These are just a handful of more than 30 active, licensed food trucks providing delicious delicacies on-the-go to people in Grand Rapids.
About Grand Rapids Food Trucks
The food truck scene in Grand Rapids dates back to the early 2000s, but it began picking up steam in 2013, expanding the concept of mobile meals in the city.
Rock Dandeneau, president of the Grand Rapids Food Truck Association (GRFTA), says that food trucks have added new flavors to the city, both in cuisine and culture.
“Food trucks promote vibrancy and create activity in spaces where people might not always visit,” says Dandeneau. “These trucks increase activity for public spaces, promote small business, and add a value to people visiting the Grand Rapids area.”
Lauren D’ Angelo, GRFTA vice president, says food trucks not only provide delicious delicacies in Grand Rapids, but can also help hopeful small business owners plant roots and begin to grow.
“Most small business owners aspire to have a brick and mortar facility and use the trucks as an incubator for their concepts in the hopes of having their own place,” says D’ Angelo. “With food trucks and physical establishments, they can promote their concepts year round.”
Alan Stone, the founder of GR Loves Food Trucks (GRLFT), spent 15 years in the restaurant industry before transitioning to the world of food trucks. After spending a few years establishing food truck events in Reno, Nevada, he moved to Grand Rapids in 2016.
Stone started GRLFT in 2017 to promote local food trucks and events around Kent County. One of those events, listed below, is Food Truck Fridays at Riverside Park, which is celebrating its third year in 2019 and averages about 12 food trucks per event.
“Food trucks thrive in the community,” says Stone. “They are all about helping each other out.”
Now foodies flock to multiple different locations where food trucks can be experienced nearly every day of the week in the Grand Rapids area.
Below is a list of events where you can enjoy the food truck culture and sample some mouthwatering cuisine around the city.
You can find a wide variety of food trucks almost any day of the week in and around Grand Rapids.
Photo Credit: Nichole Hilligoss
Street Eats GR
Where: 822 Ottawa Ave NW, Grand Rapids MI 49503
When: Year-round, Wednesday through Saturday, 11 AM-9 PM
A sure sign that food trucks have gained popularity in Grand Rapids is the establishment of a new food truck court called Street Eats GR.
Street Eats GR plans to provide a rotation of food trucks every Wednesday through Saturday from 11 AM to 9 PM throughout the entire year. There will be a full bar, games, and live music for guests to enjoy with their food.
Summer of Brunch Food Truck Rally
Where: Fulton Street Artisans Market
When: Sundays, June 9-August 18, from 11 AM-3 PM
Food trucks dish out their favorite brunch specialties, during the Summer of Brunch Food Truck Rally at the Fulton Street Artisans Market.
For 15 years, the market has been a venue for Michigan artists and crafters to sell their goods and share their passions with each other and the local Grand Rapids community.
The Summer of Brunch Food Truck Rally offers the perfect opportunity to fully support the local economy, whether through eating delicious foods or buying handcrafted goods.
Enjoy delicious food in the shadow of La Grande Vitesse during Kickin' It At Calder.
Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids
Kickin’ it at Calder
Where: Vandenberg Plaza (aka Calder Plaza)
When: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, May 7-August 28, from 11 AM-1:45 PM
Every Tuesday and Wednesday from May through August, the Grand Rapids Food Truck Association organizes food trucks to serve lunch at Calder Plaza during Truckin’ Tuesdays and Wheel-Food Wednesdays, otherwise known as Kickin’ it at Calder.
Both days offer a rotating roster of food trucks so you can enjoy lunch under the shadow of La Grande Vitesse at Calder Plaza while satisfying your taste buds. This fun and tasty experience includes live entertainment and games.
Stop by Relax at Rosa for lunch and great views of downtown Grand Rapids.
Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Nichole Hilligoss
Relax at Rosa
Where: Rosa Parks Circle
When: Thursdays, May 2-September 19, from 12-1:30 PM
Relax at Rosa happens every Thursday at Rosa Parks Circle. The event gives locals and visitors the opportunity to unplug, get outside, and enjoy incredible cuisine while surrounded by the vibrant downtown Grand Rapids cityscape.
Organized by Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc., Relax at Rosa features a diverse lineup of 20 local bands, oversized outdoor games like Jenga and Connect Four, and rotating food trucks (eight per Thursday).
One of Grand Rapids' largest parks, Riverside Park is filled with irresistible food on Food Truck Fridays.
Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids
Food Truck Fridays
Where: Riverside Park
When: Fridays, May 10-October 4, from 5-9 PM
Every Friday during the spring, summer, and fall seasons in Grand Rapids, Riverside Park is filled with some of the finest food you can find on wheels during Food Truck Fridays.
The event offers a rotating roster of vendors each week so you can sample the many diverse menu items the local food truck scene has to offer.
Most trucks offer options for those with dietary restrictions and, conveniently, all trucks accept cash or credit cards. Insider tip: seating is limited during Food Truck Fridays, so it’s recommended that you bring your own chairs.
Roll'N Out Food Truck Festival is the largest food truck rally in Grand Rapids.
Photo Credit: Tiberius Images
Be sure to check out these one-time summer food truck events:
Roll’N Out Food Truck Festival
Where: Heartside Park
When: Saturday in May
The Roll’N Out Food Truck Festival, the largest food truck rally in Grand Rapids, is a great kick-off to food truck season.
The festival takes place on a Saturday in May and is usually along Ionia Avenue and in Heartside Park with about 30 food trucks and trailers. The event includes entertainment on the Heartside Park stage, community partners providing family-friendly activities, and picnic spaces to enjoy your food.
Feast of the Wizards Food Truck Rally
Where: Potter in the Park’s Spellbound Festival
194 E. Division, Sparta, Michigan 49345
When: Saturday, June 22, from 11 AM-8 PM
For the past four years, muggles and wizards alike have visited Sparta, just north of Grand Rapids, for Potter in the Park’s Spellbound Festival, presented by the Sparta Chamber of Commerce.
When you’re not in the festival riding the Hogwarts Express, entering the Chamber of Secrets, or checking out the Wands and Wizards Emporium, check out the magically-inspired Feast of the Wizards Food Truck Rally.
The food truck rally, which is open to the public, begins with a best butterbeer competition. Sporting their culinary wizardry at the rally will be Pig Out on the Fly, Do Your Wurst, Ananda Ice, Doughrunts, and more.
End of Summer Food Truck Festival
Where: Kentwood City Hall
When: September 14, from 11 AM-8 PM
The food truck season in Grand Rapids ends like it begins: with a massive gathering of the area’s food truck armada for a fun day of good eats and fun times.
The End of Summer Food Truck Festival includes about 30 food trucks (many of which have already been mentioned), multiple live bands providing all-day entertainment, and the added bonus of a beer tent.
For more places to dine, visit the Food in Grand Rapids page. What are your favorite food trucks in Grand Rapids? Let us know in the comments below!