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A taste of summer: Ottawa's food truck season in full swing

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The streets of Ottawa are coming alive with the tantalizing smells of food trucks, which for many can be a culinary tour for some of the best mobile eats.

Good vibes and good food, await at Jimmy's Waffle World in Stittsville. It's hard to miss the 1960s surf-themed red truck along Hazeldean Road in the city's west end.

"We specialize in waffles and fried chicken. We do the Brussels-style waffle and the bubble-style waffle. We also sell ice cream. We have different kinds of potato products like poutine, French fries, and we do from a sweet to savoury," says owner, Jimmy Lafreniere. "I like to grow a lot of stuff in season. All my flowers that I grow are edible for my sweet waffles. We attract happy people and that's how we like it."

First time customers Lana and Arnold Abrera ordered a poutine, as well as the popular fried chicken waffle sandwich.

"We will be back. Of all the food trucks so far, this is number one," says Lana. "I like sitting outside in the sun and a different approach of food. Look at this sandwich in a waffle! First time. It's really good."

Arnold adds, the fresh-made lemongrass lemonade is "really good and perfect".

The City of Ottawa has issued licenses to 70 food trucks, 12 food carts such as hot dog stands, and 16 mobile canteens.

Street food is a trending item for many, which patrons enjoy.

"It's the ambiance," says Nikki Clarke, a local enthusiast. "The experience, fresh air, and it's nice to support local businesses."

At Kichesippi Brewery in Bells Corners, food lovers can find two trucks: Le's Fusion Kitchen, offering an Asian twist; and Ad Mare, catering to seafood fans. While you're there, you can also tap into the many different beers the brewery has to offer.

At Riggins Family Barbecue, known for it grilled and smoked meats, owner Pat Riggins says the summer has been busy so far.

"The food truck is fun because I can do different things," he says. "We've got what's called the brisket battle; so we do one Montreal style, we do one pastrami, and then we do one Texan and line up all the sandwiches for people to try."

Riggins Family Barbeque has adapted to offer take-home family meals as well as catering, plus its location at the RA Centre, benefits both establishments.

"They are a wonderful partner to provide the food services for all our special events," says RA Centre engagement manager Andrea Barchard. "They've been absolutely wonderful to help support our community."

"There's a small hometown feeling," says Lafreniere. "The community wants to support you."

With so many options, Ottawa's food trucks are a must-try this summer. The only question is, where to start.

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