Food Truck and Cart Festival 2011

27 Aug

columbus commons food trucks

One thing is undeniable, the food truck and cart festival last night had a HUGE turnout and shows how much Columbus loves food trucks. An estimated 12,000 people packed into downtown, stood in line, picnicked on the lawn and over flowed into downtown bars and restaurants.

The long lines upset some and meant it was hard to try food from multiple trucks. The organizers and vendors completely underestimated the number of attendees and many vendors ran out of food really early. There were complaints about the drink ticket system (especially for soft drinks), but hopefully these are kinks that can be worked out for future events. It was really exciting to see that many people downtown and we hope this will become a more regular event.

Here are some photos of the event and here’s the discussion about the good and bad on Columbus Underground.

The list of vendors who were there is below. Unfortunately we didn’t get to try as much food as we would have liked but we’ll try to hit the new Columbus trucks and carts as soon as we can for full write ups (vendors let us know where you will be!) Great to have a Columbus visit from The Hodge Podge Truck from Cleveland who are featured on the Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race, Sundays at 9pm.

If you want more street food check out our list of upcoming events starting with Urban Scrawl in Franklinton this weekend.

Hodge Podge Truck– from Cleveland
Jeni’s Ice Cream,
Flippen Eggrolls – from Canton
Sublime Smoke,
The Cheesey Truck
Munch Box,
The Pickled Swine,
Earth Crust/ Crazy Monkey
Paddy Wagon,
Mojo TaGO,
Mikey’s Late Nite Slice,
Junior’s Tacos,
Mr. Footlong,
Rad Dog,
Boston Bert’s Seafood,
Rolley-Pulley’s ,
Dave’s Dogs & More,
Kolache Republic,
Lotsa Lobsta,
Leslie’s Crepes,
Yellow Boys Polish Boys
Short North Bagel Deli,
Spinelli’s Deli!

If you went to the event what was the best food that you tried? We loved the spicy shrimp from Lotsa Lobsta, the sausage jalapeno and cheese kolache from Kolache Republic and the cucumber paleta from Pickled Swine and we were sad we didn’t get to try anything from Hodge Podge.


11 Responses to “Food Truck and Cart Festival 2011”

  1. Cindy L August 27, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    I had to leave without eating. Called my friends and told them to abort. We met up at Skillet instead, after I spent 30 minutes crawling up 3 blocks of High Street just to get there. What a night! I will say there was no line at the Jeni’s walk-up in German Village at 9:20 pm, which restored my faith in humanity.

  2. Kristian August 27, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    Great! Thanks for posting!
    I was amazed at the lines. Once we walked on the lawn, a guy turned to us and declared he waited 45 minutes for his (hot) dog.
    It actually was exciting to see so many people.
    I should have my festival post up by Wednesday.

  3. rian August 27, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Food Truck and Cart Festival was great! It was nice having so many choices in one centralized location. There were a lot of people so I had to wait in line for almost an hour, but it was worth it. Many trucks ran out of food early, so next year ill have to show up sooner.

    • hungrywoolf August 30, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

      Rian – Love your positive attitude!

  4. tcareywood August 27, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    Not enough seating. Smaller food carts placed at the the other end of the commons–dumb. The drink system totally sucked. You stand in line for for food, stand in line again to a drink ticket, and stand in line AGAIN to buy a drink—STUPID! I don’t know who came with that idea, but they are a moron.

  5. Bill Troyer August 28, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    First, let me say – Great Event! People were nice and in good spirits. Could use double the amount of trucks and carts… also I suspect future events may not draw quite this many people, since the Food Truck Race is currently ongoing, and the novelty of it may wear off a bit. Drink and ticket lines need to be totally revamped.

    The food trucks and carts will need to beef up their staffing and efficiency, to each their own. It would be impracticable to mandate how they function. Announcing numbers would NOT be the answer, too noisy to do so.

    Where were the Gyros, desserts, etc? That was much needed.

    Perhaps have a contest and have people vote for their favorite food truck, based on quality, efficiency, and personality? That may generate more excitement. Also, have door prizes?

  6. Laura H. August 30, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    I’m so bummed that it was such an epic fail for us. Due to work and having to drive Downtown from Dublin, we got there around 6:30 and it was sheer CHAOS. Every other vendor was out of food, the only lines that were moving were for the restaraunt that is permamently at the Commons and no one really knew where the lines started….
    The crowd was friendly, but getting more and more dejected by the reality that the places they came down to try were closed.
    We ended up leaving without eating and getting something on the way home.
    I guess downtown really isn’t meant for people that live and work in the ‘burbs.

    • hungrywoolf August 30, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

      I don’t think that the organizers had any forewarning that the event would be THAT popular. They were anticipating 3-4000 people and had around 12,000. Yes it was disappointing that the lines were long but it was amazing to see downtown that full of people. I hope you won’t let one extremely popular crowded event put you off coming downtown again.

  7. Patrick kelly September 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    I walked my kid down from German village and got there at 4 when y’all first opened. I thought it was awesome we got a sandwich from pickled swine and a homemade Popsicle for my 18 month old who was in heaven. Couldn’t get a drink because I didn’t want to wait for a ticket. I figured there were going to be large crowds so we got in and out. Great idea next time spread the trucks out and close off a street or something. Give each beer tent a cash drawer and make sure the cash matches the inventory at the end of the night. I am sure this will be a great event in the future.

  8. Karla Clemons September 29, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    I actually got there right around 4, before the huge lines. I just spent 3 years in south Texas, so the first place I headed was also the kolache place, as I hadn’t had one since Texas. I agree that the sausage, cheddar and jalapeno kolache was great. I am sad you didn’t get to sample Hodge Podge. I had one of their pulled pork BLT’s and I, at least once a week, curse the heavens that they are a two hour drive away. It was amazing food. I can’t wait for next year’s fest to see how they improve on it. 🙂


  1. Show Notes – 10/08/11: Street Food in Columbus | WCBE FOODCAST - October 8, 2011

    […] Food Truck Festival at Columbus Commons […]

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