Simple joys in life come in many forms. Drinking a hot cup of black tea, playing with a dog in the park, watching a good college football game, and finding perfect corduroy on a bluebird day in the high country qualify as uncomplicated pleasures in which I continually delight. For years, though, I found utter glee in something most people probably wouldn’t place on their lists of little blisses: On certain spring and summer weekends, a cavalcade of food trucks would set up in a parking lot across the street from my Wash Park home, and on those days, I would giddily abandon my fridge for as many meals as possible.

James Makowski serves Korean fusion eats from Denver’s Mukja food truck. Photo by Sarah Banks

There were arepas and dumplings and barbecue and tacos. One year, I had chicken and waffles, German-style potato salad and bratwurst, and pizza all in one perfectly gluttonous day. The food was delicious, of course, but it was the experience of interacting with the food truck operators—scrappy entrepreneurs, all of them—that made the occasion so charming.

For this month’s “Road Warriors”, 5280 food editor Patricia Kaowthumrong did what I wanted to do every time those four-wheeled eateries rolled up: learn more about their owners. “There are more than 600 of these small businesses spinning around the metro area,” Kaowthumrong says, “and they are serving some of the city’s most diverse—and most delectable—food options, all while facing unique challenges that brick-and-mortar establishments avoid.”

Much like their stationary counterparts, food trucks had a hard time riding out the pandemic. Without festivals or crowded breweries or pop-up gatherings like the one near my house, finding hungry hordes to feed was nearly impossible. Today, the food truck scene is still trying to recover. My advice? Order up a small serving of joy by seeking out one of the metro area’s roving food wagons. It’ll feel—and taste—so good.