No one can argue that coffee on the go is difficult. The rise of the food cart has made a roadside fix easier than ever.
Some are made from converted horseboxes, others are custom-built for the purpose.
The common theme is that they’re a welcome stop for light refreshments, whatever the weather. All are packaged up for stand-up eating, taking back to the car, or sitting down where seating is provided.
We’ve seen quite a few of these appearing in recent times, and by all accounts they’re doing good trade. And no surprise, you can get a barista coffee, a burger made with local butcher meat or a full Scottish breakfast. Eat light or fill your boots.
Yes, some are even serving up hot food, and you can even watch it being cooked! That’s as fresh as you can get.
So wherever you are, you’re likely not far from one of these listed below. Stop by and have a coffee, try a cake, or even a pizza! You’ll realise why there’s often a queue.
All local mobile food vendors are also listed here. And if you think we’ve left anyone out, let us know, there’s no charge to be added to this list.
*Times and locations are correct at the time of writing (May 2023). Please check as these can change at short notice, by their own admission, due to changes in weather, trading conditions, private functions etc.
The Drouthy Mare
Findhorn Bridge, near Forres W3W: awoke.bunkers.scooters
One mile from Forres
This converted horsebox is operated by Fiona, and offers hamburgers, black pudding, bacon rolls, teas, coffees, and much more – she even does a sideline in printed mugs.
The Drouthy Mare has a car park, and outdoor seating. This spot at Findhorn Bridge has always had a food stop of some sort for decades, but for added interest, there’s a monument to the former airfield across the road, a riverside walk, and two other local businesses, K9 Deli and Housby Motors.
- I had: Coffee and a steak burger
- Cost: £5
- My rating: Maclean’s rolls and Macbeth’s meat: No brainer
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 9am to 4pm
The Coffee Clan
Wellhill Car Park, Culbin Forest W3W: movements.corn.awoke
Three miles from Forres
Run, by William, this purpose-built coffee cart is situated in the popular Wellhill car park at Culbin Forest. That means there’s plenty of parking, toilets, access to local walks and trails, and there’s a nearby farm shop at the entrance to the forest access road.
Selling barista coffee, regular and herbal tea, canned drinks, cakes, crisps.
- I had: two cakes
- Cost: £5
- My rating: Decent cakes and friendly owner
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10:30am to 4pm*
West Beach Car Park, Findhorn W3W: crunch.holdings.adjusting
Five miles from Forres
Olive is a 1979 converted fire truck, brought to life by bakers Gill and Weller at the Olive Tree Kitchen. They offer barista coffee and an ever-changing selection of delicious home bakes, made by themselves.
The cart is positioned just off the west beach car park right at the end of the track, past the toilets.
Olive started out at the East Beach (back shore), but moved in May to its current location. (We think it might have been the rocky road! It couldn’t have been good for Olive’s digestive system)
- Why would you stop here? Excellent home-made cakes, and gorgeous views
- Guideline price:
- Open: Mon-Fri, 10-3pm
- I had: Victoria Sponge and a coffee
- Cost: reasonable prices
- My rating: The lightest sponge I’ve had anywhere.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm*
The Food Truck
Roseisle Country Park, Roseisle Forest W3W: trunk.meals.proved
Eight miles from Forres
It’s nice to have such a large selection to eat and drink. The Food Truck serves up hot food as well as coffee, tea, light refreshments and cold drinks. This is a popular place for walkers and cyclists, and there are tables nearby and of course you can take your food to the beach.
- I had: coffee
- Cost: £3.50
- My rating: A little expensive, but a large choice
Opening hours: 10am to 4pm, seven days
Kula Coffee Hut
Duffus Castle Car Park W3W: conveying.reminder.dose
14 miles from Forres
A lovely coffee cart in the shadow of Duffus Castle. Serving artisan barista coffee and home bakes, and more. Have a snack before or after you’ve looked around the castle ruins. Seating outdoors and a shaded area. Plenty of room for parking.
- I had: Locally pressed apple juice and a cookie
- Cost: reasonable
- My rating: Lovely fresh local apple juice and cookie crumbled perfectly
Opening hours: 10am to 4pm, Friday to Sunday*
Spruce and Stag Wood-fired Pizza
Various locations, including Aberlour and Threaplands Garden Centre (see Facebook page)
27 miles from Forres
A pizzeria in a horsebox. You’ve got to try this authentic Neopolitan pizza made right in from your eyes. The dough is proven over 48 hours before Allan pitches up, then he kneads it into shape and spreads it with your chosen topping, fires it under a real flame and within a few minutes, it’s done.
