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30 must-try Cincinnati food trucks








Over the last few years, food trucks have been on the rise across the country. They’re not taking the place of brick-and-mortar restaurants, but food trucks are able to do one thing, and do it well.
 
The Tri-State area is no stranger to the craze. Cincinnati is home to more than 30 food trucks and carts, serving everything from ice cream to pizza to grilled cheese. They’re popping up all over the city—at office complexes during lunch, farmers markets, and festivals like Taste of Cincinnati and Bunbury.

And people are gobbling them up. It's a big deal to stumble across your favorite mobile food operator to fulfill your craving.
 
Soapbox caught up with the owners of 30 popular food trucks to learn what they’re known for and how to find them. After you make a list of trucks to try, tune into WVXU at 1 p.m. today for Cincinnati Edition’s story on local food trucks.

And to find out when your favorite food truck will be in your area, check out the Cincinnati Food Truck Association's handy calendar.
 
Bello’s Bike Pops
Known for: ice pops
Owned by: Emily Carabello
Launched: 2012
Most popular item: Strawberry Basil
Bello’s Bike Pops are served from an icicle tricycle, which is a three-wheeled bike with an insulated basket in front.
Follow Bello’s Bike Pops on Facebook and @CarabelloCoffee
 
Bistro de Mohr
Known for: farm fresh food
Owned by: Trudy Mohr
Launched: 2013
Bistro de Mohr serves grass-fed beef, pastured lamb, turkey, chicken and duck, from their farm, Mohr Animal Acres.
Follow Bistro de Mohr on Facebook and @bistro_de_mohr
 
Bones’ Burgers
Known for: grass-fed burgers
Owned by: Curtis Bonekemper
Launched: 2011
Most popular item: Farm Burger
“We try and source our ingredients locally whenever possible,” Bonekemper says. “We also have 20-25 cheeses at all times, as well as about 15 different local or organic toppings for our burgers.”
Follow Bones’ Burgers on Facebook and @BonesBurgers
 
C’est Cheese
Known for: grilled cheese
Owned by: Emily Frank
Launched: 2012
Most popular item: Bee Sting
“We love our customers,” Frank says. “We look at them like extended family, and it’s very important to us how our customers feel when they come up. They know us, and they know our truck’s name is Blanche—our regulars feel like it’s theirs too.”
Follow C’est Cheese on Facebook and @cestcheesecincy
 
Catch-a-Fire Pizza
Known for: wood-fired pizza
Owned by: Jeff and Melissa Ledford
Launched: 2013
Most popular item: Three Little Pigs pizza
“You can find hundreds of pizza joints around the city, but there’s only one Catch-a-Fire,” the Ledfords say. “We’re using the freshest ingredients, including a Tipo-00 Italian flour. We also prepare everything on the truck, and make everything to-order on our wood-fired oven.”
Follow Catch-a-Fire on Facebook and @CatchaFirePizza
 
Cooper’s Crêpes
Known for: crêpes
Owned by: Peter Barton
Launched: 2011
Most popular items: Cheeky Monkey and Buckeye
“We’re offering a fun food that isn’t very common in the area from our retro tear-drop, pull-behind trailer,” Barton says.
Follow Cooper’s Crêpes on Facebook and @CoopersCrepes

Dojo Gelato
Known for: gelato and espresso
Owned by: Kimberly and Michael Christner
Dojo Gelato isn't just a mobile operation—there's a location at Findlay Market as well. And it's the only truck with single-origin espresso drinks.
Follow Dojo Gelato on Facebook and @dojogelato

 
East Coast Eatz
Known for: East Coast food
Owned by: Mike Martin; also owns Mobile Cold Stone
Launched: 2013
Most popular item: FAT Philly cheese steak
Cincinnati’s original and only “Fat Sandwich Truck.”
Follow East Coast Eatz on Facebook and @eastcoasteatz
 
Eat! Mobile Dining
Known for: contemporary cuisine
Owned by: Jason and Samantha Perkins
Launched: 2012
Most popular item: Sweet and Savory Rubbed Chicken Sandwich
Eat! is chef-run and offers a versatile menu, from fine-dining to homestyle.
Follow Eat! on Facebook and @EatMobileDining
 
