Ah, the food truck. Over the last decade, the U.S. has been taken by storm by these moveable feast mobiles. Has this foodie phenomenon petered out? Not even close. It's time to get to snacking in these top food truck cities.
With more than 1,000 food trucks (holy mobile!) patrolling the streets, you are never far from a decadent donuts from Gourdough’s or inventive creations like the pad Thai burrito from the famed Peached Tortilla. The winner of the 2013 Truck by Truckwest Taste-Off, Hey! You Gonna Eat or What?, is a must for their gut-busting sammies served with a side of snark (order the prized Shiner Bock Beer-Battered Monte Cristo). A huge BBQ town, nobody does a tender, juicy brisket like Micklethewait Craft Meats. And of course being in Texas, taco trucks abound. Veracruz All Natural, run by two Mexican hermanas, will blow your mind and thanks to the great weather and the all-around weirdness of Austin, good grub is never more than a few blocks away.
One of the early adopters of food on the go, the City of Angels has had food trucks since the original Star Wars hit the galaxy with pioneering taco trucks like King Taco which reigned supreme way back in the 70s. Be sure to track down legendary Roy Choi’s Kogi BBQ truck, one of the city’s mainstays for some dripping-good Korean tacos. For other favorites hit up the Grilled Cheese Truck for some gooey goodness like the S’more Melt, Downtown Dogs for decadent gourmet wieners, and Marisco Jalisco for a true showstopper – the taco dorado de camaron (fried shrimp taco).
Portland and food trucks are as synonymous as chipotle mayo and organic tacos. But this hipper-than-thou city has to be different, of course – with its trucks commonly found in pods. Clusters of food trucks surrounded by outdoor seating, it creates a fun patio vibe to mix and mingle as you taste different creations. The perennial Thai favorite, Nong's Khao Man Gai, sells one thing and one thing only: khao man gai – succulent poached chicken with rice cooked in chicken broth. For some sustainable and fresh Middle East flair, Gonzo Falafel and Hummus has got you covered with their falafel, shawarma, and kebabs. And don’t miss the decade-old, Czech cart, Tabor, with their famous “Schnitzelwich,” a breaded, pan-fried pork loin kicked up with zesty horseradish. Got your fill of meat? Stop by DC Vegetarian for vegan comfort food, like their “BLT” or “Steak and cheese” sandwich, all made with fake meat. This is Portland, after all.
A foodie paradise, San Francisco's street scene is nothing to sneeze at with more than 150 trucks. Offering quality, variety, and a growing a level of eco-friendliness, these grab and go meals stretch your dollar a bit further in uber-pricey SFO. Swing by El Tonayense for some bright and tangy tacos al pastor. For some divine Asian fusion, grab a gua bao, or Taiwanese-style bun, from The Chairman, or get your hands on some of the best chow-dah and lobster rolls outside of New England at Sam’s Chowdermobile. When you're ready to go free range, check out the nation’s first mobile rotisserie truck, Roli Roti.