Whether you are catching up with friends, heading out with the family, or on a date with that special person in your life - breakfast, lunch or dinner at a pop-up food truck on the Darwin foreshore has got to be one of the most fabulous ways to eat out in these parts. The atmosphere is chilled, the sunsets are always glorious and for families there's oodles of space for kids to play. This Dry Season, the City of Darwin has an pretty awesome line up. Things are certainly ramping up and there are some cool new pop-ups literally popping up. The variety of cuisines on offer is mind boggling. So, here's the lowdown on what, where, and when - be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Psst! There are even more pop ups scheduled this Dry, so watch this space!


Check the Facebook pages of the food trucks for last minute cancellations or changes before you head out. Things change!

By Libby Larsen

Updated 3 May 2018


The "Pop-Ups" for 2018

*Note - The pop-up food trucks listed below aren't any particular order or ranking.

Elijah's Kitchen

Zach Green, an "explosive and creative chef" and a rising star in the Aussie food scene is bringing Aboriginal cultural cuisine to Darwin in his cutting edge pop up restaurant - Elijah's Kitchen. Zach, a Gunditjmara and Palawa man is all about celebrating Australian Indigenous culture through food. He is passionate about sharing local Aboriginal custodians cultural perspectives on the tasty morsels he'll serve up on your plate. Sounds amazing, right? You'll need to book for this one as it's understandably popular.

Friday - 6pm - 9pm, East Point, Northern Coastal Car Park (Bookings essential)


Gammon Sandwiches

A cool new Pop Up has hit the scene this Dry! Miles, a local Darwin lad is the brains behind Gammon Sandwiches. Miles says he's perfected his home style recipes, got a truck together and wants to share the tastiest sandwiches he's eaten on his world wide adventures. From Cuban Pete, Hugh Jackfruit, PoBoys from New Orleans to Cheese Steaks from Philly there's some interesting meals on offer. This is one to check out.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday - 5pm to 8pm, Nightcliff Pool

The Salty Plum Cafe in Darwin

The Salty Plum Cafe​​

You can't beat the location of the Salty Plum Cafe overlooking Fannie Bay. For the moment this Dry Season these guys are operating from Saturday and Sunday - but keep an eye on their FB page for any extra days or hours! So, you can head here for breaky, lunch or dinner and anywhere in between. They do bacon and egg rolls, hamburgers, milkshakes and the like. There are lots of bean bags to lounge on, cool tunes playing, and lights at night. This is a winning combo for kids and parents.

Saturday, Sunday - 7.30am - 2pm Southern Coastal Car Park, East Point Reserve


Yummy Yianni's Greek Cuisine​​​​

How about Greek food from Irene and Yianni Kitsos, a Territory born a bred duo. With a strong Greek background and a passion for cooking these guys aim to deliver authentic Greek street food. Here you will find souvlaki that is marinated with Yianni's secret blend of Greek herbs and spices .I've heard through the grapevine their hot chips are good too. Let me know your thoughts? You'll find these guys dishing up their fare at the Nightcliff Pool on Fridays. A great way to end the week I reckon.

Friday Night - 5.30pm - 8pm, Nightcliff pool


Haensel und Gretel ​

food truck darwin

There's lots to love about Haensel und Gretel, a charming family-owned affair which serves up homemade Austrian and German fare. The atmosphere is cosy and welcoming with lights, tables donned with checkered table cloths and a gorgeous view of the harbour. Ben and Kamala the lovely owners of this little gig hail from Germany, and have lived for many years in Vienna, so their Viennese Schnitzels are the real deal. Don't miss their weekly specials. Follow them on Facebook to see what they are up to! You can find them at Chapman Rd on Nightcliff foreshore, Malak Markets and Palmerston Markets. Love. Wir sehen uns dort!

Tuesday Nights - 5pm-8pm, Chapman Rd car park, Nightcliff foreshore

The Rush'n Hour Food Truck in Darwin

The Rush'n - Hour​​

The name is catchy and the truck is hot pink! Xenia, and her partner Jerome are planning to cook up homemade Russian food for dinner by Nightcliff Pool this Dry Season. Xenia who hails from Moldova, tells me that their dumplings are a favourite with her own kids and are popular with families. Love love that pink the truck!

Watch this space! Xenia is waiting on conformation about permit from the City of Darwin (but her plans are Wednesday nights at Nightcliff Pool).

Kens Crepes in Darwin

Ken's Crepes​​​​

The original and iconic Darwin crepe van has been operating for over 25 years. Ken and Susi understandably, have a loyal and devoted following. My boys love their banana and maple syrup creations. I wonder how many 1,000s of crepes they have dished out over the years. Head down to these guys on a Friday night for a chilled family dinner in a great kid friendly location. They are long standing regulars at Nightcliff and Parap markets.

Friday Nights, 5pm - 8.30pm, Windsurfers Corner, near Aralia Street.

