Mobile Food Rodeo Tips – Part 1

We’re a few days away from the Mobile Food Rodeo, held on May 3rd in the International District and May 4th in Fremont.  It’s a unique event split into 2 neighborhoods over this weekend.  Around this time, I start thinking ahead.  My goal is to hit as many trucks as possible in a condensed amount of time until I’m unable to eat anymore. Don’t judge. I’m in it, to win it! 


2012 Mobile Food Rodeo – South Lake Union

Tip #1 – Choose your trucks.  I typically hit 5-8 trucks at an event.  There are some trucks I have easy access to because of where I live and work.  I tend to skip those trucks at the Rodeo and focus on ones that I never see.  I recommend reviewing the schedule to make your choices and review menus.  Don’t forget, each truck is required to have a $5 small bite.  

Cinnamon Caramel Donuts – Street Donuts

I also prioritize my favorite trucks.  If you know me well, then you know that Street Donuts will be the first place I hit.  Because they don’t have a regular route and tend to be at events, you’ll typically find me in front of their trailer early in the day.  Oh, those donuts….If you see me headed for the trailer, I’d recommend getting out of my way.  Just sayin’.  

If you’re a more visual person, you can check out some of my photos of food truck cuisine.  Also, can help point you in the right direction.  

Tip #2 – Get a group together.  One of the best strategies for the Rodeo is coming with a group of people.  Each person can stand in a different line and you can share food so you don’t get full off one or two dishes.  Also, if you’re eating something other than $5 bites, each dish can cost between $7 – $12, depending on the truck so it can save you a few bucks as well.  

Tip #3 – Plan your transportation.  Whether powered by wheels, feet, or mass transit, have a strategy that allows enough time for you to enjoy yourself.  Mass transit options run on limited schedules on the weekends so it may take you longer to get a ride.  Seattle is a great place for ride share options so consider those as well.  Carpooling works great, particularly since you will likely be arriving with a group of people.  Parking is an issue in both neighborhoods so be mindful of your options.  Also, if you’re planning on having a few drinks, have a safe way to get home.  

Tip #4 – Check the weather.  Anything can happen in Seattle.  Consult the weather report.  Dress in layers, bring sunscreen (or umbrella, if raining), and try to leave the 4-inch heels at home.  They’re super cute but not super practical.  

Tip #5 – Buy your VIF (Very Important Foodie) Pass.  The Rodeo has free admission.  However, at peak times, it can get crowded.  I’ve been to every Rodeo and I can tell you the event has grown over the years.  Consider whether a VIF Pass is right for you.  Aside from getting cool swag, you have priority access in a separate line.  Brilliant!  I’ve seen this evolve over the years.  It’s totally worth it for me because I’d rather be in a line of 10 people instead of 50.  

I hope these tips have been helpful in preparing for the Rodeo.  See my next post with more tips! 

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