12 Food Trucks Not to Miss at the Columbus Food Truck Festival
There are some changes coming to the Columbus Food Truck & Cart Festival this year, scheduled to take place Friday, August 15th – Saturday, August 16th. There are longer hours, more food truck vendors, and a brand new app available to enhance the food truck festival experience.
This new app, a collaboration between Columbus-based, SeeMore Interactive, and the Columbus Food Truck Festival, will allow guests to scan a range of festival graphics to interact with, and get the inside scoop on, their favorite food trucks, bands, and sponsors at the event.
By adding a layer of image recognition and augmented reality to brand graphics, catalogs, and even food trucks, SeeMore has made it easy, and cool, for festival attendees to unlock coupons, view videos, and share items on social media via their smart phone or tablet.
It’s the ideal accompaniment as you try to navigate the festival this year, especially as there will be over 40 food trucks on hand, ready to serve everything from arepas to zucchini pie over the two-day event.
Guaranteed to have something for every taste, you should definitely nosh at as many trucks as you dare. Here are a dozen of them you may not have seen before, been curious about, or would never have a chance to get to otherwise:
aCutAbove Creative Curbside Cuisine
aCutAbove serves German street food. Their signature dishes include the Schnitzel Sandwich, pork loin, lettuce, tomato, and Master Chef Enzo Sclama’s secret sauce on a bun, the Bavarian Burger, finished with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese, and the Curry Wurst – German Pork Sausage with original Berliner spiced tomato sauce served on a bun. All items at aCutAbove cost $6-$8. For more, check out ww.facebook.com/aCutAboveCuisine.
Bake Me Happy Mobile Bus
Be sure to visit the new Bake Me Happy Mobile Bus, a restored VW, for some of the most deceptively delicious treats in the city. See, all of Bake Me Happy’s goodies are gluten-free, but you would only recognize it as yummy. They sell sneaky-good Peanut Butter Burners, outrageous Oatmeal Creme Pies, and tempting takes on the Twinkie, including Red Velvet. Snacks generally cost less than $4 an item. For a longer look at Bake Me Happy’s offerings, visit www.bakemehappygf.com.
Burgermania Food Truck
Launched only this past June, the Burgermania food truck is very clear in its intention: it sells burgers. And fries. And unlike many other new burger joints lately, whether mobile or brick-and-mortar, the burgers at Burgermania are simple, familiar, and comforting. And well very made. Among the varieties offered: Classic Cheese and Double Cheese, Bacon, and Guacamole. All of the items at Burgermania cost less than $10, so for a taste of true Americana, check them out. For more on Burgermania Food Truck, follow them at www.facebook.com/pages/Burgermania.
En Place Food Truck
For great grub made for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike, be sure to stop by En Place Food Truck, where the menu is built to turn veggie grub into a meal hardy enough for a carnivore. Or is it amazing meat dishes where the meat won’t be missed if taken away? Either way, the menu rocks, an offering of salads, like the Napa & Kale and Primavera Pasta, to which grilled chicken can be added for a nominal cost if desired, and sandwiches, like Spicy Chicken, Sprout, and Pork Belly Sliders. All items are priced between $7-$12. For more on En Place Food Truck, follow them at www.facebook.com/enplacefoods.
Land Yacht BBQ
If you haven’t been out to Hollywood Casino, then you haven’t been to the Haydocy & Broad Gourmet Food Park, which is adjacent to the casino, and anchored by Land Yacht BBQ, a repurposed Airstream that serves up delicious ‘cue. Come out for Beef Brisket Sandwiches, the Yacht BBQ Burger, and Lamb Bacon two ways: as the main ingredient in Mac ‘n’ Cheese or the scrumptious surprise in Baked Beans. Items at Land Yacht BBQ cost less than $8. For a longer look at the menu, visit www.landyachtbbq.com.
Loops! Good Food
New to the food truck scene, Loops! brings a taste of Chicago to the festival this year. They serve a variety of hot dogs and sandwiches inspired by the Windy City, including the Fetafire Gyro, with zesty feta cheese spread, the Grecco Salad, topped with chick peas and falafel, and classic Italian Beef. A full meal, including drink, will only cost you around $8 at Loops! Good Food Truck, so stop by and welcome them to the food truck scene. For a longer look at Loops! Good Food’s menu, visit www.loopsgoodfood.com/food-truck.
