It’s the summer of 2020 and we’re not flocking to patios, restaurants, and bars anymore like in the good ol’ days. Coronavirus is still front of mind and many people are staying safe at home. While Ontario has begun to open up its community spaces, caution is suggested and still being exercised. If sitting on a (recently re-opened) patio or ordering your 2,439,082th delivery of food doesn’t tickle your fancy, visiting a food truck just might be the answer. Thankfully, Kitchener-Waterloo is a multi-cultural area, which means if you’re rooted here, your tastebuds won’t die of boredom. In fact, I think you will love these local, internationally-inspired, small businesses.
On a bit of a side note, do you ever dream about your ultimate job? If Professional Eater of All Things Delicious and Maybe Even Bizarre was a job title, I would make it mine. Yes, I know food critics eat for a living, but I don’t want to critique anything. I just want to eat, savour, and smile. Since I haven’t found any jobs with said description, I recently joined the “solopreneur” ranks and hired myself to fill the above position for the next two weeks. To make sure I excel in this new position, I will visit as many food trucks as possible in the next 2 weeks. In case you were wondering, the job description includes: consuming tasty food made by other people, setting my own hours, and savouring every last bite of food that my waistband will allow. Photos might be taken. Words might be written. The only mandatory requirement is digestion. Oh, and perhaps a post-chomp nap.
- Monday to Friday
- 4 pm to 8 pm
- June 15 to July 15
- Kitchener community centres
- Rockway, Country Hills, Doon Pioneer Park, Victoria Hills, Forest Heights, and Centreville-Chicopee
- Licenced food trucks will dazzle you with unique, classic, and mouthwatering menus
This is a fun family-friendly outing the community can partake in and still be mindful of physical distancing. Please wear a mask while waiting in line and ordering. Health and safety protocols are in place for everyone’s well-being.
If you’re like me and you enjoy tormenting yourself with menus and food photos, there are links and descriptions below to each vendor.
Summer 2020: Kitchener Food Trucks Round-up
Strawberry, cinnamon, Nutella…my mouth is watering just thinking about crepes! Nadia Dragusanu and her husband, Sebastian, started their food truck adventures in 2012 as a catering company. Their menu includes sweet and savoury versions of this famous French delectation. I will warn you though. If you visit their Instagram page you had best be full. My stomach was grumbling within seconds of swiping through all of their tasty morsels!
Spanish for “the miracle”, the El Milagro food truck’s moniker is a nod to hopeful moments when there seem to be none left. The owners of El Milagro, born and raised in Mexico, know what they’re talking about when it comes to true Mexican food. They’ve found the perfect ingredients to awaken your palates and put a smile on your face. El Milagro also provides catering services.
Ed and Dulce met while working in the restaurant industry in Toronto. Eventually they moved to KW, continuing to work in hospitality. In the summer of 2013 they brought Breakfast Blues & BBQs to life. This duo brings comfort food to another level with a focus on locally-sourced ingredients. They do it all, from a restaurant (currently closed, except for curbside pickup, due to COVID-19), to a food truck, to catering.
Kono Pizza is a twisted take on the Italian classic pie. This Canadian franchise received its blessing from the Italian culinary masters in 2004 at the Triennial Exhibition in Milan. You see, Kono Pizza is no ordinary pizza. Rossano Boscolo’s “Pizza de Passeggio” (walkaway pizza) is shaped like a cone! Your favourites are all there – Cheese, Pepperoni, Hawaiian, Canadian, Deluxe, and Veggie. My go-to slice is typically Hawaiian – don’t even try to convince me that pineapple doesn’t go on pizza!
I love pierogies. I’m a little biased and mostly love my mother’s and my Baba’s, however I’m itching to visit Poland to indulge in the motherland’s too. In the meantime, I’m content with investigating all of the options Ontario has to offer. Cue Pierogi Pigs food truck. They’ve got your tried and true original ‘rogs with fried onions and sour cream, but they’ve also covered the adventurous crowd with different nacho, taco, and poutine variations, among others. Did I mention this family business has cabbage rolls as well? Swoon! If that doesn’t make you want to #pigout, I’m not sure what will.
Half of the Passado Brasil duo was born and raised in Santa Caterina (you guessed it), Brazil. Claudio moved to Canada in 2009, and our stomachs will be forever grateful. Here he met Kayla, an assistant manager of a restaurant, and poof, the Passado Brasil food truck was born. Who knew that even on the streets of Kitchener, Ontario, you could enjoy Brazilian street food! If you’ve never tried a pastel, hop on over to their restaurant on wheels to try this fried savoury snack bursting with meat or cheese.
If you know me, you know how much I respect the sacred dish that is grilled cheese. I think I lived off of them while living in Toronto and later in teachers college. There is SO MUCH you can do to make this simple sandwich even more mindblowing. Believe me, I’ve experimented. Enough about my infatuation.
