With the summer season in full swing, Northerners are soaking up the long hours of sunlight as much as they can.
While outdoors, why not hit the streets and try out some of the best food the NWT has to offer? To help you on your culinary road trip, the Northern Journal has rounded up some of the top food trucks North of 60.
From classic barbecue dishes, the best fillets of fish and the most aromatic Eastern cuisine, these mobile chefs will help quash any cravings.
One of a Thai – Yellowknife
Sousanh Chanthalangsy is the owner of One of a Thai, a Yellowknife food truck dedicated to serving up authentic Thai cuisine. Chanthalangsy’s culinary inspiration comes from her mother, who is also a chef on the truck.
“Growing up, she would always cater birthday parties or just family functions,” she said. “I would watch her cook or help her out and I told her, one day, we are going to show off your cooking! And now every dish we make or put together, it’s the same as when I was younger. It’s authentic and comfort food.”
One of a Thai’s signature dish, and one of the most popular on the menu, is their Combo #1, which comes with pad thai noodles, a coconut curry chicken skewer and two spring rolls, either pork or shrimp. With a new truck on the road, Chanthalangsy looks forward to cruising around the city to deliver her delectable Asian cuisine. You’ll most likely find the mother-daughter duo parked outside of Visual Effects on the corner of 48th St. and 49th Ave.
Wise Guy Foods – Yellowknife
Robin Wasicuna, known for his stint on the competitive cooking show Chopped Canada, runs the Wise Guy Foods truck, one of the biggest names in Yellowknife.
In the process of opening his new stationary restaurant, Wasicuna prides himself on serving quality comfort foods with a Northern flair year-round.
However, when working out of his truck, his specialty is burgers and sandwiches.
“Everything has a little twist on it, as one would expect from me,” he said. “Our signature burger is called the Numbnuts. It has peanut butter, bacon, jam, cheese and burger sauce. All our patties are hand formed, 100 per cent ground chuck roast, and almost all our condiments and toppings are made from scratch, as well as our buns.”
Rain or shine, you’ll find Wasicuna and his crew of wise guys and gals parked near the Northern Frontier Visitors’ Centre in Yellowknife.
Daniel’s Swiss Baking – Hay River
Daniel Probst and his wife Beate run Daniel’s Swiss Baking, Hay River’s home for fresh pastries and light lunches.
For the past two years, the duo has set themselves up at the community’s weekly Fisherman’s Wharf market, but recently started parking their truck in the garden centre of the Super A grocery store.
“The response from the community was overwhelming and encouraging,” said Daniel, who trained as a pastry chef in Switzerland. “My inspiration for food is based on the customers, what they might like and what I might like. I love good food!”
Daniel said his most popular menu items are his Swiss-style doughnuts and turnovers filled with almond paste or sour cream custard. But if it’s a hearty lunch you’re looking for, make sure to try out the pretzel-bun hot dogs.
Saffron – Yellowknife
After years of being told she should be selling her savoury foods, Mitu Nahar finally caved and opened the Saffron food truck this summer, bringing authentic Indian food to the streets of Yellowknife.
The truck has only been open for about a week, but so far the most popular dish has been Nahar’s butter chicken. She serves it up with a side of rice and also offers warm naan, samosas and even some soups.
Until Saffron finds its home, customers might have to do some searching around downtown Yellowknife to find those unique Eastern flavours.
“I just started, so I go wherever there is space,” Nahar said. “It’s hard to get parking, so I just try to get the best spots.”
Fisherman’s Wharf Fish and Chips – Hay River
While technically not a food truck, the fish and chips pop-up stand hosted at the Fisherman’s Wharf in Hay River is not a meal to be missed.
These cooks serve up flaky fillets of whitefish reeled in fresh from Great Slave Lake. The fish is then lightly breaded, fried and plated on a bed of crunchy french fries with side of tartar sauce, ketchup and lemon.
Eat this hearty meal right next to the river at the picnic tables set up in the marketplace.
Don’t forget, the market runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays in the summer; make it a day and check out the vendors before treating yourself to this classic meal.
Street Treats – Fort Smith
The Street Treats food truck is run by Fort Smith entrepreneur Denise Yuhas. A busy businesswoman, Yuhas is serious about delivering fresh, delicious food to her customers, sourcing her ingredients locally whenever possible.
Her tart, homemade “lemonator” drink is not to be missed, and neither is her menu’s newest item: fried whitefish harvested from Great Slave Lake served with fresh-cut french fries.
“We never just want to have one thing,” Yuhas said.
For the first time this year, Yuhas will be setting up her stand every Thursday next to the Rusty Raven café, starting July 16. She also plans on running some more regular weekend hours, either parked out of her lot on McDougal Rd. or out and about around town.
Curbside Treats and Eats – Yellowknife
Murray Jones is the owner and operator of the year-old Curbside Treats and Eats Truck, which can be found parked along Franklin Ave. in Yellowknife during the week, or out at Fred Henne Park near Long Lake on the weekends.
There is a lot of variety on the menu, but Jones’ top sellers are definitely his bannock balls and fresh-squeezed lemonade. He also hosts a “Fish Taco Friday,” where he serves up fresh whitefish from Great Slave Lake with some South American heat.
“We just like to have good, fun foods,” Jones said, noting that a lot of his recipes are the result of suggestions from his family members.