Tallahassee’s Food Truck Court

Food Truck Court

You might be living under a rock if you have failed to notice the food truck trend that is taking place in Tallahassee, Florida.

It seems as though there is a food truck parked on every corner, offering a variety of food and an alternative to typical  fast food restaurants.

While the food trucks are typically scattered throughout the city in order to serve the maximum amount of people, they now also congregate together. In addition to Food Truck Thursdays, a weekly event off of Tharpe Street, Tallahassee food trucks are now congregating together in the new Food Truck Court.

Tacos Gringos

The Tallahassee Food Truck Court had its grand opening Wednesday, March 27th and plans to continue to house permitted food trucks every day of the week. Located on the South side of Madison Street, between Bronough and Duval, the food truck court sits in a convenient location to universities as well as downtown businesses.

The court features picnic tables set up on gravel as well as electric hookups for a maximum of six trucks to run without the use of generators. With the set up that has been created, the food truck court is the perfect relaxed setting to enjoy your lunch break or spend an afternoon with friends.

Big Easy Snowball

Big Easy Snowball

Some of the food trucks that have participated so far are Tacos Gringos, Fat Mac’s Cafe, Street Chefs, Big Easy Snowballs, and the Fired Up Pizza Truck.

With all of the hype surrounding the food truck trend and the grand opening of the food truck court, there are certain to be many more food trucks that seek to get involved.

Connect with the Tallahassee Food Truck Association to stay up to date on the progress made at the Food Truck Court and to find out which trucks are participating!

Lucy & Leo’s Cupcakery

Lucy & Leo's

Maybe I speak for myself, but I have definitely had a case of the post spring break blues this week. While Tallahassee welcomed me back with rainy weather, I decided to venture over to Lucy & Leo’s Cupcakery, where it was anything but dreary.

Open Monday through Saturday from 10:00am until they are sold out (typically around 6:00pm), Lucy & Leo’s is the perfect place to treat yourself to a mid-day treat!

The cupcakery is tucked away in a quaint little building decorated with the work of a local artist. The space was set up to be cozy and casual – between the tasty treats and free wifi, I could’ve stayed all day long!

Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Red Velvet Cupcakes

Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Red Velvet Cupcakes

Cupcakes are widely considered to be one of the cutest foods you can find, and that is certainly the case at Lucy & Leo’s.

It is immediately clear upon walking in that they pay attention to detail! All of the different flavored cupcakes were perfectly positioned in the display and I would not have been able to find a visible flaw in the cupcakes if I had tried. Adorably decorated, each cupcake looked just as delicious as they tasted.

I opted to try the Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and the Red Velvet cupcakes; however, at just $2.50 each, I was tempted to try one of every flavor offered!

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake

Lucy & Leo’s cupcakes can be found in three different locations as they have stores both in Tallahassee, Florida and Thomasville, Georgia in addition to their participation in Food Truck Thursdays.

Neither you nor your wallet will regret dropping by the store for a sweet treat, but be sure to call ahead with large orders as their cupcakes are baked fresh daily. Connect with Lucy & Leo’s on Facebook to stay updated on deals and events as well as to see the daily flavors that are offered.

Sweet Pea Cafe

All photos by Kaitlin Nettles

All photos by Kaitlin Nettles

I rarely partake in a meal that doesn’t include some kind of meat, but after continuously hearing good things about a vegan restaurant in Tallahassee, I figured “why not?

Sweet Pea Cafe is nestled into a tiny building on West Tharpe Street. Locally owned and operated, the vegan restaurant utilizes local farms for seasonal produce. Their fresh ingredients currently come from farms out of Quincy, FL and Monticello, FL.

Ranging from around $5.00-$10.00, Sweet Pea Cafe’s menu consists mostly of sandwiches, daily specials, and weekend brunch. Aside from the menu entrées, Sweet Pea seems to always have a collection of fresh baked goods such as peanut butter cookies and special occasion cakes.

I went for lunch and was greeted by delicious smells as I was placing my order directly into the kitchen. I decided to try a lemonade alongside the “Falawsome,” which is falafel and assorted veggies in a whole wheat wrap.

