Epic Bites on Wheels

The fifth annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Cathedral City raises the bar with an iconic food truck lineup.

Tiffany Carter Current Digital, Restaurants

For the first time, Cathedral City will host the popular Food Truck Mash-Up on Nov. 17.

Save the date, Nov. 17, and tell your stomach to not make any plans for lunch or dinner.

For the first time, Cathedral City will host the popular Food Truck Mash-Up, produced by the USA Today Network and featuring more than 20 food trucks from across California. Fan favorites on the lineup include Cousin’s Maine Lobster, the Shark Tank darling that serves up some of the best “Lobsta” rolls you’ll ever sink your teeth into; San Bernardino County’s Rock and Roll Coffee; and Los Angeles vendors Poke 2 Go, Wise Barbecue, White Rabbit Food Truck, and The Grilled Cheese Truck.

The mash-up will complement a larger community event — the fifth annual Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival, Nov. 16–18.


The annual festival features events like a balloon race and breakfast (Nov. 16 at Big League Dreams Sports Park in Cathedral City), a balloon glow concert and swing dance (Nov. 16, with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy performing at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage), and a rooftop balloon viewing and barbecue dinner (Nov. 17 on top of the downtown parking structure in Cathedral City).

The Food Truck Mash-Up will pit food trucks against one another at the Cathedral City Civic Center Plaza to compete for best grub. Attendees will get a front row seat to the competitive action while tasting some of the most tempting bites to come out of a four-wheel truck. The winning food truck will receive the People’s Choice Award, as determined by attendees’ votes. Some of the dishes that you should prep your palate for are a new Buffalo Chicken Melt from The Grilled Cheese Truck, made with spicy roasted buffalo chicken, habanero-jack cheese, blue cheese, and celery coleslaw; the Mac & Meat from Wise Barbecue, a serving of macaroni and cheese topped with your choice of barbecue meat and sauce; and Beefsteak Tacos from the White Rabbit Truck, featuring citrus-infused beef marinated in a savory soy sauce.

“People can expect deep, rich, and savory Filipino flavors with an American and Mexican twist from the ‘original Filipino fusion truck’ circa 2010,” says Mel Chua, founder of the White Rabbit Truck.


“We have incorporated Filipino fare into tacos and burritos with our own twists to get Filipino food to the masses. When people eat at White Rabbit Truck, expect to get addicted to the food because it will be love at first bite!”

This is not the first time Food Truck Mash-Up has made an appearance in the Coachella Valley. In March 2018 Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs hosted the competition, at which the Lobos truck won the coveted People’s Choice Award.

Tickets are required for the event with special “early access” benefits that include first dibs on food from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and $5 in mash-up cash to discount your food truck meal.

The Food Truck Mash-Up, Nov. 17 at Cathedral City Civic Center Plaza, 68700 Avenida Lalo Guerrero, Cathedral City. Entrance for “early access” passholders begins at 11 a.m., followed by general admission at 1 p.m. Visit