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There’s a certain grit and boldness that’s reserved for food trucks.
It’s not uncommon for these mobile food vendors to offer some of the most deliciously creative eats that brick and mortar eateries wouldn’t even dare to create, resulting in high demands and snaking lines.
We take to the streets and track down the city’s best food trucks and let you in on where to find them.
They might have taken a page directly out of NYC’s Tacombi (ahem), but we have to admit, the grub served out of this 1974 Volkswagen Kombi is pretty darn good. Offered here are the usual suspects of Mexican fare: burritos, tacos, nachos, as well as chicken, beef, and chorizo rice boxes. Make sure to get your hands on their hefty new Carne Asada burrito (PHP180 for regular; PHP220 for grande) and ask for a side of chimichurri (PHP20) to pair with it.
Where to find them: StrEat: Maginhawa Food Park, 91 Maginhawa Street, UP Village, Quezon City.
2. Schmidt’s Gourmet Hotdogs
Schmidt’s Gourmet Hotdogs might have found a permanent home at Podium, but we still can’t resist the charm of their food truck, which continues to shell out delicious hotdogs on Maginhawa. For something spicy and tangy, don’t miss the Seattle Dog (PHP130) which is loaded up with BBQ sauce, mustard, mayonnaise, relish, sauerkraut, and onions. But if you’re looking for a hybrid hotdog, try the Wagamama (PHP130) which includes Japanese curry, shredded nori, Japanese mayonnaise, and coleslaw.
Where to find them: StrEat: Maginhawa Food Park, 91 Maginhawa Street, UP Village, Quezon City
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3. The Barista Box
Although The Barista Box is a roving beverage truck, most of the time it’s stationed on the grounds of Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City. These young baristas, who are Ateneans themselves, offer terrific third wave coffee to sleep-deprived students. Served here is a limited but well-done list of brews such as espressos (PHP80), lattes (PHP120), slow brews (PHP100), and cold brews (PHP140) as well as, on occasion, sweet baked goods.
Where to find them: Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City
4. Tacos Chingones
Opened by the folks that brought us A’Toda Madre is Mexican food cart, Tacos Chignones, which is open until midnight on the daily. This cart supplies Poblacion with street food in the only way we’ll take it – cheap, gritty, good, and a little bit grubby and a tad grimy. Here, authentic tacos (PHP50) and gringas (PHP100) are cooked up on the spot. Herbivores can steer clear of this one as it’s mainly meats on offer here — from ox tongue to braised pork to chorizo.
Where to find them: 5923 Algier Street, Barangay Poblacion, Makati
5. Shawarma Bros
Shawarma Bros is one of the first food trucks in Manila. Although they now boast brick and mortars at BGC Stopover Pavilion and Raymundo Avenue (Pasig), their trusty food truck still roams the city stocked with succulent Middle Eastern-inspired meals. Aside from their signature beef and chicken shawarmas, try the lamb steak and spiced beef on rice or rolled into a wrap.
Where to find them: Check their Facebook page for their weekly schedule.
6. Truck Bun
The facade of this food truck is decorated with a map of the world with pins on countries that have inspired their dishes. Their menu boasts the Japan-inspired Japadog (PHP160) which consists of nori-wrapped franks topped with Japanese pickles, cucumber, pork floss, ebiko mayonnaise, and red onions, while the Spain-inspired Gambas Paella Wrap (PHP175) combines gambas, paella rice, chorizo, vegetables, and aioli.
Where to find them: All over the metro. Check their Facebook page for their weekly schedule.
7. Mio Gelati
One of the only — if not the only — ice cream food trucks in the metro, Mio Gelati offers creamy ice creams in classic Italian flavors like Fior de Latte, Tiramisu, and Pistachio alongside international contemporary treats like Reese’s Peanut butter cup, Banoffee Pie, and Blueberry Cheesecake (PHP80-120 for small; PHP150-220 for large).
Where to find them: All over the metro. Check their Facebook page for their schedule.
Top photo: Mexicombi via Facebook