Years ago in Phoenix, trucks were the trendiest thing in food. It seemed like everyone was trying to start up a mobile eatery hawking anything from burgers to ramen. But owning and operating a food truck is harder than it looks, and many have since come and gone.
The good news is longstanding Valley trucks have continued to find ways to stay relevant in spite of the fall off of the food truck trend. Plus, newcomers continue to keep the local food truck scene interesting and relevant. So to make sure you're still up on the food truck scene, here are several places in the Valley where you can find them.
Gilbert Feastival1225 North Gilbert Road, Gilbert
Hosted by AZ Feastivals, this gourmet food truck event goes down every Friday from 5:30 to 9 p.m. next to Sam’s Club at Gilbert Road and Houston Avenue. Expect 10 to 20 food trucks at the Gilbert Feastival, as well as live entertainment, shopping, art, and family-friendly activities. There is limited seating, so attendees are free to bring their own. And best, admission and parking are free.
Mesa Feastival Forest526 East Main Street, Mesa
Pioneer Park hosts this weekly food event from 5:30 to 9 p.m. every Saturday. Look forward to more than 12 gourmet food trucks, as well as live music, a playground, and grass areas ideal for picnics. See the Mesa Feastival Forest Facebook page for truck schedules, updates, and special events.
Ahwatukee Eats4609 East Chandler Boulevard
This food truck event has been around since 2015, and it has gained quite a following. Ahwatukee Eats is a monthly gathering with a record of more than 3,000 attendees and 17 food trucks on deck. Find gourmet food trucks in the Desert Dentistry – Ahwatukee parking lot off Chandler Boulevard just east of Interstate 10. To keep an eye on dates, times, and vendors, follow the Ahwatukee Eats Facebook page.
Open Air Market721 North Central Avenue
Set at Central Avenue and McKinley Street in the parking lot of the Phoenix Public Market Cafe, the Open Air Market offers a good selection of local food truck vendors. Think Jamburritos and more. Fall hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays, October through April, and 8 a.m. to noon the rest of the year. The downtown Phoenix market offers free entry and parking near the Roosevelt/Central Light Rail Station.
Food Truck Lunch at the DOC1601 West Jefferson Street
Established in 2011, this weekly food truck gathering at the Arizona Department of Corrections is a real treat. More than five rotating food trucks gather from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday and Friday for Food Truck Lunch at the DOC. Think Flyin' Hawaiian, The Panini People, Nacho Wars, Dilla Libre, Iceberg Shake Truck, and more.
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Uptown Farmers Market5757 North Central Avenue
The Uptown Farmers Market is situated at the southeast corner of Bethany Home Road and Central Avenue in the North Phoenix Baptist Church parking lot. For variety, the market invites trucks on a rotating basis. On Saturdays, six food trucks are scheduled, while on Wednesdays, there are three. Some trucks frequenting Saturday markets are Everest Momo, Mein Man, and Biscuit Bombers, and Wednesday trucks have included Cousins Maine Lobster, Juicetown Jailhouse, and Revolution Creperie.
Chandler Feastival25410 South Arizona Avenue, Chandler
Overseen by AZ Feastivals, the Chandler Feastival is more of a Sunday Funday-style brunch, as they say. Set at the southwest corner of Arizona Avenue and Riggs Road, the food truck gathering is wheels down from 11 a.m. to to 3 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of the month. But that's only from September through May, so you better check it out during the on season.
Queen Creek Feastival21802 South Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek
From 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday nights, the Queen Creek Feastival lines up 15 to 25 food trucks from around the Valley. Set in front of the Queen Creek Library, the free food truck festival also offers live music and a boutique market of handmade goods. Guests can BYO blankets and chairs, and pets, too.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on September 29, 2015. It was updated on October 30, 2019. Dexter Presley contributed to this article.