Temperatures are slowly rising, flowers are blooming and spring is in the air once again. That also means that we’re starting to see food carts and food trucks emerging from hibernation and hitting the streets to serve you everything from gumbo to barbeque to ice cream sandwiches.
We recently spoke to a handful of street vendors — some brand new and some returning from last year — to find out when they’ll be back on the streets and where we can find them this Spring.
The Slabadabado barbeque truck will be set up on the north side in Westerville starting this Wednesday, April 13th. They’ll be open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11am to 7pm and Sundays from 11am to 5pm.
“We have barbeque beef brisket, 100% angus beef, pulled pork, baby back ribs and smoked turkey,” said owner Fred Holyfield. “Our side dishes include collard greens, green beans, mac and cheese, coleslaw and three-bean baked beans.”
Jeni’s will be rolling out their “Street Treats” Ice Cream Truck for a full year of action and bringing back their Bajaj for special events all season long.
“Customers need to track our trucks because we’ll be selling Signature Flavors, Ice Cream Macaroon Sandwiches as well as delicious new Summer treats found nowhere else on the planet,” said founder Jeni Britton Bauer. “Plus, the Street Treats truck is outfitted with a straight-up boomin’ system and we’re going to be blastin’ some killer jams from that eye-popping machine.”
Mojo Tago is bringing back their baja-style taco truck for their first full season following their grand opening this past September.
“Mojo is the first LA-style food truck to hit the streets of Columbus,” said owner Brian Reed. “The Mojo truck is a small kitchen where we prepare all of our fresh ingredients. Our signature slow roasted shredded pork is great in a fresh corn tortilla with our grilled pineapple salsa.”
Earth’s Crust is returning with their vegan/vegetarian pizza cart and adding “The Krazy Monkey JuiceBar” component this summer that will include smoothies and freshly pressed juices. Their cart will be found in Clintonville this summer, Thursdays through Sundays.
“We’re making food that is healthy that actually tastes good,” said owner Dreddie Page. “Our truck will be the first mobile juicebar in Ohio, and one of only a small handful of places in Columbus where you can get fresh wheatgrass and other healthy beverages.”
Fusion Cafe returns for their sophomore season next week and will be up and running on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays outside Dick’s Den. Their Caribbean, Latin and American fusion will rotate regularly and feature new specials.
“We’ve been practicing new rotations all winter,” said owner Jeffrey Potter. “We also now take wireless debit and credit card acceptance through Square.”
One of the new food trucks debuting this year is The Cheesy Truck, which will feature gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and other “sexy snacks”.
“After seeing the masses of mobile food vending in Los Angeles and a longing desire to return to my home town, I realized that Columbus needed grilled cheese sandwiches brought to the streets,” said owner Rick Harrison Wolfe. “Not just the classic bread, butter and cheese, but amazing creations that are hand crafted with the best ingredients, local produce and a passion for great food.”
Short North cajun/creole eatery Da Levee is bringing back their mobile operations for a second year. Their menu changes daily, is updated online and they’ll be serving up deliciousness Downtown on weekdays for lunch.
“Come check us out,” said owner Justin Boehme. “Our cart is purple… oh yeah, the food is pretty damn good too.”
Rad Dog returns this spring, following last year’s “adoption” by Pattycake Bakery. Their gourmet meatless hot dogs will be found in both Clintonville and Downtown on certain days of the week, and some new menu items are being planned for this year.
“We buy our buns locally from Stan Evans in Grandview, make our chili and special sauces from scratch, try to use mostly organic ingredients, and we also serve locally made Luna Burgers and Brezel Buns,” said co-owner Sarah Bryant.
Another returning food cart is Yankee Cajun, which debuted last year at Gay & High, and has already re-opened for the season right outside the Crest Tavern in Clintonville. Sporting a revamped menu, Yankee Cajun is up and running Fridays from 4pm to Midnight and Saturdays from Noon to 10pm.
“Yankee Cajun food makes the Crest Tavern a unique combination of restaurant and dive bar to seek out in Clintonville,” said owner Paul Borkoski. “Another advantage to visiting the Yankee Cajun mobile kitchen is that you’re welcome to take your food inside the bar and have a drink with it.”
More updates on mobile food carts and food truck operations will be provided throughout the year as they continue to open up for the season and as their menus and offerings change.
For more information, reviews and news on local food carts and food trucks, don’t forget to check out StreetEatsColumbus.com.
Interested in opening up your own Food Truck or Food Cart? Then you’ll want to read through the indepth How To Guide on TheMetropreneur.com.