SPEEDY, YUMMY FOOD OFF THE STREET
by Vivian Holding
For a speedy, delicious and reasonably priced lunch, do yourself a favour and try one of the 30-something food trucks dotted around the city.
Following in the tracks of the US and UK, Geneva now also offers a variety of healthy, nutritious and good value meals for office workers fed-up with leftovers or pricey restaurant lunches.
NOTE: THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN UPDATED FROM THE ORIGINAL PUBLISHED IN 2016
FOOD TRUCK CIRCUIT IN GENEVA
The Ville de Geneva has allocated some of the city’s most popular public spots to 10 food trucks, following a competition to find the right ones, which received the City’s official stamp of approval. These 10 are listed on the genevemarches.ch (a Ville de Genève website), which form the food truck circuit.
(NOTE: there are also several other food trucks operating in the city and some of them are pretty good too. To find these food trucks see my notes lower down).
HOW THE FOOD TRUCK CIRCUIT GOT STARTED
The city initially started a 15-month test period with six food trucks in September 2014. The idea was to find out how consumers, food truck operators and surrounding restaurateurs would react to the new scheme and to see if it would benefit Geneva.
A POSITIVE TEST PERIOD
At the end of this very successful period, the city decided not only to continue, but to boost the number of trucks to 10 in total. The Security and Public Space Service (SEEP) department received bids for the new four-year contracts from numerous applicants. A jury of three officials interviewed no less than 18 applicants to choose five new entrants to the circuit. The others were part of the original test fleet. Each were shown to have original concepts using fresh, local and seasonal products (where possible using locally sourced food) and of course a visually pleasing truck!
THE 10 WINNING FOOD TRUCKS IN GENEVA:
- Brooklyn Kitchen (burritos and burgers)
- Debi’s Kitchen (Thai food) Read our review of Debi’s Kitchen here
- Elsalad (healthy wraps and salads) See our article on Elsalad
- Funky BBQ (pulled pork/beef sandwiches, spare ribs, mac n cheese)
- Mister Panini (paninis)
- Nero’s (pizzas)
- The Gentleman Lobster (lobster rolls, burgers) Read our review of The Gentleman Lobster at the end of this article
- The Hamburger Foundation (burgers, fries, coleslaw, cheesecake)
- Truck F. (modern fine food)
- Urban Gastronomy (piadinas, Italian style fine food)
WHERE TO FIND THEM
Two circuits of five locations each operate across Geneva from 11am to 2.30pm with food trucks changing location every day. The food trucks will rotate annually (so those on circuit 1 will swap to circuit 2 and vice versa). See the bottom of this article for food truck locations.
The food trucks are not allowed to offer seating to their customers, so to avoid competing with local bistros and restaurants located near the food truck sites. Nothing stops you from taking your food to a nearby public bench though, to enjoy your lunch.
OTHER FOOD TRUCKS IN GENEVA THAT ARE NOT ON THE FOODTRUCK-GENEVE.CH WEBSITE:
- À Table (fresh pasta, Italian style desserts)
- Burger Queens
- Captain’Fouace (savoury or sweet pizza)
- Chez le Libanais (chezlelibanais.ch) Libanais salads and sandwiches, falafels, hummus, kebbe
- Chez Mamy (chezmamy.ch) brochettes, sandwiches a la plancha
- Deli Mex (Mexican tacos and enchiladas)
- Kookeat (long burgers)
- Le Frais Maison (salads and burgers)
- Perch & Chips (filet de perch and chips)
- Street Kitchen
- The Hot Dog Faktory (pork, veal, chicken, veggie hot dogs plus brownies, cookies and muffins)
MY FOOD TRUCK REVIEW – THE GENTLEMAN LOBSTER
I spent two weeks last summer in Boston and Cape Cod, trying out the infamous Lobster Roll. I was not disappointed (so much so, I had to try one in both Boston and on Cape Cod just to compare the two – no comparison, they were equally delicious!).
I recently decided to give The Gentleman Lobster a try (to revive memories of an amazing holiday). They offer three recipes to choose from:
- Docker (lobster served with a homemade tarragon mayonnaise and a fresh lemon juice dressing) at 17chf
- Asian (lobster with Chinese cabbage, spring onions and coriander served with homemade wasabi mayonnaise) at 18.50chf
- Lobster and Beef (lobster and burger, served with a slice of bacon, tomatoes and lettuce and a homemade barbecue sauce) at 18chf
Side orders of fries and dessert choices of dark chocolate mousse or fruit compote are also available.
Admittedly, it was pouring with rain when I visited the food truck, which was situated at the junction of rue de Varembé and Avenue de France. Certainly not reminiscent of my summer holiday, I can tell you! I ordered a Docker and waited patiently while they griddled the lobster and warmed the soft brioche style baguette for me. The verdict? I can honestly tell you that it surpassed by a very long shot what I had experienced in the States. The taste of the lobster was enhanced by the delicious flavour of the home-made tarragon mayonnaise. With it being freshly made to order, I had the benefit of eating it while it was still warm, which again I think added to the experience. I often dream of M&S prawn mayo sandwiches, my favourite lunchtime meal when I used to live in the UK – I can honestly now say that I have found a substitute for them in Geneva!
FOOD TRUCK LOCATIONS IN GENEVA 2018