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Feb 11, 2009 04:56 PM

Favorite Philly Lunch Trucks?

I'm thinking of heading down to do a little lunch truck circuit. It's been awhile since I was getting a sandwich at the lunch trucks at my college every day, and I'm sure there are some good ones out there. What are your faves, where are they located, and what is your favorite dish there? TIA...

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  1. At the top of the list has to be Felafel Man (Kristos I can't spell his last name), at 20th & Market. Not only is the food outstanding, he is a character & his cart is most elegantly done up.

    1. i work in west philly and i have a lot of lunch truck loves:

      koja, 38t b/n chestnut and walnut - korean and japanese, makes v good pork bulgoki, kimchi chigae and wide flat noodles with sesame and a protein. i usually get them with tofu, extra spicy. they also make a good and rather inexpensive udon.

      mexi cali - 38th and walnut (not always there) - v good burritos, cali style. the cali and pollo y pappas are my favies, but i am sure that all are good.

      yue kee - 38th b/n walnut and spruce - delicious singapore noodles, mau pau tofu and pretty much everything else. DO NOT order the szechuan noodles, i can't believe they come fromt here, they are GROSS! they also do good pork dishes. the wait here is long, you have better luck calling them when you're waiting in line sometimes. go at off-peak hours if you don't like waiting.

      magic carpet - 34th and walnut and 36th and spruce - vegetarian food truck. everything is pre-made but they satusfy a very big itch of mine. do not miss the bella donna if you go. they alsomake excellent bean, pea, lentil, barley, etc. soups.

      crepe truck on market, between 34th and 33rd (south side) - run by an eastern european, do not go hungry as it takes 8-10 minutes per crepe (so if you have 5 people in front of you, you can wait over half an hour unless everyone gets poppyseed crepes). but his crepes are delicious and almost transcendental. worth the wait if you can stand it. :)

      i get the most amazing grilled veggie hoagie (called grinder at this truck, boo!) at a truck called donika's on market b/n 34th and 36th (closer to 34th). it tastes like a cheesesteak (provie or american) but it is all veggies. it is delicious and i have random and major cravings for it (can get it in a wrap too). the only thing that makes it better is a little bit of hot sauce, which i keep at my desk anyway. :)

      i think i'm done. :)

      4 Replies
      1. re: mazza3

        ah, this post makes me want to start a lunch truck! i make most of those things at home! i enjoy cooking WAY more than i'm enjoying being unemployed, but i can only cook so much for two people!!! i just made the best set of drunken noodles and tofu i've ever done... maybe one day.

        i have not been to the west philly ones, though they sound excellent. finally tried the felafel man's truck at 20th + market and it was as delicious as promised here, and huge, with all sorts of salads tucked into a mammoth pita. yummy smoky felafel. it's not cheap at $10, though!

        1. re: rabidog

          I've been trying to find the best lunch truck in philly for a while now. I used to eat at the Mexi-Cali truck on Spruce b/w 36th and 37th - but I guess that's under different management now and I haven't tried it.

          Kristo's Falafel cart on 20th and Market is fantastic, but it can be a little expensive, and takes a while. There are no posted prices, and once I was charged $10 for a chicken falafel platter, and another time I was charged $8.

          There's a nice kabob cart near Independence hall on 6th b/w Chestnut and Market.

          There's also a great hot dog cart on 24th and Passyunk (I found the place after I read a review on During lunch, the line can be seen from the nearby highway bridge. I haven't found a great cart for cheeseteaks or ethnic foods.

          1. re: rabidog

            oh i so frequently think about starting a lunch truck!! i know i could do better on several fronts than these people too and i like the hours.... :) i don't eat at trucks too much though, these are just my favies from working in west philly for the past 8 years...i am sure that there are others that i have missed since i tend to go to favies in a pinch.

          2. re: mazza3

            Ahh, food trucks are such a guilty pleasure. I like:

            Denise's Soul Food. 30th, between Chestnut & Market (near Bolt Bus stop) - fried or jerk chicken, candied yams. Pricier than most trucks and takes some time, but pretty huge portions.

            Hemo's. Spruce, btwn 36th & 37th - Chicken sandwich w/ Hemo sauce. Apparently, beloved by UPenn students.

            Chinese truck. Alley ~ 3716 Walnut, left of UPenn Pottruck Gym - I like their ma po tofu and beef tendon on rice. Strangely, I found yue kee to be overly salty for my tastes, but some of my former Asian classmates really liked them.

          3. Does anyone know if there is a Mexican lunch truck anywhere in the vicinity of 20th & Market?

            1. There used to be a great Chinese truck at 17th and the Parkway (in front of Friend's Select), but it disappeared about 2 years ago. Then I turned to the felafel truck at 16th and JFK, which disappeared about 2 weeks ago. Now I'm using the truck right outside the Phoenix, at 16th and Arch. Very good turkey hoagies, good homemade soup.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Susan H

                Felafel truck at 16th and JFK is definitely back and has been there for months. Maybe they just took a vacation back in Feb? Good, authentic felafel and my coworker swears by their lentil soup (only available in cooler temps, not in summer).

              2. Has anyone been to the mexican truck on washington Avenue between 4th and 5th???

                1 Reply
                1. re: Bigley9

                  I went sometime last month. It was pretty good. About $2.00 per taco - but good flavor and good variety. They also have tortas, and some other dishes, but so far I've only tried the tacos.