Metro Detroit is full of dining hot spots year-round. There’s something about the summertime, however, that really seems to heat the city’s food scene up a few notches. Sure, we’ve got tons of restaurants that take it outside on lively outdoor patios this time of year (See our “The D’s Summertime Dining Scene” itinerary). But, some of the best food served throughout the warmer months actually comes right off the truck. Mobile food trucks, vans and rolling carts have a huge presence in The D, and they are plating some of the most delicious fare in town.
In fact, Chef Brad Greenhill recently traded-in his Katoi food truck for a bricks-and-mortar location in Corktown after perfecting his Thai-inspired menu.
Keep in mind, these meals are on wheels, so they don’t necessarily stay in one place for too long. Here’s our quick-hit list and tips on where to find some of the best food trucks in metro Detroit.
Hint: Check websites obsessively, become fast friends on Facebook and follow your favorites on Twitter.
You will always find a rotating selection of food trucks serving up delicious eats at Campus Martius Park, especially with the arrival of sunny, warmer days. Stop by and check out some of the regulars, including Delectabowl, which serves cuisine from around the world in – you guessed it – a bowl. You will also find gigantic, juicy burgers at the Craft Grille. Go for the Cuban. It’s already a Detroit classic.
Another high-traffic area (pun intended) serving up grub on the go is Eastern Market. Most afternoons, you will find the Mac Shack, a travelling macaroni-and-cheese truck. Voted Best Food Truck in 2015 by Hour Detroit, you’ve gotta try the deep fried “amaze balls” or the traditional five-cheese blend is always a solid choice. Want something a little more meaty? Grab a tender beef sandwich with a side of loaded tater tots at Stockyard. Watch for food truck rallies held in Eastern Market.
2. BURGERS, BURRITOS & BARBECUE
El Guapo Fresh Mexican Grille is one of the first licensed food trucks in Detroit. It can be found at Campus Martius Park and Eastern Market as well, but it also makes frequent stops by Wayne State University any given day of the week. Serves tacos, burrito bowls, chips and salsa.
Buffy’s Mexi-Casian Grill dishes up Mexican-American foods from tacos and quesadillas to burgers. It frequents the streets of downtown Detroit, near Campus Martius Park, occasionally making an appearance in Warren at the GM Tech Center.
Saucy Joe’s doesn’t need to be a fancy restaurant to serve homemade Italian food. Grab a plate of their delicious garlic knots or cheese ravioli. Or try the top-selling meatball sandwich on a ciabatta bun — huge beef meatballs covered in provolone cheese and a bold red olive sauce. Stock up on the napkins; this sandwich can get messy.
Shimmy Shack, based in South Lyon, is Michigan’s only vegan, gluten-free food truck. We hear the burgers and milkshakes are fan favorites.
Concrete Cuisine has served travelling Mediterranean cuisine in the area for five years now. Try the Princess, a toasted brioche bun topped with a homemade falafel “burger,” spinach-artichoke-quinoa tabbouleh, roasted red pepper hummus, crispy pita and a drizzle of Greek yogurt vinaigrette. The Sweeties, waffle-cut sweet potato fries tossed in cinnamon sugar, are the perfect side dish.
Ned’s Travel Burger serves unique burgers that sit in seven-inch-long freshly baked buns. The condiments are carefully placed all along the length so it can provide you with the “best bite in every bite.”
Norma G’s Caribbean Cuisine gives you a taste of the islands right here in The D. Norma G’s can be found serving up jerk chicken, curry and pelau around Royal Oak and other parts of metro Detroit.
Franks Etc. likes to hang at the Birmingham Farmers Market. The resident hot dog truck is really a revamped 1965 VW van. Pick from the classic frankfurter or go crazy and order a Polish, Italian, chicken or veggie sausage in a bun.
3. COFFEE + DESSERTS
Drifter Coffee is a vintage coffee truck that is caffeinating the masses throughout southeast Michigan. Choose from a hot, cold or flavored coffee or tea.
At Beignets to Go, you’ll find a taste of heaven in every bite of these powdered sugar sweets.
What Up Dough is the perfect snack for a warm day, serving up small batch, handmade, hand-scooped frozen cookie dough and ice cream sandwiches.
4. DETROIT FLEAT IN FERNDALE
Drive a few miles out of downtown to check out Detroit Fleat Food Truck Park & Boozery in Ferndale is metro Detroit’s first and only food truck park! The park currently features 4 stationary food trucks: Delectabowl, Drifter Coffee and the Mac Shack, but will have two additional rotating trucks to offer variety. Also, the park’s “boozery” features a full bar with 16 rotating taps, seasonal cocktails and wine.