Nfld. & Labrador

The need for a feed: A guide to St. John's food trucks

There's a new wave of food trucks in town pumping out pimped-out poutines, hamburgers, vegan hot dogs and noodle bowls, writes Gabby Peyton.

There's a food truck revolution happening in the greater St. John's area

There are now 13 companies with food trucks offering their wares in the metro St. John's area. (Gabby Peyton)

There's a revolution happening in St. John's creating some wheely delicious food.

The traditional chip truck that has been stationed at every summer festival in Newfoundland and Labrador for decades is still thriving — but there's a new wave of food trucks in town pumping out pimped-out poutines, hamburgers, vegan hot dogs and noodle bowls.

With this summer's newest additions to the fleet, there are now 13 different ones to choose from in the greater St. John's area. The truck stops here, and there, from Conception Bay South to Torbay.  

The traditional chip wagons 

Ziggy Peelgood's

There are not one, but three Ziggy Peelgood's trucks roving the streets of St. John's. You can typically find them parked on Water Street in front of Scotiabank, on the corner of Adelaide and George Street or in their city-designated spot in Churchill Square. 

The menu of this iconic chip truck consists of fries, fries and more fries — ranging from classic chips, dressing and gravy to "Mex-zig-an fries" topped with shredded mozzarella, salsa and sour cream.

After more than 30 years on the road, this french fry magnate also has brick-and-mortar locations on Ropewalk Lane in St. John's and on Old Placentia Road in Mount Pearl.

Ziggy Peelgood's has been a staple in the St. John's area since 1986. (Ziggy Peelgood's/Facebook)

Winky's Wedges & Fries

Winky's is another classic chip truck with a fleet of two. There is always one truck feeding the drunk and hungry of George Street after the bars close down and people spill out onto the street at 3 a.m. Simplicity is key for the success of this St. John's food truck: Winky's crispy wedge potatoes can be eaten au natural, made into poutine or doused in dressing and gravy.

From moose burgers to onion rings, Winky's serves up food in downtown St. John's. (Gabby Peyton)
 

Way d' Go Fish and Chips

Stopping traffic headed into Torbay, this St. John's food truck is open for lunch and dinner most days.

Way d' Go Fish and Chips serves up an array of classic chip truck fare: Homemade onion rings, poutine, wings and chips, fish and chips, fish burgers (hungry yet?), chicken strips and chips, hot dogs and cheeseburgers — all available with dressing and gravy on the side for $3.00 extra.

Way d' Go Fish and Chips has their food truck set up on Torbay Road. (Gabby Peyton)

The souped-up spud servers 

Quidi Vidi Fish and Chips

This bright red truck is like a beacon of deep-fried goodness permanently parked in Quidi Vidi Village, just outside the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company. Quidi Vidi Fish and Chips, otherwise known as QVFC, dishes out menu items including fish and chips, poutines, cod bites and every now and then their QVFB: crispy cod filet on a brioche bun with house-made tartar sauce and iceberg lettuce.

QVFC opens every day at noon, staying open to feed the village until 7 p.m. on weekdays and 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 

Quidi Vidi Fish and Chips serves up more than just cod to locals and tourists. (Quidi Vidi Fish and Chips/Facebook)

Johnny & Mae's

Johnny & Mae's isn't for the faint of heart, literally.

Those with high cholesterol will have a hard time ignoring the Instagrammable burgers and poutines of one of the newest food trucks in St. John's. While permanently parked on the side of St. Thomas' Anglican Church on King's Bridge Road, the menu at Johnny & Mae's changes daily with new creations like the spicy maple chicken sandwich, salt beef poutine and the Big McKenna with beef patties, extra pickles, shredduce (shredded lettuce), cheese and "dirty sauce" which has become a crowd favourite.

The truck is open Wednesday through Sunday for lunch starting at noon — be on time for lunch; they sell out fast. 

Bring your appetite to Johnny & Mae's, a food truck that's parked in the lot of St. Thomas' Anglican Church. (Gabby Peyton)

Lester's Farm Market Harvest Hut

Forget the U-pick, you'll never go hungry at Lester's Farm Market thanks to their Harvest Hut, located right next to the petting zoo (but not too close).

Everyday from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. this St. John's food truck serves up classic burgers, empanadas, Ponytails (their riff on a certain trademarked fried flatbread) and uses the farm's own garden ingredients for its seasonal grilled sandwiches, which might have red pepper with artichoke aioli on house-made focaccia one day, and beet and goat cheese the next. 

From burgers to empanadas, there's a wide array of items on the Lester's Farm Market Harvest Hut menu. (Gabby Peyton)

The new-fashioned food trucks 

Saucy Mouth 

Over the winter, Saucy Mouth parked their truck inside Landwash Brewery in Mount Pearl and it was so successful they decided to keep it there. With their newly-acquired second truck settled in Bonavista, both are serving up an array of vegetarian food any meat-eater would be glad to sink their teeth into.

