Did you know that the World’s Best Food Truck Tour is right here in Vancouver? It’s also one of the top 4 activities in Vancouver on Trip Advisor out of every possible attraction — that’s pretty impressive! Vancouver Foodie Tours invited me on this signature tour to experience the best street eats that the city has to offer:
World’s Best Food Truck Tour in Vancouver
Our guide, Manuela Sosa, was cheerful, upbeat, charming, and knowledgeable about all things in the downtown core. Peppering her narration of the tour with cultural, historical, and Greenest City 2020 factoids, she added an extra layer of value to the lunchtime experience.
Stop 1: Japadog
Offering: Kurobuta Terimayo
Location: Burrard and Smithe
Before Japadog arrived on the scene in 2005, Vancouver’s street food scene was comprised of simple hot dogs, chestnuts, popcorn and ice cream. City Councillor Heather Deal brought a motion to council to ““Increase Healthy Food Options in Vancouver” in March of 2005 as well, getting the ball rolling for the expanded food truck program. By 2008 it was approved and spots opened up for 17 more food carts in the city — over 800 applications were submitted. In 2010 the program launched and the rest is history. Vancouver now has 130 food trucks on the streets today.
It’s rare that a city tour can teach me something I don’t already know (having done research for the last 10 years) but Vancouver Foodie Tours managed to share some unique nuggets of information, in particular about Arthur Erickson and his visions, when we passed through Robson Square.
Stop 2: Mom’s Grilled Cheese
Offering: Sourdough Cheddar and Mint Ginger Lemonade
Location: Howe St between Robson and Georgia
Mom’s Grilled Cheese is definitely a favourite. Sweet and savoury combinations, a wide selection, and the mint ginger lemonade really hit the spot. We also met “Mom”, Cindy Hamilton, and learned more about her background.
Stop 3: EAT Chicken Wraps
Offering: Hoisin Chicken Wrap
Location: Robson and Howe
I’ve never stopped at EAT Chicken Wraps before but it’s now on my list to return for lunch. Sample sizes served in small paper cups were packed with crunchy, spicy, and chewy bites.
Stop 4: Guanaco
Offering: Pupusa and Horchata
Location: Burrard at Pender
The next stop was a taste of El Salvador. Take a corn tortilla, fill it with goodness, and I’m sold. These warm pupusas were packed with cheese and beans, served up with slaw and (my favourite) yuca frita. The horchata was cool and creamy, with a splash of cinnamon. Another great combination.
Stop 5: Tacofino
Offering: Fish Tacos and Diablo Cookie
Location: Howe at Robson / Burrard at Dunsmuir
You absolutely cannot go wrong with a fish taco from Tacofino. It’s crunchy, fresh, tangy, and a very healthy serving for your lunch break. Sit in the sunshine, squeeze a lime over the crispy ling cod, let the chipotle mayo drip down as you take another bite with cabbage and salsa fresca dripping from your chin. End on a high note with a devilishly sweet treat, the Diablo Cookie, spiked with ginger and cayanne pepper.
I particularly appreciated the added value this tour offered, providing information about each food truck and its history, explaining the process for the dishes, sharing recipes and coupons, and letting their participants know more about how food trucks came to be in Vancouver. Given the young history of food trucks in this city, this tour and its variety and quality of stops really say something positive about what the Vancouver food scene has to offer.
The World’s Best Food Truck Tour is 2 hours long and runs April 1st to November 30th. Monday to Friday between 11:00am and 1:00pm. Additional Saturday tours between May 17th – September 6th, 12:00pm to 2:00pm. The cost is $49 and it includes all food tastings. You’ll cover about 1.6km, walking for a total of about 25 minutes. Tours run rain or shine and you’ll meet at Burrard and Smithe, near the original Japadog food cart.