Taking a cue from Los Angeles and other mobile food-lovin’ cities, Cincinnati has finally embraced the food truck. You’ll find most of them around lunchtime in downtown’s designated food truck lot (corner of Fifth and Race), but they don’t sit still for long. Lately, the trucks have been following the crowds, setting up shop near bars, festivals, and in other high-traffic areas. Here are five of our favorites.
One of the newest names on the food truck scene is Taz, formerly a brick-and-mortar restaurant that traded in its storefront for a mobile food vendor license and a dream. Taz specializes in Mediterranean cuisine, offering gyro, kabob, and shawarma sandwiches, plus hummus, falafel, and salads. The chicken kabob sandwich is worth the wait: The chicken is grilled and wrapped in a thin pita with veggies and lots of garlicky yogurt sauce. Schedule at tazrestaurant.com
2. Taco Azul
As quickly as it appeared, the much-loved Señor Roy’s Taco Patrol was no more. But it wasn’t long before Taco Azul stepped up to fill the void, and the bright blue truck has been slinging bona fide Mexican-style tacos (and quesadillas and tortas) ever since. Taco Azul frequents downtown, Northside, Over-the-Rhine, Hyde Park, and Clifton—if there’s a crowd forming, the newly christened “taco truck” shall find it. Schedule at tacoazul.com
3. New Orleans To-Go
Perhaps the best thing about New Orleans To-Go is that you just never know what you’re going to get. The “menu” is just a chalkboard with daily specials, which could be anything from a fried catfish platter with mac and cheese to the best shrimp po’boy you’ve ever had. Schedule at neworleanstogopoboys.com
4. Café de Wheels
Café de Wheels is one of Cincinnati’s most visible food trucks—their retro styling and diner-themed menu make them very crowd friendly. Our favorite item is the Cowboy Burger, with Swiss cheese, BBQ sauce, and crispy onion straws. You’ll often find Café de Wheels parked downtown at Court & Vine, but check the daily schedule at cafedewheels.com.
5. Mr. Gene’s Dog House
Hot dog vendors are nothing new downtown, but Mr. Gene’s takes it up a notch. From the standard chili dog, to an Italian sausage with peppers, onions, and marinara, to a proper Chicago-style option, this truck has your dog needs covered. Schedule at mrgenesdoghouse.com