9+1 Chicago Restaurants That We Wish Had Food Trucks

by Alex Levine, May 15, 2012

In light of the past week’s *cough* craziness, we found ourselves daydreaming about which brick-and-mortars we’d love to see gourmet food trucks from when the city fixes the food truck laws. While we love that gourmet food trucks are often the hyper-creative brain child of ambitious young chefs and we’re giddy with anticipation of the unconventional truck concepts they’ll bring us, we wouldn’t walk past a food truck from any of these restaurants:

dining sign

Image courtesy of Flickr user Thomas Hook. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

1. Slurping Turtle: Chef Takashi’s noodle menu would make quite the slurp-worthy street food, especially when it’s less-than-warm outside (we’ll let you insert a joke about ridiculous Chicago weather here).  The array of extra toppings would make the truck-side experience interactive and tailored, appealing to foodies and regular joe’s alike.

2. Vera: We fancy ourselves some tapas connoisseurs, and this place gets our vote for the best tapas in town. Our once-staples in the tapas scene have been leaning a little too much on their names that it shows in the decreasing authenticity and freshness of their tapas have been compromised. One of our former favorites has been serving chalky tortilla española and Iberian ham that looks like uncooked bacon. (Hand-to-bible this is not a backhanded response to Keef, this just really irks us and has for a while.) Then, Vera popped up on Lake Street and re-introduced us to authentic tapas made with passion and love. Cafe Ba Ba Reeba gets an honorable mention here too; their tapas are authentic and dependably delicious; a food truck from them would help us to avoid their long waits as well.

3. Lao Sze Chuan: Amazing dim sum on the go. ‘Nuff said.

4. Girl and the Goat: This may seem like and obvious choice (and it is), but it’s so hard to get a reservation at the brick-and-mortar that this could be another vehicle (ba-dum-chh) for Chef Izard to share her food with us to hold us over between brick-and-mortar visits. Side note: we’re getting purrrrdy excited about the alleged mid-September opening of her new spot, The Little Goat.

5.  Kuma’s Corner: Fancy a freshly fired burger? Of course. Even if they limited their menu to 2 burgers, we imagine they’d have a steady line of drooling carnivores.

6. Roti: Yes they’re a small-medium sized chain and one of the things we love best about gourmet food trucks is the short distance travelled by the concept between the chef’s left brain and the food in our hands, however their falafels are really unique and we oft crave them, so we’ll stand by this one.

7. Thalia Spice: Soy paper-wrapped sushi and amazeballs Ya-Ya Noodles? Yes please.

8. Wishbone: We love us a good breakfast. These guys could cook up a mean breakfast on wheels.

9. Irazu: Their patacones (twice-fried green plantains with garlic oil), corn masa empanadas (very different from 5411′s), and oatmeal shake would be a few of the menu items we’d hope to see on the menu if Irazu launched a food truck. The first two items in particular would be quite amazing coming straight off the frier (though a gym sesh would be mandatory afterwards).

10. Big Star Oh wait…

Which restaurant(s) do you want to see a food truck from? Leave a comment below!

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