Food & Dining

Top 10 Cities with Best Food Trucks

Although the food truck movement has been relatively recent, picking up in the early 2000s, the concept has been around for much longer.

Let’s take a quick look back to historic staples in the food truck industry:

Ice Cream Trucks

This is a classic when you think food on wheels. Despite the fact that they’re not as easily found as they once were, most people, regardless of age, still know the tune of an ice cream truck.

Mr. Burt, creator of the Good Humor bar, is touted as the first “ice cream man.” His truck appeared in the 1920s and began the ice cream craze that is remembered most often with hot summer days and nostalgia.

Chuckwagons

In the late 1800s America was becoming a popular spot for colonists to come, claim land, and settle down. Hundreds of thousands of people traveled west. They needed food.

Chuckwagons were the creation of men who saw a need, and met it for profit. They outfitted wagons with shelves, drawers, utensils, and product to follow wagon trains and serve the travelers. In many cases, they also supplied medical goods.

Canteens

Canteens, appearing in the late 1930s, were mobile kitchens meant to serve the US Army. Every army, if it’s going to be successful, needs to be fed. These canteens were often staffed with women who supplied the men with hot food and drinks.

Once you understand the history behind the food truck, it’s not so strange that they’ve made such a strong come-back. Not only are they a great pit-stop for getting some quick, affordable, and delicious food, the menu items they offer are all over the spectrum, from gourmet to street fare.

Here’s a list of the top 10 cities where food trucks dominate.

Miami, Florida

Why visit: If you find yourself in Miami, you’re in a really interesting spot for food trucks. Florida is known as an amalgam of people – generally the older generation going there to retire, with groups of young hip crowds enjoying the weather.

Where to visit:

Chef’s Choice – focuses on farm-to-table dishes that are grass-fed, locally sourced, and pasture raised.

El Orgullo Latino Kitchen – focuses on classic Latin cuisine done well.

Ipek’s Wykked Kitchen – Turkish dishes served with a hardcore aesthetic.

Charleston, South Carolina

Why visit: South Carolina is just south enough that you really start getting that southern flavor and hospitality. Charleston is a huge foodie hot spot, so it’s not surprising that their food trucks are amazing.

Where to visit:

Root Note Food – this truck is elevating the taco to include many different cultural spins.

The Immortal Lobster – if seafood is your thing, come here for the lobster rolls.

Sweet Lulu’s Bakery, Cocktail Caravan & Pedal Pub – this truck’s menu includes baked goods as well as cocktails for special occasions, as Charleston doesn’t allow pedal pubs on the street.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Why visit: Although it might not always have the appropriate weather for food trucks, Vancouver’s streets are still thriving with a strong fleet of trucks.

Where to visit:

Japadog – it isn’t too hard to figure out what this truck is about. Japanese cuisine…and hot dogs. Two things that don’t seem like they should fit together as well as they do.

Cheezee Does It – an entire truck based around cheese. Who doesn’t dream of this? The menu includes a classic grilled cheese, smoked sausage, and breakfast wraps.

Flying Fish n’ Chipper – it’s hard to find amazing fish and chips with quality ingredients few and far between, but Flying Fish has done it. The customer reviews of their menu items prove that their cod and halibut meet high standards.

Washington DC, Maryland

Why visit: Washington is the perfect place to dine mainly at food trucks – they can be found any and everywhere, and in a city where you’re most likely constantly on the move, you won’t have to waste any time or compromise on quality.

Where to visit:

Holy Crepes – a crepe based food truck with vegetarian options. Traditional crepe recipes with both sweet and savory fillings.

Pho Wheels – with pho to draw customers in, this truck also offers other Vietnamese dishes, such as banh mis and egg rolls.

Captain Chicken and Waffles – although the dish that this truck is named after would appear to be more of a sit-down order, Captain Chicken and Waffles does their namesake proud. Sides include banana pudding, mac n’ cheese, and salads.

Los Angeles, California

Why visit: Los Angeles is the perfect place to find anything – food, clothing, locations – elevated in style, and the city does the same, offering countless gourmet food trucks.

Where to visit:

Coolhaus – cookies and ice cream. It doesn’t get much better than that. But this food truck also has a twist, with edible wrappers and an impressive array of cookie creations.

Baby’s Badass Burgers – ½ lb burgers! With options for all dietary needs, including vegan and veggie.

Niche – setting the bar with their name, Niche serves up specialty drinks. With the focus on coffee, they also offer hot chocolate, tea, and Italian soda.

New York, New York

Why visit: Why does anyone visit New York City? It’s a staple of the US, and a crazy gathering of cultures and people. No matter what you go there looking for you’re sure to come out of it having eaten some good food.

Where to visit:

Chef Samir – Chef Samir utilized his mother’s Mediterranean recipes to create a fresh and unique menu on the scene. With “Think Differently” painted on the truck, they’re clearly trying to get the population out of that pizza-and-TV-dinner mindset.

DUB Pies – although the main dish on this truck – miniature savory pies – might not be as much quantity as you’re looking for in a meal, they also serve up desserts, sides, and coffee.

La Bella Torte – La Bella specializes in Italian pastries, followed up by espresso, coffee, and cappuccinos.

Portland, Maine

Why visit: Portland is a beautiful town in an otherwise remote area, but it has its own thriving food truck world despite the cold weather months.

Where to visit:

Tacos del Seoul – South Korean street-style tacos and burritos.

Tasting Maine – if you’re looking for more of a local touch, head to this truck. Their menu items revolve around seafood fresh from the area, including clams, scallops, and lobster.

Little Jamaica – Little Jamaica serves classics such as curried goat, plantains, and jerk chicken.

Portland, Oregon

Why visit: Portland, Oregon has become popular with the younger generations. They’ve brought a love of unique and sustainable food to the area, and it shows in the trucks that have made their homes there.

Where to visit:

Thrive Pacific NW – the mainstay on this menu is rice, and each dish is organized by culture – you can order a Japanese, Mexican, or Argentinian rice bowl, among others.

ASH Woodfired – ASH is bringing high-quality, woodfired pizza to the streets using local and seasonal ingredients directly from Portland. If you like a bit of char on your pizza, this is the truck for you.

Altengartz German Bratwurst – this truck has an impressive menu inundated with mouth-watering meat dishes, including their namesake, the Altengartz Bratwurst, curry wurst, Hamburgers, and breakfast brats.

Austin, Texas

Why visit: Austin is another city where the younger generations are taking hold and introducing quality over quantity in the world of cuisine.

Where to visit:

Wunder Pig Barbecue Co – classics like brisket, sausage, and pulled pork done right.

Rosarito – Rosarito is a truck bringing culinary fusion to the streets, pulling influences from Mexican and Japanese cultures.

Pitalicious – with savory items on their menu, Pitalicious offers up gyros, falafels, hummus and more, catering to special diets as well.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Why visit: Although it might not be at the top of your list when you’re thinking “big city” food trucks, Minneapolis has a thriving food culture that has begun to inundate the streets.

Where to visit:

Full Belly Happy Heart – a Spanish-influenced truck setting out to leave their customers satisfied with tortillas, refried beans, cilantro, avocado, and other fresh ingredients.

Wholesoul – the small details that this truck focuses on are delicious and mouth-watering. With additions to classic dishes such as pink salt (on wings), toasted brioche buns (for hotdogs) and cauliflower crust pizza, the menu is attention-grabbing.

A Cupcake Special – for those with a sweet tooth, this is the truck for you. It’s all traditional desserts with a side of sundaes, coffee, and lattes.

Leave a Reply