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Northern Michigan food truck season has officially arrived! Check out three of our favorite food trucks from Traverse City to Marquette to inspire your summertime food truck hopping.

The Reel Deal Fish & Chips
425 Michigan St., Petoskey | 230 Ferry Ave., Charlevoix

Celebrating its one-year anniversary on June 15, The Reel Deal has expanded to a second location at the brand new Back Lot Beer Garden in Charlevoix (operated by the same group as Petoskey’s Back Lot). The truck’s popular beer-battered Great Lakes whitefish basket is back on the menu, joined by a Great Lakes chowder. “We’ve worked on this one all winter long, and we’ve finally got it down to a science,” says co-owner Scott Wiltjer (Jared Mathers makes up the other half of the team). Scott’s go-to picnic spot for to-go orders from the Petoskey truck: “Pennsylvania Park right downtown. There’s lots of room for people to spread out, picnic tables and plenty of sunshine or shade.”

Photo courtesy of The Reel Deal

Reel Deal food truck

Archie’s
346 E. Front St., Traverse City

The Petrie family—brothers Jon and Nick and father Dave—made their food truck debut in June 2018. Their truck is named after Dave’s dad, whose nickname was Archie, and who always wore a bucket hat (the truck’s logo). This season, they’ll be slinging farm-to-table sliders (pulled pork, beefalo, black bean) and savory sides (smoked gouda mac!) outside The Coin Slot. New on the menu: sunchoke arancini with black trumpet mushrooms and tempura asparagus that’s battered, fried and covered in Winnie’s Brand Tomato Butter (made in TC). Chef Jon’s fave picnic spot: “Head over to the Grand Traverse Commons, swing by Earthen Ales for their amazing craft beer and have a beautiful evening under the water tower.”

Photo courtesy of Archies

Archie's Food Truck

Smelted
114 W. Spring St., Marquette | 424 N. Third St., Marquette

I totally understand if you can’t decide which wood-fired pizza to order, so let me recommend Goat Yoga—fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, goat cheese, fig and balsamic glaze—which owner Matt Lucas describes as a “fantastic blend of flavors.” And keep an eye out this summer for a pepperoni pasty that’ll pay homage to the U.P.’s iconic meat pie. While you’re in Marquette, stock up on Smelted’s frozen pizzas, sold at Tadych’s EconoFoods, Super One Foods and more area businesses (luckily for us trolls, Matt says they’re looking into statewide distribution). The truck will be rotating between Ore Dock Brewing Co. and Blackrocks Brewery this summer; find the schedule online. Matt’s picnic rec: “Presque Isle is beautiful no matter where you go.”

Photo courtesy of Smelted

Making a pizza in Smelted food truck.

Find this article and more in the June 2021 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine; or subscribe and get Traverse delivered to your door each month.