Atlanta Keeps on Food Truckin’

Red tape and Draconian rules once threatened Atlanta’s movable feast, but the tenacity of vendors and the public paid off.

Photo by: Wow! Wow! features marinated meat meals of food as well as veggie items for the herbivores. 

Remember when street food meant a petrified pork tube floating in a brine of lord knows what with a side of salmonella? Welcome to a new world of rolling food, meals on wheels** for a new generation.

In the past, finding a vendor was a clandestine affair; they’d secretly tweet a location and pop up in a parking lot sans permit. It was a risky business and many trucks were shut down or even ticketed due to lack of proper business documentation. People were reticent to get in the game. Though most still tweet or Facebook their location, times are changing and today there’s even an alliance dedicated to all things street fare.

The Atlanta Street Food Coalition not only lists where many food trucks are each day, but also helps entrepreneurs looking to get into the game on every conceivable level. They lobby local and state officials to relax permitting, foster good relations with fellow vendors and residents of the neighborhoods they serve and are even hosting a workshop, Street Food 101 on how to legally start your very own cart. The daylong seminar takes place on Saturday, July 20, in Marietta.

Roaming Hunger is the largest resource for all gourmet food trucks in the country. They will help you find a truck or any other equipment needed to get you rolling, lend advice and even help find financing. They also have a calendar of trucks rolling around town.

Photo by: Sweet Auburn BBQ Owners Richard Shelor and Howard Hsu paved the way for other vendors and started Atlanta Food Truck Park and Market, the city's first fulltime food truck park.

The Food Movement is another recently formed business begat from the food truck craze. They provide several one-stop catering options as well as corporate team building exercises through cooking. We can all agree that ropes courses are so passé, no?

Paving the Way

After jumping through administrative hoops and clearing many hurdles with the city over permitting, Atlanta Food Truck Park and Market paved the way for other trucks to roll into the city. Anchored by Sweet Auburn BBQ, it is the first permanent park in Atlanta and is located off I-75 on Howell Mill Road and open Tuesday through Sunday. On weekends there is a farmer’s market and well-behaved and leashed dogs are allowed.

For those OTP, every Monday night you can motor over to Dinner at the Depot in Kennesaw outside the Southern Locomotive Museum. Chew chew on barbecue from Alisha's Kitchen and a revolving door of favorites. Tuesdays welcomes foodies and the consequent trucks to Smyrna’s Taylor-Brawner Park where a portion of the proceeds benefit Smyrna Education Fund. Vendors include Hail Caesar, Chay J’s New Orleans sweets and Yumbii, a blending of Asian and Mexican flavors.

Little trivia: The Taylor-Brawner house is Smyrna's first structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located on Atlanta Road, it dates back to the 1890s and was the private home of the Taylor family. In 1909 Dr. James Brawner purchased the home along with 80 acres of land and turned into the first private mental health facility in Georgia. Ailing celebrities and Dr. Sigmund Freud visited the hospital.

Starting Tuesday, July 9, Buckhead gets its own corral of trucks. Look for them around lunchtime in the parking lot next to Disco Kroger and L.A. Fitness. 

On Wednesdays you can get your lunchtime fix at the historic Underground Atlantathe Stoveworks on Krog Street and the Goat Farm. In the evenings, vendors can be found rolling around Virginia-Highlands until 10 p.m.

Thursday lunches at 12th Street and Peachtree in Midtown near the High Museum continues its popularity and recently added more parking and tables. And why should Smyrna have all the fun? Suburbanites in Alpharetta enjoy Food Truck Alley Thursday evenings and Dunwoody-ites can head over to Brooke Run Park for Food Truck Thursdays

And finally, the City of Roswell just announced River Food Truck Weekends at Don White Park in Roswell every Saturday and Sunday from now until fall. Trucks will park along the banks of the Chattahoochee River off Riverside Road from 11 a.m. until dusk. For more information and frequent updates visit the Roswell River Food Truck Weekends Facebook page.  

Photo by: Alpharetta Food Truck Alley Historic Roswell enjoys fine food and live entertainment every Thursday evening throughout the summer. 

For the Festival Crowd

The Atlanta Street Food Festival takes place in Piedmont Park this Saturday, July 13 from 12 to 8 p.m. showcasing many Atlanta area food trucks, like Wow!Fry Guy and Texas Tacos, all in one place. Benefiting the Atlanta Community Food Bank, the festival will also have live music and adult beverages. Furry friends must stay, stay home that is.

All food truck parks are weather permitting and lineups are subject to change. Your taco may get a flat tire on the way to feed you.  

**Meals on Wheels is a fantastic organization that began in 1940, providing a countless number of meals to seniors. 









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