Nestled between Daito’s restaurant and Don’s solid black food truck, the orange, paisley printed design of Arlo’s food truck stands out from its surroundings, attempting to give its customers something different than its competitors.
Located on 27th and Guadalupe streets, Arlo’s provides an eatery for vegans and carnivores alike near campus. Seating is limited, with only three plastic tables to share between the two food trucks, but what the truck lacks in space it makes up for in flavorful meat-free and dairy-free food, a comfortable atmosphere and welcoming service. With locally sourced ingredients, the food truck caters to all, regardless of their dietary restrictions.
Employee Savannah Marshall said the truck’s appeal begins with the aesthetics, but the quality of the food makes it truly stand out.
”If you’re coming as a vegan or vegetarian, you can appreciate the food for that, and if you’re coming as a meat eater, you can just appreciate how good the food is,” Marshall said.
Marshall, a vegetarian, said each dish is made-to-order from scratch and customizable to accommodate for gluten intolerances.
While the truck is entirely vegan, it is not explicitly stated anywhere on it. Marshall said their food can appeal to every costumer, despite his or her dietary needs, and displaying such a detail can be dismissive to people who do not normally follow a vegan diet.
“People may see that cheese is spelled with a ‘z’ and chicken is spelled a little differently, but then they don’t really think about it,” Marshall said. “They just enjoy it.”
Business sophomore Jason Boisseaufalls under that category. A frequent customer for two months, Boisseau was surprised to find out that the chicken was not real meat.
“I was vegetarian before I moved to Austin, but I quit. I liked the chicken here [before I knew it was fake meat],” Boisseau said. “They totally fooled me.”
Boisseau said one of the major appeals of the truck is the relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff.
“I live in West Campus, and I’ve been trying to find the best food trucks, and I always come back to this one,” Boisseau said.
Amberly Malone, a nutrition freshman and vegan, said what attracts her to the truck is the convenience and authentic taste, despite the substituted ingredients.
“I love that it tastes like regular, real food,” Malone said.
Malone said it is difficult to find both quick and enjoyable vegan cuisine. Although there can be a little bit of a wait because only one employee works in the truck at a time, it is not any more inconvenient than eating anywhere else on the Drag. She said the food is satisfying because it accounts for both health and taste.
“I would tell people to definitely get the bac’n cheese burger. It’s so good, and it’s, like, their signature thing,” Malone said.
The price for a burger starts at $8 and tacos cost $5. Sides are $3 and include french fries, sweet potato fries, tater tots and chips and salsa. These can be made into a combo with a burger or taco for a dollar less. While the food is a little more expensive than the usual fast food burger joint on the Drag, the quality and proportions make it a healthy and wise purchase. Arlo’s food is also served at Drink’s Lounge on East Ceaser Chavez Street and Cheer Up Charlie’s on Red River Street.
- Address: 2718 Guadalupe at West Campus Austin, TX
- Hours: Sun–Thu: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.; Fri–Sat: 12 p.m.–12 a.m.
- Recommended food from writer: Bac’n cheese burger and tater tots
- Score: 9/10