Food Trucks, the Secret to an Amazing Meal
May 25, 2021
I'm going to start off by saying that I am a food truck fanatic. Believe it or not, when I first came to Drexel, I set aside about $100 per academic term in my first year as a "food truck slush fund." There's something special about the food they make, and while I acknowledge the food comes from a truck instead of a brick-and-mortar restaurant, the food is so good! You can get Middle Eastern cuisine, Mexican cuisine, Jamaican cuisine...there are so many options from all over campus, how is it possible to not find something you'll like?! So, with this post, I want to talk about my favorite options for food trucks on campus and what I've learned from eating at them. I must warn you, though; when you do come to campus, sometimes these trucks come and go and may be there one term but gone the next. However, I do hope that when you attend Drexel University, you'll branch out and try some of the options available.
First and foremost are the halal food carts scattered along Market and 33rd streets. At any point in time during the day, there's always at least three carts along 33rd Street because of how popular the food is. You can get a lamb and beef meat mixture over a salad or bed of rice, or maybe chicken is what you fancy? Regardless, the spices and flavorings combined with their signature white sauce (ask for the spicy red sauce too if you like spicy!) is absolutely delicious. Each entree typically goes for $6, and for the amount of food you get, it is absolutely worth the price; I could never finish a meal all in one go and always had leftovers. This is a must-try for food truck food.
Or, maybe you'd like something more traditional? Outside the rec center is a burger truck that serves a $5 burger and fries combo that, while smaller in portion size, is still absolutely delicious and filling. If you're looking instead to branch out and try other cuisines, your options include a couple Chinese food trucks scattered around campus, a Korean food truck along 33rd Street, a mobile pizza oven truck, a Mexican truck, and a Jamaican truck located outside of Wawa further down towards 34th and Market streets. Being located primarily along Market Street makes the food trucks a great option for wanting a transportable meal that you can bring with you to class or back to your residence, or even a study location! Each of these trucks have amazing options to choose from; all that's left to do is explore and try them for yourself.
You can get Middle Eastern cuisine, Mexican cuisine, Jamaican cuisine...there are so many options from all over campus, how is it possible to not find something you'll like?!
One thing that's worth remembering about these trucks is that they aren't always the best options on campus for health and cost reasons. Many of them do not have the healthiest meals and thus should not be eaten in substitution for other options. Additionally, especially as a student, if you're enrolled in a meal plan or looking to save money, buying daily meals from these trucks will be unhealthy and costly. Some trucks offer meals that are cheaper than others, and for someone on a budget — it can be hard to justify paying $10 for a burrito. The best way I've found to balance eating at these trucks is to get smaller meals for lunch or get a large meal and split it into two separate meals back at home. For example, you could get a burger and fries at the burger truck outside of the rec center for lunch, which is only $5 and enough to satisfy your hunger. For dinner, with the halal food carts, buying a rice platter and splitting it in two and supplementing the portions with a salad or fruit at home eases your conscience on eating a full platter of greasy meat and rice. Plus, by splitting the meal in two, you turn one $6 meal into two $3 meals (plus the cost of what you eat on the side) while still being able to enjoy some really good food! This was my strategy for food trucks that helped me eat healthy and cheaply.
I'll wrap it up here, though, because I know that I could go on for ages about each of my favorite food trucks on campus. Food trucks are an eating experience that can't be had at any local restaurant in Philly or elsewhere, and are my personal favorite way to eat out while on campus. Especially in a city like Philadelphia, where food prices are continually rising, food trucks provide a varied dining experience that won't break the bank. Maybe when you come to campus you'll be like me and set aside a slush fund too?
Zachary Raber is a fourth-year Entrepreneurship and Innovation student, and while he's usually got his nose stuck in a textbook with all his classes or busy working on his latest startup idea, he equally has his foot out the door exploring Philadelphia with friends enjoying life as a student.