Mobile Meals— Gaston County food trucks and where to find them
Food trucks are a unique type of cult classic. Before the COVID-19 pandemic made takeout the go-to mode for ordering food, food trucks served as the bridge between a drive-thru’s speed and a sit-down restaurant’s quality. You could always count on food trucks for experimental food that was literally on the move to breweries, parks, and your work parking lot. Grouped alongside each other, food trucks served as a mini-mall food court with much better options.
Today, Gaston County’s growing towns are an unofficial breeding ground for food trucks thanks to a diversifying population, wider-ranging tastes, and more entertainment options. It’s an unexpected innovation that the general public and any adjacent business owners can benefit from.
If you’re out and about in the county, you’re bound to be within range of an excellent food truck feast. Here are the essential food trucks you need to try:
111 S. Main St., Stanley
Days and times vary
The friendly town of Stanley is seeing many new businesses move downtown. One of the newest ones is the Bolton's Curbside Cookery food trailer. Situated in a parking lot next to 105 Main Florist and Home Decor, Bolton’s is already making an impression.
Quirky cheeseburgers like “The Brekkie Burger” — topped with a fried egg — and “The Herdsman” bring plenty of flavor alongside the fun. Other fan favorites are The Sweet Caroline with chili and slaw, chicken dumpling soup, and fresh fries.
Stop by for a lunchtime treat, and if you’re competitive — or you’re really hungry —, try their brand-new burger challenge.
124 N. Main St., Belmont
Days and times vary
The Carolina Food Monger is regularly in the lineup at The Summit Beer Shop in downtown Mount Holly. Serving as a Greek and Mexican food fusion, you’ll find a nice variety of fan favorites to choose from. If you’re leaning towards Mexican food, try their BBQ quesadilla that’s got pulled pork barbecue, coleslaw, and a mango sauce alongside your cheese. Great Greek selections include a chicken gyro and their falafel nuggets with tzatziki or lemon tahini dressing.
Catch the Carolina Food Monger in Mount Holly or outside Belmont at District 8 Brewery in South Fork Village.
7005 Wilkinson Blvd., Belmont
Days and times vary
Not many types of food beat the turkey leg. That’s especially true when it’s from Jive Turkey Legs out of Belmont. Jive Turkey Legs is the place to go for festival foods. Think funnel cakes, brats, nachos, and brisket. They’ve also got other eye-popping dishes like their Chicken Chi-Chi, a Triple Threat Quesadilla, and even a potato tower.
Jive Turkey Legs regularly travels around Gaston County and the nearby areas in North and South Carolina.
Dates and times vary
There’s no shortage of great barbecue in North Carolina. It’s even better when it comes to you. Mabry’s Que House is all about serving classic Carolina-style barbecue from their mobile barbecue pit. Find delicious pulled pork alongside pulled chicken and chopped brisket served with your choice of sides. Want everything all in one? Order the Trash Pile. It starts with a cornbread base topped with pulled pork, a layer of BBQ baked beans, their smoked mac and cheese, and a healthy drizzle of BBQ sauce.
1504 W. Franklin Blvd., Gastonia
Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Out of all the food trucks, one of the most iconic is the taco truck. Iconic is an excellent descriptor for the Mamacitas food truck. Parked off of Franklin Boulevard near Eastridge Mall in Gastonia, Mamacitas serves tasty tacos with the meat of your choice. That includes Mexican staples like carne asada steak, chicken, al pastor pork, and beef tongue. Each taco is served on a corn tortilla with raw onions, grilled onions, and fresh cilantro.
Treat your tastebuds to a taco or try another one of their staples — like their burritos or tamales.
23 S. Main St., Belmont
Days and hours vary
Gaston County has plenty of great steak spots. One of those steak restaurants is Old Stone Steakhouse in downtown Belmont. Old Stone is known for serving classic cuts of steak, traditional steakhouse sides, and ribs smothered in Cheerwine BBQ sauce. Now, the Belmont favorite is getting into the food truck game with Old Stone Streetside.
The focus of their food truck concept is quality food in a fast-casual setting. You’ll find staples like their Cheerwine ribs and bacon-wrapped scallops, but you’ll also be treated to more accessible types of grub. Featured on the menu are a chicken, bacon, and ranch croissant, pulled pork salt, and vinegar chips, and flash-fried New York cheesecake bites with a berry drizzle.
