Pedestrian Eats: Food Carts in DC

Photo courtesy of
‘taco and popcorn cart’
courtesy of ‘staceyviera’
Running out for lunch is a perfect excuse to leave your desk for a while, and forget the ringing phone and incoming email. There are plenty of lunch options around the city, but after a while, the Quiznos gets boring and there are only so many Chop’t salads one can eat. Enter: the food carts. Some of our city’s food carts are dependable – always on the same corner, same time, every day. Other carts are slightly less predictable, and use the marvels of modern technology to alert fans where they are headed for the day. But no matter the style, the food remains the focus, and the best part of all. So, I’ve got a totally subjective, not-at-all comprehensive guide to some of the most popular and well-loved food carts in DC.


photo
Taco Carrito: See that taco on the side of the cart? He’s running, and he’s worried. Why? Cause you are gonna EAT HIM AND LIKE IT. The Taco Carrito serves up delicious tacos and taco platters in NoVa with rice and beans. Also grab some chips and guac, while you’re at it. You can find the Taco Carrito Mon-Wed in Crystal City at 20th and Crystal Dr and then Thurs-Fri at Wilson and N. Pierce St in Rosslyn. The Taco Carrito is open for lunchtime business from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Now go give that taco a reason to look awkwardly nervous.

Photo courtesy of
‘Fojol Bro’
courtesy of ‘brmurray’
Fojol Bro’s: Acacia said it best when she wrote about the Fojol Brothers a few months ago, so why fix what isn’t broken? She said: The Fojol Brothers are dudes wearing strange get-ups and (fake?) handlebar mustaches in an ice cream truck tricked out to serve preservative-free Indian food. There’s a variety of veggie and meaty options to top some basmati rice. Also, all of their eating implements are biodegradable and they donate a percentage of their proceeds to help at-risk youths in DC. How do you find this mobile meal machine? Follow the Fojol Brothers on Twitter, duh. I mean, how does anyone do business these days?

Photo courtesy of
‘P1000060′
courtesy of ‘asmythie’
Pedro and Vinny’s Burrito: If you want the absolute best burrito cart in DC, look no further than “The Burrito Man” on 15th and K NW. It’s always fresh, always good, has a massive variety of hot sauces to choose from, and the service is always with a smile – and the dude is fun to talk to too! With a bit of drama last year, they’re now back to serving famous veggie burritos to busy K street workers. The burritos are vegetarian, but they are delicious and big enough to feed two people (unless you are me). Don’t be intimidated by the line that sometimes forms all the way down the block; it moves quickly. Check out the site to see if they’re open (warning, it plays music. ugh.) before you head out! (Frequent cart visitor Andrew Trice happily contributed to this review.)

Photo courtesy of
‘yellow bulgogi cart’
courtesy of ‘CathyLovesDC’
Korean cart at 14th and L: Love spicy Korean bulgogi but can’t justify a trip to Annandale for lunch? Head to the unmistakably yellow food cart on the southeast corner of 14th and L streets. Cart regulars swear this bulgogi is the best they’ve ever had. What’s bulgogi? Marinated barbecued beef, chicken or pork. Choose spicy, mild or a combination of the two with rice for $7.00. Or go for their bibimbap – an over-easy egg over rice topped with your choice of bulgogi, alongside kimchee, carrots, spinach and sprouts – for $6.75. With these hearty portions, we dare you NOT to fall asleep at your desk afterward. Open for lunch M-F, but closes around 2:30 or whenever they run out of food, so get there early. (WLDC author Cathy contributed to this review!)

Photo courtesy of
‘Tim and the Sweetflow Mobile!’
courtesy of ‘Carly & Art’
sweetflow mobile: I’m a big fan of the froyo trend that exploded last year. I do enjoy Tangy Sweet, Mr. Yogato, and others, but I do not enjoy the fact that they are not close to where I work. That’s okay, though, cause sweetgreen has created the sweetflow mobile, a mobile froyo cart. I had my taste of sweetflow at the Washingtonian Best Of party where they were parked outside. It was perfect for a hot night, and they generally snag their fruit toppers from the farmer’s market when they can. The big mystery, though, is where will the sweetflow mobile be? Well, follow them on Twitter to find out, of course.

Photo courtesy of
‘Smartkart and SmartBikes’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’
On the Fly smartkarts: These fun, green, cricket-looking carts are super eco-friendly. All over the city and at pretty much every crowded DC event (like the Nats games, Jazz in the Garden) smartkarts and On The Fly sell hot prepared entrees “made by us and locally famous businesses, prepackaged meals from our kitchen, and snacks and drinks that are mostly natural, organic and chemical-free”. The tacos are quite tasty, and the smartkarts always reliable for a healthy snack.

Katie moved to DC in 2007, and has since embarked upon a love affair with the city. She’s an education reform advocate and communications professional during the day; at night and on the weekends, she’s an owner here at We Love DC. Katie has high goals to eat herself through the entire city, with only her running shoes to save her from herself. For up-to-the-minute news and reviews (among other musings), follow her on Twitter!

11 thoughts on “Pedestrian Eats: Food Carts in DC

  1. Pingback: Burrito Cart Goodness FTW » We Love DC

  2. There is also a burrito cart on the NW corner of 17th and K that has really tasty bean and rice burritos for $5. You can choose between black or pinto beans (I like combo) and there are lots of flavored hot sauces you can add on.

  3. Today, the Arlington Police came by the Taco Carrito, whipped out a tape measrure and informed us that our cart was too long to operate in Arlington County. It was fun while it lasted. We will work on getting into DC or Maryland in the near future. Thank you to all of our customers and supporters!

  4. Pingback: The Yellow Bulgogi Again « Music Movies & Mashed Potatoes

  5. Pingback: “Hasta La Vista Taco Carrito”: Arlington Police Whip Out Tape Measure » We Love DC

  6. Pingback: Arrivederci, DC: Bucket List » We Love DC

  7. Love Carlos’ burrito cart at 17th and K – sooooooooooo much better than Pedro and Vinny’s where they skimp on the cheese and the refried beans have NO flavor. The free mints and chips are not nice, but don’t make up for the bland burrito…even the hot sauce doesn’t give the beans much flavor. Go to Carlos – he’s friendly and his burritos taste so much better!

  8. Love Carlos’ burrito cart at 17th and K – sooooooooooo much better than Pedro and Vinny’s where they skimp on the cheese and the refried beans have NO flavor. The free mints and chips are nice, but don’t make up for the bland burrito…even the hot sauce doesn’t give the beans much flavor. Go to Carlos – he’s friendly and his burritos taste so much better!