LOVE Park doesn’t always get much love. Sure, there’s the iconic Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture, but the rest of the park is dull, inhospitable granite—not exactly the terminus the Ben Franklin Parkway deserves. But this summer, a great idea was born: Bring in the food trucks! And now the park bustles with energy.
Each weekday, two or three trucks take over the corner of 16th and JFK Boulevard, next to the circular Welcome Center. It started in May with hour-long lines to taste Jose Garces’s Guapos Tacos. And even now, with a serious chill in the air, Center City workers flock for locally roasted coffee, gourmet burgers, and sopressata-topped pizzas baked in a mobile wood-fired oven.
The lines at Guapos (which usually hits the park twice a week) have subsided a bit, but it’s still worth queuing up for carnitas and a side of guacamole—even with all the competition. Lucky Old Souls Burger Truck cooks up gourmet burgers with house-made ketchup, mustard and mayo. The Mini Trini offers an authentic Trinidadian menu to lunchers looking for an ethnic fix. And Sweet Box or Buttercream—the perfect afternoon sugar-shock.
The future of Love Park food trucks: The best thing that could happen to the LOVE Park food-truck scene would be for it to go away. Why? Because food trucks have survived. They’ve proven their viability and enduring charm—passing beyond the fad stage of flash-in-the-pan foodie obsession and rooting themselves in the culture. But with LOVE Park now standing as the most dense concentration of them anywhere in the city, it’s become too easy a place for them to congregate. If we want the love of the wheeled neighborhood to spread, it has to do what it was made to do: move on.