8 Great Minnesota Food Trucks

By James Norton

Food trucks are about as polarizing as things get in the world of good eating: They're seen by some as hipster-driven trend machines, and by others as the vanguard of modern food. When you start to eat your way through their ranks, however, you’ll soon find that food trucks come in as many colors and flavors as jelly beans. Regardless of your budget or brow elevation, there's a truck slinging something you'll truly enjoy.

Hot Indian Foods truckAlthough food truck ordinances vary from city to city, there has been a general trend over the past few years toward liberalization of rules, allowing more trucks to roam more freely in more cities and towns. It's increasingly difficult to find a festival, farmers market, or active downtown  in Minnesota that doesn't feature at least one food truck serving hot, creative, Instagram-ready food to its guests.

What follows is a sampling of eight of the hundred-plus trucks that ply their delicious trade across the state. Allow it to whet your appetite as you explore social media, browse listings, and take a chance on something new as you get out and about. Trucks (by definition) move around a lot, so check them out on Twitter and/or Facebook to figure out where they are at this very moment.

Cafe Racer, Minneapolis-St. Paul

Cafe Racer keeps its food simple, and bursting with flavor, offering globally inspired dishes that begin with proteins like pulled pork or chicken and then add sides and other custom twists to create a meal. Further proof that Cafe Racer is putting down food that people dig: Cafe Racer Kitchen, the brick-and-mortar incarnation of the truck, opened in early 2015 in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Barefoot Burritos, Nisswa

Should you find yourself in the popular Brainerd Lakes area of Minnesota, you'll be pleased to discover that mobile food has followed you on your journey. Barefoot Burritos serves up a hearty build-it-yourself menu of burritos and burrito bowls.

Curious Goat food truck burgers
Goatburger from The Curious Goat / Photo by TJ Turner

The Curious Goat, Minneapolis

You can generally find The Curious Goat parked outside of Sociable Cider Werks in Northeast Minneapolis, slinging goat burgers that are a perfect complement to the dry, sophisticated ciders being poured inside. Chef Ian Gray makes his signature ingredient (goat, if you hadn't guessed) shine in burger format, and he shows off a range of Minnesota farmers on his menu. "Goatburger" only sounds humble until you taste the deep, rich, juicy flavor.

The Rambler, Duluth

The Rambler food truck brings flavor to the streets of Duluth with a diverse menu including fishcake burgers, bacon-wrapped hot dogs and teriyaki pulled pork.

Foiled Rotten, Bemidji

From Italian burritos to roasted chicken in kale pesto sauce to burrito bowls to sunflower-crusted eggplant, Foiled Rotten brings clean-tasting, thoughtful fare to the college town of Bemidji with flash and aplomb. It's a truck with a mission: "Foiled Rotten aspires to sell tasty, fresh alternatives to big chain restaurants, catering to a wide range of dietary needs and restrictions offering meat, vegetarian and vegan options."

Chow Haul, Duluth

Firmly lodged in the "modern Asian-American" section of the food truck world, Duluth's Chow Haul dishes up wontons (a variety that rotates daily), chicken wings, a noodle bowl and more. The Zenith City's vibrant music scene is an opportunity that Chow Haul (and trucks like it) feast upon.

Tru Pizza, Minneapolis-St. Paul

Tru Pizza food truck
Margherita pizza from Tru Pizza

Tru Pizza slings beautiful, Neapolitan-style pizzas made with sustainable and organic ingredients from a truck equipped with an onboard wood-fired oven. The truck's oven is no joke; it can cook a pizza in 75-90 seconds by blasting it with heat that varies between 800-1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It works with Minnesota purveyors including Pastures a Plenty, Red Table Meats and Easy Bean Farm, meaning every bite of pizza is also a cheesy bite of local topography.

World Street Kitchen, Minneapolis-St. Paul

World Street Kitchen is not merely a food truck: It's the mobile side of a pair of Minneapolis restaurants including the high-end Middle Eastern eatery Saffron (downtown) and a fast-casual spot in Uptown, also called World Street Kitchen. WSK has elevated the humble rice bowl to an art form, bringing together a swirl of textures, flavors and colors to hypnotize the diner. The truck's cross-cultural burritos are also a must-try.