Richmond, Virginia food trucks are a big part of why RVA is a food city. Whether you’re a local looking for a quick bite to eat or just visiting and want to check out the food scene, the options are diverse, delicious and plentiful.
We’ll be adding to this Richmond, Virginia Food Trucks Guide as we go, so if we haven’t featured your favorite RVA food truck yet, let us know in the comments!
Redemption BBQ is giving Virginia-style bbq its due. It’s run by a former pastor, John Vest, who got his start barbecuing for church events.
From the menu: “Believing we can redeem local food systems if we try, Redemption BBQ partners with Virginia farmers to provide true farm-to-table barbecue and Southern comfort food.”
The fantastic bbq is slow-cooked in all natural wood burning pits. Vest has also painstakingly created his own sauces (Crossroads, Commonwealth, Unforbidden Fruit and RVA Sweet Heat) that are reflective of the Virginia regional style. More on that here.
We really enjoyed the Unforbidden Fruit, which is a tomato-based sauce made with Virginia apple butter. But that’s not all. The Original Pork Fried Hot Honey Chicken sandwich was one of the best we’ve ever had. We topped it off with an order of Praise the Lard fries (yes, fries cooked in lard), and it was heavenly. We’ll be back to try the Cuban sandwich.
- Most popular item/owner recommendation: The BBQ pork sandwich, fried chicken sandwich and Cuban-style sandwich are all really popular.
- Our pick: The Original Pork Fried Hot Honey Chicken sandwich and Praise the Lard fries.
Brian Graff has been serving up out of this world tacos and Mexican cuisine since landing on the Richmond food truck scene in 2015. Beyond tacos, he offers a variety of quesadillas, burritos, chips and queso.
Graff recommends getting the Space Box. It’s a great way to sample the “best grub in the galaxy,” as the back of his truck exclaims.
The Space Box comes with two tacos of your choice, house-made tortilla chips, salsa and rocket sauce, which is a blend of Duke’s mayo and chipotle.
We got the pulled chicken and pork colorado tacos, plus the chips and queso. It did not disappoint, and from there it was all systems go! We also enjoyed trying the Space-a-dilla. It’s a 12-inch cheese quesadilla with your choice of protein, all of which are 100% sourced locally.
- Most popular item: Pulled chicken taco
- Owner recommendation: The Space Box combo
- Our pick: The pork colorado taco (featuring Autumn Olive Farms pork, red cabbage curtido and jalapeños), the chips and queso, and the steak space-a-dilla with rocket sauce.
Curry in a Hurry
Curry in a Hurry is the only place to get British-style Indian curry in RVA, and fast. Once you place your order, the national take-away dish of England is typically less than a minute’s wait.
But don’t let the speed fool you. Curry in a Hurry’s owner, Barry Hodge, puts a lot of passion and flavor into every dish. He makes sure you can taste the complexity of spices in his meals without it being overwhelmingly spicy.
When it comes to his customers favorites, he says, “It breaks down into being two dishes in particular. For people who enjoy great flavor without the heat, then it’s a toss up between Chicken Tikka Masala and Aloo Gobi (Vegetable Curry), or for those that enjoy a little more spice, it has to be the Beef Vindaloo.”
We agree, the Beef Vindaloo is great and has just the right amount of spice. You can also get chicken or beef madras. All entrees are served with Mum’s Basmati Rice, a secret family recipe made from premium basmati.
- Best-selling item(s): Chicken Tikka Masala, Aloo Gobi and Beef Vindaloo
- Owner’s favorite: “It’s the Beef Vindaloo with Tarka Dhall – an exceptional ‘combination’ which blends the spice of the Vindaloo with the flavor of the lentils, fresh ginger and garlic, cumin and onions. It’s really quite yummy and my customers love it.”
- Our pick: Beef Vindaloo
Monique brings a French flare to the streets of Richmond with sweet crêpes and savoury galettes made to order. She honed her skills in Brittany, France, the birthplace of crêpes, so you know you’re getting something awesomely authentic.
