2021 DRIVE-THRU EVENTS
The Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival is hosting some drive-thru events in March and April where you can pick up your favourite food truck-style treats from the comfort and safety of your car.
Events happen in Chilliwack on March 27th and 28th, in Abbotsford on April 3rd and 4th, in Maple Ridge on April 10th and 11th, and in Surrey at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds on April 24th and 25th. All the events take place on the Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm. Admission is free and around eight or so vendors participate each day.
See the Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival‘s website for more details.
Vancouver Food Truck Festivals
In addition to all the many general festivals in the region that happen to have food trucks at their events, there are festivals whose primary focus is the food vendors themselves.
In years when there isn’t COVID-19, most Lower Mainland food truck festivals feature free admission, some form of live entertainment and dozens of food truck vendors, not to mention tons of tasty things to eat and sometimes even beer.
Food Festival Locations
Major food truck festivals in the Lower Mainland most years include the following:
- Street Food City – a small food truck event featuring about 20 food truck vendors (including about a dozen at a time) in the plaza outside the Vancouver Art Gallery in January as part of the annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival. (Note: This event did not take place in 2021.)
- Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest – a massive street festival in New Westminster that features over a hundred food trucks and two or three live entertainment venues in the summer. Admission to the event is free. In 2020 the festival was scheduled to take place on July 25. It was cancelled though because of COVID-19. Hopefully it can happen again until 2021.
- Maple Ridge Food Truck Festival – a fair-sized event that has taken place at Haney Plaza at 22255 Dewdney Trunk Road in Maple Ridge in mid-September the last few years. In 2019, however, it instead happened on Father’s Day along 224th Street between Lougheed Highway and Dewdney Trunk Road. In 2020 it was again scheduled to occur on Father’s Day (i.e., Sunday June 21). The June event got cancelled, however, due to COVID-19. It now likely won’t be happening until June of 2021. (Note: Although the big Maple Ridge event isn’t happening for a while, a smaller drive-thru event takes place at the Albion Fairgrounds on April 10th and 11th in 2021. See the Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival‘s website for more details.)
Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival Events
Formerly called the Fraser Valley Food Truck Festival, the Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival also hosts a number of other small to medium-sized food truck events in late spring and early summer.
2021 events in the spring include the following (all of which run from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays):
- Chilliwack Coliseum – in Chilliwack on March 27th and 28th.
- Tradex – in Abbotsford on April 3rd and 4th (so on the Easter Long Weekend).
- Albion Fairgrounds – in Maple Ridge on April 10th and 11th.
- Cloverdale Rodeo Fairgrounds – in Surrey on April 24th and 25th.
- See the Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival website for details about upcoming events.
In 2020 the Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival was going to run the following (although many got cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic):
- April 11, 2020 – at Inlet Park at 3000 Murray Street in Port Moody from 11 am to 6 pm. (CANCELLED)
- April 18-18, 2020 – at Guildford Town Centre at 10355 152nd Street in Surrey from 4 to 10 pm on the Friday and 11 am to 6 pm on the Saturday. (CANCELLED)
- April 25, 2020 – at Chilliwack Coliseum at 45323 Hodgins Avenue in Chilliwack from 11 am to 6 pm. (POSTPONED)
- May 8-9, 2020 – at Willowbrook Shopping Centre at 19705 Fraser Highway in Langley from 4 to 10 pm on the Friday and 11 am to 6 pm on the Saturday. (CANCELLED)
- May 23, 2019 – at the Cloverdale Fair Grounds in Surrey from 11 am to 6 pm. (POSTPONED, likely until October.)
- May 30, 2020– at the Abbotsford Civic Plaza from 11 am to 6 pm. (CANCELLED)
- June 6, 2020 – at Town Centre Park in Coquitlam from 11 am to 6 pm. (POSTPONED)
- June 13, 2020 – a drive-thru-style event at Christian Life Assembly at 21277 56th Avenue from 11 am until 6 pm. This event is still taking place (and was actually initiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic). Click Langley Food Truck Event for details.
