Food Truck Crawl

(All photos take by Pinn Chirathivat)

Though I definitely missed out on a lot of the classic freshman experiences due to COVID, the Philly food truck scene was not one of them. Last Tuesday, during Spring Stay, my friends and I decided to try some of Penn’s most famous food trucks. Having lived in New York, I was confident that Nathan’s hot dogs were the best that food trucks have to offer, but to my surprise, I found new favourites on this crawl.

We started the day off at Hemo’s on 37th and Spruce, with a sausage and egg breakfast sandwich. Served on a hoagie roll with melted cheese, it seems like nothing special, until Hemo himself tops it off with his signature Hemo sauce. The egg and sausage was perfectly cooked and with just the right amount of heat, this secret sauce provides the perfect variation from a classic breakfast sandwich. 

For lunch, we went to Tacos Don Memo on 38th between Spruce and Walnut, which is famous at Penn for having the best burritos on campus. Now available on sites like UberEats, this food truck has definitely made its mark in the Philadelphia community. After waiting in line for almost an hour, I finally got my spicy carnitas burrito but, at only $8, it was well worth the wait. I absolutely loved the combination of flavours along with their spicy sauce. Though I wouldn’t recommend it in a rush, it truly lived up to its reputation.

After Tacos Don Memo, we stopped by Nafi Food Truck on 34th and Market for some chicken biryani for $6. I was especially excited about this taste of home, and though I may be biased, I think it was my favourite truck. The white sauce truly made the dish by balancing out the spice of the meat, but the award for best chicken biryani still goes to my grandmother. 

For dinner, we finished strong with the New York Gyro Truck truck on 41st and Walnut, where we ordered his signature chicken over rice for $5. To my pleasant surprise, not only did this dish meet my expectations, but it surpassed them. The chicken was tender and the rice was flavourful with a mix of aromatic spices. Though I had eaten enough food for a week, I couldn’t stop myself from taking a few more bites.

Overall, with the beautiful weather and incredible food, this was one of my favourite days this semester. As the sun set and we finished our crawl, I could only think about how excited I was to do this again soon. With a long list of recommendations that I have yet to try, I’m very eager to explore what else the Philadelphia food truck scene has to offer.

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