Food truck get-togethers are hardly news, beardy types the world over relish in events that cobble together their pantheon of local street food pioneers. Authentic we’re-having-a-hoedown BBQ, internet-induced hybrid food trends; I’ve stuffed my face full of portable-grill-fresh meat, fish and more meat from Brooklyn to London, Melbourne to Miami. And I’ve loved every last mouthful. Regular events like London’s KERB and New York’s Smorgasburg attract thousands, but other international cities have been slower off the mark – Barcelona’s assembled food truckers having only really gotten into first gear this year. That food trucks are illegal in Spain may offer some rationale.
The legality, or non-legality, of street food my come as a surprise to those who’ve experienced the country’s oft flagrant disregard for health and safety regulations, but Spain is infamously bureaucratic and its people can be stubborn. Many of Barcelona’s tapas bars haven’t changed in decades, perhaps centuries, who needs a funny-looking hipster dishing up a Ramen Burger™? The times they are a-changin’ though, and the success of the debut Van Van Market a testament to that – the city’s Parc de la Ciutadella literally bursting at its seams this weekend, as BCN’s finest food trucks rolled in as part of the citywide La Mercè Festival celebrations.
Cutting through the red tape earlier this year, local magazine BCN MÉS’s Eat Street events promise six editions, its next 11 October at Plaça de les Glories Catalanes. Able to operate as part of an organised event, even those staging regular get-togethers struggle with obtaining permits – should success be a barometer of changing tides however, the rise of the food truck is not far from beginning in earnest here. Viva la revolución!
Van Van Market continues until 24 September at Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona.