Remember the excitement you felt as a kid when you heard the ice cream truck wheeling around the block? Yeah. Food trucks strike the same chord with us in adulthood.
Plus, food trucks in Denver are filling a much-needed culinary niche. They’re parked outside breweries ready to satiate your post-beer munchies. They offer an alternative to typical fair food at festivals. And they’re much appreciated when, say, one person in your group is craving pizza and another wants Vietnamese and yet another just wants something sweet.
Here are six essential Denver food trucks and what to sample from each.
1. Hey PB&J
Moms everywhere, prepare to get one-upped by this food truck that serves gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. This grape-colored (obviously) food truck grills the sandwiches because melty peanut butter > room-temp peanut butter. The truck also mills its own nut butters from yes, peanuts, but also pecans and cashews. Hey PB&J gets creative with jams, too. Think: sticky date jam.
Must-order: You won’t want to cut the crust off the blueberry pie sandwich, trust us. It’s smeared with almond butter, blueberry jam, clover honey and then sandwiched between baked pie crust, ultimately blurring the lines between “lunch” and “dessert” in the best way possible.
Superman and Lois Lane. Sonny and Cher. Pizza and beer. Thankfully, Basic Kneads understands a good power couple dynamic and has a fleet of four roaming pizza-making machines that dispatch throughout Denver and are regulars on the brewery circuit. You can find them parked outside breweries like Great Divide, Two22, Station 26, Denver Beer Co. Their wood-fired pizzas range from classic Margherita styles to culinary creations like Thai chili chicken.
Must order: It’s like two bar food staples met and the rest is happily ever after on the Buffalo Chicken pizza that comes with blue cheese, buffalo sauce and basil.
The fusion trend and the food truck trend have collided at Chuey-Fu’s and it’s glorious. This Latin-Asian food truck serves up tacos, burritos and rice bowls. The dessert menu is also stellar, with caramel fried plantains and churros.
Must order: The Fuh (Pho) Burrito best demonstrates the beauty of this fusion, with bean sprouts, Thai basil, serrano, green onion, cilantro, rice noodles and pho broth mixing together in burrito form.
4. Mac Shack
Yes, macaroni and cheese is the star at this food truck. But there’s a supporting cast of fried spinach and artichoke cheese balls; chicken sandwiches; cheeseburgers and wraps, too. You can also get fried Oreos, which, admittedly are tough finds once the state fair is over.
Must order: No surprises here, but the mac and cheese. You can go with a traditional cheddar or a smoked gouda mac and cheese order, and then top it with lobster, chicken or bacon.
Go ahead, let your tastebuds teleport to the bayou. Mile High Cajun is inspired by New Orleans cuisine. We’re talking po’ boys, hush puppies and jambalaya. But, it gets a Colorado kick with local ingredients blending in with the Cajun soul food.
Must order: Colorado’s response to surf n’ turf? Ski n’ turf. This compromising combo comes with fresh, wild-caught rock shrimp and smoked tender pork belly. Add a side of the roasted corn hush puppies to round out this meal.
6. Vegan Van
Vegans, we didn’t forget about you. The Vegan Van has a big menu filled with vegan alternatives to tacos, wings and burgers. (Translated: It’s not just salads at this food truck.)
Must order: Admittedly, we love a good wordplay, which is how Seitan’s Pastor caught our attention and subsequent blessing. But these tacos are legit. They come with adobo marinated seitan, topped with pineapple, onions, cilantro and salsa verde and then cradled in three corn tortillas.