Salt Lake City may not have began the food truck craze, but Utahns have certainly caught on to the epidemic. We highlight ten of Salt Lake’s best restaurants on wheels.
The two men responsible for Chop City SLC are, endearingly, a couple of friendly, homegrown, pork-loving locals. From the classic to the innovative, this food truck serves pork in every item they dish up – literally. Of course you’ll find delicious pulled pork sandwiches, cubanos, and BLTs. But, you could also finish your meal with a chocolate and bacon cookie, or a bacon brownie. Whatever you choose, there’s no doubt it will be delicious. Chop City makes appearances at various places around the valley, so check their Twitter page for the most up-to-date location.
It would be impossible to write about Salt Lake’s food truck scene without mentioning the numerous taco trucks around the city. Most of them don’t have names, Twitter accounts, or contact information, but if you take a quick drive around the city, you’re sure to see several. Selling their wares from small metal kiosks, rather than the RV-style setup of larger vendors, the taco carts offer spot-on authentic Mexican and Latin food at incredibly reasonable prices. One of the very best, and oldest, is Tacos Don Rafa. Visit their usual location in front of the Sear’s store on State Street.
A mainstay of lunch on the University of Utah campus is Bento Truck. This food serves Japanese cuisine with warmth and enthusiasm. Regular menu items include dishes like teriyaki chicken, tempura-fried shrimp, wasabi potato salad, and pork gyoza. Daily specials bring new flavors and seasonal ingredients with dishes like beef curry, vegetable gyoza, and glazed salmon. The food is consistently good, and always comes out fresh and fast. Bento also caters to their largely student customer base with generous portions and low prices. Find them weekdays on the Marriott Library square.
Serving SLC Korean barbecue in a cup, Cupbop packs a punch of flavor. The menu is relatively simple, offering barbecued beef, chicken, and pork, with rice and vegetables. Each customer chooses their desired level of spicy heat, on a level from 0-10, 10 reaching a tongue-scorching tastiness. This food truck has become incredibly popular with locals, and often parks outside concert arenas, farmers markets, and various summer festivals. Due to increasing popularity, Cupbop was able to open a second truck for double the happiness.
Brought to Salt Lake by the immensely popular brick-and-mortar restaurant of the same name, Café Trang is a food truck with a loyal following. The food truck offers a very shortened version of the restaurant’s menu of authentic Asian dishes. Both meat and vegetarian dishes are served at unbeatable prices, with most dishes priced under $6.00. Some of the most popular dishes are the pho, lemongrass chicken, and caramel pork. Guests can find Café Trang on weekday afternoons on the University of Utah campus, just east of the Marriott library. There may be a line of hungry college students, but this food truck is definitely worth the wait.
Off the Grid is a food truck that started out as the dream of a few adventuresome wanderers. It has since grown to be one of the most popular mobile eateries in the city. The close-knit staff incorporates as many fresh, locally-sourced ingredients as are possible, resulting in food that is top-notch. The menu at Off the Grid is refreshingly uncomplicated. Diners choose from six different meal options, select from pulled pork, roasted chicken, or baked tofu for a meat option, then finish it off with one of four house-made sauces. A local favorite is the Bee’s Cheese: a mammoth grilled cheese using a local cheddar with lavender and espresso, sandwiched between two waffles. Visit their website for the truck’s weekly schedule.
The Chow Truck is beloved in Salt Lake as a pioneer in the city’s food truck scene. This place earned its popularity, and place in the local foodie scene making Asian food with playful twists and combinations. It often incorporates local ingredients and flavors to make interesting dishes. Some favorite menu items are pineapple pork ginger sliders, coconut lemongrass chicken tacos, and Asian-spiced root chips. For the more adventurous diner, Chow Truck offers local meats like Utah elk sliders with smoked gouda, and jalapeño rattlesnake and rabbit sausage on a toasted bun. Whether going with a well-loved menu standard, or branching out to something different, The Chow Truck should not be missed. Follow their Twitter feed for location information.
With several food trucks dedicated solely to waffles, the traditional breakfast food has expanded to an all-day love affair for Utahns. From first sight, Saturday’s Waffles is adorable, and sure to brighten anyone’s day. The food is prepared and served from a vintage silver trailer, with a smiling waffle cartoon greeting each customer. The base for most creations is a Liege waffle, perfectly sweetened, with just the right amount of crunch and tenderness. From there, the toppings are varied, with both savory and sweet options. Fan favorites include the lemon curd and raspberries, caprese, and the s’more. Saturday’s Waffle does visit multiple locations, but they can almost always be found on Saturday mornings in parking lot of the Olympus Hills shopping center.
For a sweet ending to any meal or outing, Art City Donuts is the food truck to visit. This sweet shop was originally exclusive to Utah County but opened a second truck to service Salt Lake City as well. Art City crafts artisan donuts that are anything but ordinary. They are little pillows of warm, sugary goodness that nearly melt in your mouth. The standard cinnamon-sugar topping is divine, but the specialty flavors really take the cake. Flavors like strawberry shortcake, blueberry crumble, and French toast have developed a fan following. To find out where you can find these sweet treats, visit Art City Donuts’ Twitter feed to follow their locations.
Before becoming a food truck, the Q4U name was familiar to many people in Utah as a brick-and-mortar barbecue restaurant in Taylorsville. To the delight of fans, the restaurant is now mobile, servicing several locations throughout the valley. Q4U serves traditional American barbecue; including smoked meats, and side dishes like black eyed peas, candied yams, and potato salad. The meats are lovingly smoked for hours in a smoker that is pulled behind the truck, making the time from preparation to plating as short as possible. One of the most popular items on the menu is called the BBQ Sundae: a large cup layered with pulled pork, baked beans, and coleslaw. You certainly won’t leave this truck hungry.