Although the acclaimed Dubai and Abu Dhabi food festivals last for just a few delicious days each February, the food truck craze they sparked has become a permanent feature. With gourmet street food now readily available throughout the UAE, there’s no stopping you from staying in a luxury hotel and opting for the occasional food truck indulgence.
Food trucks are fun, informal ventures, often using vintage vehicles or custom-made trucks to project their brand. The essence of this new gastronomic dining style is perfectly captured in the film Chef, starring Jon Favreau.
The mobile pop-up kitchen trend started as an affordable way for enterprising chefs to build a reputation with their own start-up restaurant. The difference is that the new gourmet food trucks serve up the sort of chef-inspired epicurean fare normally reserved for top restaurants.
Spreading globally from London to Los Angeles, the idea of bringing gourmet food to city streets has now taken hold across the UAE. Food trucks can now be found at local festivals, events and on city streets across Dubai and beyond.
Combining an informal street truck dining experience with a stay in one of Millennium’s hotels provides visitors with the reassurance of luxury accommodation while enjoying a taste of local culture. Here are some worth queuing for:
Jake’s by The Food Truck
The Food Truck pioneered the mobile food trend in Dubai and was the first to be given a licence to roam. With more specialty food vans in the pipeline, this enterprising company aims to launch a tracking app so faithful fans will know where and when to get their fix of gourmet goodies. In the meantime, you can find the location of Jake’s on Instagram’s @thefoodtruckdubai.
Based at Kite Beach, within easy reach of several Millennium hotels in Dubai, Salt is one of the leading food truck companies in the UAE. Specialising in fast, affordable food (mostly mini burgers) for connoisseurs, its mobile vans are best located via social media – search for @FindSalt or #findsalt on Instagram.
Vida’s Portable Gourmet Station
Housed in a restored 1960s Airstream trailer, you’ll find Vida’s outside The Pavilion Downtown Dubai restaurant. From popcorn pita to mouthwatering smoked brisket on a bun, this gourmet food truck is known for its small dishes.
Vida’s Portable Gourmet Station. Credit: Steve Glasgow
Serving up authentic Emirati cuisine with a modern spin, Meylas operates out of a distinctive van. This boutique food truck is definitely one to track down in Abu Dhabi as its food quality and culinary creativity is exceptional.
Ghaf Kitchen is a name to look out for at festivals, concerts, parties and events all over Dubai. Expect to dine on their signature prawn cocktail, lobster and avocado salad, and other mouthwatering offerings from this upscale outlet.