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Illustration: Ping Zhu
Food trucks are making way for bicycles as a nimbler, greener vehicle for mobile meal service. Employing souped-up bikes—and even trikes—food entrepreneurs are delivering culinary pleasures to peckish pedestrians. Here’s a tasty selection.
Founder Vincent Sterne peddles organically milled cider in such flavors as Gravenstein apple, pomegranate, and blackberry from a specially outfitted “bicycle bar” with two taps. “It’s eco-friendly,” he says. “Convenience is another big factor. It’s much easier getting around than in a truck.”
Go! Ice Cream
For owner Robert Hess, a bike is “seventy-five percent mission and twenty-five percent getting the product out. I also love the idea of combining physical activity and ice cream.” While Go!’s hand-crafted brown butter, three-bean vanilla, and vegan chocolate varieties draw crowds, the bike’s a huge attraction on its own. “It’s a great visual, and kids love it,” Hess says.
Owner Cayla Mackey also views a two-wheeler as a potent marketing tool. “Many people don’t think I’m actually selling food from the bicycle, but then they get curious,” she explains. Mackey’s meat-free, certified-organic offerings include huevos (beans and eggs), papas (beans and potatoes), and migas (eggs and tortilla crumbs with cheese).
Jian Bing Johnny’s
This venture combines food love and eco-activism for John Romankiewicz, the blogger known as Sustainable John. For his jian bing—vegetarian crêpes that are a staple in northern China—Romankiewicz uses a hot griddle to sizzle up mung-bean-flour batter with egg, cilantro, green onion, and three different Chinese sauces inside. And, he admits, there’s another reason he’s slinging his jian bing from two wheels instead of four: it’s good for business. “I’m operating a one-man show,” he says. “My profit per unit sold is higher.”
Truth be told, we love four-wheeled eateries too. Here are a few of ourfavorite all-veg food trucks.