Let’s face it: there’s nothing quite like dining al fresco on a perfect Duluth day. But area patio dining options are limited. Plus, they can be crowded and expensive. Those looking for a quick, reasonably-priced bite while relaxing outside can embrace the local food truck phenomenon. Several mobile eatery options have popped up to fill new niches since last year’s rundown. Find out more about these restaurants on wheels, when they’re around and what they have to offer in our 2016 guide.
Please note: you won’t find vendors on the list who serve exclusively at big events, like the Green Mill pizza trailer or various hawkers of mini donuts.
- Menu: Varies. Features include wontons, spring rolls, tacos, noodle bowls, burgers, bratwurst, etc. Now offering vegan and gluten-free options.
- Owner: Keith Burgess.
- Operates out of one truck.
- Locations frequented: Bent Paddle Brewing on Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m.; Duluth Public Library on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. during July and August; late-night services around bars such as Carmody Irish Pub, particularly surrounding concerts.
- Season: Homegrown Music Festival week through Thanksgiving; limited hours in the fall.
- Tracker: Facebook and Twitter.
- Menu: Ice cream; the trailer menu varies, serving scooped ice cream and novelties along with food such as Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, burgers, brats, deep fried pickles, fries, cheese curds, mini donuts, etc.
- Owner: Courtland Powe.
- Operates two ice-cream trucks, one cart, one mobile food trailer and also a brick-and-mortar restaurant at 504 E. Fourth St. in Duluth’s Central Hillside.
- Locations frequented: Still being worked out, but will be available on website. The ice cream truck runs five days a week after school lets out, hitting all major neighborhoods in Duluth plus large community events, art fairs and music festivals.
- When in service: May weekends until school is out, then five days a week (weather-dependent). Typically done by beginning of October.
- Tracker: Facebook and website (routes, GPS tracker).
KBQ Ribs (first Korean food truck in Duluth area)
- Menu: Korean bbq beef ribs (kalbi), grilled flank steak or chicken (bulgogi), fried rice, fried noodles, dumplings, kimchi.
- Owner: Holly Suronen.
- Operates out of Chevy-P-30 truck.
- Locations frequented: Bent Paddle, Castle Danger, Red Herring and other locations around Duluth.
- When in service: April to October. Usually open on weekends.
- Tracker: Facebook.
- Menu: Wood-fired pizzas (including vegetarian, breakfast and dessert options).
- Owner: Rick Herman.
- Operates from a trailer.
- Locations frequented: Bent Paddle, most Fridays from 3 to 8 p.m. Will also be at All Pints North. Also provides catering throughout Northeast Minnesota.
- When in service: May 20 until October 28.
- Tracker: Facebook and website.
- Menu: Ice cream and sorbet (local, homemade).
- Owner: Nicole Wilde.
- Operates a custom trailer with pop-up canopy.
- Locations frequented: UMD Farmers Market: Tuesdays 12 to 4 p.m.; Hermantown Farmers Market: Mondays 4 to 7 p.m.; Sky Harbor Airport: weekends beginning late June, noon to 5 p.m.
- When in service: June through end of September.
- Tracker: Facebook and Website.
- Menu: Authentic street tacos, quesadillas, burritos and tortas (Mexican sandwich) with al pastor (marinated pork with pineapple chunks), pollo en adobo (adobo chicken), asada (steak), lengua (cow tongue) and ground beef as the choice of meat. Jarritos Mexican sodas and homemade horchata are also available.
- Owner: Eduardo Sandoval (native of Mexico) and his wife Angela.
- Operates from a food trailer.
- Locations frequented: Superior: Wednesdays 12 to 8 p.m.; Cirrus Aircraft Design Corporation: Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Duluth Public Library Food Truck Fridays; Two Harbors: Saturdays. Also Bent Paddle on weekends and downtown during bar hours.
- When in service: April to October.
- Tracker: Facebook.
Marita Pop Up Restaurant (formerly Izakaya218)
- Menu: Changes seasonally and is inspired by world indigenous cuisines. Best known for taco Tuesdays and fancy ramen bowls. Uses organic meats and sources local produce when possible. Vegetarian and gluten-free options.
- Owner: Chef Nyanyika Banda.
- Operates from a trailer when outdoors.
- Locations frequented: Locations vary. Marita is available for catering and will be at the Duluth Farmers Market on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to noon and most Wednesdays from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Tracker: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
- Menu: Frozen novelties and local ice cream.
- Owner: Stacey Achterhoff.
- Operates one Icicle Tricycle.
- Locations frequented: Mrs. Delicious will be serving at Take it with You performances and various other events.
- When in service: Summer months. Officially opens Saturday, June 11, for the Park Point Rummage Sale.
- Tracker: Facebook.
- Menu: Hot sandwiches, tacos, Reuben fritters, homemade potato chips. Vegan and gluten-free options.
- Owner: Jonathan Reznick.
- Operates a P90 Step Van and also does catering.
- Locations frequented: Cirrus Aircraft: Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Wednesdays alternating between the Superior farmers market or London road Lakewalk Clinic from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Second Street and Second Avenue West: Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and at Bent Paddle from 4 to 9 p.m.; City Hall: Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
- Weekends are open for private parties and other events.
- When in service: Opened last weekend in April and should be active until Halloween.
- Tracker: Facebook. Location updates are posted daily.
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