Fo’Cheezy has been in the food truck game in KW since 2011. Chef Sandor has worked the gamut of food establishments, from fast food to fine dining. His menu is mouthwatering. Who wouldn’t want a Sloppy Joe grilled cheese or a pulled chicken, basil, sundried tomato AND double mozzarella one?! What really intrigues me is the Fo’SpinDip – essentially spinach and artichoke dip married with a grilled cheese. I’m definitely going to be double fisting at this mobile marvel and sporting elasticised pants!
PS They see you, dairy free and gluten free friends. You’re all clear to join in the cheesy bliss.
Hangry Harry’s features meaty ‘wiches of the pork, ham, beef, and chicken variety. Veggie lovers, don’t despair, he has you covered with a Veggie Delight. I’ve got my eye on Smokey the Pig who sounds handsome as heck in a juicy pulled pork suit, topped with creamy coleslaw. Then there’s every stereotypical Canadians’ favourite – poutine! From the classic curds and gravy, to meaty options, to a Cuban creation, you can’t go wrong. Families will also find beefy hot dogs, chicken fingers, and kiddie-sized sandwiches on the menu. All I can say is, don’t wear a white shirt when you meet Harry as it’s bound to be a saucy affair.
For anyone who visited Uptown Waterloo (perhaps after a night out) between 2010 and 2012, Ish & Chips was a KW Record Readers’ Choice Award winning eatery. Owned by the Mytnik family, they specialized in crispy hand-battered fish and chips. Due to a building fire in August 2012, the restaurant and two apartments above it were lost. However, with the support of the community, the owners regrouped and rode back into town in 2014 with a food truck. In addition to heavenly haddock, their food truck also features homemade falafel, coleslaw, fish tacos, chips (re: thick fries for all of the North Americans in the audience), and poutine.
Berlin 95 is owned and operated by the friendly Christina Schal. Born in Germany, it was thanks to her son that she opened her first food venture, The Scrumptious Spud Inc. and brought her Loaded Baked Potatoes to festivals and events. Today she runs her second business, the German food truck Berlin 95. Her focus is on creating tasty, homemade, well-priced food with a modern German twist. If you’re aching for schnitzel, sausage, meatloaf, chevap, salads, German poutine, currywruor her famous baked potatoes, you won’t have to wait until Oktoberfest!
If you’ve never had a Beavertail, hop on the bandwagon and try one of Canada’s touristy treats. Beavertails are deep-fried sweet-filled confections that are guaranteed to hike up your blood sugar. But hey, what’s life without a solid sugar rush?
The first Beavertails surfaced in 1978 at the Killaloe Craft and Commnity Fair where Grant Hooker and his wife sold them. Toppings these days include cinnamon sugar, maple, Skor cheesecake, Oreo cookies, chocolate hazelnut, apple cinnamon, and more. In addition to the standard options, there are variations found across Canada, such as salmon, ham and cheese, steak, and lobster!
If a flavourful plate of Indian food has been on your mind, get those lips ready for a party! Jashan-e-dawat’s story dates back to 1974 in Punjab, India when Gurbax Singh opened the restaurant, Amsitsari Dhaba. The head chef’s son, Parminder Singh, was managing the restaurant at 16 years old, as well as learning how to cook all of the food. Fast forward to present day in Cambridge where Parminder Singh owns Jashan-e-dawat restaurant and food truck. If you’re looking for authentic Indian cuisine, follow the food truck!
SWAT is proud of being a quick food establishment – because in their words, “We’re not fast food…we’re GREAT food fast!”. Not only are they fast, but they cater for groups of 30-1,000! That’s no small feat. For all of the sandwich lovers out there, SWAT has taken a classic and given it a twist. I have yet to try their food and could not find much information on them. However, I did recently see over social media that friends went with their family and they were smiling pretty big!
Schmuck Truck is a full service food catering business (SchmuckNGourmet) and food truck. They provide delicious food for everything from small family events to large weddings. The owners, Brad Schmuck and Christine Mackay, have a vast amount of industry experience. Whether it’s feta chicken wraps, lamb burgers with herb goat cheese, or a Sloppy Schmucker, your meal definitely won’t be bland! Besides gourmet sandwiches, they offer salads, sides, and a kiddie menu that’s sure to please as well. I don’t know how I’m going to choose between their Schmuck Balls (picture below) and about 6 other items on the menu. Does anyone want to be my chow time partner?
In closing, please be cognisant and respectful of those around you, whether it be staff or other customers. Remember to keep 2 metres / 6 feet apart from other people and practice physical distancing. Pylons and ground markings will be used to indicate safe separation distances. Limit gatherings to a maximum of 10 people. And last but not least, enjoy your meals!
What Did You Think?
For updates to the Summer 2020 Kitchener Food Truck schedule, visit here. To join in on the foodie adventure, follow Travel with TMc on Instagram! If you try any tasty food truck fare over the next two weeks, share your experiences in the comments below or send me an email.