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8 food trucks to try
The food truck scene is rolling along steady in Brussels, and every month gaining ground. Now the city hosts a yearly Food Truck Festival and new stands are constantly popping up at market places and music festivals alike.
Here are eight food trucks not to miss that you’ll find around Brussels.
1. Sin Street Food
Only yesterday, a friend and I discussed Sin Street Food’s veggie burger, saying that it’s the type of food you start dreaming about when you haven’t had it for a while. It looks like it might be perhaps too dense or dry, but is in fact filled with flavour and interesting textures, with a satisfying chewiness rarely found in vegetarian versions of the noble burger. The sweet-salty homemade ketchup is a delight and you can choose to have it with or sans dairy.
Other than that, Sin sells other sandwiches, wraps and a sort of thali-like mixed plate full of often Indian-inspired, organic, vegetarian dishes. They also make their own fruit juices and lemonades. No matter what you order, the well-made snacks will leave you feeling stuffed but happy.
2. Il Sapore Della Dolce Vita
Grilling up delicious piadinas, Italian crepe-like sandwiches, from home-made dough and stuffed with things like fresh mozzarella, truffle oil and proscuitto, this bright yellow truck is hard to miss – both for its colour and the crowd of people around it.
Il Sapore Della Dolce Vita has hit the sweet spot in food trucking: the right balance between a fresh, tasty bite that’s easy to eat standing up, a booze stand serving Italian wines, beers and, of course, the emblematic spritz Aperol, and a lively atmosphere. Later on warmer evenings, the music gets turned up a bit and it becomes a cosy, mobile café.
3. El Taco Mobil
Just wandering by the hoard of eaters ordering seconds and thirds at El Taco Mobil you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a warm, busy street in Mexico City.
This Belgian-Mexican couple keep it simple: three tacos made with corn tortillas, fresh, organic ingredients and, in their words, a lot of “amor”. The daily menu will have two options – one meat, one veggie. Both will be authentic Mexican recipes like tacos al pastor (with the meat cooked similar to schwarma) or with nopales (edible cacti) and bursting with flavour.
You won’t find Taco Mobil on every street corner, however. They only come to the weekly Thursday-night market at Saint Gilles and and every second Sunday they set up shop at the Marche de Tanneurs Re-Creation Market in Les Marolles.
4. Bugs in Mugs
Working the music festival scene this year, one food truck stands out from the rest – mainly because it’s likely to give you the creepy-crawlies. Bugs in Mugs sells exactly what their name says, except more bugs and fewer mugs.
The pièces de résistance of its menu are a collection of insect-based burgers, brochettes and beyond, aiming at showing a tasty, environmentally conscious new way of snacking. For those not interested in eating bug burgers, they also have a full vegetarian menu as well, along with an emboldening selection of local, organic beers and Belgian wines.
Something for the sweet tooth. While Nanouk only regularly sits on the Parvis de Saint Gilles on Thursdays, its perfectly formed artisanal popsicles are also popping up in restaurants all over Brussels. These beautifully crafted ice creams and sorbets are made by a one-woman show, Christine Waignein, from all natural ingredients.
The pops themselves are works of art with flavours including pineapple-ginger, apricot-basil and watermelon-mint for the sorbets, pistachio, mocha and marzipan for the ice creams, as well as some more experimental tastes like mojito pineapple, Aperol spritz and gazpacho.
6. Nata & You
It seems like suddenly pastéis de nata are everywhere you look in Brussels, and that’s certainly not a bad thing. This sweet egg tart pastry from Portugal is the perfect mouthful of dessert after some fine food truck dining, making Nata & You’s appearance on the food truck scene very welcome. The simple, hand-made compressed wood cart is spreading Portuguese culture one bite at a time with these wallet-friendly desserts, along with eye-opening coffes and refreshing cocktails.
Not a truck but an eco-friendly food bike, Cibacco has hit the lunch scene in the European quarter running, or rolling really. Two brothers from Naples, Giuseppe and Luigi Petito, started this food cart to bring real Italian food to the people. Their short menu changes daily, but is mostly made up of around three classic Italian warm dishes, like the ones their grandmother would make, such as lasagne alla parmigiana or gnocchi alla sorrentina, along with a selection of baguettes topped with authentic Italian charcuteries and cheeses and grilled vegetables.
8. Soul Food Truck
This tropical green truck has been a staple of the market scene around Brussels for a couple years now, but Soul Kitch’n’s belly-stuffing msemmen, a thick, oily crepe coming from the North of Africa, keeps people coming back for more. They serve them sweet or savoury, with toppings such as nutella, honey and banana, but also sundried tomato, ricotta, olives and merguez.
Sometimes the long queue at the peak hours of weekend market days on Flagey makes one hesitate if it’s worth the effort, but once you have the heavy crepe in hand, you won’t regret it.
Photo by Hailing Wang Photography, courtesy El Taco Mobil/Facebook