Food truck culture arguably has a tradition that goes back to the 1930s, when drive-ins, diners and roadside hash houses beckoned the weary traveler, but now it’s not just an L.A., Portland or New York lifestyle. It’s a nation-wide phenomenon. All across the country, food trucks are popping up, bringing their own unique street-side snacks to you. Even here in Flagstaff we’ve seen a flurry of successful food trucks such as Bayou By You, 3’s in the Trees and Gringodillas.
This year, the Shadows Foundation brings food-truck flavors from all across Arizona for the Flagstaff Food Truck Frenzy on July 14, featuring more than 30 local and regional vendors and trucks. To help you sift through the sea of food trucks, Flag Live! got the lowdown on what’s what ahead of the festival. Here’s our guide to the Flagstaff Food Truck Frenzy.
Bang Bang Dumpling
Bang Bang Dumpling serves…well, dumplings. All kinds of them. Based in Gilbert, Arizona, the food truck has become a Valley favorite with its sweet and savory dumplings, with recipes and flavors from around the world. From crab and cream cheese to apple, gyoza and chicken, Bang Bang Dumpling has dumplings for the curious and traditional eater. Also on its menu, a variety of wraps and crepes, including a luscious peaches and cream crepe. Find Bang Bang Dumpling on Twitter @BANGBANGDUMPLIN.
Established in 1998 by Mike and Sharon Levandowsky, who have more than 20 years of experience running businesses in Phoenix, Cactus Corn has become the Valley go-to for snacks, desserts and all things sweet. From classic gourmet popcorn to kettle corn to prickly pear, Cactus Corn provides a variety of specialty popcorns with an Arizona twist. Wash down the popcorn with a frozen lemonade or a shaved iced. Cotton candy and cinnamon roasted pecans and almonds are also available. Find Cactus Corn on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. www.cactuscorn.com
Cousins Maine Lobster
Some things you can only experience on the East Coast, like cracking into a freshly steamed lobster. But Cousins Main Lobster take pride in bringing that experience to you, sourcing its lobsters from places like Casco Bay, Boothbay Harbor and Port Clyde. With locations from Los Angeles to Phoenix to Portland Head Light, Cousins Maine Lobster has made a burgeoning franchise serving the best lobster rolls, tacos, clam chowder, bisque and its famous whoopee pies, even releasing a new book along the way, Cousins Main Lobster: How One Food Truck became a Multi-Million-Dollar Business. www.cousinsmainlobster.com
Delicious Eats is a newer food truck which became active in the Flagstaff area last year. The company employs multiple chefs with a wide range of cuisines to fit the mood for a variety of public and private events. Food items can range from Mexican and barbecue to classic fries, burgers and more, and everything is homemade or locally sourced. www.facebook.com/DeliciousEatsCatering
Good Times Rolling Kitchen
Let the good times roll with this Flag favorite. Good Times Rolling Kitchen and Catering serves up a mouth-watering menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner selections for any occasion. Its food truck menu includes smoked gouda mac and cheese topped with cornbread crumbs, roasted poblano pepers and pulled pork, bacon blue sliders with bacon jam, arugula, roasted garlic aioli and blue cheese, and a full selection of burgers, sandwiches and salads. Mix it up with its specialty taco options or go for the classic fish and chips or baby back ribs. Roll on down to Flavortown. email@example.com
Another Flag favorite since 2014, Gringodillas usually kicks it in the alley behind Flagstaff Brewing Company and SoSoBa, serving up fresh late-night eats for all the stumbling locals at midnight. Now Gringodillas is bringing those late-night vibes to you. Try out its Mediterranean foods such as the falafel, shawarma or gyro, or stick to the classics and order its famous plain, gringo or sly dilla (quesadilla). Tacos and hot dogs also work as a great hangover cure, and don’t forget the fries. www.gringodillas.com
Hibachibot Korean BBQ
We all know that food is the way to a person’s heart, but sometimes it can also used to healed broken hearts. After Eddie and Virginia Schenck lost their 13-year-old son to cancer, they decided to start a food truck business where they could share easy-to-eat and affordable recipes from Virginia’s birthplace of Korea. Many of their menu items are grilled with a gogi marinade which includes fresh ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, onion puree and more—we can already smell them cooking! www.hibachibot.com
Hot Cookie Truck
Get your sugar fix at the Hot Cookie Truck. The Mesa-based food truck serves up warm cookies topped with vanilla bean ice cream and gourmet toppings such as the Tom Boy, which is a peanut butter cookie with ice cream, warm peanut butter sauce and salted nuts. Another unique menu item is the Gold Digger, a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie topped with ice cream, hot caramel, hot fudge, whipped cream and gold dust sugar. www.facebook.com/hotcookietruck
The Lemongrass Shack
Since 2016, The Lemongrass Shack has been cooking traditional Cambodian street food for residents of Chandler and the surrounding Phoenix area. Their rotating menu includes yellow coconut curry, peppered lok lak beef and a combination plate featuring krueng chicken, cured spicy sausage and a cup of Cambodian stew. Don’t forget the refreshments with Thai tea or their green tea with chia seeds, ginseng, cucumbers and lemongrass extract. www.thelemongrassshack.com
Mediterranean Majik Food Truck
