Milwaukee's food truck guide, 2013
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Aug. 28, 2013 at 11:01 a.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.
Call it a sign of the economy. Call it a part of Downtown's urban renaissance. Call it a smart dining idea. Whatever the driving force behind it, there's no denying that Food Trucks rule the scene in metro Milwaukee.
Here at OnMilwaukee.com, we're delighted to see all sorts of new trucks and street vendors popping up on the streets of Brew City. From pizza to pitas, crepes to tacos, the hungry lunch (and bar time) crowd has more options than ever.
As the popularity of food trucks grows, we'll be ready with updates… and our own wishlist for what's coming next. Anyone else hoping for mobile cupcakes?
American Euros on Facebook
The cleverly-named American Euros cart hit the streets of Milwaukee in June 2009 and owners Mark Miller and Chad Mydlowski keep it fairly simple. Customers choose from chicken or lamb – or a combo of both – marinated in a homemade broth and carved fresh daily at their service kitchen in West Milwaukee. The gyros are reasonably priced, starting at $4.50, and come "wrapped up like a Sno-cone" in a 6-inch pita bread. They also offer specialty pita sandwiches and doner kebabs, "the best sandwich you never heard of." The American Euros cart location changes daily. Follow them on Twitter for location updates. Or visit them at their brick and mortar restaurant at 3133 N. Oakland Ave., which is open Sunday through Wednesday from 11 a.m to 11 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Beef-E's on Facebook
There's no need to head down Chicago-way for authentic Italian beef sandwiches when you can get them right here in Milwaukee. Choose from the Classic ($6), The Beef-E-Man: an Italian beef with Italian sausage ($8), The Italian Stallion: an Italian beef and Philly cheese steak hybrid ($6), the Brew City Beef with melted cheese curds and bacon ($7), the Stallis ($6) with southwest ranch sauce, Judy's Pot Roast ($6) with mashed potatoes, carrots, onions and french-fried onions, or the Cluckin' Chicken ($7). All sandwiches are served with juice "on the side," "poured on," or "dipped" and come with a choice of hot or mild house-made giardiniera, and the option to add freshly sliced Mozzarella cheese for no charge. These guys troll most of the usual food truck locations, like Catalano Square and Schlitz Park, but check their schedule for regular updates.
Bun Me on Facebook
Bun Me is a food truck selling variations on banh mi, the Vietnamese sandwich. They sell three kinds: salty-sweet pork belly ($6, right), and chicken or a seasoned soy-based vegetarian version ($5) dressed with lemongrass or peanut sauce. The sandwiches are topped with marinated daikon and carrot, cilantro, jalapeño and a long slice of cucumber for traditional banh mi flavors, but unlike other banh mi, they're assembled on Mexican bollilo rolls. The crispy exterior mimics the traditional baguette-like roll. At lunchtime, Bun Me usually is at Water and Buffalo streets in the Third Ward on Mondays and Fridays, in front of the U.S. Bank building on E. Wisconsin Ave. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and, lately, near the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Wednesdays. They're also at North and Farwell avenues around bar time Fridays and Saturdays. But, check Twitter just to make sure.
Chameleon Mobile Cuisine
Chameleon on Facebook
Dave Jurena of the Soup Market is behind the swiftly moving Chameleon, so named because it will adapt to its surroundings. It's ever-changing menu includes signature soups, sandwiches, and comfort food favorites like bbq pork sandwich with chips & slaw and white cheddar mac & cheese with grilled chicken, roasted poblanos and bacon. Watch for the current location on Facebook or Twitter.
Chilango on Facebook
If you have a hankering for authentic Mexican cuisine, Chilango Expresss is where it's at. Specializing in quesadillas, this vendor also sells tacos, sandwiches, churros, and hand-made huaraches, traditional sandal-shaped flatbread. Find them Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays on the southwest corner of S. Layton Blvd. and W. National Ave., at 212 E. Wisconsin Ave. or at various locations in Oconomowoc.
Eats & Treats Truck
Eats & Treats on Facebook
Eats & Treats is a local Milwaukee based food truck that's been in service for over 25 years. Famous for their waffle dog -- which is skewered and dipped in batter before going into a specially shaped waffle maker. The truck also offers other waffle-coated variations including waffle sausage, waffle bacon and he waffle beer brat ($6 for two). All waffle-coated items are served with a side of maple syrup. The truck, which is fondly called "Big Red" frequents the Milwaukee County Courthouse, Red Arrow Park, and all the usual spots. In addition to burgers and such, the the truck also sells Purple Door ice cream and shakes, including flavors like the whiskey chocolate malt. YUM.
