Food trucks. Manna for foodies. The real deal. Street food is more than just hot dogs – in Seattle, it’s gumbo, pulled pork, and duck confit.
While food vendors have faced somewhat of an uphill battle when it comes to serving up kick-ass, cheap eats on the street, there’s still plenty of places where you can find one-of-a-kind street food in Seattle.
“The pig truck.” It’s unmistakable – a contraption that resembles something out of Lord of the Rings, a giant, armored boar ready to run into battle. They post a weekly schedule on their website, but are most frequently seen camped out at 2nd and Pike. What do they serve? What do you think? Pork, pork, and more pork, with some slaw and maybe a little “hurt.” Grab a pulled pork sandwich, juicy, spicy and sweet, maybe topped with a little Beecher’s Flagship cheese for good luck. (They’ve got chicken and veggie options as well.)
Let me preface this by saying I grew up in New Orleans. So did Matt – and it shows. To date, I’ve had the fried oyster po boy, the gumbo and the beignets – legit stuff, folks. At some point I’ve got to give into to the “Peace Maker” – an oyster po boy with bacon, cheddar, butter pickles and lemon aioli. They’ve also got muffulettas, shrimp n grits, coffee (for the beignets, of course), and around Mardi Gras time, REAL king cake. Check out their schedule – they make the rounds through Belltown, Georgetown, SODO, South Lake Union and Interbay every week.
I first learned of the glory of Skillet’s bacon jam from VendrTV. You heard me. Bacon. Jam. The most significant thing to happen to the burger since…cows. This is fancy, high-fallutin’ gourmet street food – the menu has been known to include duck confit, tomato fennel soup, poutine, and chocolate pie in a bowl. Their schedule spreads this deliciousness throughout Seattle, Redmond, Bellevue and Fremont. (And fyi: you can buy the bacon online.)
Think of it as Hawaiian/Mexican/Korean fusion. Don’t run! Embrace the kimchi quesadillas! These awesome ladies specialize in marinated meats, resulting in dishes like kalbi or miso chicken tacos, spicy pork bulgolgi sliders, kimchi rice bowls and SPAM (yes, SPAM) musubi. They’ve got a permanent brick and mortar spot on Capitol Hill, but they float around Seattle, Fremont, West Seattle and SODO as well.
Pad thai on the go – with a few other dishes as well. These guys hang on Monday through Friday at two locations: one on Fairview and one on Eastlake Avenue E. This is the mobile extension of their permanent zone in Fremont.
Fish tacos, chicken mole, tamales, burritos – it’s all here, and it’s all good. They’ve got a few trucks, which means you can frequently hunt them down all over South Seattle, North Seattle and Ballard.
Cream cheese on a hot dog. Cream. Cheese. On. A. Hot. Dog. I’m ashamed to admit I never experienced this until Dante’s, whose carts can be found at the Sammamish Farmer’s Market, University Village and in Ballard. And we’re talking good sausage here – they’ve got a veggie Mexican chipotle and a chicken andouille for non-pork eaters.
This truck rolls its goodness over to Seattle from Edmonds, and thank goodness for those of us who need a good chipotle peanut BBQ pulled pork sandwich fix every now and then. Other items include some pretty deluxe BLTs and pastrami sandwiches, as well as a cheddar broccoli beer soup, chicken spinach salad, lemon rotini and a few desserts. Their normal haunting spots include 220th Street, Willows Road and 4th & Dayton.
Know the best way to follow a food cart? Follow them. On Twitter, of course. All of the street vendors on this list have accounts, and all are diligent about tweeting their locations and what’s on the menu for the day. To save you a little time, I’ve created a SeattleStreetFood public list – just click follow once and you’ve got them all!
I know this isn’t a complete list – if you’ve got more street food suggestions, name ’em in the comments and I’ll be glad to add them!