She uses two traditional batters – a gluten-free buckwheat flour batter for her savory galettes and for her sweet crêpes, a batter made from white flour, milk, eggs and sugar. Her menu changes depending on the season and location, but you can almost always count on the Banana Nutella crêpe being an option.
We were able to try her Valentine-themed Cupid’s Crepe. It’s a chocolate lover’s delight! It’s a cocoa batter crêpe with homemade chocolate filling combined with sliced fresh strawberries and finished with a drizzle of semi-sweet chocolate coulis.
As far as her personal favorite, it’s currently the OMG. It’s a galette filled with caramelized onions, sherry sautéed mushrooms and melted gruyère cheese. It’s accompanied with a mesclun greens salad with cherry tomatoes and her signature Dijon mustard vinaigrette. All of her savory offerings except the Bonjour breakfast galette come with a salad. And as an added bonus, all of the takeaway containers are compostable, so you’re getting great taste without the waste!
- Best-selling item(s): Banana Nutella crêpe: Sliced bananas atop hazelnut spread topped with peanut butter and honey flavored granola.
- Owner’s favorite: The OMG
- Our pick: Cupid’s crêpe
The Hungry Turtle
The Hungry Turtle is taking Vietnamese cuisine to the people of Richmond. It’s all made from scratch, from traditional pho and egg rolls to bahn mi sandwiches and their inventive pho hotdog.
The pho beef noodle soup is derived from a recipe owner Tony Woolcott’s mother-in-law uses and is reminiscent of what’s commonly eaten in Northern Virginia Vietnamese households. It comes with beef meatballs and sliced ribeye steak.
Need something more handheld and equally as delicious? We loved their pho dog. It’s an all-beef hot dog simmered in pho broth topped with bean sprouts, basil, cilantro, red onions, hoisin and sriracha sauces on a toasted bun.
Then there’s the banh mi sandwich. It’s your choice of chicken, pork or tofu topped with tangy carrots, daikon radishes, cucumbers, cilantro and homemade sriracha aioli on a French-style baguette.
Or you could make a meal of their egg rolls alone. Each is a hand-rolled blend of chicken or tofu, carrots and cabbage, deep fried golden brown and comes with a sweet-chili dipping sauce.
- Best-selling item(s): Pho and egg rolls
- Owner’s favorite: Pho noodle soup
- Our pick: The pho dog and egg rolls
It’s almost like going to the Jersey shore. That’s because The Boardwalk uses Thumann deli dogs from the Garden State to make all your hot dog wishes come true.
When visiting this Richmond, Virginia food truck, customers can make up their own hot dog configuration or you can ask for one of their signature dogs that are also available at their brick and mortar location on Laburnum Ave.
There’s the Cheli dog (mustard, chopped onions and chili), the Krout dog (horseradish, mustard, melted swiss and sauerkraut) and the Racer dog (Mustard, Chopped Onions, Chili & Cole Slaw), to name a few.
Fast and affordable, they’ve also been serving up burgers, cheesesteaks and bologna burgers since 1996. The Boardwalk can be found all around town at places including local fairs, festivals, sporting events or your next private function.
- Best-selling item(s): The hotdogs and cheesesteaks
- Owner’s favorite: The chicken cheesesteak
- Our pick: The Cheli dog
WRAPPERZ D-LITE might be your new favorite jam and is bringing you the hip hoppiest wrap sandwiches in Richmond. Each sandwich creation has been eponymously named and crafted after your favorite rap stars. These aren’t skinny “wrapz” either, the portions are huge.
Headlining the show is the Notorious BLT. It’s chopped tender fried chicken, remixed with bacon bits, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, shredded cheddar cheese, and ranch. It’s a good idea to get a side of their seasoned fries, which you can also get with melted cheese for a chance to experience the ultimate wrap duo.
Also on tour is the Fat Joe. It’s thinly sliced seasoned beef layered with french fries (you can never have too many), horseradish sauce, chopped onions and peppers. Other wrapz selections include the Slick Rick steak and cheese, the Sir Chix-a-lot chicken taco, Birdman Buffalo chicken and the Special D-Lite, their weekly special wrap.