El Charrito Taco Truck
This taco truck offers a wide range of authentic street tacos, from beef tongue to chorizo, tripe, chicken and asada-stuffed tacos for less than $2 each. You can find them parked across from Koz's Mini Bowl on South 7th Street. They've also been spied on 6th and Becher and 23rd and National.
The Fast Foodie
It's something like a pita, but maybe more like a tortilla … but it's always filled with goodness. But, no matter which way you look at it, world-cuisine-inspired Globacos ($3.50) are food in portable packages! Choose from the Jamaican Me Crazy, the Hahny Hahny, The Big Sexy, or the Sexy Veggie, along with homemade potato chips seasoned with globally inspired "love dusts." Naked bowls are available for those who wish to skip the bread altogether. Keep up with them by checking their online calendar or following them on Twitter.
Fivestar Nacho on Facebook
Get your nacho fix with the help of Fivestar Nacho. Their offerings, which range between $5-6.75 include your choice of rice, along with roasted garlic pork, marinated ground beef, spicy grilled chicken, or grilled vegetables. Toppings include lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, slaw and Fivestar cream, a cross between sour cream and creme fraiche augmented with a bit of citrus. Gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options are available upon request. In addition to the usual, the truck also offers daily specials like chorizo and egg, duck confit, Korean chicken, herb marinated lamb and honey barbecue pulled pork. Locations vary, but you can find the truck by following along on Twitter.
Flirty Momo on Facebook
Looking for dumplings? Look no further. Flirty Momo has your number. You'll find them curbside serving up hot MSG-free steamed dumplings with chicken, pork and turkey, beef, or vegetables inspired by those eaten in Kathmandu and the Himalayas. Dumplings, which are priced in groups of eight, come with a side of sauce. Watch for their current location on Twitter.
Flying Cow Pizza
Flying Cow on Facebook
The Flying Cow Pizza Truck sports a mobile wood fired pizza oven that pumps out amazing, bubble-crusted Napolitana style pizzas. The truck offers a weekly special, along with six core pizzas, including a classic Margherita with fresh mozzarella, basil and San Marzano tomato sauce; spinach-feta pizza with olive oil; and pepperoni. The average price is $7 to $8 for the 10-inch pizzas. The truck stops at the Oconomowoc Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, the Lake Mills Farmers Market on Wednesdays, The Brookfield Market and The Lake County Farmer's Market on Thursdays. Check Facebook for additional special event locations.
Fry Bread N Things
Fry Bread N Things on Facebook
It's not common to find Native American Fry Bread in Milwaukee restaurants; however, it is possible to get it from a food truck. Chad Esser converted a shuttle bus into a food truck that specializes in fry bread. Try frybread tacos (small $4, large $7), fry bread with dipping sauces ($4), or dessert style fry bread ($4). Additional choices include nachos and garden salad. Follow the truck on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the-minute locations.
The Good Food Dude
Good Food Dude on Facebook
This dude rides around in his big green truck and serves up creative sandwiches like The Dude, featuring dry rubbed pulled pork, red eye q sauce, and sweet and sour slaw ($6.59), The Cry Foul which includes a burger, an over-easy egg, caramelized onions, cheddar and D.M.C. sauce ($6.49) and a variety of coffee drinks and teas to whet your palate. Find him on Facebook or check out his calendar online to see where he'll park next.
The Gouda Girls (formerly known as the Chubby Cheese Truck)
Gouda Girls on Facebook
Specializing in grilled cheeses and friendly customer service, the Gouda Girls get it right every time. From their classic grilled cheese for $2.75, to the award-winning Roma with slow roasted tomatoes, mozzarella and Asiago ($4.75), to their fully loaded Wisconsin cheese steak ($7.25), the Gouda Girls offer the most comfort you can find by the side of the road. They also make over 50 varieties of Rice Krispie treats, with three showcased each day on the truck for $1.50 each. Follow their Wisconsin-cheese filled journey on both Twitter and Facebook.