Mediterranean Majik offers exceptional Mediterranean dishes with tons of vegetarian options. Start off with its Portobello mushroom fries or a falafel sampler, then try a classic gyro or grilled chicken pita, which can both be substituted for vegan options. Greek nachos with kefta meat, red oninons, tzatziki, spicy olives, jalapenos, tomatoes and feta cheese (also can be made vegan) can fill up even the hungriest of eaters. But don’t fill up before trying its dessert options such as the pistachio baklava. Wash it all down with a peach saffron iced tea. Perfect for a day at the park. www.medmajikfoodtruck.com
If you thought grilled cheese sandwiches were boring, think again. Scottsdale-based food truck Munch Box has taken the classic childhood staple and reimagined it as a gourmet meal. One of their tried and true favorites is the Reel Deel, featuring chutney, jalapeno jelly, fresh pear, brie and fontina cheeses melted between two slices of French bread. As a philanthropic bonus, owners Marcy and Angela Meyers focus on giving back to the community by donating all their tips to local animal rescue organizations. www.munchboxaz.com
What’s better than a day at the park? A day at the park with ice cold, freshly squeezed lemonade, and on that front, Nana’s Lemonade based out of Williams, Arizona, has got you covered. Cool off with the classic summertime beverage, or add your own flavors such as coconut and lime. Try something funky like its Arnold Palmer iced tea, and don’t forget to say hi to the duo that runs the stand. They’re just as sweet as the lemonade. Find Nana’s Lemonade on Facebook.
Philly Up! Food Truck
Phoenix’s Philly Up! Food Truck specializes in, you guessed it, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches as well as gyros and steak and cheese sandwiches. Their house made cheese sauce is made fresh daily and customers should come prepared with an appetite as serving sizes are generous. The food truck’s loaded fries are a crowd favorite and can be made in a number of styles including Greek, Philly and gyro. www.facebook.com/phillyupfoodtruck
Phoenix’s Satay Hut was created to fill a Dutch-Indonesian food-shaped void the owners saw in Arizona. Owner Rik Micola, whose paternal family came to the United States from the Netherlands in 1960, and his wife Mayme have gathered family recipes to share their deep love for Dutch-Indonesian cuisine with the public. Their traditional offerings include satay, made from fresh meats or tofu specially marinated and grilled over an open flame, which can be served as a skewer with gado-gado (spicy peanut) sauce or as a plate with steamed rice, veggies, gado-gado and atjar (spicy and sweet cucumbers). www.satayhutaz.com
We Knead Dough
This mobile bakery, created and spearheaded by Le Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef Michelle, serves up fantastically decorated French, American, English and other international pastries. Indulge in one of its lavishly delicious éclairs and cream puffs, or stick with the classics and get a sticky bun and some chocolate chip cookies. Baguettes are also for sale. All items in the Peoria-based bakery are freshly made with ingredients sourced from local farms and diaries. Find We Knead Dough on Facebook for more info.
White Mountain Food Co.
Fries and funnel cakes galore await customers of Phoenix’s White Mountain Food Co. The food truck, which has been family owned and operated since 1993, offers comfort food in a variety of specialty flavors such as s’mores and Almond Joy for funnel cake or pizza for fries. Their must-try item according to their website is The Hot Mess, which is made up of one and a half pounds of curly fries topped with slow-cooked pulled pork, nacho cheese, onions and a choice of red or green chili. www.whitemountainfoodco.com
The brainchild of Northern Arizona University alumni John Christ and Karl Shilhanek, Wil’s Grill has been serving up classic grilled foods to the hungry masses at public and catered events since 2014. Currently run by Christ with some help from his father Wil, after whom the food truck is named, the motto says it all: “Have grill, will travel.” The create a custom menu for each event which can include items such as lamb chops, spaghetti squash, jambalaya, fajitas, barbecue chicken and more. www.wilsgrillflagstaff.com
Yellowman Fry Bread
For authentic Navajo cuisine, stop by the Yellowman Fry Bread food truck. Roland and Tina Yellowman launched the business in 2008 after compiling their favorite family recipes that had been passed down for generations. The operation continues to be run by the Yellowman family today with Roland as the owner and operator, Dexter as cashier and Theodora as cook. Hungry customers can choose from a variety of sweet and savory fry breads as well as Navajo tacos, burgers and more. www.yellowmanfrybread.com
Zpotes Salvadoreños Food Truck
When the first iteration of Zpotes opened in the mid-1990s, the Ramirez family would sell pupusas, savory stuffed corn tortillas, and sodas at local soccer games in southern California. Family recipes from their grandmother were later used to open a restaurant in Mesa in 2002. In 2017, the youngest member of the family, Teddy, decided to expand on the current four storefronts in Arizona and one in California by opening the food truck to bring traditional Salvadoran food to all of Maricopa County. www.zpotes.com
The Flagstaff Food Truck Frenzy is happening July 14, from 2-8 p.m., at Fort Tuthill County Park. Parking is free. $3 suggested donation entry free. Children under 12 are free. More information can be found at the Facebook event page.