The Potato Man in Darwin

The Potato Man ​​

The Potato Man has been around since 1987 serving up their tucker to loyal Darwin locals. I'm sure you've seen these guys around, and if you haven't tried their hot baked potatoes with heaps of topping options, why not give it a go. They've blazed the trail for pop-ups in Darwin. You'll find these guys at the Nightcliff Pool on Sunday nights.

Sunday Night - 5pm - 7.30pm, Nightcliff pool

Kens Crepes Mindil in Darwin

Ken's Crepes Mindil

Erica and Anthony totally get what makes for an easy outdoor dinner with kids because they have 2 of their own. These guys are "Off The Grid" with solar panels and a wind turbine and biodegradable cream cups & cutlery. And this Dry you'll find them at Windsurfers Corner on the Nightcliff Foreshore. Erica and Anthony create a lovely ambience with picnic rugs, chairs and tables.

Wednesday Nights - 5.30pm - 8.30pm, Windsurfers Corner, Nightcliff foreshore

The Box Jelly Fish Cafe in Darwin

The Box Jelly Fish

Alysha and her partner are the lovely new owners of this great little pop-up van which is open each weekend on the Nightcliff foreshore. You can grab a coffee, generous bacon and egg rolls, granola and yoghurt, vegemite and Nutella toast, banana smoothies and much more. The baby chinos are free (if you order other stuff). There are bean bags and chairs to chill on, and the kids can go beach combing while you read the paper. Pooches welcome.

Credit: Andrew Fox

Saturday & Sunday - 7.30am - 12.30 (approx) Chapman Rd carpark, Nightcliff foreshore

Public Holidays that fall on a Monday or Friday from 9.00 am to 2.00 pm

Noi Pad Thai in Darwin

Noi's Pad Thai

Who doesn't like Thai food? It's a crowd pleaser for our family with something that will keep everyone happy. Noi Pad Thai is operating out front of the Nightcliff Pool this Dry Season as well as Malak Markets. Delicious.

Sunday and Monday - 5pm - 8pm, Nightcliff Pool (approx)

*These guys don't seem to turn up all the time and don't really use Facebook so it's hard to double check whether they will be there in my experience.

Needle in a Haystack Food Truck in Darwin

Needle in a Haystack - Street Bistro

This is definitely an "upmarket" gourmet food truck with an innovative menu that changes each week. Martin and Kelly, who hail from Manchester are massive foodies themselves and are passionate about what they do. The menu focuses on locally produced quality organic food. This Dry Season they've got some amazing planned. Once a month they will cook up a 5 and 7 course degustation (with Greenies Whole Foods) to highlight seasonal Australian produce. Yummy! They do vegan, vegetarian and gluten free option.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday - 5 pm-8.30pm (or when they sell out) Nightcliff Jetty

Cucina Sotto le Stelle in Darwin

Cucina Sotto le Stelle

Well established and well loved is Cucina Sotto le Stelle, aka Pop Up Pizza who do delicious wood fire pizzas and some fancy pants pasta. Benjamin's joint is super popular with local families, including ours! They set up long tables and chairs with homely checkered table cloths under the trees. When the sun sets the glow of the strings of lights they set up above the tables creates a cosy atmosphere. Their location is my pick for families.

Wednesday, Friday and Saturday Night, 5pm - 9pm - Chapman Rd car park, Nightcliff foreshore

La French Food Cart in Darwin

La French - Food Cart

You can find these well-dressed young guys at Cullen Bay on the lawns cooking up sweet and savoury crepes from their quaint little cart with imaginative names like "The Moulin Rouge". They also operate at Cullen Bay on Sunday nights. Bon appétit!

Sunday Night 5.30 pm - 9 pm, Cullen Bay lawns (starting mid May)

Harrys Mobile Kitchen, Darwin

Harry's Mobile Kitchen

Harrys has been a fixture at the Nightcliff Jetty for a long time and has paved the way for the rest of the pop ups on the Nightcliff Foreshore. Thanks Harry! And he's got a brand spanking new van this year. Yiros, burgers, fish and chips, hot dogs are just some of whats on the menu at this long standing Darwin food truck in a fab location.

Weekdays - 6am - 9am and 5pm - 10pm, Nightcliff Jetty

Saturdays - 9am - 10pm, Nightcliff Jetty (open 9am-10pm public holidays)

Jay's Coffee Bar in Darwin

Jay's Coffee Bar

If you're a regular at the Nightcliff Jetty, chances are you've had one of Jay's coffees because he has been there for around 9 years! He knows his stuff when it comes to coffee. He freshly roasts his coffee each week and is the only Fair Trade coffee roaster in the NT. For kids there are cookies, milkshakes and kiddy sized ice creams (that don't cost an arm and a leg). By the way he uses biodegradable cups and give a discount to people who use their own cups.

Saturday - 8am - 7pm & Sundays - 3pm - 7pm, Nightcliff Jetty (open public holidays 8am-7pm)

*Jay is away in holidays from the 15th May to 20th June 2018 so won't be operating in this period.


