No doubt you’ve noticed that the street food scene has exploded in Columbus this year. There are new trucks appearing every week and lots of festivals this summer are prominently featuring food trucks. At some of these festivals they’re the main attraction.
There’s another new development on the food truck scene – the rise of food truck ‘pods’. Pioneered by cities like Portland and Austin, and long popular on the west coast, this is the first year that they have been appearing in Columbus.
There doesn’t seem to be any official definition of a ‘pod’, but here’s our take on it: A pod is a grouping of food trucks assembled at an established location (usually a parking lot) on a semi-permanent or regular basis. A pod may range from 2-20 trucks, though some suggest 3 as a minimum. There is often some seating or dining area.
Here’s our round up of the food truck pods (clusters) in Columbus:
Located at the 400 W Rich St., Dinin’ Hall (above) is far and away the most accommodating of the food truck pods and boasts the amenities such as an indoor seating area for up to 60 people, central payment system, and other products to purchase. There are usually 2 or 3 trucks/carts there each weekday at lunchtime. A calendar of participating trucks and their menus are available on their website.
Campus Pitt Stop
the Pitt Stop is located at the Intersection of Lane Avenue and Kenny Road in a repurposed gas station site, and currently features 3 trucks. Based upon conversations with the property owner, we’re expecting this pod to grow. Trucks commonly found here include: El Conquistador, Sophie’s Gourmet Pierogi and The Pickled Swine. There’s no seating area (yet), but there is some cover from the elements.
Hal & Al’s – Monthly Food Truck Hop
This is a monthly food truck event that takes place at Hal & Al’s bar at 1289 Parsons Ave. The next one is July 1st. They’ve been hosting around 6 trucks. Seating (and beer) is available inside the bar and there is a large grassy area where you can sit outside. In the future they plan to fence in the area so that they can serve beer outside.
AKA the ‘Food Truck Food Court’, occurring 11am-2pm every Thursday during the summer (until September 27th). You can expect to find 6-8 trucks there. There is outdoor seating and you can also enjoy corn hole, ping pong and bocce ball. There will also be food trucks at the commons for the Downtown LIVE events some Thursday evenings and for the June 13th Food Truck Festival.
A new microbrewery, Zauber Brewing Company is hosting food trucks at its location at 1300 Norton Ave near Grandview. Usually on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays you can find at least one food truck (and often two) set up for lunch and dinner. Check twitter and facebook for updates. This is a small pod and we expect to see them grow.