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Ottumwa Stories: Food Truck Favorites

Published June 10, 2024

Ottumwa and Wapello County are more than just charming Midwestern communities, they're also a hidden culinary treasure trove waiting to be explored. Part of that treasure trove includes a growing food truck scene. From mouthwatering BBQ to home style comfort foods, these mobile kitchens are dishing out memorable meals that sure sure to leave you craving more. 


In Ottumwa, Barbecue aficionados are spoiled with not one, but two standout food trucks. Manny's Smoke Shack and Five Hawgs BBQ are renowned for their smoked meats and signature specialties that keep patrons coming back. At Manny's, a local favorite is his mac and cheese that is hailed by many as the stuff of dreams. Meanwhile, Five Hawgs is serving up melt-in-your-mouth brisket that pairs perfectly with their noodles and mashed potatoes. No matter what you're in the mood for, Manny's Smoke Shack and Five Hawgs BBQ have something to satisfy every craving.

Comfort Food

Here in Wapello County, where comfort food reigns supreme, two food trucks stand out as champions of culinary nostalgia: The Lunch Lady and Bubs Grub. These mobile kitchens are on a mission to bring smiles and satisfaction to diners craving a taste of home. The Lunch Lady, who can usually be found in Eldon, serves up a rotating menu of specials that never fail to hit the spot. From indulgent delights like Big Mac Fries to innovative creations like grilled chicken cones, there's something for everyone. Meanwhile, in Blakesburg, Bub's Grub have a menu filled with beloved classics that never go out of style. Whether you're trying the tenderloin, a burger, or nachos, Bub's Grub delivers perfection every time.


Embark on a culinary journey through the vibrant flavors of Vietnam with Pho T. Based out of Knoxville, Pho T brings the taste of Southeast Asia to Ottumwa on a weekly basis. From pho to pad thai and more, every dish is a celebration of bold flavors and vibrant ingredients.

Smash Burgers

The newest truck in the Ottumwa dining scene, Papa Zachy's specializes in mouthwatering gourmet smash burgers that promise to redefine the burger experience. At Papa Zachy's it's all about customization and creativity. With a menu boasting an impressive array of toppings and sauces, diners are invited to craft their own burger masterpiece. From classics like bacon and pickles to innovative options like pineapple salsa and mac and cheese, the possibilities are endless.


For those looking for more food truck options, Ottumwa and Wapello County offer an array of culinary experiences throughout the summer months thanks to a lineup of exciting events that draw crowds from near and far. These events include the Ottumwa Pro Balloon Races, Greater Ottumwa Rodeo, Agency 4th of July Celebration, Live After Five every Friday in July, RAGBRAI, and Midwest Ford Fest.

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