- June 14, 2020 – a drive-thru-style event at the Tradex Centre at 1190 Cornell Street in Abbotsford from 11 am until 6 pm. This event is still taking place (and was actually initiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic). Click Abbotsford Food Truck Event for details.
- June 20, 2020 – at Douglas Park at 20550 Douglas Crescent in Langley from 11 am to 6 pm. (CANCELLED)
- June 21, 2020 – at the Maple Ridge Street Festival at Memorial Peace Park in Maple Ridge from 11 am to 6 pm. (CANCELLED)
- June 28, 2020 – a drive-thru-style event at the Tradex Centre at 1190 Cornell Street in Abbotsford from 11 am until 6 pm. This event still took place (and was actually initiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic). Click Abbotsford Food Truck Event for details.
As noted in the list, apart from a few exceptions, most of the above food truck festivals ran from 11:00 in the morning until around 5:00 or 6:00 in the afternoon. In most cases, in years when there isn’t a pandemic, between about 20 and 25 food trucks participate as well as 8 to 10 local artisan vendors.
At all of the above Great Vancouver Food Truck Festival events Pup-Up Entertainment (a.k.a., Paw Patrol) was scheduled to be on site and providing kid-friendly entertainment in 2019. 2020 was likely going to be similar until the arrival of COVID-19. 2021 details are to be confirmed.
Other Major Food Truck Venues
If you love food trucks other events that feature especially numerous food truck and carnival-type food vendors, then you’ll likely also like the following:
- The Pacific National Exhibition – the PNE features dozens of food truck vendors from mid-August until the beginning of September.
- Shipyard Night Market – a night market with live music and, on especially busy days, up to a couple of dozen food trucks on Friday evenings in North Vancouver. (CANCELLED for 2020 and with 2021 details to be confirmed.)
- Richmond Night Market – the Lower Mainland’s largest night market has dozens of food vendors selling all kinds of Asian and other exotic and tasty kinds of festival foods on weekends in the summer. (CANCELLED for 2020 and with 2021 details to be confirmed.)
Vancouver Food Truck Companies
Participants at food truck festivals range from vendors selling curly-fried potatoes on sticks to ice cream, fried octopus, Thai noodles, Indian curries, kettle corn popcorn, pizza and lemonade.
Examples of specific vendors often found on Vancouver’s streets and at Lower Mainland festivals include the following:
- Corn Dog King – a frequent participant at community fairs that sells corn cogs on sticks. (Part of the locally-based Next Gen Concessions group of food trucks.)
- Mom’s Grilled Cheese – a popular sandwich food truck.
- Vij’s Railway Express – an East Indian food truck related to Vancouver’s famous Vij’s restaurant located at 3106 Cambie Street. The food truck menu portions aren’t large, but the food is tasty.
- Rocky Point Ice Cream – an ice cream company with a home-base at Port Moody’s Rocky Point Park that’s a frequent participant at Metro Vancouver festivals.
- Mr. Shawarma – a vendor selling Middle Eastern cuisine.
- Roaming Dragon – a street food provider with an Asian-Fusion menu.
- Street Dogs & Burgers – a food truck specializing in hot dogs and hamburgers. (Part of the locally-based Next Gen Concessions group of food trucks.)
- Japadog – a Japanese-style hot dog stand that became popular during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. It has a number of semi-permanent on-street locations including near Waterfront Station and on Robson Street. Occasionally you’ll also see them at a festival.
- Super Foot Long Hot Dogs – a vendor of world-famous hot dogs that’s a regular participant at the PNE. (Part of the locally-based Next Gen Concessions group of food trucks.)
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Lower Mainland Restaurants
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Entertainment Coupon Book Restaurants
- Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- Vancouver Summer Activities
- Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festivals