Falawsome: Garden herb falafel, tomato, cucumber, onion, lettuce, and lemon-tahini dressing in a whole wheat wrap with a side of hummus and fresh veggies - $7.50

Falawsome: Garden herb falafel, tomato, cucumber, onion, lettuce, and lemon-tahini dressing in a whole wheat wrap with a side of hummus and fresh veggies – $7.50

Sweet Pea Cafe offers minimal inside seating but I opted for the covered picnic table seating outside, which seemed to be the popular choice as the weather was just right.

Overlooking the weathered building, Sweet Pea offers charm by serving food on mix-matched dishes and offering freshly squeezed lemonades and various coffees and teas.

The fresh ingredients in my wrap and lemonade made for a delicious lunch and I enjoyed the fact that I was supporting local farmers in addition to local business.

And as any good vegan restaurant would do, Sweet Pea offered the appropriate recycling and food disposal at the end of my meal.

Up In Smoke Pit Bar-B-Q

Up in Smoke

In my mind, when I think of a barbecue restaurant I tend to think of picnic table seating, outdated decor, and limited menu options. That wasn’t the case this time.

At Up in Smoke Pit Bar-B-Q, I was greeted by friendly staff at the door and was immediately drawn to the subtle, rustic decor of the restaurant.

Really Gouda Sandwich:Chopped brisket piled high, topped with smoked Gouda and fried onion rings with a side of southern potato salad- $9

Really Gouda Sandwich:
Chopped brisket piled high, topped with smoked Gouda and fried onion rings with a side of southern potato salad – $9

Up in Smoke Bar-B-Q has managed to put a modern edge on not only the atmosphere of the restaurant, but also on the menu. I could’ve made an entire meal out of the appetizers alone with their unique options such as fried green tomatoes served with a creamy remoulade sauce, BBQ chicken quesadillas, and thick cut bacon bites served with a cane syrup dipping sauce.

Sloppy Pig: Heaping pile of hand pulled pork covered in coleslaw and sweet pickles, then smothered in Smoke's Carolina BBQ sauce with a side of fried okra - $8

Sloppy Pig: Heaping pile of hand pulled pork covered in coleslaw and sweet pickles, then smothered in Smoke’s Carolina BBQ sauce with a side of fried okra – $8

For this visit, I was interested in the lunch menu, particularly the “Signature Sandwiches” section of the menu. Almost every sandwich has a unique twist, bringing new life to the typical barbecue sandwich and leaving me wanting to try it all! Thankfully, I was able to sneak a few bites of the sandwiches that others ordered.

I finally decided on the “Really Gouda” Sandwich, while others at my table went with the “Sloppy Pig” and the “Smoke’s Classic,” each served on either garlic toast or a Challah bun.

Smoke's Classic: Smoked pulled chicken smothered in mustard sauce, melted cheddar cheese, and crisp bacon with a side of fries - $8

Smoke’s Classic: Smoked pulled chicken smothered in mustard sauce, melted cheddar cheese, and crisp bacon with a side of fries – $8

Everyone at my table left the restaurant extremely full, yet ready to come back for more. I will definitely be back to Up in Smoke for additional meals and also to try their breakfast.

Up in Smoke claims to have “conquered the world of breakfast” with their sister restaurant the Canopy Road Cafe, but their own breakfast looks pretty enticing. At Up in Smoke, a full breakfast menu is also offered with items such as breakfast plates, omelets, wraps, and fresh donuts.

Whether your go-to barbecue meal is from a food truck, small diner, or a large chain, there are so many choices when it comes to barbecue restaurants in Tallahassee. Conveniently open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Up in Smoke Pit Bar-B-Q should be added to your list of favorites. Check out Up in Smoke’s Facebook to see for yourself.

Voodoo Dog

All photos by Kaitlin Nettles

All photos by Kaitlin Nettles


What initially looks like a forgotten building will prove to be a memorable experience if you’re dining at Voodoo Dog for the first time. Known for their unique hot dogs and hamburgers, Voodoo Dog puts a spin on an American classic.

Located minutes from downtown offices, Florida State University, and Florida A&M University, Voodoo Dog makes for the perfect place to enjoy lunch breaks or casual dinners. I was initially skeptical but simultaneously curious to try what I had heard so much about.

VooDoo Dog WallsI was pleasantly surprised to see such a clean and lively atmosphere upon walking inside. The walls in the front of the restaurant are lined with framed pictures and records, while the walls in the back of the restaurant showcase floor-to-ceiling murals with bright colors featuring witty characters. IMG_4713Purple lights hang from the ceiling in a zig-zag pattern above casual table and booth seating.

