In 2013, there were five food trucks in Montreal. Just three years later, there are now more than 50 roaming the city's streets.
For 66 years -- since 1947 -- food trucks and carts were banned over sanitary concerns. When this was overturned in 2013 after extensive lobbying, the city launched a pilot project, issuing permits to a limited number of trucks who had to follow a prohibitive list of requirements, including the stipulation that they could only operate if they were associated with a restaurant in one of nine designated sections of the city. Since then, the culinary fleet has exploded, though many of the laws are just as stringent, and the city now has 30 food truck-friendly locations across 15 boroughs, from Hochelaga-Maisonneuve to Verdun, where Montrealers can be fed curbside.
But how can you find the truck you want when you're craving poutine, a pulled pork sandwich, or tacos? Pinpointing the location of culinary mobiles anywhere in the city is a modern endeavor, thanks to GPS tracking sites like Streetfood Quest and Pedro. However, food truck hunting still takes a bit of an animalistic stalking effort, which isn’t for everyone -- especially when you want to stuff your face with more than one type of cuisine.
For those morally against hounding down their chow, fear not -- First Fridays are the answer to your acutely first-world dilemma. Practically the entire food fleet gathers at the Olympic Park for the biggest food truck festival in North America on the first Friday of each month between June and October. This event generally takes place from 4pm to 11pm, but most of the trucks run out of food earlier in the night. This happens quite often as First Fridays only accrue popularity, so try to go as early as possible -- the early bird gets the taco.
If attending the First Friday doesn’t jive with your schedule, head to Night Market at Alexandraplatz Bar in Mile-Ex on the last Saturday of each month between May and September for a huge block party where funky beats meet street food.
Now that you know where to go for some food truck fanfare, the most important question must be answered -- which trucks are worth waiting in those ever-extending lines? While there are many that are delicious, there are some that every munchie-mobile virgin should absolutely try.