For owners Joe and Rebecca, their personal favorite is the Jo’s Mac & Cheese egg rolls. They’ve taken homemade mac & cheese and wrapped it into an egg roll that’s perfectly fried and served with a sriracha ranch sauce that’s mixed fresh daily. Insider tip: the sauce goes great on the wraps too, so definitely get them together. As stated before, the portions are huge, but if you’ve saved room for dessert, they’ve also got S’mores Campfire D-lite egg rolls. Yum!
- Best Selling/Most popular item: Notorious BLT
- Owner’s Favorite: Jo’s mac n cheese egg rolls
- Our pick: Notorious BLT and Jo’s mac n cheese egg rolls
Where is one to go for some decent lumpia in town? Filling the gap in the Richmond Filipino food arena is Auntie Ning’s. What started as a farmer’s market experiment has grown to a mobile business that recreates authentic recipes from co-owner Frederico Enriquez’s aunt. It’s a great introduction to Filipino food if you’ve never had it before.
The lumpia, which are Filipino egg rolls, come highly recommended. They’re made two ways, vegetable and beef, and both are fried golden brown and delicious. The beef version really stands out as a slim 6-inch long egg roll that’s loaded with flavor and perfect for dipping in a sweet chili sauce.
Their bestseller is the bistek, which are tender bite-sized steak morsels, marinated in soy and lemon juices with onions and served over their garlic fried rice.
We came during their breakfast service at the GrowRVA farmer’s market and tried the breakfast bowl. This makes for a hearty brunch. It comes with your choice of sweet-and-spicy longanisa sausage (it’s so good, like meat candy), lechon kawali (marinated, slow cooked pork belly that’s flash-fried) or grilled vegetables served with garlic fried rice and two local fried eggs. We also recommend their empanadas that are stuffed with beef, raisins and peas inside a crispy pastry shell. Trust us, you won’t leave hungry.
Other must-try offerings include the chicken adobo and the pancit glass noodles which are cooked in a homemade beef bone broth and stir-fried with cabbage, carrots, and celery.
- Best Selling/Most popular item: Bistek
- Owner’s Favorite: Lumpia
- Our pick: Longanisa sausage, Empanadas and Lechon Kawali
1115 Mobile Kitchen
Some say the number 1115 is associated with making positive changes in life. For Henry Fletcher, owner of 1115 Mobile Kitchen, he’s making that change by dissolving the division between vegans and meat eaters with his hybrid southern food truck concept.
How does he do this? He splits his menu and truck to serve both. One side is plant-based and the other is meat. The idea is you can order either and get a similar flavor experience.
He’s spent a lot of time crafting some excellent sauces that pair seamlessly with each creation such as No Comply BBQ sauce (a reference to his love of skateboarding, Georgia Summer and Dragon Sauce. And the efforts have paid off. Most recently, 1115 was awarded with the Vegan Action’s People’s Choice 2021 Gold Winner for Best Savory Dish.
We had The Triple M fried chicken sandwich. It’s topped with “MMM” sauce which is “Maple Mustard and Vegan Mayo” scallions and dirty pickles. You can also get it with soy protein instead of chicken. This went great with the Sweet Heat Hushpuppies with pepper jelly.
We also tried the Gruffalo Chicken Salad with the soy protein chicken bites. The bites are tossed in Gruffalo sauce, a buffalo sauce concoction made with jalapeño hot sauce and pureed green peppers.
Then to cool off, get the Parnold Almer. It’s his signature purple lemonade (using butterfly pea flour for coloring) and iced tea, name altered for copyright and hilarity.
- Best selling/Most popular items: The Triple M, Purple Lemonade, Monte Crispo (for brunch)
- Owner’s Favorite: The No Comply Sandwich and Sweet heat Hushpuppies
- Our pick: Sweet Heat Hushpuppies with pepper jelly, the Gruffalo salad, and the Parnold Almer
Thai Won On
There’s no better time to Thai Won On. Their chef, Joy, grew up in Thailand and was gathering new recipes in the motherland over the winter off-season when we first reached out. It proved to be well worth the wait.
