Check out Bengaluru’s craze for food on wheels
Bites on wheels, gourmet by the kerbside, meaty eats, upgraded fancy street food, fast food on the move, unabashed and unapologetic dude food. The terms used to describe them may be as colourful as the food coming out of Bengaluru’s growing number of food trucks. It’s all sinful, loaded, and mouthfuls of heaven. And Bengalureans are lovin’ it!
Cosmopolitan city, huge working population which needs to grab a bite on the go, an appreciation for quality food without frills, late night stomach grumbling, an exposure to different parts of the world where they have tasted food out of trucks, a constant desire to taste and try new food – the reasons for the growth of these food trucks are many. They are now a staple at music festivals, flea markets and carnivals, malls, college festivals, IT parks, weddings and birthday bashes too.
They have evolved over the last four years – the first few sprung up in 2014 – to go beyond just opening up their shiny kitchen every evening at a fixed roadside spot to even cater to corporate events, and supply to food delivery aggregators like Swiggy and Zomato to reach more foodies.
While we are revelling in the fact that there are so many, Bangalore Food Truck Association (BFTA) President Varun Sequeira says that while the numbers have been up and down, there are about 20 food trucks in Bengaluru. The real regulars that operate on an everyday basis maybe 12. Most of the others open shop on weekends or at events. “There was a time when there were 48 almost!,” he observes. The group even hosted four seasons of the Bangalore Food Truck Festival along with Pebbles Lounge, before that event wound down too.
But most shut down because of parking hassles, police harassment, objections from resident welfare associations, lack of sustainability, not making profits, and other factors. Varun himself used to run The Ice Cream Buggy – a little food van doling out specialty ice-cream and now is busy launching Michael’s Ice Cream Burgers inspired by what he recently saw in New York.
Social media has been a godsend to keep the curiosity factor up – loyal and repeat customers track their location and go over to binge. Instagram has only fuelled food truck fever further with everyone going “I want what he’s eating”.
Pan Asian, Mediterranean, fusion, burgers, hot dogs, and pizzas, BBQ wings, bites, desserts, American fastfood, waffles, steaks, Mexican combos, French street food, sandwiches and rolls, North Indian and Chines, dosas, waffles, ice cream…. what can you not find at these myriad trucks that dot the city’s hip areas! Eve a star hotel has its own food truck! They go mostly where they know people will throng to them – Koramangala, Indiranagar, HSR Layout, Thippasandra, Kammanahalli, Sahakarnagar. Some have begun to travel to other cities for events and fests. Prices dishes have ranged from Rs. 80 to Rs. 300, with combos costing a bit more.
Here are some of the regular food trucks you can track in Bengaluru (please note that some of them go off the air for a while and come back, some operate weekends because owners have other week-day jobs, so keep tracking!)