The Hard Wood Café
The Hard Wood Cafe contains an on-board smoker and grill. It offers everything from steak burgers and Chicago dogs to pulled pork sandwiches and nachos in the $2.75 to $7 price range. The Hog Wild, a combination of ham, bacon and pulled pork, is a specialty. French fries or sweet potato fries are available on the side, as well as "Pig Candy," chocolate chock-full of bacon and coconut. Give 'em a follow on Twitter or follow the smell of the smoker.
JC King's Tortas
JC King's on Facebook
Serving up authentic Mexican sandwiches, tortas, is the name of the game for this food truck, which wanders the near south side. Prices range from $5.50 to $7.50 for small tortas and $9 to $12 for large. Flavors span numerous countries from Cuba to Hawaii, with choices like the JC King's with ham, chorizo and brick cheese, the Huevona with eggs, chorizo, hotdog, and ham, or the Vegetariana (which, surprisingly, isn't vegetarian) with turkey breast, Brick cheese, American cheese, and peppers. In the mood for a sit-down? Visit their restaurant at 3128 S 13th St.
The Jeppa Joes food cart specializes in deliciously different, internationally-inspired sandwiches ($7)including jerk chicken, Korean BBQ chicken or beef, pork banh mi, Portobello mushroom, and pork cemita as well as daily specials. The truck also offers spiced peanuts ($3) and flavored agua fresca ($2). This little guy gets around, so follow him on Twitter for updates.
Run by Gilberto and Meralis Fuentes, owners of Milwaukee's La Isla restaurant, La Preferida brings deliciousness to South 10th and West Becher Streets, parked at the edge of Kosciuszko Park. The truck offers roadside eats just like you'd find in Puerto Rico, including frituras, tostones, papas rellenos, alcapurrias, empanadillas and more. Their Cubano gets raves, as do their Jibaritos made with green plantains, lettuce, tomatoes, mayo and cheese. With bites from $1.25 up, and sandwiches starting at $6.25, you're sure to find something delicious at the right price for your budget.
Hattie's Gourmet Eats on the Go
Hattie's offers a variety of sliders, including Philly cheesesteak, bbq pork, jerk chicken with mango slaw, or meatball for $4 each or two for $7. When you're finished with lunch, try any one of a tempting array of cupcakes ($3) or cheesecake lollipops, dipped in chocolate or rolled in toffee ($2). To find Hattie, give her a follow on Facebook, or check out her online calendar.
Juiced! Mobile Juice Bar
Juiced! on Facebook
Get Juiced! This truck on-the-go features fresh, made-to-order juices starting at $5.50 made from whole fruits and vegetables, as well as wheatgrass shots, protein powder add-ins, Macrobars, Anodyne coffee and Rishi Tea. Local and organic produce is used whenever available, and all products are 100 percent vegan and gluten-free.
Localicious' Soup in a Jar
Kathy Papineau specializes in local healthy fare. Take her food truck offerings, which include $5 portions of soup served in reusable canning jars. Flavors include classics like cream of mushroom and chili, along with more adventurous varieties like curry carrot and cream of asparagus with parmesan. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter to track her current location.
Owned by the restaurateurs that run Margarita Paradise at 400 N. Water St., as well as in the Milwaukee Public Market, this truck serves up fresh Mexican tacos for $3 or two for $5, as well as burritos. You'll find them frolicking with the other food trucks at lunch stops like Schlitz Park and the U.S. Bank building, as well as Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at Water Street and Juneau Avenue.
Ofelia's Food Truck
Authentic Mexican food from Milwaukee Waterfront Deli can be conveniently obtained from one of Ofelia's Mexican Food Carts. Weather permitting, two carts operate from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. The carts serve Mexican favorites like tortas, tamales, tacos and burritos. Tacos and tamales for $1.75, burritos, tortas and specials between $4.75 and $6.75. Carts are normally located at the corner of Mason & Water, near the Waterfront Deli as well as at Van Buren and Wisconsin, in front of the U.S. Bank Building.
The Papuseria Suyapa boasts authentic Salvadoran papusas, the golden corn-dough cakes with a pork filling. The pupusas come two to an order. At $4, they make a filling and flavor-drenched meal. Pupuseria Suyapa is generally stationed on the southwest corner of South 25th Street and West National Avenue.
