Food trucks may be mobile, but they’re not leaving the tri-state food scene anytime soon. The obvious perk about food truck fests? Next-level dishes from all over are brought to a convenient spot, meaning you can sink your teeth into anything—from Dark Side of the Moo’s smoked alligator sausage sandwich to El Lechon de Negron’s lechon disco fries to Hawaiian shaved ice from Betty’s Icebox—without having to travel too far. Plus, with so many options and such a variety of cuisines, you might actually get the kids to try something new.
Photo courtesy of The Meadowlands Racetrack Facebook page
Kick off your summer bucket list at the JerseyFest Food Truck Mash-Up on June 2 in East Rutherford where you can grab grub from both NJ and Philly, plus catch a live DJ, kids’ activities and harness racing at Meadowlands Racetrack. Splurge on VIP passes for this one to gain all-you-can-eat access to a special menu including a black cherry brisket slider with buttermilk red cabbage slaw and black cherry barbecue sauce from Oink and Moo BBQ, a Flamin’ Hot Cheetos soft shell crab sandwich complete with pale ale queso and arugula salad from Callahan’s of Norwood, and the over-the-top maple bacon crack stuffed crust nitro pizza from Elemen7ts by NitroGirl: think crumbled bacon crackle crust, nitro maple ice cream, chocolate drizzle and a chocolate cannoli shell.
Photo courtesy of Hammonton Food Truck Fest
On June 9, make the trip to Hammonton’s 4th Annual Food Truck Fest, which boasts nearly 30 gourmet food trucks, not to mention a craft beer garden and live entertainment. Beat the heat with something cool from Shore Shake, sweets like maple brown sugar bacon and apple pie egg rolls from Wipeout Eats, farm-to-table meat and produce from Beast of the Street Louisiana staples from Mobile Mardi Gras and cannolis from Hammonton-native Cannoli World.
Photo courtesy of Just Jersey Fest Facebook page
Be sure to wear your comfy yoga pants to the Doubleday Food Truck Festival on June 16 in Mendham. In honor of Union General and Mendham resident Abner Doubleday’s 200th birthday, the celebration has face painting, rock climbing and balloons for the kids, plus 25 food trucks, a home run derby, live music and a beer and sangria garden for the grown-ups. Craft beer selections include Outside IPA and Onshore Lager from Flying Fish Brewing, Summer Love from Victory Beer, Sunfish from Sea Dog Brewing and Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery.
Photo courtesy Just Jersey Fest
For a selection of 25+ food trucks serving churros, empanadas and Thai offerings, beer by Flying Fish Brewing Company and kids’ activities, don’t miss Just Jersey’s Paramus Food Truck Fest on June 24 at Garden State Plaza. The kids can get their faces painted and boogie down to live music while you make the rounds at the sangria garden and chow down on novelties like Tower Dogs, hot dogs piled high with toppings, famous cheesesteaks from JimmyDawn’s and fried delights from Johnny Zeppoli.
Photo courtesy of Tuckerton Seaport Facebook page
If you think everything’s better with bacon, bring your appetite to Tuckerton Seaport’s TRUCKerton with a Side of Bacon on July 7-8. Between the mini pig races, pretzel necklace making and cooking demos, fill up on tons of bacon-wrapped goodies. This fests’ trucks will be serving up the best in bacon, so make sure to save your cheat day for this weekend. Live music will be bumping and craft beer will be flowing, too (think Beach Haus Blonde Ale, Kona Big Wave Golden Ale and Tommyknocker Nut Brown). Best part? Kiddos under age 5 get in free.
Photo courtesy of Angry Archie's Facebook page
On July 28, head back to East Rutherford for the 5th Annual Food Truck Seafood Festival. Hit the backyard or rooftop terrace to savor a fresh raw bar. Other food includes fare from Caribbean Soul Catering, All Surf No Turf and Angry Archies and a peel-and-eat shrimp eating competition (eat as many as you can in 2 minutes to win $100-500 in prizes). While you’re there, don’t miss what the Big M is famous for: horse racing! You’ll be there for the Hambletonian Oaks eliminations.
Photo courtesy of Morristown Food Truck Festival
Still hungry? Squeeze in the 1st Annual Morristown Food Truck Festival on August 25 before the summer ends to get your hands on mini donuts from Glazed and Confused, Bro-Ritos, Cas’ Pierogis and Kielbasa and more. Sample from multiple trucks and have a one-of-a-kind picnic with blankets and lawn chairs while live music booms from the gazebo. Kids can get their faces painted, take home a balloon animal, make a splash in the dunk dank and practice their cornhole tosses while you try your luck in the cash 50/50. Bonus: this fest is a fundraiser for Homeless Solutions, an org that provides shelter and services to those in need.