Features

Food Trucks at U of T

Photo credit: BlogTO

A masterful and entirely accurate guide

Adam Morrison, Associate Opinion Editor

Are you sick and tired of replacing a substantial amount of your diet with cold brew from the Robarts Starbucks? Blew all of your money on a Friday at Love Child? Or, if you’re currently living at St. Mike’s, can’t eat another bite of Canada Room’s cookies and pizza? Look no further than this article, dear reader, as I have compiled and ranked all of the food trucks that operate in and around the University of Toronto, from Sid Smith to Bahen, I’ve eaten at most of these! In respecting genuine and honest journalistic fashion, with full disclosure, I’m extrapolating my friends’ opinions on these fine dining establishments to accurately and faithfully represent the entire student population’s view of these meals-on-wheels. 

My grading scheme is based on four key facets of the food-truck experience. First is convenience and speed: how quickly you can put food in your mouth after ordering. Second is food quality: how good the food actually tastes. Third, the price: the price-per-calorie ratio is a critical determinant of the overall food-truck experience. Lastly, and importantly, how much the food truck can “come through” for someone. This involves hours, operating through inclement conditions, and the satisfaction of your foodly desire at that time. However, my opinion and discretion are used to determine whether or not I actually use the scheme during the grading. Fundamentally, it’s entirely opinion-based in the most objective way possible.

#1: St. George and Bloor Hotdog Vendor

Hot takes are all around in this article, and our number one spot falls in line. At first place is the hotdog vendor situated diagonally across from the York Club at the corner of St. George and Bloor. The vendor here is a saviour for students and hungry wanderers alike. Whether it is a spicy Italian, bratwurst, or plain old street hotdog, the dog does not discriminate against your hunger. It satisfies regardless of the time, weather, or state of mind. Whether you’re wandering back from a regrettable outing to a frat party during your first year, or after a long night writing a midterm that just didn’t include the material that you studied, the St. George and Bloor hotdog vendor always delivers tasty, warm hotdogs with your toppings of choice. 

Rating: Excellency

#2: INS on Bloor

This is not technically a food truck. However, if you’ve ever been lucky enough to visit this fine, fine establishment, you’ll understand the phenomenal quality of its Jamaican patties. Despite them being perfectly normal and regular Jamaican patties, they are cooked to perfection in the patty warmer. Their crispy, golden goodness can be purchased for just two dollars! The price-per-calorie ratio cannot be beaten at INS. Just as well, its drink selection is unparalleled among the listed establishments, which is exceptionally convenient for thirst quenching. Whether it is a snack or a very poorly balanced meal, INS patties and drinks cover all of your possible desires, as long as they’re Jamaican patties and soft drinks. 

Rating: 9.4/10

#3: Ideal Catering (Brown Truck)

Everyone, please stop extolling the virtues of Brown Truck. Every conversation where Brown Truck comes up seems to be a hagiography of poutine and supreme fries. Yes, I like eating there. Yes, it is cheap. However, the popularity of the Brown Truck has led to its downfall in my perspective. It now takes ages to get a poutine and even longer to get a hotdog. Ultimately, Brown Truck is good. But it is exactly as advertised: French fries and cheap eats, for a great price.

Rating: 6.74/10

#4: Pink Truck

I say this as someone who has literally no clue about the preferences of engineering or physics students, but I have to imagine, judging by the proximity to the physics and engineering buildings, that Pink Truck is popular among them. I also happen to enjoy the Pink Truck. Although it is no 3 a.m. Popeyes, its fried chicken and chicken sandwiches are phenomenal when they are fully cooked. I have received an unpleasant mouthful of chicken sashimi on a select number of occasions, leading me to eat there very infrequently, if ever anymore. However, its popularity leads me to believe that it’s actually not too bad.

Rating: 4.82/10

#5: Blue Chip Truck

As you might be able to tell by now, my writing has become increasingly sloppy as the article has continued. So, in the interest of preserving your time and my sanity, I’ll say this: Blue Chip Truck is just the evil inverse of Brown Truck. I have not been that far south on campus in decades, so I can’t make an accurate judgement as to whether or not its poutine is equally as good and the same price as Brown Truck. 

Rating: Effectively the same as Brown Truck, but blue. Therefore, –6.74/10

#6: Canada Pasta

I have literally — and I mean literally — never once seen a single soul order or eat from Canada Pasta. I’m not entirely sure if it exists or if it’s a poorly remembered fever dream that I hallucinated while strolling out of Robarts at 2 a.m.

Rating: Figment of my fever dreams