By: Emily Wolter
Is it just me or are food trucks sweeping the nation!? IBISWorld confirms this suspicion, stating that the street vendor industry has grown 8.4% on average in the past 5 years.
Certain food trucks will sit outside of buildings on the NC State campus, which is a smart move on their part; students definitely benefit from this decision. I have taken advantage of this lunchtime option on two occasions. The first time, I got some wrap/quesadilla-looking concoction that was good, not great. The second time? The second time I got the best grilled cheese I’ve ever had. I was sold.
Raleigh, NC recently held a food truck rodeo downtown with 75 trucks signed up to serve and I decided to head out and see what all the fuss was about. I grew up in Houston, so I’m very familiar with “rodeos”, but a rodeo devoted to food? Count me in!
First of all, WOW – Check out all of the people that showed up (see photo). It was crazy and, as a foodie, it was encouraging to see so many people supporting this exciting and quickly growing industry. I had to get the grilled cheese again, so my boyfriend could experience the goodness – we chose a beer and bacon grilled cheese and waited in a line for an hour to get it! It was so hot, that we began to lose our appetite after that, so we stopped by a truck selling frozen mocha lattes to cool off on our way out.
It’s not just Raleigh, either. While many trucks seem to be popping up in larger cities, 26% of Americans attest to visiting a food truck within the past 6 months (Technomic for American Express). Some food trucks in New York are even moving their food inside, to make purchasing more convenient.
The trucks may not open their windows until around 11am, but the hard work starts much earlier. Many of the trucks have an off-site kitchen where the prep-work takes place. Learn more here and here.
Do you have the pleasure of benefiting from food trucks in your neck of the woods? What is the best culinary creation that you have enjoyed from a truck?
I love food trucks!!! There is a weekly food truck event in San Francisco called “Off the Grid”. Also, I was thrilled to see the food truck “Crepes Bonaparte” come twice a week onto my school campus. They were featured in the Great Food Truck Race 😀 Great post!!