cheese. While they now have their very own brick-and-mortar, the food trucks still makes its rounds at Ft. Point, Dewey Square and Rowe's Wharf Park as it has since the first Roxy's Grilled Cheese food truck hit the streets in March 2011. While all their grilled cheese sandwiches are wonderful and their homemade tomato soup compliments them perfectly, visitors can't go wrong with the apple wood bacon and guacamole-topped Green Muenster Melt. However, while the Muenster is a fan favourite, those with more refined taste will want to give their Nicki Minaj Burger a try. As one of the few non-grilled cheese items on the menu, this burger combines truffles, onion rings and steak sauce into a savoury wonder.
The Cod Squad
New England is renowned for its seafood dishes; however, one might suspect that those dishes wouldn't transfer well into a food truck. Oh, how wrong they were. The Cod Squad food truck is living proof that seafood can travel well. Sponsored by the long time fishmonger of Captain Marden's, The Cod Squad food truck travels Christian Science Plaza, Stuart Government Centre, Needham and Dedham to peddle its wonderful array of fresh and well made seafood dishes. The truck is known for its lobster rolls and succulent lobster/clam chowder, but their crown jewel is the crab cake sandwich. It's really just a fried crab cake on a fresh roll from Fresh Hazel's Bakery with a side of fries and coleslaw, but the juiciness of the crab cake and the sweetness of the roll work perfectly together to turn this simple dish into a lunchtime wonder.
Chicken and Rice Guys
While chicken and rice doesn't seem like the most palatable lunch option that visitors could get from a lunch truck, the Chicken and Rice Guys breathe new life into the age-old dish. The chicken and rice bowls that this food truck serves up isn't just plain, boring white rice topped with ghostly pale boiled chicken. Instead, the Chicken and Rice Guys serve up pieces of beautifully grilled chicken with a side of vibrant, yellow turmeric rice and lettuce for extra colour. The whole dish is covered with a drizzle of creamy white garlic sauce before being drizzled again with hot sauce for a bit of kick. This food truck group operates four mobile kitchens that manage to cover a stunning 18 different locations around Boston daily. For those that don't fancy giving their rice bowl a try, the Chicken and Rice Guys also serve up a great Halal chicken and lamb gyro combination.
The Bon Me food truck combines French technique with Vietnamese fare while tossing flavours of the Deep South on top because, why not? This food truck started as the winning entry in the Boston Food Truck Challenge and has since blossomed into three mobile kitchens that dominate the hungry crowds at City Hall Plaza, Dewey Square and Harvard Yard. Bon Me specializes in the sandwiches that make up its play on words name, the bahn mi. This Vietnamese sandwich crafted at Bon Me is made with a number of tasty fillings. The fan favourite bahn mi comes on a baguette slathered with homemade pate, homemade spicy mayo, cucumber, red onions, pickled diakon and stuffed to the gills with salty miso-marinated pulled pork. Visitors can also try their equally flavourful cilantro peppercorn chicken or Chinese BBQ pork sandwiches as well.
For those who need a little taste of Asia, the Mei Mei street kitchen prowls around Dewey Square, Ft. Point, Boston University and Boston's artsy South End. A visit to Mei Mei on a daily basis is a must because that is how often it's menu changes. Basically, the owners just make whatever they fancy for the day, or more likely, whatever they can get cheaply during the early morning sales. Whenever Mei Mei has dumplings on the menu, they are what visiting foodies must get a chance to try. These hand-rolled dumplings are stuffed with soy and ginger braised beef and served with a side of Sriracha-fried rice and pickles. If that is sadly not on the menu, go for the double awesome sandwich, comprised of two soft eggs, local greens pesto and Vermont cheddar stuffed between two scallion pancakes.
Have you sampled any of these food trucks?
What did you sample? Comment below!
Related content on Canadian Traveller