According to co-owner Jon Niemiec, everything cooked on the truck is made to order with only the freshest ingredients. And this can be personalized to your taste. They take spice level requests ranging from mild to Thai hot, and all of their entrees can be customized to be gluten free, vegan, or vegetarian.
We started with an order of the Shrimp Shumai appetizer. These are steamed dumplings filled with minced shrimp, ginger, garlic and onion and served with a sweet soy dipping sauce.
Then we spiced things up with the Drunken Noodles (the owner’s favorite) with chicken. These wild rice noodles are stir-fried with your choice of protein (chicken, shrimp or tofu) in a spicy basil sauce mixed with bell peppers, carrots, onion and basil leaves. The spice level was just right, and went great with a cold and creamy Thai Iced Tea.
Then we had to try their best-selling Pad Thai with shrimp. We loved how balanced the flavor was, not too sweet or acidic. The Thai rice noodles are stir-fried with bean sprouts, scallions, eggs, crushed peanuts and love.
- Best selling/Most popular item: Pad Thai
- Owner’s Favorite: Drunken Noodles
- Our pick: Thai Iced Tea, Chicken Drunken Noodles, Shrimp Pad Thai, Shrimp Shumai
M&F Jamaican Cafe On Wheelz
Irie Nyamins! That’s Jamaican slang for “good food” and also M&F Jamaican Cafe on Wheelz’ tagline. And true to form, this is some great food! This 4-year-old island eatery is getting ready to open a brick and mortar outpost amidst all the new construction on Semmes Avenue in Manchester.
When we arrived it was a 90-degree scorcher, making the fresh-squeezed Limeade a must have. Their best-seller is, no surprise, the Jerk Chicken. The meat is tender, with sweet barbecue notes and some light background heat from scotch bonnet peppers. It can also be ordered as a wings appetizer.
We asked the owner what his personal favorite was and he said, “It’s like picking a favorite child.” You can’t choose just one. Their other popular item is the Oxtails. If you’ve never had it before, it’s slow-cooked like pot roast but with Caribbean flavors such as allspice and scotch bonnets.
They also serve seafood including red snapper and king fish as well as curry and garlic shrimp. Most entrees are served with a side of delicious sauteed cabbage and carrots, and rice and peas.
Moving on to the appetizers and sides, we sampled the Coco Bread, Beef Patty and Fried Plantains. All were beaming with flavor and freshness. Pro-tip: you can stuff the Beef Patty inside the Coco Bread to make a savory sweet sandwich.
- Best selling/Most popular item: Jerk Chicken, Oxtails
- Owner’s Favorite: Everything, “It’s like picking a favorite child”
- Our pick: Jerk Chicken, Beef Patty, Fried Plantains, Limeade
River City Wood Fire Pizza
We think everyone can agree on River City Wood Fire’s motto, “Life is too short to eat bad food”. We even made a 1-hour round trip during rush hour traffic to pick up some of their pizza and wings to put that statement to the test – it was well worth our time.
For owner Joe Lajoie, delicious wood fired pizza is his passion. He’s traveled the country to master his craft. And the proof is in the crust. Why is this pizza so good? Using wood as fuel produces high heat, 900 degrees hot. This creates a nice char to the crust, but also embeds a smoky flavor in the finished pizza. Plus, it cooks super fast, and this is great for a mobile food concept.
We tried four pies, which is just a partial sampling of the menu offerings. Many are aptly named after Richmond neighborhoods including the Fulton Hill, Maymont and 64 West. We tried the Scott’s Addition, which is their BBQ chicken pizza, featuring house-made BBQ sauce, parmesan, mozzarella, white cheddar, red onions and chicken.
Then we had two red pizzas with their house marinara – the Southside (parmesan, mozzarella, Italian sausage and salami) and the Zinski pepperoni pizza. We rounded off our order with the Shafer Court. It’s a white pizza with minced garlic, olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, mushrooms, fresh basil, smoked bacon, parmesan, mozzarella, & fontina. Don’t skip out on their meaty, flavorful wings. We loved the Thai peanut sauce and honey bbq wing flavors and blue cheese dip.