Eclectic Comfort Food Truck
Known for: burgers and hotdogs
Owned by: Bill and Sherry Steioff
Launched: 2012
Follow Eclectic Comfort on Facebook and @Eclecticcomfort
 
Fireside Pizza Wagon
Known for: pizza
Owned by: Mike Marshman
Launched: 2010
Follow Fireside Pizza @FiresideWagon
 
Gold Star Chilimobile
Known for: Gold Star chili
Owned by: Gold Star Chili
Launched: 2009
Most popular item: Gold Star Chili Cheese Coney
The Chilimobile was one of Greater Cincinnati’s first food trucks, and was the very first from a high-profile restaurant chain.
Follow the Chilimobile on Facebook and @TheChilimobile
 
Kaimelskys
Known for: hotdogs
Owned by: Joel Miller
Launched: 2009
Most popular items: Nathan’s All Beef Hotdog and Tony Packo’s Big Dog
“I’m a cart, which is reminiscent of old-time hotdog vendors,” Miller says. “I also feature only iconic brands of hotdogs, each with its own distinctive style and flavor.”
Follow Kaimelskys on Facebook and @Kaimelskys
 
Marty’s Waffles
Known for: waffles
Owned by: Marty Meersman
Launched: 2012
Most popular item: Sea Salted Original Belgian Sugar Waffle
“We’ve sacrificed over 2,500 waffles to get the recipe we have today,” Meersman says. “We took a traditional Liege waffle recipe and tweaked it many times. And to complement the waffles, the truck has a whimsical picture of my great- great- great-grandparents from Belgium that encourages people to step forward and place an order.”
Follow Marty’s Waffles on Facebook and @MartysWaffles
 
Mobile Cold Stone Creamery
Known for: Cold Stone ice cream
Owned by: Mike Martin
Launched: 2010
Most popular item(s): Birthday Cake Remix
All of the ice cream creations are created in-store daily, and it’s the only mobile Cold Stone in the area.
Follow Mobile Cold Stone on Facebook and @mobilecoldstone
 
Mr. Hanton’s Handwiches
Known for: hotdogs
Owned by: Brian and Awilda Hinton
Launched: 2010
Most popular items: Cincinnati Caviar and The Smokin’ Hot Chick
Mr. Hanton’s opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant at U-Square in 2013, with a menu that offers around 30 different types of dogs.
Follow Mr. Hanton’s on Facebook and @MrHantons
 
New Orleans to Go
Known for: Cajun cuisine
Owned by: Miss Toy and Mr. Randy
Launched: 2010
Most popular items: Oyster, Shrimp and Catfish Po' Boys
Follow New Orleans to Go on Facebook and @NewOrleanstoGo
 
P&P Woodfired Pizza
Known for: pizza
Owned by: Patty Moran and Pam Sisney
Launched: 2014
Most popular item(s): Pepperoni Pizza and anything with a pesto base
Follow P&P on Facebook
 
Panino
Known for: handcrafted sandwiches and charcuterie
Owned by: Nino Loreto
Launched: 2013
Most popular items: rotating menu, but always have handcrafted Italian and Mama’s Pastured Beefballs
“My grandfather was a lifelong butcher, and our serving counter is made from his old butcher block, and the door handle is an old cleaver of his,” Loreto says. Plus, the truck runs on waste vegetable oil.
Follow Panino on Facebook and @findpanino
 
Perk’nUp
Known for: coffee
Launched: 2011
Follow Perk’nUp on Facebook and @PerknUpCoffee
 
Pizza Tower Truck
Known for: pizza
Owned by: Robert Speckert
Launched: 2013, restaurant since 1985
Most popular item: Pepperoni Pizza
“We make and bake onsite with homemade dough and homemade pizza sauce,” Speckert says. “And we’re the only pizza truck with award-winning pizza.”
Follow Pizza Tower Truck on Facebook and @PizzaTower, or text PIZZATRUCK to 41411
 
