If you think the restaurant industry in Denver is booming, consider the food truck biz: The Mile High City is ranked second to only Portland, Oregon, as a haven for food truck entrepreneurs. Which means that for hungry Denverites, there are now more options than ever. Here, a short list of our favorite new(ish) mobile restaurants and how to find them.
This vegan/vegetarian food truck plans to change the focus of its plant-based menu with the seasons, but don’t wait for the fall menu because this summer, the nine-month-old food truck has a Middle Eastern bent that includes hummus so velvety and flavorful, we’re mildly obsessed. It’s no wonder owner Doug Petri liberally features it in his fare: nestled under crispy Brussels sprouts, stuffed with falafel inside the Veggie Whisperer’s delectable pita, and even resting under shawarma spice-dusted french fries for dipping. Pair your chosen iteration with a creamy tahini shake, made with a base of vegan ice cream and sesame seed paste, in flavors like classic tahini and mint chocolate chip. Check out the monthly calendar for dates and locations.
A year ago, Brandon Becker launched Cirque Kitchen & Spirits with a menu of arepas and other Venezuelan delights. But the acclaimed chef’s food truck doesn’t actually specialize in South American fare, or any particular culinary genre at all. Instead, its menu changes every eight weeks or so to highlight a new country or region. Becker gleaned inspiration for his current “A Seaside Affair” menu (which he launched mid-June) while on vacation in New Orleans with his girlfriend, chef Samantha New, owner of Éclat Culinary. (The duo is currently collaborating on a forthcoming pop-up concept.) Until September or so, you can belly up to Becker’s window to savor seasonal ingredients in masterful coastal dishes, including crab tacos and a killer lobster roll built on a buttered Aspen Bakery hoagie roll brimming with sustainably-caught Maine lobster tossed in a tarragon aïoli. Click here for dates and locations or follow Cirque Kitchen & Spirits on Instagram.
In typical Colorado fashion, this spring and early summer have granted us sunshine, rain, and snow—you’ll find the perfect culinary counterpart for any such conditions on this four-month-old food truck’s rotating specials menu. Highlighting the Vietnamese cuisine of her childhood, owner Kim Bui changes those specials based on the weather, so if it’s gray and rainy, you can expect cozy dishes like chicken-filled Hanoi pho. Sunny out? There will be spring rolls filled with seasonal veggies or Vietnamese chicken salad. On the truck’s regular menu, choose from three succulent protein options—our favorite is the lemongrass chicken, but you also can’t go wrong with hoisin honey pork—to go atop a vermicelli noodle salad or steamed jasmine rice, or for filling a bánh mì made with baguettes from Hinman’s Bakery. We suggest capping off your meal with a refreshing scoop of coconut ice cream which Bui sources from Liks Ice Cream. Check out the website for dates and locations.
After 13 years of running it’s East Colfax brick-and-mortar cafe, where a pay-what-you-can model supports SAME’s (So All May Eat) mission of creating community through access to healthy food, the nonprofit expanded its outreach through a new food truck that launched in May. Now, it’s rolling to area food deserts and events like Sunday’s Colorado Fresh Markets at City Park Esplanade with a menu of grain bowls topped with local, seasonal veggies; most of the produce is generously donated by area partners, including the Denver Botanic Gardens, Altius Farms, Ekar Farms, and Kiowa Family Farms. A version of Korean bibimbap and a hoppin’ John bowl inspired by chef Letisha Steele’s Southern upbringing are two tasty examples from the current menu, and there are also house-made sodas and SAME’s signature sugar cookies with lemon icing (limit one per customer). Follow SAME Cafe on Instagram for truck locations.
Natascha Hess, the lawyer-turned-chef owner and operator of the Ginger Pig, opened her Asian fusion street food truck back in 2016, so it’s nothing new. What is new this year is the truck’s permanent home, parked Wednesday through Saturday in the lot at Isabelle Farm in Lafayette. Also new are several menu items that Hess has tweaked and perfected, including a Japanese-style chicken kara age, a cold Vietnamese noodle salad chock full of fresh organic veggies (procured on-site, of course), and a vibrant Thai-style papaya salad with all the crunch and umami you could ever want. Stop by for a bite and take a spin through the Isabelle Farm store while you’re there—it’s one short drive for a win-win experience. Isabelle Farm, 1640 West Baseline Road, Lafayette; Wednesday through Friday, 4 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. (The farm store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.)