Voodoo Dog’s eye-catching decor suits their unique menu.

Hari Kari: Bacon-wrapped dog with pineapple, teriyaki, and chives - $3.50

Hari Kari: Bacon-wrapped dog with pineapple, teriyaki, and chives – $3.50

Fifteen “house dogs”  and eight “house burgers” give you quite the decision to make as you explore combinations you probably wouldn’t have considered before.

Although I saw many burgers being served that looked delicious, my table stuck with the main attraction, house dogs. I ordered the “Hari Kari” for myself, but also snuck a bite of the “Jefferson” from another member of my party.

To further diversify their menu, Voodoo Dog also offers vegetarian and vegan options.

Jefferson: Bacon-wrapped dog with housemade mac & cheese - $4.00

Jefferson: Bacon-wrapped dog with housemade mac & cheese – $4.00

The “Atomic Veggie” features a meatless dog with tomato, cucumber, onion and jalapeños; however, you can make any entree vegetarian by opting for a meatless hot dog or hamburger for a fifty cent upcharge.

In the slim chance that none of the menu options are appealing to you, Voodoo Dog offers additional toppings from the most basic to extremely unique to further customize your order. Some of the noteworthy toppings include sauerkraut, baked beans, guacamole, hummus, fried egg, and more.

Being adventurous isn’t on your to-do list at restaurants? Voodoo Dog offers a build-your-own “Plain Dog.”

Because of a recent happy hour creation, you can now enjoy $2 VooDoo dogs and $1 PBR Tallboys from 3:00-6:00pm every day and all day Sundays! Connect with Voodoo Dog on Facebook to stay current on their specials and hours, and to drool over their pictures.

I would definitely order both of the hot dogs that I tried again, but the experience left me wanting to come back again in order to try more unique combinations! Voted “Best Hot Dog” in 2012 by the Tallahassee Food Blogger Association, Voodoo Dog is sure to impress.

Parlay Sports Bar & Grill

Unique "stadium" style seating is offered on one side of the restaurant.

Unique “stadium” style seating is offered on one side of the restaurant. Photo by: Kaitlin Nettles

Although it’s tucked away behind Bruegger’s Bagels on North Monroe Street, Parlay should be far from a secret if you’re a sports enthusiast in Tallahassee. With a TV visible from any seat in the restaurant, including the men’s toilets, you won’t miss a single play of the game.

One side of the restaurant features a unique “stadium” style seating with one-sided booths on two different levels, all facing a wall of TVs. In the stadium section of the restaurant, customers enjoy 8 flat screen TVs in conjunction with a huge projection screen in the middle, showcasing a variety of games.

Offering 14 draft selections and over 40 bottled beers!

Offering 14 draft selections and over 40 bottled beers! Photo by: Kaitlin Nettles

Parlay has a full bar and offers drink specials every night, including “Tequila Tuesdays” and “Thank God its Vodka Fridays.”

But it isn’t just the drink menu that’s worth mentioning.

Parlay’s menu features what you might consider to be typical bar food; however, based on the menu items that my party ordered, Parlay has bar food that’s done right!

The menu features a huge selection of appetizers ranging from the most basic choices to unexpected and pleasant surprises, such as Mushroom Tempura or Steak Bites. Some of the appetizer picks from my table were the Pepperoni Rolls and the Taco Teaser.

Pepperoni Rolls: Mozerella cheese and pepperoni, hand rolled in a wonton wrapper, deep fried and served with marinara.

Pepperoni Rolls: Mozerella cheese and pepperoni, hand rolled in a wonton wrapper, deep fried and served with marinara. Photo by: Kaitlin Nettles

When it came time to choose my meal, I went with the waitress’ recommendation: The Cowboy Burger.

The Cowboy Burger comes with American cheese, bacon, grilled onions, and chipotle BBQ sauce on Texas toast. My burger far exceeded my expectations, as did everyone else’s meal at the table.

Cowboy Burger

Cowboy Burger. Photo by: Kaitlin Nettles

Even when there isn’t a big game currently being played, the atmosphere in Parlay remains lively.

In the past, Parlay has offered several themed nights, such as weekly trivia and poker in addition to showing popular requests on the big screen including The Walking Dead episodes, Presidential debates, and the Victoria Secret fashion show. To find out more about the restaurant and to stay updated on current specials, check out Parlay’s Facebook page!