Also known as "the hot dog guy on Water and Wisconsin," this cart is one of the city's forerunners in street food options. Hot dog carts have since become common place in Milwaukee, but Real Dogs are legendary for both Downtown workers and passers-by who have been enjoying the tasty products for more than a decade now. The dogs are reasonably priced ($2.25) but the menu doesn't stop there. For a slightly more hearty meal, you might opt for a brat, or a knackwurst, or any of the temping Usinger's offerings, such as the Cajun andouille, for $3.25. Of course, you can always spice up a regular dog with Brooklyn onions (in a hot red sauce) or spicy brown mustard.
Roll MKE on Facebook
Roll MKE focuses on sandwiches. But, not just any sandwiches – an ever-changing menu of sandwiches which promise to "keep your tastebuds on their toes." Enjoy selections like banh mi pork belly sliders, brisket grilled cheese, quinoa chickpea burgers or bruschetta chicken. All sandwiches come with hand-cut fries and a beverage for $8. They're regulars on Fridays at Red Arrow Park downtown, at Schlitz Park on Tuesdays, and at the Courthouse on Thursdays. But, check in with them on Facebook or Twitter to confirm.
Simmer Truck on Facebook
"We love soup," is the motto of this colorful truck, which serves up some of the best soup in town, including chicken corn chowder, tomato basil bisque, white bean with rosemary, mushroom barley, chilled curried carrot ginger. They also manage to serve panini, stews, and "meals in a bowl." Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options abound, all for under $10. So, next time you have a hankering for soup, fill your belly curb-side.
Sinister Dog on Facebook
This truck, based out of West Bend, WI, specializes in burgers and hotdogs. Their ever-changing menu includes 1/3 pound burgers like the Classic topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato, pepper-jack cheese, fried pickle chips, and finished with house-made smokey Sinister sauce and the PB&J with creamy peanut butter, sweet and spicy raspberry sauce, and house made bacon jam. Similarly, the Sinister Dog is a hotdog topped with real bacon, spicy roasted pineapple and habanero relish, covered in crushed potato chips, and finally topped with house-made chipotle aioli. Watch for their appearances in Milwaukee by following them on Twitter and Facebook.
Streetza Pizza on Facebook
One of the first food trucks to grace the streets of Milwaukee, Streetza Pizza is still going strong. Their default locale is the intersection of Water Street and Juneau Avenue, and co-owners Scott Baitinger and Steve Mai have more than 15 signature pizzas. Still, they are constantly coming up with new, creative daily specials, many of which have been suggested via text or tweet from customers. They sell the slices for $3.75. Streetza uses local and organic produce and meats to top cleverly-named pizzas, such "meatballs the movie, wait we mean the slice," "Wisconsin Stair Fair chili," "farmer's market" and, perhaps the most sought after, "the brew crew sausage race," which piles all the Klement's racing sausages (yes, even hot dog) onto a blend of five cheeses.
Whether its parked near 37th Street and National Avenue, on 13th Street (near its permanent restaurant at 1531 W. Lincoln Ave.) or on 27th Street north of Oklahoma Avenue, the traveling Taqueria Arandas mobile is lovingly referred to as "the taco truck." The tacos ($1.50 each), which come in beef, steak, chicken and beef tongue, are hardly the only thing on the menu. The burritos, tortas and tostadas as just as good on the go as they are inside the sit-down restaurant, with pricing ranging from $2 for quesadillas to $4.50 for tortas and $5 for burritos.
Urban Caveman Truck
Urban Caveman on Facebook
Milwaukee's first and only Paleo style food truck, Urban Caveman serves up "hunter gatherer" delights from their "Truckasaurus." Menu items include the Caveman Burger Bowl with a grass-fed beef patty served atop garlic mashed sweet potatoes and topped with a fried egg, the Texas Style Pulled Pork Sweet Potato, and Bacon Wrapped Date Bites, along with specials like Primal Chocolate Chili, Curry with a Kick, and Eggs on the Go. Not surprisingly, they hang out near Badger Crossfit locations around town; but, they also make appearances at the U.S. Bank Building, the County Courthouse, and plenty of other spots around town. Track the Truckasauras on Twitter.
YellowBellies on Facebook
This bright yellow truck sporting a wishbone specializes in rotisserie chicken sandwiches, but they also make a mean chicken salad and their signature soup is from-scratch chicken and dumplings. They also offer a vegan alternative to chicken. Sandwiches run $7, with the option of adding hand-cut fries for $2. Soup is $4. Find them at Schlitz Park on Tuesdays, as well as Summer Sounds and Milwaukee Brewing Company. For updates, check their online schedule or tune in on Twitter.
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