August 20th, 2021

Food Truck frenzy: 13 McMinnville food trucks not to miss

A man wearing a face mask hands the viewer an open to-go box containing sushi.
Kaki Hibachi & Sushi is a must-visit food cart centrally located in McMinnville.

For being a small city, McMinnville has a robust food truck scene. Pizza, steamed bao buns, loaded falafel, birria, barbecue, and sushi, the carts scattered around town offer dishes as delicious as those in sit-down restaurants. While food trucks in Portland and Salem are mostly clustered in dedicated food truck pods, those in McMinnville are a little more dispersed. Tucked into business district parking lots and popping up at nearby wineries, here’s what you’ll find if you seek them out. 

Bad Dog BakerySeeded bagels, squashy cinnamon rolls enveloped in cream cheese frosting, buttermilk biscuits, and loaded breakfast sandwiches; plan to arrive at this bakery cart early for the best selection. How fitting that you’ll typically find them parked at NW Baker Creek Road and North Baker Street

Antojitos La GorditaTamales, sopes, flautas, and empanadas, it’s easy to make a meal of the Mexican snacks on offer at this food cart. In addition to antojitos, the cart offers burritos and more than 8 kinds of tacos. Visit on Tuesday and most tacos are only $1.50 each. 

Bert’s Chuckwagon BBQ Head to the Staples parking lot to check out this weekends-only barbecue spot, beloved for its brisket, tri-tip, and pulled pork. Sandwiches and meats by the pound are available, as are family meal deals. Proprietor Richard Bert’s sweet onion barbecue sauce and homemade sides are not to be missed. 

Coco’s Tacos – Coco’s is the place to go in McMinnville if you’re craving Tijuana-style birria de res. They fold the tender beef, slow braised with chilies and spices, into tacos, tortas, and quesadillas. Served with a cup of deeply savory consomé, the braising liquid, alongside, it’s a carnivore’s dream. 

Omar’s Mediterranean Grill McMinnville doesn’t have a Middle Eastern restaurant, but Omar’s has us covered for gyros, shawarma, hummus, and falafel. Located in a red food cart in the Staples parking lot, everything is made to order. Spring for the saffron rice and, for spice lovers, the harissa sauce. 

A to-go box filled with falafel stuffed pita.
Falafel goodness to-go

The Red ForkOwner Patricia Rojas calls the Red Fork’s menu Pacific-inspired comfort food. Her eclectic rotation of offerings often includes loco moco, chili and cornbread, and vegetable curry. One thing always on the menu? Steamed bao buns filled with pork and vegetables, chocolate, or pineapple. Find the cart often at Mac Market

A to-go box containing macaroni salad and a bao steam bun.
The Red Fork’s steam buns have become a McMinnville staple.

Mother Sauce – Pasta is queen at this food truck, which you’ll find parked next to the MoonBean Cafe & Odditorium Art Gallery, but the frequently changing menu of seasonal dishes often boasts salads, sandwiches and sometimes dessert as well. 

Chaparros Pupuseria – Among the only local destinations for Salvadoran eats, Chaparros is the place to go for pupusas. These tender masa pockets are stuffed with chicken tinga, braised chicharón with cheese, or loroco, a type of flower. Find them at ForeLand Beer

Hawaii Five-0-Three It can be difficult to track down McMinnville’s Hawaiian food truck, one that specializes in plate lunches, fried rice, and yakisoba noodles, as their primary focus is catering private events. Craving mac salad? Check social media for their latest public pop-up schedule. 

Wooden Heart An instant hit when it launched in 2021, Wooden Heart specializes in Neapolitan style pizzas topped with foraged mushrooms and locally-made Briar Rose chèvre or prosciutto di Parma and figs with Calabrian honey. Dairy-free cheese and gluten-free crust are available. 

Kate’s ThaiA real mom and pop shop food truck experience, this turquoise truck offers made to order Thai flavors. Pad kra pao (stir fried meat with fragrant basil), drunken noodles, and coconutty curries are but a few of the many options on the handwritten menu. 

Taqueria Tulancingo – Less a food truck and more a full scale Mexican restaurant, Taqueria Tulancingo’s permanent outpost next to Mini Super Hidalgo, a small Mexican grocery store, has its own covered seating area. It also has a robust menu of tacos, tortas, huaraches, burritos, and homey stews like menudo.  

Kaki Hibachi & Sushi – Parked in the Grocery Outlet lot, Fisca Kharisma serves sushi as vibrant as any you’ll find in town. These are chunky maki rolls with swizzles of sauce and crispy tempura crumbs. Avoiding raw fish? Kaki’s other specialty is hibachi, stir fried meats, vegetables and diner’s choice of rice or noodles. 

Botanas El Paraiso Tacos, nachos, sopes, and more; this orange truck is a favorite stop for quick lunches. The thing that differentiates it from the other taco trucks around town is an impressive selection of fruit-based beverages and desserts like sandia loca and mangonada. 

Emily Teel is a McMinnville-based food writer and recipe developer and a food editor at Better Homes & Gardens.