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Fuel up before exploring the stunning natural landscape of Colorado‘s capital with a loaded plate from one of the Denver’s many food trucks. Surrounded by picturesque mountains and rolling high plains, the hearty fare offered by food trucks is where the locals source their energy. We take a look at 10 of the best food joints on wheels, serving everything from All-American classics to Vietnamese cuisine.
For an authentic taste of New Orleans in the heart of Denver, head off in search of Jessie’s Smokin’ NOLA. Their po-boys are the ideal choice for a spicy lunchtime snack: traditional Bourbon Street sandwiches served on French bread and drizzled with hot sauce. Themed fillings include fried oysters, catfish or shrimp and be sure to leave some space for a bowl of Cajun fries. Feeling blue? The ‘Whole Latta Blues’ po-boy made with smoked turkey, bacon, Swiss cheese and Cajun mayo, could be just the remedy. For the ultimate comfort food Louisiana style, choose red beans, rice and smoked sausages.
Bacon-lovers take note. The Pink Tank’s ‘Bacon-Pile Up’ keeps it simple by stacking up its key ingredient on a plate, to make breakfast dreams come true. For something sweet combined with a meaty treat, go for the ‘Something Special Pancakes’, topped with banana, bacon, white chocolate and peppermint powdered sugar. Other aptly named dishes include the ‘Bomb-let’, a three egg omelette with cheddar cheese, ham, grilled onions and peppers and ‘The Dog About Town’, a beef hot dog served with green chilli, grilled onion, cheddar cheese and of course, bacon. The Pink Tank’s owner, Dave Mueller, aims to serve up some enthusiasm for life alongside his original creations, so be sure to stop for a chat.
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An army of mobile wood-fired ovens, Basic Kneads‘ fleet of four trucks cater for all pizza needs. Made with ultra-healthy, organic whole-wheat flour, milled locally in Colorado, these guilt-free pizza trucks are well worth seeking out. Tempting vegetarian choices include a Greek-style topping of roasted onions, kalamata olives, artichokes and sundried tomatoes, whilst meat eaters can’t go wrong with the ‘meatza’, a riot of sausage, chicken and pepperoni.
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The Crock Spot specialises in slow cooking served up speedily. The fun ‘Build a Bowl’ concept allows customers to mix and match in search of the perfect combination (any excuse to keep going back for more). Pick a particular protein, such as juicy shredded chicken, slow roasted corn beef, beet nut balls or curried lentils and combine with a grain, such as quinoa, jasmine rice or cous cous. For a hearty start to the day, opt for one of their recommended breakfast bowl combinations, corn beef with shredded potatoes, hot sauce and scrambled eggs, or marinated carne asada with eggs and rice.
The meaning of the word ‘biscuit’ is dependent on location. In England, expect a cookie-like, hard and dry product, ideal for dunking in tea. In America however, biscuits are soft and bread-like, slightly resembling what the British call a ‘scone.’ With this rule in mind, there should therefore be no surprises at Denver’s Biscuit Company ‘Biscuit Bus’. Fillings such as battered fried catfish and coleslaw, homemade sausage patty, and even strawberries and cream are sandwiched between the buttery, flaky biscuits. Featured on CNN’s ‘100 Places to Eat Like a Local’, a taste of these spongy delights offers a true flavour of Denver.
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Denver Biscuit Company also has static locations at: Colfax & Adams, 3237 E. Colfax, Denver, CO, USA, and Broadway & Maple, 141 S. Broadway, Denver, CO, USA.
Sometimes all that’s needed is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That’s exactly what’s served at Hey PB & J, albeit with a number of mouth-watering twists on the American classic. This friendly jam-coloured food truck offers an assortment of grilled, gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches served on fresh, locally baked bread. Choose from an array of homemade nut butters, such as almond, pecan or cashew, and an accompanying eclectic jam. Those after a sweet treat will love the ‘Blueberry Pie’, a delicious mix of almond butter, homemade blueberry jam, baked pie crust and clover honey; whilst foodies of a more savoury persuasion could plump for a Thai version, made with spicy peanut butter, orange marmalade, coconut, fresh basil and finished with crushed peanuts.
For the healthier choice in food trucks, head to Vietnamese-inspired Manna from Heaven. Hungry customers can look forward to a choice of hot dishes, cooked in flavoursome herbs and spices, paired with fresh vegetables and an assortment of special sauces. Top choices for meat eaters include chicken marinated in orange juice and white wine, or red wine teriyaki steak, whilst vegetarians and vegans will delight in the seasonal vegetables with tofu or the award winning Banh Mi, baked rolls filled with all sorts of crunchy goodies. Wash it down with some colourful ‘Bubble Tea’, a Taiwanese drink so-called for its yummy, chewy tapioca pearls.
Arepas can be found at food trucks and eateries all over South America, but the ones sourced at Denver’s Quiero Arepas are created in traditional Venezuelan style. A flat-bread made from white cornmeal, water and salt, the sandwich-like patty is grilled, baked and then split and stuffed. Venezuela-born owner Igor and his business partner Beckie, use only local, seasonal ingredients to represent the beauty of their home state of Colorado, so returning customers (of which there are many) may find that a favourite item has been replaced with something even more delicious. Locals recommend the fried plantains with cheese and avocado, topped with Quiero Arepas’ signature Guasacaca sauce.
Locals and Denver regulars may remember a naughty-but-nice truck serving up delectable waffle sandwiches. The creators of Waffleganger are back with a new vegetable-based concept, The Special. With an emphasis on organic, sustainable dishes, health-conscious customers can look forward to fast yet fresh food, made using local, farm-grown ingredients. Keep it simple with a ‘Simple Plate,’ loaded with avocado, tomato, jasmine rice, black beans and tofu, or mix things up a bit with a ‘Bleet Salad,’ made up of roasted beetroot, spicy candied nuts, feta, fruit and kale, with a tofu or chicken option.
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WongWayVeg’s seasonal vegetarian fare is inspired by the produce of local farmers and packed with intense flavours and vibrant colours. The mouthwatering menu includes a barbecue black bean quinoa burger served with spicy pineapple chutney and a jackfruit quesadilla, braised in a sweet and smoky sauce, with melted Monterey jack cheese. To add further feel-good factor to a nutritious feast, go for the pumpkin nuggets, 100% of sales go to ‘Cayleb’s Kindred Senior Rescue’, a local charity which places elderly dogs in welcoming homes.