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Gone are the days when you had to make a reservation and sit in a restaurant to get an amazing gourmet meal. The food truck craze has taken over America, as cities from east to west embrace the trend and serve up delicious meals on four wheels. You can find food trucks in major metropolitan areas, small towns, local festivals, and neighborhood craft breweries.
But some cities have emerged as food truck meccas that are pure bliss for foodies and curious travelers. Food trucks encourage adventurous eating, local support, and community spirit. They can also be budget-friendly ways to eat while on-the-go! These cities are leaders in the food truck industry, and their food truck scenes are definitely worth a visit while you’re in town. Bon appétit!
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The Los Angeles food truck scene is among the most innovative in the nation, and here you’ll find unique dishes to entice your imagination and tempt your taste buds. In fact, Los Angeles is said to be the birthplace of food trucks! Some of the favorite food trucks here have been Kogi BBQ and the Lobsta Truck. Given L.A.’s awesome year-round weather, you can also find a lot of food trucks that specialize in frozen desserts and ice cream to cool down and chill out. This is a fun and affordable way to dine out in Los Angeles and experience the local culture for yourself. Also in California, the food truck scene in San Francisco is worth checking out if you head to the Bay Area.
Austin is one of the best places in the U.S. for food trucks. This Texas city was one of the early pioneers of the food truck movement, and it still doesn’t disappoint locals and visitors today. Hundreds of food trucks can be found here, and famous ones that have gotten a lot of attention include the East King Side truck for Japanese street food, Biscuits + Groovy for southern food, and Micklethwait for barbeque are other local favorites. Head to the trendy SoCo (South of Congress Avenue) area to find a row of food trucks that line the streets.
Speaking of early pioneers, no food truck list would be complete without a thorough review of the Portland food truck scene. Grilled Cheese Grill and Potato Champion have been tremendously popular trucks here. Phat Cart has also been a favorite for its authentic Southeast Asian dishes that are GMO-free. If you can’t find what you’re craving at the Portland food trucks, then you must be a seriously picky eater! There are more food trucks than anywhere else, and estimates have put that number at around 600.
Just head to the National Mall and downtown to find an endless row of food trucks waiting to serve tourists between visits to the museums and monuments. These are also popular lunch spots for government employees who work downtown. Take some time to walk around and see what they all serve to make your pick before settling on the first one you see. There are lots of festivals that take place in D.C. too, and you’ll find many food trucks camped outside to celebrate local and national events. Tasty Kabob and Pho Junkies are local favorites, and you can also find some great seafood at the trucks in town.
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an emerging food truck destination that is quickly becoming a favorite scene among foodies in-the-know. Some of the best food trucks that have rolled through town include Go! Gyro! Go! for Greek food and Guerrilla Street Food for fresh Filipino dishes.
It might surprise you that Orlando is a top food truck destination, but with the theme park tourist crowd, the food truck scene here has grown a lot. Favorite food trucks include Twisted Plates but the trucks tend to rotate out with the seasons. Other top trucks have been the Treehouse Truck for Philly cheesesteaks and OverRice for Hawaiian cuisine. The Orlando food trucks are an affordable way to eat well while on vacation and add some variety to your daily meals. Another great Florida city for food trucks to visit is Tampa.
Chicago is known as a top foodie city, with famous pizza, hot dogs, and top chefs serving up exquisite dishes. But the food truck scene has been picking up here too, especially in the downtown area where tourists are sightseeing and employees are working on weekdays. Some noteworthy food trucks in the Windy City have included the Jibarito Stop for Puerto Rican favorites and DönerMen for kebabs. For dessert, Cupcakes for Courage has been a favorite truck that supports cancer research, and the Southern Mac Truck is known for comfort food classics. Just like the city itself, Chicago’s food trucks are diverse and run the gamut of every type of ethnic food you can think of. There’s always a few festivals going on in the city’s diverse neighborhoods, which is where you’ll find many of the trucks lined up.
The Mile-High City is another great place to spend some time if you enjoy a diverse food truck scene. Lots of the food trucks here stay open late, which is perfect if you’re bar hopping and want to grab a quick bite on-the-go. Favorite food trucks that have set up shop in Denver include Comida for tacos and quesadillas and HEY PB&J for comfort food that’ll take you back to your childhood.
Although Portland, Oregon is known as the big food truck destination in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle has plenty to offer as well. Favorite food trucks that have graced the city with their presence include Where Ya At Matt for New Orleans-style cooking and Marination for Hawaiian-Korean dishes. Also of note are Off the Rez for Native American specialties that are pretty rare in the urban food truck scene. Seattle actually has an Independent Food and Craft Festival that happens in the summer with lots of food trucks to suit every taste and appetite. Don’t let the rain stop you; get out and experience what Seattle’s trucks have to offer!
Chances are that if you visit Miami, you’re planning to spend a lot of your time outside to enjoy the amazing year-round weather. Nice weather and food trucks really do go hand-in-hand, because why go inside and miss out on that South Florida sunshine for even just a few hours? The food truck scene here is a bit newer than some of the other cities on the list, but local food truck operators have really stepped up its game in recent years. A great place to find food trucks in the city is at the Wynwood Art Walk. Some of the best food trucks that have parked along the streets of Miami include Latin Burger for specialty burgers with a Latin twist. Thanks to the heat and beach scene, you can also find lots of food trucks here that serve up delicious ice cream, frozen yogurt, and gelato.
There’s much more than just cold and snow in Minneapolis…there are also lots of food trucks to keep you satisfied and warm! Surprisingly, many of the food trucks in town are open year-round. You can find a variety of food trucks in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, often parked outside local breweries to cater to craft beer fans. Recommended food trucks here include TOT BOSS for a creative take on tater tots and Butcher Salt for sustainable picks and grass-fed burgers.
Boston is a city packed with history, art, and culture, but it also has a thriving culinary scene that extends itself to some great local food trucks. One of the most popular trucks is the Baja Taco Truck for excellent burritos.