There’s no question that the Queen City has stepped up its food truck game over the last few years. In fact, there are now multiple locations in Charlotte that host Food Truck Fridays on a regular basis! There’s nothing better than gathering friends and heading out for some good eats, great music and lots of laughs. And while you’re there, make sure you grab a bite from one of these mouthwatering trucks that will dazzle your taste buds and leave you craving more. Here are 12 to get you started:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Tin Kitchen
For some of the best tacos in town, you have to check-out Tin Kitchen, one of Charlotte’s original food trucks that has been operating since 2010. Named after its metallic, gray exterior, Tin Kitchen has developed a knack for keeping customers coming back for more.
Featured on the Food Network’s "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," the Tin Kitchen serves up some of the most delicious tacos, sliders and quesadillas in the QC. The Pork Belly Tacos are to die for if you’re looking for a recommendation.
2. Papi Queso
Also, featured on the Food Network’s "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," Papi Queso is known for its Pig Mac – a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with cheesy macaroni and cheese, pulled BBQ pork, caramelized bourbon onions and cheddar cheese. The menu has a variety of other options, and you can even build your own if you’re in the mood for a custom sandwich.
If grilled cheese is your thing, head out to see Papi Queso at Food Truck Friday this week.
3. Yummi Banh Mi
Yummi Banh Mi is the truck to visit to settle your craving for Vietnamese food. Serving popular dishes like Banh Mi sandwiches, rice bowls, Vietnamese tacos and traditional Vietnamese limeade, this truck combines fresh flavors and bright colorful entrees to bring an ethnic flair to the Charlotte Food Truck scene.
4. Rico's Acai
If you’re looking for a sweet, nutritious treat then head out to Rico’s Acai in Plaza Midwood. Specializing in creating colorful acai bowls, this truck brings mouthwatering flavors to one place. Rico's pairs the South American fruit of acai with ingredients like granola, bananas, berries, mango, kiwi, peanut butter, Nutella and coconut flakes, so you don’t have to feel guilty when you grab a snack from Rico’s, and your taste buds will thank you for it.
5. The Dumpling Lady
You can find her at the Noda Company Store most Saturday nights and at various spots in the city throughout the week. The Dumpling Lady has been spicing up the Charlotte food truck scene since 2015 with her Sichuan dumplings and noodles that draw in quite a following. Pair the Spicy Beef Noodles with the Sweet Pork Belly dumplings for an amazing dinner, or if you need to take the heat up a notch try the Burning Noodles with the Shirmp and Chicken Dumplings. No matter what you order from her, the Dumpling Lady is sure to give you a great meal with a lot of spice.
6. Cheese to the Mac
You don’t have to be a kid again to enjoy a big bowl of creamy, gooey, macaroni and cheese. Charlotte’s Cheese to the Mac food truck serves up bowls of this childhood favorite to all ages. For the meat lovers out there they offer the Mac Piggy and the Chili Mac, large helpings of macaroni in a three cheese sauce and topped with either pulled pork BBQ or loads of meaty chili.
If you prefer something a little lighter their Po’ Boy Mac with succulent shrimp and a secret Cajun sauce or the Mac Fresh with three cheeses and fresh spinach are to die for. And then for those who want to indulge their inner child, the Classic Mac is full of cheesy goodness, or try the Sup Dog which is mac and cheese with 100% all beef hot dogs mixed in. No matter the flavor, this truck has the mac and cheese combo for you.
7. Maryland Crab & Co.
Maryland Crab & Co. is a food truck that is bringing the delicious seafood of Maryland to the Carolinas. Their menu features a variety of fresh, specialty seafood items and popular favorites include a Fried Shrimp Po’ Boy, a Crabcake Sandwich with Fries, a Fried Clam Strips Plate, a Fried Shrimp Plate and more. All entrees include one side and you have your choice of fries, coleslaw, corn or hush puppies. We swear that the seafood from Maryland Crab & Co. will make you feel like you’re sitting on a dock beachside enjoying a meal that was freshly caught that day.
8. Street Spice
Street Spice has been a well-known food truck in Charlotte since 2014. With the mission of bringing globally inspired, gourmet street food to the residents of Charlotte, Street Spice offers some of the most delicious sliders and street fare around. Their slider menu has something for everyone offering a Brazilian Churrasco Steak slider, a Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken slider, a Cajun Crabcake slider, a Middle Eastern Falafel, a Bacon Cheeseburger slider and a Jamaican Me Crazy slider.
If sliders aren’t your thing, Street Spice also offers numerous high-quality and delicious appetizers like Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Street Corn, Smoked Gouda Mac n’ Cheese, Spinach and Cheese Wontons and more. There is something for everyone at this truck, so make sure you grab lunch from Street Spice the next time you see them around town.
9. OooWee BBQ
Founded in 2011, OooWee BBQ is determined to be at the top of the BBQ game in the Carolinas. OooWee BBQ slowly smokes any meat you can think of and serves it up BBQ style to customers. Some of the most popular items on their menu include a Chopped BBQ Pork Sandwich or a Pulled Chicken Sandwich that you can get BBQ or Buffalo style. They also have Smoked Brisket, Smoked Chicken Wings and Smoked Salmon, and you can be sure that no matter what you order will be full of smoky flavor and cooked to perfection. If you want to make your meal a plate, you’ll have the choice of two sides which include Mac n’ Cheese, Baked Beans, Coleslaw and Smoked Sweet Potatoes. If you like BBQ you’ve gotta try OooWee BBQ, it won’t disappoint.
10. A Bao Time
A Bao Time is the Charlotte food truck you need to visit if you have ever wanted to try a traditional Bao sandwich. Asian sandwiches that are served on soft and fluffy steamed buns, Baos are packed with fresh and flavorful ingredients. A Bao Time puts a Southern spin on its traditional Bao sandwiches and Charlotte residents love it! With a menu consisting of BBQ Roasted Duck Bao Buns, Pork Belly Bao Buns and Siracha Fried Chicken Bao Buns, there is a steamed bun for everyone. In addition to buns, A Bao Time also offers ramen bowls, Goyza and a Charlotte favorite – Avacado Hush Puppies.
11. King of Pops
King of Pops can be found offering up an icy treat on many neighborhood corners in the Queen City. Beginning in Atlanta, GA as a small neighborhood push cart, King of Pops quickly became known for their flavorful, colorful popsicles made of all natural and fresh ingredients.
After experiencing great success in Atlanta, King of Pops brought their treats to the Queen City and is now the best place to go when you are looking for a cool and refreshing dessert. Flavors are as unique as the stand itself and include Chocolate Sea Salt – the cart’s #1 best seller – Strawberry Rhubarb, Key Lime Pie, Lemonade Basil and other seasonal flavors. Head out to King of Pops to cool off this summer, and let us know which Pop is your favorite.
12. Southern Cupcake Queen
Southern Cake Queen was Charlotte’s first mobile dessert truck, opened in 2008 by the self-proclaimed "Cake Queen," Emma Cromedy. Since then, Southern Cake Queen has been making sure the Charlotte food truck scene has awesome dessert options to offer Charlotte residents. With a menu packed full of beautiful cupcakes, dessert bars and cakes, there is no better way to end Food Truck Friday then with a visit to your Southern Cake Queen. Some popular cupcake flavors include Champagne and Berries, Blue Velvet, Banana Split and Salted Carmel. If you need to settle your sweet tooth, get out and see the "Cake Queen" today.
Did we miss your favorite? Tell us in the comments about your favorite food truck and the best items they serve up!