Vancouver Food Carts : Bring Your Stretchy Pants!

Word of warning: Should you ever travel with me, be sure to have your eating face ready. I like to eat my way around, and I will eat often. I often get “What? You’re ready to eat ALREADY?” from Ryan, but he still complies. With food carts aplenty, downtown Vancouver was the perfect spot for my “bring your eating face” mentality. With about an hour and a half to run around, we made three stops: Japa Dog, The Re-Up BBQ, and Fresh Local Wild.

The first stop of our lunchtime adventure was the famous Japa Dog. Friends back home highly recommended this place, so I couldn’t NOT stop by at one of their four downtown locations.

Japa Dog

According to their website, each Japa Dog location has a different menu. At this particular location, I ordered the Kurobuta [Berkshire] Terimayo aka #1 – Kurobuta Pork topped with Japanese Mayo, Teriyaki sauce, and Seaweed.

Kurobuta Terimayo

At first glance, that’s more sauce on a dog than I prefer, but instead of wiping some of it out as I would ketchup and mustard on a regular dog, I just went for it. The combination of dry and wet flavors exploded in my mouth and left me smiling. In terms of the dog itself, you could tell it was made from a different meat, but since it’s all mushed up in dog form, it wasn’t what won us over. The toppings won us over. More foods should be topped with seaweed, and Japanese mayo > American mayo any day.

While I was hesitant on sharing the other half, I knew I’d have other food carts to stop at.

Japadog (Burrard & Smithe) on Urbanspoon

After the hot dog, we were ready for a pulled pork sandwich and homemade bourbon rhubarb soda [non-alcoholic] from Re-Up BBQ. Juicy. Smokey. Tangy. Oh, and the bread was soft too! The soda was the perfect refreshment to wash it all down.

With just one item on the menu, they serve it up quickly and with a smile.

The Re-Up BBQ The Re-Up BBQ

Earlier in the week, there was a Twitter contest for a free sandwich, but I was a little late in entering. Instead, I was promised a bear hug.

Hug at Re-Up BBQ

That’s a fantastic consolation prize if you ask me. Thanks Lindsay!

Re-Up BBQ Foodcart on Urbanspoon

Our last stop during lunch was actually a repeat visit. We visited Vancouver for four days and ate at Fresh Local Wild twice.

Fresh Local Wild

Ryan says that I literally went from being right next to him on one street corner to having run across the street to get to the cart. I was that excited.

The first time, we were able to enjoy the mobile dining patio that Chef Josh Wolfe built with his own hands. It’s attached to the back of the truck, and you are basically eating ON the food truck itself. On the second day, we were back around lunchtime, and they were BUSY. The table was full, but it looks like you can make reservations via email!

Fresh Local Wild Fresh Local Wild

What to get: the chicken fried oyster sandwich !!! If you love oysters, get it. When the generator malfunctioned and closed up the kitchen, rather than kicking us out, they let us hang out on the dining patio to enjoy our sandwich. It was the star of the show in terms of meals eaten in Vancouver.

Chicken Fried Oysters from Fresh Local Wild

The oysters were flavorful and cooked to perfection, meaning not overcooked. The “chicken fried” batter allowed the oysters to maintain their texture. The next day, we came back and tried the seared tuna melt. Now I know – SEARED is the way to make a tuna melt.

Seared Tuna Melt from Fresh Local Wild

In addition to the great food, if you’re into keeping your carbon footprint as low as possible, this is one food truck to support. Fresh Local Wild is powered by 100% vegetable oil, essentially using up what was JUST cooking up the fish and chips to run the show.

Fresh Local Wild on Urbanspoon

Best part about this little food cart adventure – all of these are within blocks of each other, so you can walk it off. Okay, not really. You can’t really walk all that off. There’s really no excuse why I ate three lunches other than the fact that I really wanted to try everything, and it was more efficient to do it all in one day.

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  • Nomz. I’m still kicking myself for not trying Japa Dog when I walked past!

  • Also, I seriously want some oysters now.

    • Me too. Hog Island or Tomales Bay in the near future!

      • TVL was telling us that at one of the Woodhouse Grill (whatever) restaurants, there is a photo of a guy who ate 120 oysters. That is way. too. many.

  • Ryan


    • i haven’t had one in awhile… OYSTER SANDWICH PLEASE!

  • omg japadog nom nom

  • I’m not into seafood, but these all look DELICIOUS!!! I really wanna try a Japa dog, though I’m still trying to enjoy the taste of seaweed. :(

    • Seaweed is definitely an acquired taste. For me, it seems pretty mild in flavor, so for the most part, I can tolerate it. :)

  • Yay food carts!
    I emailed this entry to myself.

    • I hope it helps to sway the vote for Vancouver, but there’s a lot of great food in Toronto too!

  • Sounds like my kind of travel! I desperately want to visit Vancouver, maybe for my next vacation

  • Yum. I wish we had more of a food truck presence here in Richmond. I love food truck food.

  • OMG! As soon as I saw the hot dog, I recognized the seasoned seaweed; it’s very common here in Korea. Not to mention, yummy.

    I think the hot dog/seaweed combo is brilliant. I really want to try one now!

    • I think you should try making one! :P

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