The local obsession with Food Trucks in the Raleigh area primarily started just a few years ago and has been exploding in popularity ever since. Each and every year, it seems there are new food trucks setting up shop in the city and introducing us to unique international cuisines and hard-to-find delicacies. There are now actually close to 100 local Raleigh based food trucks driving around!
It was in 2015, in response to the growing popularity of food trucks and the demand of on-the-go eats by local foodies, that the Raleigh City Council voted to allow food trucks in mixed-use development areas and created a program that would allow food trucks to park on the streets.
This move allowed Raleigh food trucks to thrive, to the delight of local foodies! These days you can find food trucks parked in so many different places all over Raleigh near events, local breweries, big office parks, co-working spots, and a variety of neighborhoods. Check out our quick guide to the best Raleigh food trucks and how you can easily find them:
Raleigh’s Best Food Trucks
Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck
The Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck serves up amazing dumplings and pho. It proved itself to be a winner when it was victorious on the Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race” in 2015! The owners also recently opened up a brick-and-mortar restaurant, MOFU Shoppe, which also serves unique Asian cuisine.
In their own words; “Merging our American dreams and Asian stomachs. Here’s to celebrating our inner fat kid, giving back to the city that we love, and having a blast while doing it.”
Cousins Maine Lobster
The Cousins Maine Lobster food truck concept began in, you guessed it, Maine! Cousins Jim and Sabin wanted to bring the taste of Maine to sunny California, and that is how the beloved and award-winning Cousins Maine Food Truck was born. You can find their trucks in over a dozen cities across the country, including Raleigh. Soon, it will have a brick-and-mortar location in Downtown Raleigh as well, located within the Morgan Street Food Hall & Market which is set for its grand opening in early 2018.
Cousins Maine Lobster is the leading provider of the best Maine lobster rolls in the country. Cousins Maine Lobster prides itself on an extra friendly staff and a unique experience that can educate customers with homegrown information about lobster, the Maine lobster industry, and the delicacy that this seafood has become.
The Maine lobster industry is the only certified sustainable fishery in the world. Sustainable lobstering practices have been in place in Maine for well over a century. Cousins Maine Lobster is primarily sourced from these areas within the Downeast waters in the most easterly part of the United States, the Mid Coast, and in Penobscot Bay near Vinalhaven in the Gulf of Maine.
There are about 6,000 legally registered lobstermen and women in Maine. Each license grants the harvester to fish up to 800 traps. With literally millions of buoys off the coast of Maine, the industry supports thousands of jobs on shore, not just the people hauling traps.
Founded in 2012, Cousins Maine Lobster rose to national recognition after being featured on the hit ABC series Shark Tank in 2013. The Cousins partnered with investor Barbara Corcoran and have been on a wild ride ever since, opening ten franchises in 2015 alone.
The Wandering Moose
The Wandering Moose brings the unique tastes of Montreal to Raleigh! It serves slow-cooked meats along with tasty scratch-made sauces and the freshest sides. The food truck is owned and operated by two best friends, Anthony Reid and Matt Lundgren.
After spending a combined 39 years in the restaurant industry at every position and every level, they realized one simple thing; life is too short to not be going after your dreams. If they wanted something to call their own, they would have to take the risk and go after it. And so the Wandering Moose was born.
Anthony’s journey started with a summertime job as a busser at Outback Steakhouse. That summertime job lead him to a successful 12-year career in which he worked his way through the kitchen all the way to Operating Partner. In search of that next significant step in his career, Anthony left Outback to find a start-up concept that he could use his experience to help grow and mold.
Over the next 3 years, he helped establish start-up concepts such as Cafe Caturra, Carmel Cafe, and PDQ. Still wandering for that perfect fit, Anthony relocated to the restaurant filled Mecca of Charleston, SC, where he worked with the Jim N Nick’s brand to grow their new Fast-Casual concept, Nick’s BBQ. After spending a learning-filled year and a half with Nick’s, Anthony found himself back in Raleigh, partnering with longtime friend Matt Lundgren on his next adventure, the world of Food Trucks.
Matt began his restaurant experience as a dishwasher at 14 years old in his small hometown of in Western NY. He worked his way into opening and running a kitchen daily for lunches at a local restaurant. After moving to Raleigh 15 years ago, Matt continued his growth in the business by bartending and managing a variety of locally owned restaurants.
Taking some time to wander the country, Matt was exposed to different styles of food and manners in which that food was served. He was able to work in and sample some great venues along the way in five great culinary cities around the country. Raleigh, however, called him back to begin the process of forging his own dream. It was that journey that brought him to partner with longtime friend Anthony Reid in the creation of the Wandering Moose.
Porchetta was founded by two veterans of the food industry, Matthew Hayden, and Nicholas Crosson. Using their combined knowledge and love of food, Porchetta was born in 2012. This food truck serves up the best slow-roasted Italian pork sandwiches along with other goodies, like beef and chicken tacos.
How to Easily Find Raleigh Food Trucks
Finding food trucks in the wild can be tricky, but there are plenty of nifty free online tools you can use to seek them out. Following your favorite trucks on Facebook and Twitter is an easy way to keep up with their whereabouts. Other web and mobile apps you can use to track food trucks in real-time include Street Food Finder, which is our favorite go-to app. Additionally, there is also Trackin’ Trucks and Hoptender that you may find useful.
Food Truck Rodeos & Special Events
The very best way to experience and try the various offerings of Raleigh’s food trucks is to attend a food truck rodeo. Typically, there are four large Downtown Raleigh food truck rodeo events that take place in the summer. Dozens of food trucks line the streets of Downtown Raleigh, along with various vendors selling beer, wine, gifts, and other yummy treats.
If you miss out the big main event, there are usually smaller food truck rodeos that take place in Raleigh neighborhoods, businesses or in other areas of the Triangle that hold their very own events. Durham, Cary, Carrboro, and Knightdale all host their own food truck rodeos as well throughout the year.
This post was created in collaboration with 919 Blog contributor Amy Howard for exclusive digital publication on 919Blog.com