- Most popular item/ Owner’s Favorite: Pizza and wings
- Our pick: the Shafer Court pizza, the Scott’s Addition pizza, Wings with Thai peanut sauce
When you’re feeling ravenous, you may want to heed the call of La Bête, which is French for “the beast”. They are a Trinidadian by way of Brooklyn, NY food truck offering Caribbean Creole New American cuisine. On any given day you’ll find a variety of tacos, sandwiches, seafood, fries and gumbo.
The owner Randy Boodram has been running the business for about seven years now and invites you to “Sate Your Beastly Appetite.” And that we did!
First we ordered a hot buttery blue crab roll consisting of fresh sweet lump Chesapeake Bay crab meat sauteed in brown butter, lemon and Old Bay spices atop a toasted brioche bun.
We then followed it up with creole fried shrimp tacos. These are lightly fried Carolina shrimp on toasted corn tortillas with mesclun greens. They have a plethora of homemade sauces you can add to this. We tried the tasty tarragon and spicy buffalo.
Next we had the buttermilk chicken sandwich. It’s a buttermilk marinated and beer battered chicken breast on a toasted bun that you can get in three different spiciness levels: mild, buffalo and nashville hot. It’s extra crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
- Most Popular items: It’s a rotating menu of favorites, the chicken sandwich being a mainstay
- Our picks: Shrimp tacos, Blue Crab Roll
1 Smokery Place
Going gluten free is as easy as going to 1 Smokery Place. Cedric and Stacie Sessoms describe their business as a gluten free / nut free food truck and catering company specializing in smoked comfort food that is unlike the comfort food grandma made.
Their truck was started in the middle of the pandemic as a response to their difficulty finding truly gluten free cuisine when eating out.
We had the smoked chicken legs which come with a choice of three different sauces: cherry bbq, pineapple ginger, and ghost pepper sauce. We opted for the cherry BBQ which was fantastic!
Then there’s the Caribbean steak bites which go great with the sweet potato croquettes, and it’s finished with a sweet pineapple ginger sauce.
We also tried the ghost pepper bites (potato croquettes) with pork belly and found that the ghost pepper sauce was a very manageable spice level. You can also get them with a variety of other great GF sauces.
Other items include a variety of smoked vegetables (corn and brussels sprouts), potato croquettes and other smoked meats.
- Most Popular Items: They have a rotating menu, but the smoked salmon cake is always a big hit because it’s typically hard to find them without fillers containing gluten. Also, try the smoked chicken nachos. The corn bites are a seasonal item that’s popular now.
- Our picks: The cherry bbq chicken legs, ghost pepper bites, and steak bites
Momma’s Barbecue has been part of the food truck scene since 2017 as a sister truck to Boka Tako. We found out from owner Andy McGinley, there’s no real momma, just good barbecue that conjures up the essence of a home cooked meal.
Aside from their traditional pork or smoked chicken barbecue sandwiches, one of their most popular items is the Smoked Belly Mac ‘n Cheese. It was judged Best in Show at Richmond’s inaugural Mac ‘n Cheese Festival. Better yet, you can get it as part of the Pork and Belly Mac Attack sandwich. It includes Momma’s smoked pork, pork belly, cheesy mac, and cider reduction on a toasted potato bun.
We also tried the Hillbilly Philly sandwich. It’s smoked brisket, grilled peppers and onions, cheese, and campfire sauce (RVA BBQ sauce + Alabama White sauces) on a hoagie roll. Don’t miss out on some delicious cornbread muffins and other sides as well. You can try a sampling of all of them with Momma’s Kitchen Sink entree.
They even serve barbecue for breakfast with options including the big barnyard breakfast burrito, pork shoulder breakfast bowl and the brisket egg and cheese sandwich.
- Most Popular Item: Smoked Belly Mac ‘n Cheese, Smoked Chicken
- Our picks: Hillbilly Philly, Cornbread muffin
Where to find Richmond, Virginia food trucks?
Check out Street Food Finder to see where these trucks will be next in RVA, or check out their individual pages and social media below!
Want to try making an RVA favorite?
Try our Sailor Sandwich Recipe