Items like "I'se the fries" (Newfoundland street fries with whole wheat savoury dressing, caramelized onions, Landwash stout gravy and panko onion rings on top), and the "Big Marie" (a veggie "chicken" patty with shredded lettuce, spicy mayo and sweet pickles) dominate the menu along with noodle bowls, veggie dogs and an array of house-made sodas.

The Landwash truck is open when the brewery is — and the Bonavista truck is open from noon to 7 p.m. Thursday through Monday, weather dependant. 

Saucy Mouth has two food trucks: In Bonavista and at Landwash Brewery, Mount Pearl. (Gabby Peyton)

Oh My Cheeses

This St. John's food truck focuses on grilled cheese and fancy fries and has a cult-like following at both their St. John's Farmers' Market stall and their truck parked outside Port Rexton Brewery for the summer.

Crowd pleasers include The Kevin McCallister with plain ol' cheddar cheese and The Violet with local blueberry apple jam, bacon, old cheddar cheese and finished with balsamic glaze and fresh basil. Hours vary between both the brewery and the market, so follow Oh My Cheeses on social media for the low-down on the grilled cheese. 

Focusing on grilled cheese and fancy fries, Oh My Cheeses is also parked for the summer in Port Rexton. (Gabby Peyton)

Hitchen the Kitchen 

This St. John's food truck could be touted as the first of the new wave food trucks (the owners of Johnny & Mae's got their start there) and has been pumping out delicious tacos, burgers and pulled pork mac and cheese for years now.

Hitchen the Kitchen has been known to do a pop-up or two, the latest being at Bannerman Brewery, but typically they're parked at their home base on the corner of Portugal Cove Road and Elizabeth Avenue outside the Harold Snow building. Lobster rolls and kimchi noodle bowls are served up all summer long for lunch and dinner. 

Hitchen the Kitchen is normally parked at the corner of Elizabeth Avenue and Portugal Cove Road in St. John's. (Gabby Peyton)

The international models

Poko Loko

The owners of Soul Azteka restaurant have hit the road doling out their Mexican-inspired dishes at the city's coolest events and farmers' markets or parked outside the Baccalieu Trail Brewing Co. in Bay Roberts on Wednesdays.

Tacos, burritos and churros dominate Poko Loko's menu, but there's also Mexican poutine and items like the "Snoop Dog," a bacon-wrapped jumbo hot dog with queso, mustard, pico de gallo and hot peppers. Watch Poko Loko's Instagram for delicious Mexican street food, along with their hours and location.

You'll see Poko Loko at various markets and events during the summer months, and in Bay Roberts on Wednesdays. (Soul Azteka/Facebook)

The Indian Express

This roving curry machine moves quickly — The Indian Express is parked at a different location for lunch almost every day of the week, much to the delight of 9-5ers on Kenmount Road and at the Health Sciences Centre. Often camped out on the parking lot of Pit Crew Drive-Thru Services at 11 Major's Path, you can typically choose between two vegetarian and two meat options like lentil spinach curry, butter chicken and beef curry masala.

A must-try on the menu is the cod "pracos," tacos made with Prata (flaky pastry-like bread) piled high with fried cod, sauteed onions masala, lettuce and homemade garlic and mint chutney. Check their social media for location and opening hours. 

The Indian Express is parked at a different location for lunch almost every day of the week in the St. John's area. (Gabby Peyton)

ANC Global Eats 

This is the newest St. John's food truck — and it couldn't be more packed with flavour.

As part of an Association for New Canadians program, 12 new Canadians went through a 14-week program at the Academy Canada Kitchen to make this the most international food truck on the list.

Parked outside St. David's Presbyterian Church on Elizabeth Avenue, food truck patrons can choose between a wrap, pita or platter and at least 20 sides including bulgur salad, Ethiopian swiss chard, or cauliflower shawarma, along with desserts like baklava or West African puff puffs.

ANC Global Eats is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The colourful ANC Global Eats truck serves up a a host of international dishes. (Gabby Peyton)

Big Boy Baos

This St. John's food truck is owned by chef Ken Pittman who also owns the brick-and-mortar Seto restaurant on Duckworth Street but that doesn't mean he baos out on the delicious.

Big Boy Baos is typically camped out at their city-assigned parking spot on Harbour Drive next to Jack Astor's serving up dishes like fried chicken bao with hoisin aioli, jalapeno and scallions and "supreme fries" with pork ragu, white cheddar, scallions, and crispy bits.

The Baoger, once a daily special, now makes a regular appearance on the menu: part bao, part hamburger, the ingredients change but the quality doesn't. Sometimes it's a General Tso Baoger with carrot slaw, crispy chicken on a soft bun. Stay tuned to their social media for opening hours. 

The Big Boy Baos truck is camped out at their city-assigned parking spot on Harbour Drive. (Gabby Peyton)

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About the Author

Gabby Peyton is a freelance food writer in St. John’s.