Summer Guide to Food Trucks and Popups

💥 831
Vegetarian/Vegan Arepas Venezuelan
$
Find: breweries and events across the province
@areperia831And the areparia831.com

Caracas-born Arribas Frínda Quintero is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free without sacrificing any of the flavors this traditional Venezuelan dish is known for using meaty jackfruit, black beans and fried plantains. Her business is women-owned and operated, and focuses on addressing social justice issues while building agency and community through food.

Pupuseria Brothers
Salvadoran virgins
$
Research: At events, farmers’ markets and on the UC Santa Cruz campus
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Pies dos Hermanos – grilled masa cakes stuffed with beans, cheese and shredded meat from El Salvador – is one of those comfort foods that always leaves you satisfied. Cut through all that delicious goodness with a side of crunchy and spicy ferment Loved or red sauce.

El Rey Leon Mexican Food Restaurant
Tacos, burritos and tortas
$
Find: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 12890 Highway 9, Ben Lomond
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El Rey Leon’s classic Mexican menu includes regional classics such as Baja tacos, quesabirria and pambazo tortas, as well as churro cheesecake.

La Perona Mexican Food
mexican food
$
Find: Monday through Friday, noon-2pm and 4:30-9pm, Saturday, 4:30-9pm at 251 E. Lake Ave. , Watsonville
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All tacos at La Perrona are served on homemade tortillas, which is reason enough to look out for this taco truck in Watsonville, where burritos, tortas and quesadillas are served with love.

Miches & Ceviches
Ceviche and Seafood Taco
$
Find: Thursday through Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at 1459 Freedom Blvd, in Watsonville, and special events
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Miches & Ceviches prepares vibrant and delicious Mexican seafood such as white ceviche with mango and red, black or green aquachel. Use this homemade Miche mix to liven up your dish or mix it into a bloody mary or clamato.

mom mole
Mexican cuisine with homemade mole
$$
Find: weekends at Watsonville’s breweries and wineries, and events
Tweet embedAnd the mymomsmole.square.site

Cesario Ruiz has loved cooking since he was a child growing up outside Guanajuato, Mexico. In Santa Cruz County, he perfected dried mole made with chilies, spices, and chocolate that tasted just like the ones his mom used to make. In their popups, look for their branded mole incorporated into modern versions of nachos, enmoladas, and bowls.

💥 Banana food truck
Venezuelan Arriba
$$
Find: Tuesday through Friday and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 2738 Mission St. In Santa Cruz, in addition to breweries and events
Tweet embedAnd the panafoodtruck.com

In colloquial Spanish, “pana” is a close friend, but arepas panna is so delicious, you won’t want to share it even with your closest friends. Here, cornmeal is made Venezuelan-style – grilled on a flat, open surface and stuffed with fillings like shredded beef and cheddar cheese or black beans, tomatoes and bananas for a satisfying meal. Don’t forget the garlic sauce!

Real Taco
Tacos, burritos and nachos
$
Research: Tuesday and Friday, noon-8:30 p.m. at Humble Sea Brewing (820 Swift St., Santa Cruz); Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 1204 Mission St., Santa Cruz
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Real Taco serves classic Mexican street food with flair, including crunchy tacos stuffed with avocado and shredded meat and Baja-style fried fish tacos. Keep an eye out for specials like pozole rojo, chicken tinga, and stuffed green chilis.

💥 taco el choy
Tacos, burritos and nachos
$
Find: Saturday, 3-8 p.m. at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing (402 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz)
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Chuy serves nachos, quesadillas, and burritos, but their street tacos, in particular, are exceptional. A fan favorite is the grilled pastor, served with warm slivers of pineapple. Intensify the flavor with homemade fiery seasoning and sauce.

Jerry Taco
Tacos, cakes and burritos
$
Search: from Sunday to Thursday, from 11 am to 11 pm; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight at 35 E. Lake Ave. in Watsonville; Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2418 Freedom Blvd. , Corralitos
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Tacos El Jerry serves classic Mexican food, including torta, tacos, and burritos. Fans love the fried tacos, the cheese quesapera, and the molitas. Look for brightly colored trucks in the Watsonville area at least five days a week.

Gabriel
taco
$
Find: Tuesday-Sunday noon-8pm on 1995 41st Ave. In Santa Cruz, events
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At Taquizas Gabriel, it’s all about kesapriya. Slide corn tortillas through enchilada sauce before grilling them with cheese and shredded meat. They’re delicious, crunchy, and juicy, and are best prepared with cilantro, onions, and homemade chutney.

Find vegetarian Syrian appetizers at Huda in downtown Santa Cruz three days a week.

(Kevin Binchod/Santa Cruz Observatory)

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