Stop us if you've heard this one before, but Detroit is a city of rebirth. It's what people have been saying for years, but all of a sudden, it's true. What most of the country knows as a car manufacturing mecca (and post-mecca) hides a thriving arts scene, young entrepreneurial hub, and most relevantly - a burgeoning culinary world, bursting at the seams with big ideas and fresh talent.
From Corktown to East Market, the Motor City's flood of diverse culture has enriched a wide spectrum of restaurants, leading to a whole new food renaissance. In fact, there's suddenly so much good food to go around that it can't be contained by mere brick and mortar. Food trucks have become a Detroit staple overnight, and have spread the city's new flavors further than ever before. Nowadays, the hardest thing about Detroit's culinary scene is simply keeping up. As problems go, it's one this city's happy to have these days.
Detroit 75 Kitchen is parked in a semi-permanent spot (next to a gas station in the SW part of town) for a reason - it's already an institution. Pure comfort food with Mediterranean accents highlights Detroit's dual power as both a classic American city and an international melting pot.
Sandwiches are the standout here, from BBQ beef panini, to a garlic/cilantro chicken combo topped with jalapeño. But specials abound, including a weekly applewood smoked chicken that's become the stuff of local legend (the BBQ chicken egg rolls aren't too shabby either). Despite its regular digs, Detroit 75 still does onsite catering, and can be found all over town.
When it comes to an economic renaissance, a name holds a whole lot of marketing power. Ideally it's memorable, delectable, and just irreverent enough to make you drop your guard. Detroit doesn't just have some of the best food trucks in the nation, but some of the best-named. And along with a great name comes hospitality to match.
Buffy's Mexi-casian Grill lays its particular brand of Tex-Mex charm right on the side of its truck. A dual menu of pleasures is waiting to hit you from both sides of the comfort food border, alongside a quesadilla burger that melts all barriers (and in your mouth).
The Mean Weenie lays its wares (and attitude) out even more transparently, delivering a bevy of hot dog tastes unlike any other in town. From mac-covered dogs to bourbon bbq-topped dogs, there's a twist here to turn anyone into a fan for life. Conversely, Franks Etc is a hot dog operation that flew too close to the sun - its original name was too beautiful to last. But lucky for you, they still answer to it. Originally launched as Franks Anatra, we imagine a certain family's cease and desist letter might have factored into the switch. But there's no ceasing on the eats once you dig in - Franks' award-winning hot dogs can be ordered a la cart, or all you can eat for 8 bucks.
When Detroit bounced back, it didn't bounce back the same. Now a renewed city sets its sights on renewable industries - from green energy to sustainable farming to healthier living, overall. It's a revamp that trickles down to every facet of business here, including food trucks. Detroit's got a healthy roster of trucks that skews....well.....very healthy, both for the planet and for the people living on it.
On the surface, Monkey Business Concessions is an odd place to start this conversation. Their main attraction, after all, happens to be a giant donut sundae. But the food truck stands out through a commitment to organic and locally-sourced ingredients. From mini cinnamon/vanilla pancakes for breakfast to Holstein-grilled Dearborn hot dogs for dinner, there's a wide spread of options, and all of them Michigan-made, through and through. A large selection of overstuffed wraps are also on hand to satisfy those looking to treat themselves as well as the Monkey truck treats local farmers.
Shimmy Shack leads with personal health first, and lets the planetary health follow. Pretty easy to do when the whole menu's vegetarian. Classic comforts like burgers, falafel and nachos get done up with meat-free twists that'll have you doing double-takes from flavor. TruckShuka, meanwhile, is a little more straightforward with its veggie delights - Israeli street food sandwiches that pack massive spice and freshness into deceptively humble forms.
Hero or Villain has a double side of sandwiches ready to either save your day or ruthlessly attack your hunger (funny enough, it tends to do both at once). Whether you're hunting sauerkraut reuben (The Hawkeye), or Detroit's finest Philly (the Sinister), there's an option here that'll have you feeling pretty darn super.
Chicken Coupe blasts out of Dearborn with Michigan's finest chicken and waffles, alongside loaded tots that can be dressed any which way your heart desires. You can also opt for decadent dessert waffles, making this a truck to seek out any time of day. Finally, Mac Shack pays tribute to America's greatest side by putting it front and center. And on absolutely everything (along with frying it into "amaze balls" and dousing it with buffalo sauce).
As always, check out the live Detroit food truck map above or on the Roaming Hunger app to find the most accurate, up-to-the-minute location info for all trucks listed, alongside countless more options.
Detroit Fleat has been open since early 2017 and has quickly become Metro Detroit's surest bet for food truck bliss. Drawing in all manner of trucks to what used to be a Chinese restaurant's parking lot, it's one of the easiest ways to grab everything you've just read about in one place.
Eastern Market is a far less formal but equally safe bet for for finding food trucks, with rotating guests rolling through daily. Summer time brings trucks to Campus Martius every Friday, along with regular rallies at Royal Oak Farmer's Market.
Finally, click HERE to book any Detroit food truck of your choice for any event of your choosing. Small to massive and relaxed to formal; whatever the reason and whatever the selection, Roaming Hunger's got you covered. Food trucks in the Motor City may be amongst the nation's strongest, but everything on the road tastes better with a little insurance.