Whether you're craving fish tacos, wood-fired pizza, or ice cream and doughnuts, these roving eateries prove you don’t need a fancy kitchen to serve up mouth-watering cuisine. Miss Rosie the Urban Sugar truck was so popular roaming Portland’s streets serving bite-sized, gourmet doughnuts (and wintering at the nearby Sugar loaf Mountain) that owner Kevin Andes was able to open a permanent storefront at the skiing base lodge.
But Rosie continues to make the summer rounds downtown and at weddings, doling out mini concoctions like the sweet Of’ Blue Eyes (a lavender pastry cream with lemons curds and Villa wafer crumbs) or savory Foggy (with fig jam, toasted walnuts, goat cheese, and green onions). Not only does this Korean-Mexican fusion truck serve rave-worthy tacos, quesadillas, and burritos around St. Louis (and at a handful of regional storefronts, based on the cheap-eats’ street popularity), but when owner David Choir launched his second truck in the Lou last summer, he decided to use it as an opportunity to help underserved areas.
The menu is stuffed with grilled cheese sandwiches that showcase the owners' Boston pride, like the Green Muenster, their muenster, bacon, and guacamole sandwich named for the iconic left field wall at Fenway Park. In a city filled with diverse cuisines, a fish taco is one of the dish that’s 100 percent Los Angeles.
The fish at Ricky’s is fried to golden brown perfection and served under a refreshing layer of chopped cabbage and pic ode Gallo. A taco is only complete after a trip to the condiment station, where patrons can dress their meal with white sauce and salsa to their liking.
The ingredients that go into the All-American menu, like the grass-fed beef for the burgers, the potatoes for the fries, and the ice cream for the milkshakes, are sourced from farmers and purveyors in the community. The next time you're going on a beach trip to Coney Island, take a quick detour to Coney Shack, an unassuming taco truck situated amongst government buildings and a police station.
The Asian fusion menu offers uploaded tacos, uniquely topped hot dogs, and grilled cheese. You can find this funny food truck scooting around the campus of the University of Delaware and the greater Newark area.
I Don't Give a Fork serves all the greasy college classics (including a likely hangover cure, their scrapple-and-fried-egg topped breakfast burger) and features a couple of more unusual entrées, like the Mac & Cheese steak. To make the cake balls, cakes are baked and then crumbled, combined with frosting and hand-rolled into balls, which are speared with lollipop sticks, dipped in gourmet chocolate, and finished with toppings.
Claus has been serving up ice cream sandwiches since 2009, when the founders hit the road in a former postal van to sell frozen treats at Coachella. Ten Claus trucks are now roaming the streets of L.A., New York, and Dallas, and they’ve added pints and dipped bars to their menu.
The Elvis is packed with excess, just like its namesake: homemade vanilla marshmallows, sweet heart-shaped honey grahams, chocolate panache, honey-roasted peanut butter, and, of course, some banana. The basis of every dish coming out of this Philadelphia food truck, founded in 2013, is a non-baked seven-cheese mac topped with a pinko and crumbled potato chip crunch; the customer takes it to the next level with the mix-ins.
Each doughnut is made to order and served hot for maximum yum. Sophia Woo and Sunny Lin’s out-of-this-world food and go-get-em attitudes have driven Who Nominal Dumplings straight to the top, earning them first place in the Food Network’s Great Footrace Race in 2015.
The Raleigh-based truck is the place to go for stuff-your-face Asian favorites like pork and chive dumplings, beef for, and Taiwanese spaghetti. Before the food truck craze took America by storm, hot dogs were the country’s standard street food.
This Lake Tahoe truck serves reimagined versions of the classic dish. Quarter-pound dogs are paired with toppings like mac and cheese, avocado, and French fries.
And a section of the menu is dedicated to exotic sausages that sate customers’ tastes for boar, bison, and elk meat. There's even a dairy- and gluten-free chicken pot pie option, as well as a variety of vegetarian and vegan soups.
In 2014, husband-and-wife team Haley and Tony Fritz decided to take their “unhealthy love for grilled cheese” to a professional level. At O'Cheese, a big yellow food truck that roams the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, you can get a wide variety of melty, gooey goodness, from the Not-So-Classic (Irish cheddar, Havarti, and cheddar) to The Big Stink (Gorgonzola, blue cheese, and Havarti with honey and pears).