Smoothy Time

A weekly ritual for lots of Darwin locals is heading to the markets and grabbing your favourite fresh juice or smoothy. Everyone seems to have their favourite - mango & lime, watermelon, tropical fruit smoothy, mixed juice - the options are endless. And now this new little van - Smoothy Time will be whipping up scummy juices in front of the Nightcliff pool of an evening. So grab a juice after a swim or have a pit stop if you doing the foreshore walk or ride.

Mondays and Tuesdays, Nightcliff Pool, 5.30pm - 8.30pm (approx)

*These guys don't have a Facebook Page

Photo credits - Permission was gained by the owners of the vans for the use of photos in this article.


Pop Up Weekly Schedule


It's is subject to change. Please make sure you take a look at the Facebook pages of food trucks individually before you head there to see if there are any last minute changes or cancellations.


Harry's Mobile Kitchen - Nightcliff Jetty, 5pm - 10pm (approx)

Noi's Pad Thai - Nightcliff Pool, 5pm - 8pm (approx)

Smoothy Time - Nightcliff Pool, 5.30pm - 8pm (approx)


Hansel und Gretel - Chapman Rd Car Park (Nightcliff Foreshore, near Aralia Street) 5.30pm - 8pm

Harry's Mobile Kitchen - Nightcliff Jetty, 5pm - 10pm (approx)

Noi's Pad Thai - Nightcliff Pool, 5pm - 8pm (approx)

Smoothy Time - Nightcliff Pool, 5.30pm - 8pm (approx)


Ken's Crepes - Mindil - Windsurfers Corner (Nightcliff foreshore, near Aralia Street), 5.30pm - 8.30pm

Needle in a Haystack - Nightcliff Jetty, 5.30pm-8.30pm

Cucina Sotto le Stelle - Chapman Rd Car Park, Nightcliff Foreshore 5pm - 9pm

Harry's Mobile Kitchen - Nightcliff Jetty, 5pm - 10pm (approx)

Gammon Sandwiches - Nightcliff Pool, 5pm - 8pm


Needle in a Haystack - Nightcliff Jetty, 5.30pm-8.30pm

Harry's Mobile Kitchen - Nightcliff Jetty, 5pm - 10pm (approx)

Gammon Sandwiches - Nightcliff Pool, 5pm - 8pm


Needle in a Haystack - Nightcliff Jetty, 5.30pm-8.30pm

Elijah's Kitchen - Northern Car Park, East Point, 6pm - 9pm (bookings essential)

Kens Crepes - Windsurfers Corner (Nightcliff foreshore, near Aralia Street) 5pm - 8.30pm

Cucina Sotto le Stelle - Chapman Rd Car Park, Nightcliff Foreshore, 5pm - 9pm

Harry's Mobile Kitchen - Nightcliff Jetty, 5pm - 10pm (approx)

Yummy Yianni's Greek Cuisine - Nightcliff Pool, 5.30pm - 9pm (from June)

Gammon Sandwiches - Nightcliff Pool, 5pm - 8pm


The Salty Plum - East Point Reserve southern carpark, 7.30am - 2pm

The Box Jelly Fish Cafe - Chapman Rd Car Park, Nightcliff Foreshore, 7.30am - 1pm

Cucina Sotto le Stelle - Chapman Rd Car Park, Nightcliff Foreshore 5pm - 9pm

Jay's Coffee Bar - Nightcliff Jetty, 8am - 7pm (not operating 15 May - 20 June)

Harry's Mobile Kitchen - Nightcliff Jetty, 9am - 10pm (approx)


The Box Jelly Fish Cafe - Chapman Rd carpark, Nightcliff Foreshore, 7.30am - 1pm

The Potato Man - Nightcliff Pool, 5pm - 8pm

The Salty Plum - East Point Reserve Southern Car Park, 7.30am - 2pm

Jay's Coffee Bar - Nightcliff Jetty, 3pm - 7pm (not operating 15th May - 20th June)

Noi's Pad Thai - Nightcliff Pool, 5pm - 8pm (approx)

La French - Cullen Bay lawns, 5.30 pm - 9 pm (starting mid May)

Elijah's Kitchen - Tamarind Park (Darwin City), 5pm - 10pm (bookings essential)


Please check the Facebook pages of the food trucks for last minute cancellations or changes before you head out. If a food truck is unable to operate on their scheduled day and time, most of them post on their Facebook pages to let customers know.

All the information regarding days, locations and times of operations for each food truck has been sourced from the City of Darwin and via direct communication with each of the food trucks to cross check times, days etc.

*I don't have any affiliation with the City of Darwin. I'm not getting paid or receiving any freebies to write this post.


Libby Larsen Growing Up Troppo

Libby Larsen - Growing up Troppo

Growing up Troppo provides honest travel advice from well-travelled parents about unique places to stay, play and eat with kids. ​When I'm planning a holiday somewhere a friend has been to or lives, I always ask for their advice and insights because I know they will give me the honest lowdown on all the pros and cons from both a parent’s and a like-minded friend’s perspective. Growing up Troppo is about parents sharing their "little gems", their favourite places to eat, play and stay with kids, that they love too!

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