While outdoor dining in some of of favourite restaurants resumes this month, the warmer weather and wanderlust means picnics and road trips are definitely on the cards.
The explosion of food trucks across the country during lockdown has left us with so many tempting options for grab and go goodies, so our “outdoor summer” is sure to be a tasty one.
From gelato cookie sandwiches to tacos worth travelling for, narrowing down our choices was by no means easy, but here are 10 food trucks we think will be well worth a delicious detour this summer.
If you loved Mister S and Chicc, one of the culinary brains behind their deliciousness chef Dan Hannigan has teamed up with friends David Keane and Luke Murphy to launch a food truck and you’ll want to make a trip. Treehouse Treats calls itself a dessert and coffee truck, and the choux buns and tarts look fantastic, but it is the insane duck doughnuts (that look like the beauties we devoured from Mister S during lockdown) that have us wanting to run to Goatstown.
Irish milk rightly deserves a place in the spotlight, and popular food blogger Niamh O’Shaughnessy of Gourmet Grazing has highlighted just how good it is with the opening of her food truck Bainne Gelato. I don’t know a single soul who can resist a cookie sandwich, and at Bainne they are served stuffed with 100% Irish milk gelato, and perhaps a loaded affogato on the side if you’re feeling extra. Find them at Round O Bar in Navan.
Bites by Kwanghi
We’re not sure there’s anything TV chef, restaurateur, retail food entrepreneur and soon to be cookbook author Kwanghi Chan can’t do. His most recent opening, Bites, promises more of the sensational Asian street food we’ve come to know and love from Bowls and Meal Kits by Kwanghi. Keep an eye on Bites by Kwanghi on Instagram for their next location.
The Hungry Donkey
Chef Chad Byrne has made a name for himself far beyond the Kerry county bounds with his inventive cooking, mentoring initiative Chef Collab and much more. We’re delighted to hear his crowd-funded horse box conversion the Hungry Donkey in Killarney is attracting queues and diners from far and wide, and with enticing and ever-changing dishes like scallop, octopus and scampi chimichurri and aged miso aubergine tacos, we can see why. Pick up a memorable picnic feast and enjoy it in Muckross or at Ross Castle overlooking the lakes.
Julia’s Lobster Truck
If you’re off to the West this summer, plan ahead and text in your order to Julia’s Lobster Truck, which parks up in Ballyvaughan and Bell Harbour in county Clare. Indulge in seafood treasures like a half BBQ lobster with beef dripping chips, lobster roll with lime and dill mayo or mussels in cider, leeks and cream to take with you on a scenic drive overlooking the rugged Atlantic coastline.
Feed Food Truck
There isn’t a single picture on Feed Food Truck’s Instagram grid that won’t make you hungry. You can expect street food delights such as burnt end mac and cheese balls, sous vide feather blade, asparagus and chips and a maple smoked pork bun that looks well worth getting your hands dirty for. Feed is parked up at Dublin’s Whelehan’s Wine at weekends, so you can even pick up the perfect bottle to go with your feast.
The Salty Buoy
The name Niall Sabongi is synonymous with superb Irish seafood, and that is exactly what you can expect from the Salty Buoy food truck, which pops up in Harold’s Cross and D8 depending on the day. The original Sabongi hotspot Klaw is single-handedly responsible for my oyster obsession, and you can sample some of the best Irish bivalve beauties, along with peel and eat shrimp and (frankly indecent sounding) Hake Kiev at the Salty Buoy. Numerous trips may be required to work through all the specials.
Galway is always a good idea, and you won’t be short of amazing things to eat there. That said, you need to save some room for a trip to Atlantic Drifters on the Long Walk promenade. Expect an eclectic mix of ever-changing meat and fish dishes, plus far more than your token vegan option. Their gigantic beef brisket croquettes sound like a solid reason to get yourself Galway ASAP.
Killybegs Seafood Shack
I speak from cherished experience when I say Killybegs Seafood Shack is home to possibly the best scampi you will ever taste. Plump, perfectly cooked, audibly crisp crumb, you’ll want to dive into your catch there and then, sitting on the wall watching the boats come in, fending off opportunistic seagulls. It is well worth queueing for, and perfect fuel en route to Donegal’s breathtaking Sliabh Liag cliffs.
C.R.A.F.T West Cork
If your summer adventures are taking you to West Cork, and they most certainly should, then C.R.A.F.T at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery needs to be on your radar. You can order ahead online to ensure you can get a good haul of dishes packed with locally sourced ingredients to eat by the sea. Their Brunch Box of homemade Caherbeg sausage rolls, Rosscarbery chorizo laden Huevos Rancheros, Clona buttermilk pancakes AND a homemade hot chicken roll sounds like an unbeatable way to start a day of exploring stunning West Cork.
WRITTEN BY DARINA COFFEY