On Saturday, May 3, two separate taco truck festivals roll into town, each bringing 25 trucks, a one-day-only menu of taco-themed foodstuffs, and a ballot to name a taco truck champion. Here's how each one stacks up.
107.7 Taco Truck Challenge
Saturday, May 3, 11-5, Volunteer Park
The Rundown: Pun definitely not intended for the Fiesta 5k Ole race sponsored by local radio station 107.7 The End. When the display of physical fitness concludes, a bevy of local food trucks open for business. Admission is free (duh, the food is not).
The Food: “Taco-themed confections” from unlikely sources like 314 Pie, the Grilled Cheese Experience, My Sweet Lil Cakes, Fish Basket, and more, plus each truck’s usual menu. Here's the full list.
Truck Total: 25
Actual Taco Trucks: 2—Happy Grillmore's cart sibling, Happy Happy Tacos and Rancho Bravo.
The Drinks: Entrance to the beer and margarita garden is free for runners, $5 for the rest of us lazy wastrels.
The Entertainment: Nashville-based band Leagues is headlining, but our hearts belong to local group Tacocat. It's also entirely fitting that this palindromic quartet be playing an event dedicated to tacos.
The Deciding Factor: Tacocat is pretty badass.
Mobile Food Rodeo Taco Libre Showdown
Saturday, May 3, 5-11, Underneath the International Gate at Fifth and King
The Rundown: The annual Mobile Food Rodeo truck gathering has spun off its own taco showdown, happening on the first day of the two-day festival. Admission is free, though a $25 pass and an imperviousness to icy stares will allow you to skip the lines.
The Food: Tacos or taco-adjacent creations, at least one $5 bite, and the truck's regular menu. Particularly intriguing: Beanfish taiyaki filled with nacho fixings and chorizo, cheddar, and pepper hotcakes on a stick from My Sweet Lil Cakes. These are the confirmed dishes vying for taco libre supremacy.
Truck Total: 25
Actual Taco Trucks: 2—If you count Marination Mobile and Off the Rez as taco trucks.
The Drinks: Tecate and margaritas in the beer garden, and some proceeds go to One Reel to help support Bumbershoot.
The Entertainment: Some seriously acrobatic luchador wrestling courtesy of Lucha Libre Volcanica, and a trio of DJ sets that move the night along into a dance party.
The Deciding Factor: If you're going to see the Sounders play Philadelphia that evening, this is a no-brainer.