The fortunes of Philadelphia food trucks are pointing up after recently passed legislation revising the definition of mobile food vending and updating zoning permit requirements to make things easier for the entrepreneurs serving up our city's savory street fare.
Partly for their unique recipes and partly for the shining personalities behind them, food trucks receive all kinds of cultish praise. Even at 3 in the morning, the tacos you scarf down and rave were "disgusting" were really just "disgustingly great."
The beauty of food trucks is that they're there for you whenever you need them and they rarely disappoint.
But what if you're trying to watch your figure and you need something on the go? Strange as it sounds, there are food trucks out there that will serve you great food without logging your entire daily caloric intake in one $6 swoop.
Here are five great food trucks in Philadelphia where you can find a healthy menu selection or otherwise take advantage of the truck's concept to build something light.
37th and Spruce
If sampling cuisines from around the world isn't enticement enough, the team at Chez Yasmine prides itself on promoting a healthy approach to food rather than the obsessiveness of dieting. With representation from Sweden, France, Tunisia and the U.S., a stop at Chez Yasmine promises everything from quinoa salads to tuna Bánh Mì, a Swedish berry salad and vegetarian couscous.
Collaborating with the Healthy Food Truck Initiative, Chez Yasmine is dedicated to sourcing the freshest local ingredients for a reasonably priced, nutritious menu that promotes healthy gastronomy.
34th and Walnut, 35th and Spruce
Another gem in University City, Magic Carpet may help you get into the kind of shape to entertain the idea of perhaps riding a magic carpet. Established in 1984, Magic Carpet specializes in whole-world vegan and vegetarian food, offering salads, pita sandwiches and wraps and combo platters in American, Cajun, Greek, Indian, Mexican and Middle Eastern styles. Once again, you can get pretty much any flavor you're craving and enjoy it even if you're not vegetarian or vegan.
13th and Norris
All right, so maybe s'more and pizza crepes aren't healthy, even if it's possible to fool yourself into thinking wrap-like foods are automatically good for you. But just because a food truck offers menu items that appeal to your sweet and savory temptations doesn't mean they don't know how to offer healthy options as well.
The Crepe Truck is a lifesaver for busy Temple students, with an online text-to-order app and accommodating hours for class schedules that make it tough to get a bite in. With veggie items on the menu and optional (key word there) sauces, it's possible to craft a lean crepe that's fresh, delicious and healthy. After all, it's important to remember that eating well is often as much about what you choose to order as it is about the joint itself.
Trekking around the greater Philadelphia area, the Farm Truck isn't just healthy, it's also focused on sustainability and advocating environmentally conscious practices, from the procurement of local ingredients to the biodegradable and recyclable containers. With seasonal menus always ensuring variety, the Food Truck packs such fresh ingredients that it's able to prepare its sandwiches, tacos and salads with a homemade sense of quality and care.
Breakfast is allegedly the most important meal of the day, and yet many of its most celebrated items, like bacon and muffins, are really not so good for us. Schmear It, another truck collaborating with the Healthy Food Truck Initiative, is the creation of Chief Schmearer Dave Fine, a UPenn graduate who originally hails from Baltimore.
Fine decided to combine healthy whole wheat bagels with social entrepreneurship by sponsoring a new cause every week. Living Beyond Breast Cancer's Yoga on the Steps! is up this week, for example. At Schmear It, you can custom craft a tasty bagel sandwich (the Veggie Delight bagel comes with cream cheese, scallions, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots) while also contributing to good causes every time you stop by.