You can find Old Stone Streetside outside their main restaurant in downtown Belmont and at The Thirsty Dog in Belmont.
141 W. Main Ave., Gastonia
Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
If you’ve never had the chance to try pho, now’s the time to do it. Pho Feel’n Asian Cuisine is one of Gaston County’s go-to places for that special Vietnamese bone broth soup. Choose a protein — like chicken, beef, brisket, or oxtail — to pair with rice noodles, fresh herbs, onions, and cilantro.
Want something other than pho? Pork Ban Mi is another Vietnamese staple you need to try. Enjoy the marinated pork sandwich that features a medley of vegetables in between two French baguettes. Or you could try another classic Asian dish like Pad Thai, Pork Ban Mi, Drunken Noodles, and Korean short ribs.
Look for the roving red Pho Feel’n trailer at the Summit Bottle Shop, District 8 Brewery, Ole Dallas Brewery, The Thirsty Dog Brewery, and all across the Gaston County area.
110 S. York St., Gastonia
Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
1108 E. Main St., Dallas
Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
The Pita Wheel is one of the great food truck success stories. They started as a food truck serving creative pitas around Gaston County and the Charlotte area. Slowly but surely, they gained a cult-like following that inspired them to go bigger.
In late October of 2020, the Pita Wheel opened their first of two brick-and-mortar locations in a former gas station in the heart of Gastonia. Shortly afterward, in 2021, Pita Wheel’s second location opened near downtown Dallas. If you go to their Gastonia location, you can still see their food truck parked outside, almost like an homage to where they’ve been.
Stop by either of their locations for a local draft beer and a funky pita creation.
Locations found here
Dates and hours vary
R.O.’s BBQ is as classic as they get. Famous for their slaw-only sandwiches and classic Carolina-style barbecue, they’ve been in the food truck game from the very beginning. Drive past a grocery store parking lot in towns like Stanley and Cramerton, and you’re bound to see them. You’ll also see a line of patient loyalists ready to get their hands on a barbecue sandwich. Get your barbecue sandwich with slaw on top and wash it down with a Sun-Drop.
1300 E. Franklin Blvd., Gastonia
Monday-Saturday, 12 p.m.-6 p.m.
Smokin Joe’s Mobile Diner is a hidden gem you don’t want to miss. Situated in a parking lot off of Franklin Boulevard, the small food trailer is serving seriously good food to those in the know. That includes a variety of burgers, jumbo wings, and Philly cheesesteaks. You’ll even find more niche entrees like a Louisiana-style cheesesteak, a Polish sausage dog, and a Jerk fish dinner on Saturdays only. Finish off your meal with a peach cobbler or a piece of pineapple upside-down cake for dessert.
Dates and times vary
Gaston County naturally straddles the North Carolina-South Carolina line. Stateline Burgers, Dogs & Fries plays off this fact with boundary-defying burgers and hot dogs. One such burger is their Mac & Cheese Burger. This juicy burger is topped with macaroni and cheese and has already become a fan favorite.
You can routinely find Stateline Burgers, Dogs & Fries at District 8 Brewery, The Thirsty Dog, Smoke and Barrel in Mount Holly, and Fryeday Coffee Roasters in Lowell.
801 S. Main St., Stanley
Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Tacos Y Tortas El Gordo was the first food trailer to call Stanley home. Parked behind the Citgo gas station at a fork in the road, you’ll find “fat tacos and tortas'' just like their name in Spanish suggests. Your meats include al pastor pork, beef tongue, chicken, steak, ham, and shredded barbacoa. Stop by today for a taco, torta or quesadilla. Don’t forget to pair it with a Jarritos flavored soda or a Mexican Coke.
Daters and hours vary
You love tacos. You also love wings. So why not get both at the same place? You can when you find Tino’s Munch Box. They’ve got a wide range of tacos like their cheese steak taco, a Buffalo chicken taco, a “Steak’n’baco’n’tater” taco, and other eclectic selections. If you’re craving wings, Tino’s has a variety of different wing flavors and meatless cauliflower wings for vegetarians and vegans.
You can find Tino’s Munch Box all over Gaston County, but their main hangouts are The Thirsty Dog and Summit Bottle Shop.