- I had: Tomato and Mozzarella
- Cost: £10
- My rating: hot, tasty, and fresh
Opening hours: These vary due to private functions and other variables – check out their facebook page for up-to-date info
The Big Orange
Various locations across Moray (See facebook page for details)
In Forres for one Friday a month, check dates online.
OK, it might be a strange name for a roadside takeaway, but at the Big O you can expect something different. It’s street food with a capital S.
Here’s a quick look at some of the menu, and if that doesn’t whet your appetite, nothing will…
- Wagyu beef and bacon doubler with bacon slaw
- Foot-long dirty dog
- Robeeno rib and keto sauce
Portions are huge, and so is the taste… You’ll need to check the Facebook page to find out times and locations, and don’t be confused, The Big Orange’s Facebook page, is rather curiously called, The Green: https://www.facebook.com/thebigorange55
- I had: the wagyu beef and bacon doubler with bacon slaw
- Cost: £13.50 (it WAS the dearest thing on the menu!)
- Our opinion: the tastiest thing I’ve ever had in a takeaway food carton
Opening hours: Usually 10am to 4pm*
Willow and Birch
Millbuies Country Park, Fogwatt W3W: geek.survivor.chuckling
17 miles from Forres
Blink and you’ll miss this one. Millbuies is a popular beauty spot, but this little food truck is hiding behind the tall hedge on the lawn. You could easily miss it.
Being at Millbuies, there’s plenty of parking, and a nice walk to burn off the calories you might be tempted with at Willow and Birch. This little van is a self-contained mobile unit serving barista coffee and cakes. And if you really like the coffee, you can buy it by the bag.
- I had: bottled water, and Biscoff Millionaire
- Cost: Oops, can’t remember
- My rating: Water is water, but the cake was delicious
Opening hours: Thursday to Friday, 10am to 4pm
The Patch, Craigellachie
Highlander Park, Craigellachie W3W: taker.snowboard.awesome
26 miles from Forres
Another one that’s easy to miss. Highlander Park is right on the Speyside Way, so makes a welcome stopping point for walkers. It’s also near to the famous Telford bridge if you fancy a stroll to see this iconic piece of industrial architecture.
This converted horsebox is run by the very friendly Louie.
- I had: Coffee, sponge cake, tray bake
- Cost: £9.50
- My rating: delicious cakes, tasty coffee
Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 3pm*
Coffee at the Kings
Cullen Beach car park W3W: torches.sleepy.cries
34 miles from Forres
Another beautiful location, and as you can see from the pictures, it’s a busy one. The car park at Cullen Beach has plenty of room for those exploring the shoreline or looking up in awe at the viaduct.
Coffee at the Kings offer Barista Coffee, a selection of cold drinks and snacks.
No review: We didn’t buy anything here as the queue was too long.
Opening hours: Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm*
Lossie Coffee Cart
East Beach Car Park, Lossiemouth W3W: hires.surveyed.answer
17 miles from Forres
Lossie Coffee Cart is situated at Lossiemouth’s east beach, and serves, as you would expect, good coffee. There’s some seating at the cart, but there’s plenty of space park and walk around the area along the River Lossie.
- I had: medium Americano
- I paid: £3
- My rating: Can’t go wrong with Americano, but it was as good as they come
Opening hours: 11:30am to 4:30pm, Wednesday to Friday; 10:30am to 4:30pm Saturday and Sunday*
Cullen Beach Burgers
Cullen Beach Car Park W3W: alarmed.viewer.massaged
34 miles from Forres
Cullen is the only place that has two mobile food trucks in the same car park.
But Cullen Beach Burgers complements Coffee at the Kings, not only for serving different food, but it helps spread out the queues, as this place gets busy, especially when the sun is shining.
It has a large range of cooked and cold food, with plenty of parking.
No review: We didn’t eat here, but we’ll be back
Opening hours: 10am to 4pm, seven days*
*Times and locations are correct at time of writing (May 2023). Please check as these can change at short notice, by their own admission, due to changes in weather, trading conditions, private functions etc.