Spring has arrived. Thanks to the early warm weather, many of the Food Trucks have already hit the streets. More exciting then this is the arrival of even more new food trucks.
This is my third annual Power Rankings post for the Winnipeg Food Truck scene. In 2013 when they were new, I wrote an explanation of power rankings as part of that post. With the early arrival of spring, I’ve had a chance to get out and try several of the new trucks along with some of the old ones. I plan to include all the trucks I’ve tried in this rankings.
As the summer progresses, some trucks will be in for a re-visit.
Last year, I tied my power rankings to Manyfest. As a result, I didn’t include several trucks. This time around I’m going to add them in.
Please remember, that although a truck may land on the bottom of the power rankings, you should still give it a try. This is not like the NHL or NBA. None of these trucks are tanking in the hopes of signing a bright young chef. Also, given how tough the food truck business is, nobody is overpaying an executive chef in the hopes of ending decades of mismanagement. This is meant to be fun. Plus, it’s skewed towards my favourites.
2015 means New Rankings
1.) Poutine King
While the rankings are new, the top spot is still the same. Great food, and sets the standard for being on the street, somewhere or other. This year the truck is at the Forks as well as on Broadway. Also in addition to great food, makes good use of Social Media to promote the truck.
2.) Red Ember
Dividing time between Broadway and the St. Norbert’s Farmers Market. Red Ember has quickly become a fan favourite. Also, North America’s biggest food truck.
3.) Pimp My Rice
Great selection of Filipino favourites. Great choices for mix and match on the menu. Pimp My Rice continues to be hot.
One of the early entries into Winnipeg’s burgeoning food truck scene. This truck has been so successful that it has spawned a restaurant.
5.) Island Fusion
This truck has made a great debut with it’s modern, Canadian take on Caribbean classics. I might have even put it at No. 1, but I think it needs to stick around a little longer before it can be moved up.
6.) J.T. Spring Roll
This more a sentimental choice then anything. They are only out at St. Norbert on Farmers Market day, but this is the truck that began my love affair with food trucks.
If you clicked on the link for the 2014 Food Truck Wars at the top of the page you’ll see that this truck did really well. This may even be a little too low for them. This is one place that may require a re-visit.
8.) Tot Wheels
The Tot Wheels truck can sometimes be easy to miss as they hang out on the east end of Broadway. If you haven’t ventured much east of Donald(what a great name for a street), make sure you do and try this one.
9.) Burgers R Us
As a new truck last year, this one debuted high. The quality is just as good this year. Real good home made burgers. They might rank higher with a little more time on the street and if they develop a web presence of some sort.
10.) Better than Baba’s
The highest ranked of the debut trucks. Better than Baba’s make top notch perogies, cabbage rolls, and served up a great sauasage.
11.) Up South Barbeque
I finally got to try them during Manyfest. I’m really looking forward to them being out again this year.
12.) Tokyo Rabbit
Offer some really great dessert options. Might be a top 5 choice if they were out and about more frequently.
13.) Simba Safari Grill
Another new truck. A taste of Africa comes to the streets of Winnipeg. Really good, but I think it’s still a bit of a work in progress. Not quite a great food truck yet. I’m ranking it up here based partly on it’s potential.
The 12th place ranking speaks in part to the fact that this truck isn’t out as often as some, and in part to the quality of the new food trucks hitting the street. Still, love the BBQ Poutine.
I think the best food value out on the street. Portion sizes enormous. Plus their chimney cakes are great.
Last year I marked them down because they were inconsistent in their presence. This year they have changed that and are out all the time. If you are in the mood for Doener, you might want to take the time to seek them out.
Another one where the ranking is as much a reflection on the quality of the new trucks as anything. They’ve spent a good portion of the summer in from of the Hydro Building on Portage. Good, filling sandwiches here.
18.) Habanero Sombrero
This is one where reader feedback is part of the drop in review. A few people have commented on higher prices and less product. The tacos themselves though, are always fresh which is a good thing in any food truck.
Great food, but down here because they’re not on the street all that often.
20.) Goldie’s Fries
Goldie’s is in the Exchange, and keeps their presence there for a good number of months each year.
21.) Extreme Fries
Their quality is a notch above the two trucks just below them.
You might wonder why two old-fashioned burger trucks rank so high. Well, one of the thinks that I appreciate are the trailblazers. I also appreciate trucks that are out on the street trough thick and thin, good weather and bad. Both of these trucks have been on the street for a long time, and so they get extra credit for that. 23.) Healthy Eats
This wasn’t one of my favourites, but I am going to try and give it another opportunity in the next few weeks. Still, there aren’t a lot of food trucks with this strong a focus on healthy food as Healthy Eats.
24.) Juice Me Juice
I prefer my nutrients in solid form. However, this truck hits all the right notes in their flavour selections. A really good, new addition to the street.
25.) Waki Temaki
While I found the Sushi to be pretty good, I also found them to be a little on the pricy side. In a city with loads of good value Sushi restaurants that’s a hard sell. Check out their Twitter feed.
26.) Bannock Factory
Another new truck on the streets. They may move up as we get to the end of the summer. They’re smart in taking advantage of the new Food Truck Alley at The Forks.
I found this place to be a little hit and miss on the quality, and the service overly aggressive.
Good pizza, but not in the same category as Red Ember as far as using quality, fresh ingredients for the toppings. Like Little Bones, they also have a storefront location.
29.) Fired Up Pizza
This is one case where something other than the food affects the ranking. Both times I’ve been I’ve found the service to be exceedingly slow. I plan on trying them again to see if their service might give them a new and better ranking.
30.) Falafel Queen:
This year they move out of the bottom spot.
31.) Grass Fed Grill
Great burger, but way, way too small. Just not enough value here.
If you have your own set of rankings. Please feel free to list them in the comments. You can rank them all or just leave a top 5 or top 10 list. I’ll take reader rankings into consideration when I do the updated version.
As with every year there are new trucks that aren’t on the list. I hope to get to them before the summer is done.