Since New Orleans’ food truck-friendly laws went into effect in 2014, there’s been a boom in the number of food trucks found at bars, breweries, events and on downtown street corners. The increase in the number of city breweries over the past few years has provided opportunities for these trucks to feed hungry beer drinkers—which are plentiful—and a for a new surge in mobile pop-ups—preparing and providing food without a truck—that have sprung up to ensure everyone gets fed.
The food truck, pop-up and local brewing industry have had to overcome onerous city regulations to thrive in recent years, and the minds behind both are passionate, creative and entrepreneurial.
“There are huge benefits to having food on-premise,” says Jacob Landry, founder of Urban South Brewing, “as it gives folks a reason to stay longer and helps round out their experience.”
Second Line Brewing co-owner Mark Logan points to another benefit. “As a brewery owner,” he adds, “having someone else handle the food end of things is one less issue I have to deal with, like staffing, inventory, equipment and regulations.”
The symbiotic relationship benefits both the brewer and food truck/pop-up owner. Tracey Armitage runs the food pop-up La Monita Colombian, which is found at Urban South, Miel Brewery & Taproom, Parleaux Beer Lab, Courtyard Brewery, and Second Line.
“Brewery clientele enjoys craft beer and will hang out for a couple hours over a few beers, and they need food,” Armitage said.
Scott Wood, founder and brewer at Courtyard, says food trucks and pop-ups have been essential to his business model from the very beginning. And they can bring new customers to the brewery.
“Each of our trucks has a cult following,” Wood said. “There’s a group that shows up like clockwork every Friday for Matchbook Kitchen and for La Monita every other Saturday.”
La Monita’s Armitage says she has seen her business grow alongside the New Orleans brewing scene with the increased demand and pop-up business model.
“With pop-ups, barriers to enter the market are less significant,” she said. “Working with breweries is great because I get to meet entrepreneurs who are doing interesting things that they’re passionate about—like I am.”
The Truck Stops Here
Food truck and pop-up schedules shift constantly; check for changes on brewery locations.
Afrodesiac: Jamaican Creole fusion; found at Parleaux
Foodies Destination: Korean fare; found at Second Line
La Monita: Colombian cuisine; found at Courtyard, Miel, Parleaux, Second Line and Urban South
Lucille’s Roti Shop: Trinidadian cuisine; found at Courtyard and Parleaux
Matchbook Kitchen: Thai food; found at Courtyard
Oh La Vache: Sliders and ice cream; found at Parleaux and Second Line