Food trucks have taken on new meaning. No longer do they fall into the play-incessant-mindless-jingle ice-cream van class. Or the white, sugared rolls with pink Vienna and a good dollop of tomato sauce scene either.
Food trucks are now ‘mobile eateries’ that dish up gourmet food to compete with the best of restaurants. Find them at weddings, parties, concerts, weekend markets and street corners in the city.
What really makes them viable is the wheel factor – they get to you, rather than you having to get to them.
Here are 20 of the finest food trucks in South Africa, city by city…
Photograph © Bar di Bar
Bar di Bar
a bar on wheels, plus an excellent Tapas or charcuterie platter to go; this classic 1970s kombi is based on Laborie Wine Farm, open daily between 11h00 and 20h00 (which explains the array of craft beers and wines), or at an event near you.
Didis Bitchin’ Burritos
take a kombi-caravan and paint it like a Mexican blanket, and you have Didis, which serves decadently delicious burritos and taccos at a concert or event near you (try #FirstThursdays @churchsquare).
the French Afrik Bistro is a dainty light blue wooden food truck serving up fresh salad cups, prego steak rolls, quesadillas, wraps, chicken kebabs, salsa burgers etc. at an event, festival, concert or happening near you. Also at #FirstThursdays @churchsquare.
Wahine Food Truck
this new kid on the block dishes up cheese burgers, smoked pulled beef, teriyaki chicken, Polynesian pulled pork and pancakes from the serving hatch of its bright red and green truck – Polynesian beach food at its finest. Find them at an event near you.
these guys were one of the first on the scene serving Nutella bombs and cheesy calzones (i.e:Italian food) to any who’d try them. Find them at popular haunts – Oudekraal (Wed & Sun), Salt River Circle (lunch time) and other events. They run the food truck network – CT food trucks.
Photograph © Limoncello Food Truck
The Good Life
these guys take gourmet a step farther by calling it fusion food: prawn tempura with sumac aioli, designer beef burgers with truffle infusion etc. Find the black bus outside Charly’s Bakery, at Oudekraal, or an event near you.
Durban’s Finest Curry
also known as Vandiar’s, this food truck serves up Indian cuisine – spicy burgers and chips, bunny chow, butter chicken, samosas etc. Find this diminutive white, pink and yellow food trailer at Oudekraal or at an event near you.
Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour
another of the trail blazer’s, Lady Bonin’s has been around since 2010, serving up tea as an alternative to takeaway coffee from her little pale blue Jurgens caravan. Find it at De Waal Park or Oudekraal, festivals or events (Lady Bonin’s Tea Room is in Woodstock).
this bright and funky food caravan (easy to differentiate as there’s a laughing budha on the back side) offers healthy organic and fresh foods. The truck is also as green as possible – towed using biodiesel, biodegradable cups, containers and cutlery, solar panels etc.
Photograph © Afro*s Food Truck
fresh braai’d chick’n from a hot trailer, Afro*s is about high-quality fast food – locally sourced chicken, fresh ingredients, freshly baked bread rolls, and hand-cut chips at a bargain price. Find them at a market, concert or street corner near you.
locally-sourced, organic produce and free-range meat; expect gourmet burgers, beef or chicken sliders with chips, gourmet boerie rolls, mid-east platters with mezze and pitas etc. Find them at markets, festivals and business parks near you.
Balkan Burger Bus
this bright red bus serves up a redefinition of traditional Serbian dishes and the best burgers in town, according to some. Find them at Neighbourgoods, Fourways Farmers and market on Main, big concerts, festivals and events.
Full of Beans
this cute, little black TriVespa scooter cum food truck serves mobile coffee and confectionery (wraps, sandwiches, salads and brownies). It may be small, but it delivers a punch. Find it at a market or festival near you.
The Tutto Food Co.
this bright yellow kombi serves up paella with aplomb. It also does pink lemonade, iced teas, fresh salads and other seasonal foods in Afro-Mediterranean style. Find them at Neighbourgoods, Market on Main, festivals and events. Or a street corner near you.
You’ll know it by the huge red 5-star on its roof; this food truck serves up gourmet traditional food made from locally-sourced ingredients – vetkoek, tempura bobotie, and burgers. Find them at events, markets and festivals.
Photograph © StrEAT Cuisine
locally inspired food with a menu that changes with the season. Oh, and organic coffee. Rumour has it their de-constructed cheesecake is delish! Find them at the business hubs of Jo’burg, markets and events.
Black Sam Smoque
this mobile smokehouse is for lovers of meat; one-up on the braai, this is American-style barbecue (for those who don’t know, ‘smokehouse’ is a whole category of barbecue on its own). The menu is simple, because it’s all about the food…
look out for the white and red kombi with the flip-back roof (and the same logo as Vuyo’s in Braamfontein) to experience bunny chow, ‘pimped up’ boerewors rolls (Air Wors 1 with a top-secret sauce etc.), potjiekos and vetkoek.
Down to Earth Farm Feast
theatrical farm feasts served from a converted Bedford truck (it’s gorgeous) in a bid to reconnect people to the origins of their food, and the appreciation of quality produce. Find them on farms around Gauteng.
freshly cooked gourmet food, daily. Expect anything from Coq au vin with baby potatoes and veg, to cheesy grilled mushroom steak with salad; numerous interesting food combinations (beetroot, orange and goats cheese, for instance); all hassle-free. Find them around Melville and at private functions and markets.
Photograph © Down To Earth Food Truck