Their Dr. Seuss has eggs, black forest ham, and cheddar cheese; you can also try the Curious George, full of honey, almonds, and banana. Americans can get a plate of fish and chips worthy of an overcast London day at Nosh, but the truly curious might want to look elsewhere on the menu: the Seattle mobile eatery offers fried rabbit dipped in buttermilk.
The ball fields in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn have become a foodie destination thanks to the bevy of food trucks that dish out delicious ethnic cuisine (tacos, empanadas, areas, and more) each weekend. One of the most popular is the El Omega food truck, which serves piping hot popular.
For the uninitiated, a lupus is a traditional Salvadorian street food consisting of a corn flour tortilla stuffed with fillings like cheese, pork, chorizo, plantains, or spinach. Pile on the pickled onions, jalapeños, cabbage, and sour cream for an irresistible lunch.
This Japanese cuisine truck takes its cues from the passion owner Gerald Abraham has for video games: Nakamoto ranks customers on a posted leaderboard, with social media mentions and orders helping to garner points good toward free food. But their variety of bowls (like the miss salmon with rice and salad bowl) and sandwiches (like the Not Bomb, a sweet-and-sour teriyaki chicken sandwich) are enough to make you come back, even without the friendly competition.
St. Clair Pizza serves up hot, wood-fired pies from an actual oven inside an old bus. Along with standards like pepperoni and margherita pizzas, they've also got specials loaded with kimchi, pears, dates, and other under-used toppings.
KING OF FALAFEL & SHAWARMA Freddy Radar declared himself the King of Falafel back in 2002, when he set up shop on a street corner in Queens, and he has been proving himself worthy of the title for the past 15 years. Waits can be long, but you might snag a few free falafel samples while you’re in line.
The PBA sandwich of your youth gets a gourmet upgrade from trained chef Matt McDonald, the owner of this Denver-based food truck. Launched in 2011, Hey PBA serves unique mashups like the “Boss Hog,” a sandwich packed with pecan-peanut butter, pulled pork, whiskey-peach jam, homemade bacon jam, and crushed potato chips, or “The King” which features peanut butter, applewood smoked bacon, sliced bananas, and clover honey.
The food truck specializes in Asian and Latin-inspired cuisine (moving, bitmap, spring rolls), and some dishes, like fried green plantains, are paired with Old Bay sauce for a touch of mid-Atlantic flavor. From kielbasa (a type of smoked sausage) to pack (a doughnut-like pastry), Chicago residents have enjoyed the Polish-American community’s delicious culinary legacy since the mid-19th century.
Native American chef Sean Sherman cooks the cuisine of his people, the Gala Sioux. In 2014, Sherman opened a Twin Cities-based catering business called the Sioux Chef, and in 2015 he co-launched the Jataka Truck food truck, which dishes out healthy indigenous foods like bison wild rice bowls and organic, sumac-seasoned popcorn.
Founded in 2011, 5411 Empanadas was one of the earliest members of the modern food truck movement in Chicago, where restrictions on mobile food vendors are some of the most onerous in the country. The truck became so popular that the company has since expanded to Miami and Houston and opened multiple storefronts in Chicago.
From the simple chorizo to a bacon, dates, and goat cheese, there are plenty of fillings to choose from, including dessert options like banana and Nutella. If you want something other than several servings of crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside croquettes, Pepe also offers a Serrano ham, matches, and olive oil sandwich and a kick-butt gazpacho.
Testate Joyce lived in an Ethiopian orphanage for most of his life before getting adopted and moving to Wisconsin. Now he’s paying it forward, along with his siblings and adoptive father, with this Taste of Ethiopia food truck that will make your heart as happy as your stomach: This not-for-profit eatery uses all of its funds to help kids back in Ethiopia.
They'll even bring Big Ole' Betty (that's the truck) to weddings, festivals, and corporate events. Don't miss the crispy rice ball with kimchi, cucumber melon slaw, and serrano vinaigrette, or the citrus braised pork over goat cheese and red pepper plenty cake with red slaw and samba aioli.
As advertised, this Scottsdale-based food truck hand rolls soft pretzels…to resemble handlebar mustaches. Flavors range from a doughy original to salted caramel topped with nuts.
Diners craving Creole food in the Pacific Northwest can find it at Where Ya at Matt in Seattle. Run by a New Orleans native, the truck’s comforting dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and muffulettas are the perfect antidote to a rainy Washington day.