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Ottawa Food Truck Rally: The tastiest 4 hours of the year

By Kelsey Sunstrum on September 24, 2014

A mere two years ago, the City of Ottawa introduced the new Street Food Vending Program with the goal of reinventing and updating the city’s street eats (or lack thereof). Since then, Ottawa’s street food community has blossomed and all but swept the national capital off its foodie feet.

With more than 60 food trucks and carts in operation in the city, even the most avid and eager eater would have a hard time hitting every spot. Enter the 2nd annual Ottawa Food Truck Rally, the perfect opportunity to sample treats from 19 of the area’s favorite street food vendors. The roster is rounded out with the likes of a host of Asian delights, a couple of vendors dedicated exclusively to our nation’s delicacy, poutine, sugary edibles, and so much more.

Hosted by Domicile, the funds collected from the event will set up a culinary scholarship for an Ottawa Community Housing client at Algonquin College, continuing on the tradition started at their debut event last year. Any extra money will be used to establish short-term cooking programs for another 20 students in the school’s culinary program.

To sweeten the deal (as if it even needed it), the rally is very reasonably priced at $10 a head so make a day of it with your sweetie or get friends together to feast as a group. All tasting plates are priced at $4 so it’s entirely possible to taste each vendor’s specialty. Families are also encouraged with a 4-Wheel Deal special that includes 4 entry passes, 4 tasting plates, 2 alcoholic beverages, and 2 non-alcoholic beverages for the low price of $60. Note that this special price is only available for purchase online.

Wood burning pizza from What the Truck. Photo from their Facebook page.

Wood burning pizza from What the Truck. Photo from their Facebook page.

If you’re unsure which delicious direction to take once you’re there, allow me to guide you through my most anticipated spots to hit this Saturday. Make sure to hit Gongfu Bao Cart for a bao, a steamed bun stuffed with a variety of meat and vegetable fillings popular in Asian cuisine. For more Asian cuisine, head over to Streetside Curry for protein and vegetarian spicy options. Other spots I’ll be frequenting are the wood-burning pizzas and panini at What the Truck, Texan street food care of Urban Cowboy, and everything from wraps to soups to tacos as well as duck poutine, which will be served for the first time at the rally, at Ottawa Streat Gourmet.

If this sounds like a great way to pass some time this weekend (and there may be something wrong with you if it doesn’t), join me and other Ottawa foodies this Saturday, September 27th from 4 – 8pm at St. Paul University (232 Main St.). Happy eating!

Check out our interview with Ottawa Food Truck Rally co-founder Sharif Virani below.