On the Move

On the Move: Grab a bite from some of WNC's fabulous food trucks this summer
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The Rice Wagon
Jeremiah and Jennifer Chatham own this Hawaiian BBQ and Asian fusion business, operating two food trucks with help from crewmembers Jonathan Todd and Ethen Cook. One truck is permanently parked in Bryson City behind Mountain Layers Brewing Company, while the other is based out of Dillsboro, traveling occasionally to Asheville and Cherokee and frequently found at Innovation Station on Sundays. Fan favorites include the garlic chicken and ahi tuna dishes, with their legendary Hawaiian take on mac-n-cheese luring loyal customers who want to buy tubs of the stuff. Jeremiah says the Rice Wagon strives to keep prices reasonable while maintaining high quality, with folks amazed that food so tasty comes from a truck. Facebook: The Rice Wagon

The Scarlet Bee
This fiery-red food truck specializes in Lebanese cuisine and homemade herbal sodas. Owners Matthew and Kristen Sawaya operated an Asheville restaurant by the same name before COVID hit, and afterwards decided to take their show on the road. They travel all over Western North Carolina, operating on Thursdays and Sundays, with an occasional day thrown in mid-week. They make everything they can from scratch, including the craft sodas, which are infused with homemade syrup. Fan favorites include chicken shawarma and kofta sliders. thescarletbee.com

The Smokin’ Onion
A living-wage certified employer, Onion owners Parker and Keems Schultz pride themselves on providing their customers with a healthy, vegan diet. Their food truck has been in operation since 2021, and the team makes nearly everything from scratch, including bread, sauces and dressings. Their Town Gyro is a best seller, along with their hand-cut, homemade fries tossed with, yes, smoked onions. Parker and Keems strive to give back to the community, donating to local animal sanctuaries and social justice causes. thesmokinonion.com

Tin Can Pizzeria  
Dubbed “Asheville’s original pizza truck,” Tin Can Pizzeria serves hot and fresh made-to-order pies. It’s been named one of Asheville’s top food trucks, and also featured in USA Today’s food and wine section. The truck ferments their own sourdough for seventy two hours, creating an uncommon, but delicious, crust flavor. Their wood-fired thin crust pizzas can be topped to order with locally sourced produce (when in season). Tin Can Pizzeria is currently stationed at New Belgium Brewing Company on Wednesdays, but visit their website for updates on their daily whereabouts. tincanpizzeria.com

On Smasheville’s menu, you’ll find variations of the classic American burger—double or single-pattied beef burgers, a fried chicken sammie, and a vegan burger—paired with sides of hand-cut French fries, a salad, or even chicken nuggets. The truck sources their pasture-raised, dry-aged beef from Shipley Farms, and buns from Geraldine’s in downtown Asheville top The Smasheville, a hamburger with two patties topped with white American cheese and dill pickles, and The Veganville, made from wild rice and local wild mushrooms. smashevilleavl.com

Birdie’s Coffee & Treats
For a quick bite and caffeinated pick-me-up (or decaf, if you prefer) stop by Birdie’s Coffee & Treats, a small but mighty food “camper” that incorporates local goods in all their products. Birdie’s offers dozens of hot and cold drinks, as well as a rotating menu of baked goods from WNC makers. And for your pup, the truck offers doggie treats from Wet Nose & Nibbles in Blowing Rock. A little birdie told us to try “hello, honey,” an oat milk latte with lavender and honey from Whole Hive Honey company in Boone. birdies.coffee

Toasted Cuban 
Owned and operated by Raul Taboada and his family, this food truck boasts a wide variety of Cuban cuisine, from sandwiches and sides, to desserts. A quick perusal of their menu prompts a mouth-watering response, with selections reasonably priced. Event manager Nurashikin Quesada notes that their homemade bread is shipped weekly from Miami for further authenticity. Customer favorites include the Cuban sandwich and the Burger Capitan, among others. Based out of Columbus, the truck will go about an hour in each direction. toastedcuban.com

Root Down
Dano Holcomb, a UNCA graduate and former collegiate-level soccer coach, often visited Tryon with his family over the summer, eventually moving down south from Chicago. Spending time in the area, along with watching his father and grandfather cook, imbued a passion for food and cooking in him, and in 2013 Root Down hit the streets. A blend of Creole and Southern soul food, Root Down’s menu changes daily but always features vibrant flavors of the region. Try their fried chicken, which is soaked in hot sauce and buttermilk. rootdownfoodtruck.com

Sweet Southern Funk
Boasting an award-winning sammie (a barbecue sloppy joe topped with queso and Duke’s mayo) and a menu full of hefty dinner and supper options, Sweet Southern Funk’s traveling kitchen satisfies your cravings for comfort food. The food truck has a permanent location in Candler, but can be booked for local events. Customers love this lunch wagon for its personable staff and its delicious Southern food with a twist. sweetsouthernfunk.com

El Kimchi
This Asheville based food truck boasts a unique menu that melds the best of Korean and Mexican cuisine, with its house-made signature dish, kimchi, comprised of fermented Napa cabbage, radish, green onion, garlic and red pepper. This Korean specialty is normally served as a side dish, but the owners also sell it by the pint and quart. Facebook: El Kimchi

Photographs courtesy of businesses; (rice wagon) by Jennifer Chatham; scarlett bee) by Matthew Sawaya: (smokin' onion) by Nate Burrows; (pizzeria) by Chris Maness