We all have those days when too long to-do lists, too little motivation, or a mix of the above nix plans for a home cooked meal. But sometimes the cost and logistics of filling the family car and heading to a restaurant don’t make sense. Luckily, there are a growing number of kid-approved Seattle-area taco trucks that serve festive, colorful plates that are easy on the eyes and the wallet. Here are a few favorites, including food trucks presenting select Mexican fare with Hawaiian, Korean, and Native American twists!
The darling of West Seattle food trucks, Beloved Mexico has garnered its fair share of young neighborhood fans, as well as plenty of families willing to drive a few miles from downtown to feast on exceptionally fresh South of the Border fare. Located in the parking lot of the West Seattle Produce Market, Beloved Mexico works to incorporate organic veggies and brown rice into its offerings. Better quality ingredients mean a bit higher price tag than competing trucks. But portions are large here, so two kids can plan to share a mondo burrito with some to spare. Try the seasoned salmon or tilapia plate with sides of pintos and sautéed veggies. Then top it off with a triage of house-made salsas.
Tacos El Asadero
Sure, kids like the food at Tacos El Asadero on Rainier Ave. But they love the setting. The whole establishment is set in a converted school bus. Kids can walk in, watch folks cooking, and eat inside on stools sourced from an old diner or on covered outdoor tables. Opt for the mulitas, a taco sandwich glued together with melty cheese; the kiddo-favorite chicken quesadilla; or a plate of simple and delicious tacos with your choice of protein. Then sample a variety of sauces from the bus’ condiment bar.
Located in the heart of Wallingford next to Winchell’s Donut House (with a freestanding locale in Capitol Hill and another truck in North Greenwood) Rancho Bravo offers affordable, appealing, and straightforward Mexican fare. A small outdoor seating area is housed under a tent and keeps burritos dry in the case of unpredicted showers. In the off chance it’s sunny outside, wash it all down with pineapple punch, a perfect cooler. And in case the kids wake up begging for a midnight snack, fear not. Rancho Bravo is open until 3:00am on weekends!
Marination Mobile (pictured above)
Declared “America’s Best Food Truck” by Good Morning America, Marination Mobile infuses Hawaiian and Korean flavors into some Mexican favorites. To encourage your wee ones to explore new tastes, split a kimchi quesadilla. Perfectly sour kimchi melts into seasoned pork and bright cilantro. Or opt for one of Marination’s wildly popular tacos. Miso ginger-soaked chicken, marinated kalbi beef short ribs cut with citrus, fiery red pepper-infused pork, or tofu are stuffed into a pair of four-inch tortillas per order. Tacos are topped with a homemade carrot and cabbage slaw and drizzled with a creamy, mayo-based sauce. The truck wanders the city, with scheduled locales listed on its website. Don’t feel like roaming? Marination Station, a brick-and-mortar shop, is permanently perched above a QFC on Capitol Hill.
Off the Rez
It’s hard to find a kid not into hot, pillowy fry bread. Riffing off a fry bread recipe borrowed from Montana’s Blackfeet Reservation where the owner’s family hails, Off the Rez is a newer addition to Seattle’s food truck scene. Off the Rez folds its fry bread into tacos filled with veggies, spiced chicken chili, BBQ pork, or beef, then tops ‘em with cooling cumin crema, cheese, and fixings. Don’t forget to share a piece of sweetened fry bread smeared with lemon curd for dessert!
Tip: While some of the city’s food trucks stay put on a single lot with regular hours, others prefer to hit the road and cook in various area locations. For a list of Seattle-based street food sortable by neighborhood with addresses and hours of operation, visit seattlefoodtruck.com.