Niko’s Street Eats
The vision of restauranteurs with 35 years in the industry, Niko’s Street Eats specializes in authentic Greek and American diner deli foods. Their eclectic menu features traditional Greek fare, like Souvlaki, served on a stick or in a pita, and Vegetarian Pita, with cucumbers and olives, as well as unexpected, and wholeheartedly American dishes. There’s Grilled Beef Bologna, a Chicken Club Sandwich, and the Buckeye Donut Cheeseburger, topped with bacon, and served between two glazed donuts. For a truly Greek American experience that’ll set you back less than $10, check out Niko’s Street Eats. For a full look at the menu, visit www.nikosstreeteats.com.
Not Guilty Food Cart
They hail from Athens, Ohio, and their slogan is, “Innocent, naturally good, comfort foods”. With a menu that boasts the use of local ingredients, the grilled cheese sandwiches, fresh fruit smoothies, and seasonal soups served at Not Guilty leave you feeling good and good about yourself (especially as all items cost $6 or less). Like their newest summer smoothies: Watermelon Refresher and PawPaw Pineapple Mango, both ridiculously cooling and good for regulating hydration on a hot day. Also try the Caprese and BLT Sandwiches, made with fresh, Ohio summer tomatoes. For more on this new food cart to our fair city, follow them at www.facebook.com/NotGuiltyCart.
Best known for their fish boats – plates piled high with fresh fried fish, tomatoes, onions and lettuce – Queen’s Table also serves salads, like the Santa Fe with black beans, grilled chicken, avocado, and jalapeño ranch dressing, a Famous Turkey Burger with secret ingredients, sandwiches, like a hearty Vegetarian Burrito, and dinners, like Ragin’ Cajun Chicken. Queen’s Table also offers several gluten-free items, all reasonably priced between $5-$16. For a longer look at Queen’s Table’s menu, follow them at www.facebook.com/QueensTable.
An interesting take on fusion cuisine, Smok’n Cantina serves up southwestern street food with a BBQ twist, specializing in a menu of NachOrdinary Tacos. Among these, Beef Brisket, Chili Shrimp, and Carolina Pulled Pork. These larger-than-normal tacos cost $4.50 a piece, and most can also be bought in sandwich form for $4. Guests can purchase two tacos and a nibbler (these include Avocado Guacamole Spread, Chili Chorizo Queso, Jalapeño Cheddar Corn Bread, and 3 different Hummus – Green Chili, Roasted Red Pepper, and Black Bean Corn) for only $9, making for a complete and completely affordable meal. For a longer look at Smok’n Cantina’s menu, visit www.smokncantina.com.
And 2 special corporate trucks, making the leap to mobile restaurant as they continue to bridge the gap between traditional and modern consumerism:
Donatos Street Pizza
One of Columbus’s best-known pizza brands, Donatos has recently launched the Donatos Street Pizza Truck, bringing the pizza Central Ohio loves to the streets. The truck serves up pies by the slice (yes, that’s right, slice, not square), or by the whole. They offer their classic Pepperoni, Cheese, and specialty pizzas, like the Founders Favorite with 3 types of meat and hot peppers. Donatos Street Pizza sells slices for $3, and whole pies for the number of slices minus $3 (one free slice for purchasing a whole). For more on the Donatos Street Pizza experience, follow them at www.facebook.com/DonatosStreetPizza.
Market District Foodie Truck
The Market District Foodie Truck features chef-made meals for on the go. Market District chefs create and serve a simple menu that highlights the high-quality ingredients sold under the Market District brand at Giant Eagle stores. Guests can find items like a French Dip Sandwich served with au jus, African Mocha-Rubbed Beef Brisket, Herb-Roasted Bone-In Chicken Breast, and Buffalo Chicken Wings on the menu, for roughly $7 per item. The MD Foodie Truck also serves sides for $3 per serving, including Brown Sugar Baked Beans and Cucumber Salad. For a longer look at the Market District Foodie Truck’s offerings, visit www.marketdistrict.com/Explore/FoodieTruck.