Social distancing is getting more creative these days, and with new rules surrounding food trucks in Albuquerque, why not get out there and try some? Wear a mask and take a food tour! In this series, I will be writing about trying different food trucks throughout the Albuquerque area.
Tikka Spice aims to create an experience with their food and teleport you to the other side of the world. They have a diverse menu full of exotic flavors from spices which they roast and grind in-house (in-truck?), and they put their own New Mexican twists on some traditional dishes.
My favorite dish is the Curry Bowl. It’s authentic butter curry poured over chicken tikka or paneer (cheese), served over turmeric/cumin-infused basmati rice and a salad which is loaded with healthy vegetables with a tangy dressing. It is seriously CRAVE-worthy food.
My family also loves the California Burger. My husband has deemed it his favorite burger in Albuquerque. Other menu options include their Famous Spicy Chicken Tikka Sandwich, Chicken Tikka Wraps, Chicken Tikka Tacos, Albuquerque Burger, Tikka Zia Fries, Bollywood to Hollywood Fries, Loaded Samosas, and of course delicious Mango or Strawberry Coconut Lassi to wash it all down.
They recently debuted a Family Menu which you can pick up and take home if you don’t want to eat where they are parked.
Check out their Instagram for their weekly location schedules and menus @tikkaspiceabq
Mighty Mike’s Meats
Mike Mondragon might be one of the nicest guys in the food truck game. In fact, all of the owners I’ve met have been incredibly friendly. Mike also makes some serious smoked meats that are locally sourced and slow-smoked over local fruitwood. You can taste the quality and attention he puts into his smoke in every bite.
When Covid-19 happened, he quickly pivoted his business model. I luckily discovered him via Instagram. I was wary about leaving the house for groceries, and he offered local contactless delivery. He moved away from that model once social distancing measures were put in place, but it was his dedication to his customers during that time that made me cherish his enthusiasm, and now I’m a customer as long as I’m in Albuquerque!
Now you can find him at various locations in Albuquerque offering his Mighty Melts, Sloppy Mikes, Sang Witches, BBQ Machos (Nachos), Smoked Meats by the pound, and more! He regularly had a variety of smoked meats for his menu including beef brisket, pulled pork, pork belly, spicy chicken, and sometimes insanely huge beef ribs as big as your head.
My family loves the brisket which we buy vacuumed sealed by the pound when he has it, and I love the BBQ Machos with spicy chicken. We also really like his non-mayo based sweet potato salad and lime-honey coleslaw which are the perfect compliment to his rich meaty bbq.
Check out his Instagram for weekly location schedules and menus @mighty_mikes_meats
Moms. I know as well as you do, we LOVE our coffee. Albuquerque is home to some of the most incredible local coffee joints. Owned and operated by Michael Breden, an Albuquerque native, Catalyst Coffee might be the best one yet.
Breden’s signature blend called Heart of Darkness is roasted in Oakland, California. Breden had a successful mobile coffee business in the SF Bay Area for over 15 years and he still uses the same roaster. Taste the coffee and you’ll understand that you don’t want him to change a single thing. I first visited his truck in June and tried his Nitro Maple Cold Brew. It was sweet and balanced, and I knew I wanted to go back for more. My favorite is the Oat Milk Latte, but honestly, everything I’ve tried has been the best version of [insert your coffee drink here]. I believe it’s his passion and dedication to his craft that makes the coffee taste THAT good! My son, who is out of state at college, regularly asks me to ship him some Catalyst Coffee beans.
He offers local pastries and donuts, Los Poblanos Lavender Simple Syrup, teas from New Mexico Tea Co, and more all served in compostable cups and lids.
Check out their Instagram for weekly location schedule @catalystcoffee505
Originally from Cleveland, Umami Moto relocated to Albuquerque and launched in 2019. They specialize in street food with an Asian twist.
Family favorites of ours are the smoked wings and pad thai. I hear that their Korean Burrito is famous so I can’t wait to try that too! My absolute favorite though is the street noodles! It is a flavor bomb of spicy red curry with braised brisket over rice noodles with cilantro, peanuts, fresh shallot. It is spicy, but these noodles are some of the most comforting food I’ve had in Albuquerque.
They also offer potstickers, ahi tuna melts, sweet potato tots, housemade kimchi, Asian slaw, fish tacos, burgers, and loaded fries.
Check them out on Instagram for weekly location schedule and menu @umamimoto
Pop Pop’s Italian Ice
You didn’t think I’d forget dessert, did you? Pop Pop’s Italian Ice was established in 1997 and is based in Albuquerque. Although they used to be brick and mortar, their new food truck is the perfect complement to the scene. They offer rotating flavors of some of the best Italian Ice I’ve tried.
Additionally, Pop Pop’s offers snacks like popcorn, chips, and soft drinks, but you visit them for the frozen treat! You can order online, by the tub, or visit the truck wherever they are serving it up.
Check them out on Instagram for weekly location schedules and flavor choices @poppops_italianice
I have a growing list to get out and experience. I can’t wait to taste everything Albuquerque food trucks have to offer. Check out Part 2 and Part 3 here! Comment below with some of your favorite local food trucks.
Originally published January 2021.