Red Sesame
Known for: Korean BBQ/tacos
Owned by: BJ Kim
Launched: 2012
Most popular item: Korean BBQ Burrito
“Our menu is made from scratch, and our four different sauces are all homemade,” Kim says.
Follow Red Sesame on Facebook and @redssm2012
 
Renegade Street Eats!
Known for: burgers and sandwiches
Owned by: Kris Buening
Launched: 2014
Most popular item: Garlic Parmesan Wings
“The truck looks like a hot rod, with flat black paint and old-school pinstripes on the outside,” Buening says. “And the menu rotates to keep things fresh on the inside.”
Follow Renegade on Facebook and @RenegadeStEats
 
Roll With It Café
Known for: gourmet sandwiches
Owned by: Kathy Marksberry
Launched: 2013
Most popular item: Fried Green Tomato BLT
“Roll With It sources fresh, local ingredients whenever possible, and many of the vegetables and herbs used on the truck are grown in our own garden,” says Amie Bonz, Marksberry's daughter-in-law who helps run the truck.
Follow Roll With It on Facebook and @RollWithItCafe
 
Streetpops Mobile
Known for: popsicles
Owned by: Sara Bornick
Launched: 2011
Most popular items: Chocolate Sea Salt and Raspberry Lemonade
Streetpops is known for its unusual flavors, like Pineapple Habanero, Beet Blood Orange and Thai Basil Lime. Streetpops also has a brick-and-mortar location in Over-the-Rhine, and sells four-pack boxes at Whole Foods in Mason and Rookwood Commons.
Follow streetpops on Facebook and @streetpops
 
SugarSnap! Truck
Known for: scratch-made gourmet desserts
Owned by: Kristy Crouse and Elizabeth Romero
Launched: 2012
Most popular item: Salted Caramel Brownie
“When you come visit our truck, you are #SugarSnappin,” Romero says. “We want everyone to share their experiences with us and send us pictures.”
Follow SugarSnap! on Facebook and @SugarSnapTruck

Tacos Locos
Known for: tacos
Launched: 2011
Follow Tacos Locos on Facebook
 
Texas Joe The Legal Mexican
Known for: authentic Mexican
Owned by: Joesph Garcia
Launched: 2012
Most popular item: Braised Beef Brisket Taco
“Our authentic ingredients will have you checking your GPS, but you didn’t even have to leave Cincinnati for a real taste of the Southwest,” Garcia says.
Follow Texas Joe on Facebook and @texasjoetexmex
 
The Chili Hut
Known for: Cincinnati-style chili
Owned by: Fadi Khalilieh
Launched: 2014
Most popular items: Three-way and Cheese Coney
The Chili Hut uses the freshest ingredients, shreds its own cheese and makes its chili from scratch. It also has a Slaw Dog, which is a cheese coney with coleslaw on top.
Follow The Chili Hut on Facebook and @TheChiliHut
 
Urban Grill Food Truck
Known for: handcrafted sandwiches
Owned by: Betsy Eicher and Randy Reichelderfer
Launched: 2012
Most popular item: Grilled Mac ‘n’ Cheese Sandwich
UGFT is the only food truck with a fully outfitted commercial kitchen, plus an onboard woodchip smoker. It also sports an authentic ship’s portal window, a sound system and neon lights underneath.
Follow UGFT on Facebook and @UrbanGrillCincy
 
Waffo
Known for: waffles
Owned by: Terry Tasler
Launched: 2012
Follow Waffo on Facebook and @waffotruck
 
Wiggy Dip
Known for: hand-dipped ice cream
Owned by: Sara Wiggershaus
Launched: 2010
Follow Wiggy Dip on Facebook and @wiggydip
 
Follow Caitlin Koenig on Twitter.
 

Read more articles by Caitlin Koenig.

Caitlin Koenig is a Cincinnati transplant and 2012 grad of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She's the department editor for Soapbox Media and currently lives in Northside with her husband, Andrew, and their three furry children. Follow Caitlin on Twitter at @caite_13.  
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