Buena Vista food trucks

In Buena Vista, food truck culture is lighting up Main Street with clever local fare and friendly, welcoming attitudes. While the town administration struggles with how to handle permitting issues, these culinary incubators on wheels have activated empty lots and are filling empty bellies.

The Bearded Lady food truck located at 410 E. Main St., serves locally sourced street tacos, empanadas and homemade fruit paletas. Owner Jen Welsh does the cooking in her converted school bus (it used to transport whitewater rafters to the busy Arkansas River). Welsh raises the bar by raising her own pigs and cows just down the road. She views the production and service of food as “Love in its simplest form,” and when you bite into a gooey empanada or chat with a smiling face in the window, you’ll taste the love.

The Bird and Mouse Bakery operates out of The Bearded Lady on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Owner Danielle Forsythe has somehow mastered a high altitude New York-style bagel boiled to perfection. She also offers fresh sour dough English muffins, breakfast sandwiches and fresh Danishes. Forsythe arrives at 4 a.m. to boil the bagels and is stoked every time someone walks up to her window. She is mindful of sustainability issues and uses minimal packaging when serving her food.

Crust Woodfired Pizza is a mobile wood-fired pizza oven located in the courtyard next to the Jailhouse craft beer bar, 412 E. Main St. Owner Dawn Dennison enjoys working with local produce (her field pesto is outrageous) and says anything with bacon is an especially big seller. With a three-day sour dough-rising period in temps of at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit, this pizza is something special. Hidden in a cozy, kid-friendly courtyard, Dennison’s pizza is a perfect complement to the quality craft beers sold next door.

The Hub in South Main serves tacos, burritos, chips and guacamole and sources their meats from local butcher Scanga Meat Co. If you haven’t tried the River Rummer, their signature fruity rum drink, you haven’t experienced The Hub, but don’t plan on driving afterward! The Hub is especially wonderful during free, live music at The Beach on Friday nights.

The Bearded Lady food truck in Buena Vista serves street tacos and other locally sourced items (courtesy photo).

The Buena Viking conquers comfort food at 321 E. Main St., sharing the courtyard with Deerhammer Distilling Co. Owners Anna Sitton and Evan Winger opened The Buena Viking this year. If their slogan alone isn’t enough to entice you try out their wares, #alwaysbeyourselfunlessyoucanbeavikingthenalwaysbeaviking, then their enticing smothered tater tots and classic burgers will do the trick.

The Olive, a Mediterranean-themed food truck serving falafel and gyros, will open later this summer on a lush, grassy lot at 324 E. Main St. Community-oriented owners Tana Deklevar and Branden Renner are excited to create a space for people to gather over great food.

City Syrups is also on East Main Street next to CKS and serves fresh-squeezed lemonade, shaved ice and cold-pressed coffee  super-friendly owners and delicious lemonade!

Slug and Chug, located next to High Rocky at 111 Cottonwood Ave., serves breakfast burritos, paninis and quesadillas. Owner Tonya Wales is an Army veteran and proud to be serving organic, solar-roasted coffee.

Only a few years ago, lunch spots were few and far between in BV, and wait lists for dinner and morning coffee were around the corners. The food scene has finally caught up with the foot traffic, and we now see a lot of well-fed, smiling faces walking around our bustling little downtown.