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Mpls Food Trucks - Who's The Best?

I have the good fortune of working in downtown Minneapolis, which is in the midst of a food truck explosion during weekday lunch times. So far I have been able to sample food from four of them (Dandelion Kitchen is next on my "to do" list).

I have to say, there is not a bad truck in the bunch. But I'm beginning to develop my personal ranking of "the best."

For me Hola Arepa is mouth-wateringly craveable & dificult to stop thinking about once my lunch time rolls around. The savoriness of the meat, the spiciness of the sauces, the pickled onions & condiments - it's just the perfect street food. I would place that one at the top of my current list.

World Street Kitchen and Vellee Deli would be neck and neck for the number 2 & 3 spots, and right on the heels of HA. I'd give WSK the slight edge for creativity in changing their menu offerings regularly and deliciously. But Vellee's Korean bbq is not to be missed (and I have yet to try their banh mi)!

The Smack Shack would be slightly behind for me, mostly because they're at a higher price point than the others. They're still turning out amazing food. Lobster rolls on the streets of Minneapolis? Who' would have imagined?!

So anyway, that's how I'm seeing things at the moment. What are others opinions, and what am I still missing out on? Summer (if it ever gets here) will be over fast, and I want to take advantage of these trucks while they're around!

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  1. I don't suppose these trucks are there on Sundays? I don't live up in the TC so haven't tried any of them (but have been reading about them!) We may go to Minneapolis one Sunday soon, so was just wondering if any would be there. I want to try WSK's salty caramel ice cream sandwich!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ummm

      I think your best bet would be farmers markets. Chef Shack is at the Kingfield market every Sunday. WSK doesn't do weekends.

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      Chef Shack
      No formal address, Minneapolis, MN

      1. re: Ummm

        The Uptown Market (29th and Lyndale) also has some food truck-type vendors on Sunday afternoons. (I have not been this year yet, but last year Magic Bus, SheRoyal and FoxyFalafel were there pretty much every week with some other vendors mixed in too.)

        1. re: LauraB

          I know for sure that Hola Arepa is at the Uptown Market on Sundays; Foxy is at Kingfield with Chef Shack. Not sure about Magic Bus and She Royal this year.

      2. I also can't help you too much as I live/work outside of downtown(s). I have, however, had the ribs from 128 Cafe's truck, which were very good. And hot dogs from Nate Dogs (not a food "truck" per se, but definitely involved in the new street food movement -- I follow them all on Twitter and he is a part of the conversation) are also excellent, including the Surly beer-based mustard which was nice.

        Honestly, they all seem to offer something unique. I haven't really heard anything negative about any of them.

        1. Hubster and I are headed to the Motley Crue/Poison/New York Dolls concert tonight and are taking the afternoon off to spend some time in downtown Mpls since we never get to do that during the week. Our hope was to hit a food truck or two, but at best we could probably get downtown around 1 or 1:30. Is it even worth it to try a food truck by that point or are they pretty depleted by then?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Seige

            Your biggest problem won't be food depletion. Most of them will have something yummy left, even if it's not your first choice. The big problem will be timing. Most of them close up shop right around then.

            A quick look shows:

            World Street Kitchen: 11am - 1:15pm
            Hola Arepa: no times listed
            Dandelion Kitchen: 11am - 1:30pm
            The Smack Shack: 11am - 1:30pm
            Vellee Deli: 11am - 1:30pm

          2. Haven't tried some of the new comers in Mpls yet, but Gastrotruck and Chef Shack are currently sitting at the top of my list right now. Not that I can really find anything bad to say about other food trucks I've tried (e.g., 128 cafe, Potter's, Barrio, Fork in the Road, Simply Steve's), I just happen to be partial to them because of their commitment to sustainability and farm-to-market and more importantly - their food is damn good.

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            Chef Shack
            No formal address, Minneapolis, MN

            1. My child and I are visiting MSP from Germany this week. I teach Culinary Arts and we are avid foodies.

              THIS PLACE IS FABULOUS! The staff responded to my facebook inquiries yesterday and today as to the location. Once we stood in line we were so impressed by:

              1) Friendliness!

              2) Cleanliness!

              3) Ease of finding!

              Finally we were impressed by the FOOD! My child had the huge burritto stuffed with bbq pork etc. I had the tacos and we both shared the bahn mi! Wow. Exquisite. We have been raving all afternoon. He kept on stating how he pities the folks eating at the Mall of America!

              I strongly encourage Vellee...if they have not already to go to MOA! Wow! They would be severe competition to those folks already there (poor food and behaviors)!

              Again...much praise to Vellee! I lived in CA for 20 years and have eaten off many food trucks there and in Texas. I realize this is a whole new movement, but never before have I eaten such fine "fast food".

              The best.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sweetteach

                The Yum Yum Rice Bowl from World Street Kitchen is currently at the top of my food truck offering list. An amazing blend of flavors and textures. The soft cooked egg in the middle is pure genius.

              2. I just tried the Dandelion Kitchen today, and now I have to ask the question: Is there any BAD food in a truck downtown? If so I haven't found it. I don't know where to place DK in my ranking above, but it's definitely within the mad cluster near the top.

                The BLT sandwich and Basil-Lime soda I got from the Dandelion Kitchen were outstanding. The BLT they serve is in the running for the best BLT I've ever had anywhere.

                The good news is that word seems to be getting around. Every truck I saw today was completely slammed with customers. Longer wait times, but also more incentive for the trucks to stay around.

                1. Dandelion Kitchen's ham, brie, and arugula sandwich is so good! They also use sliced bread, which doesn't tear the roof of my mouth as much as their other sandwiches.

                  Vellee Deli's Korean BBQ burrito is also a favorite, although I think it had too much rice and not enough kim chee. The flavors were excellent, though.