If you’re out and about in the city and you suddenly want to grab a snack, where do you go? The local food truck, of course!
Today, we live in a fantastic era of gourmet food trucks and tasty street food. Long gone are the days when you were lucky to find a street vendor who could sell you a basic burger or a simple hot dog. These days, we can reap the benefits of a cosmopolitan culture, with countless food trucks offering us everything from classic tacos to exotic treats and delights.
So, which are the best cities for food trucks in the United States? We’ve looked at everything from the sheer number of vendors in operation to the diversity of their menus and came up with six of the top places to get amazing street food on the go.
1. Washington, D.C.
Let’s start our list in the nation’s capital. Washington, D.C., has so much to offer, but one of its best features has to be its food truck selection. There are more than 150 to pick from, many of which roam the streets and many more with permanent locations. Both turn out on a regular basis for the foodie festivals throughout the year.
DC’s food trucks stand out from the competition thanks to the creative and unique options being served up by these vendors. The colorful Fojol Bros. truck shouldn’t be missed. Pioneering the way with its carnival-style costumes and delicious food, Fojol Bros. serves options as original as beef berbere and butter chicken. Or, if something more traditional has taken your fancy, why not get a cup of classic clam chowder or a New England lobster roll from Red Hook Lobster Pound?
There are so many food trucks here that an app has even been created to help you find your favorite. The Food Truck Fiesta app has a map that adjusts in real time to show you the locations of all the operating trucks and lists what they’re serving so you can make a choice.
Always in the shadow of its neighbor, Portland, Ore., when it comes to the foodie culture, in recent years, Seattle has really started to come into its own. Today, the city is home to some of America’s best food trucks, serving up regional cuisine from around the United States, as well as from overseas.
If you have a passion for New Orleans down-home cooking, the Where Ya At truck serves up home-cooked treats, from hot beignets to Creole soul food, that will have your mouth watering. Or, maybe you prefer the exotic flavor of a blend of Korean and Hawaiian tastes? Then, Marination should be your first stop. Made famous by press coverage around the country, this truck delivers its own unique version of “Aloha,” with incredible flavors and exciting options. The best way to check out all the food truck options in Seattle is to visit the yearly Independent Food & Craft Festival where you can experience a full cross section of the city’s culinary delights.
3. San Francisco
As you might expect from the cultural gem that is San Francisco, there is no shortage of choices when it comes to food trucks. Every day, it seems new vendors are appearing on the streets, and wherever you are in the city, you’ll never go hungry. While the City by the Bay wasn’t actually the original birthplace of food trucks, in recent times, their options have been elevated to gastronomic heights. From tacos made with curried goat to fried sandwiches of bacon and oysters, there’s something to suit every taste.
The SoMa Streat Food Park is a paradise for foodies, with a regularly changing lineup of around a dozen food trucks accompanied by picnic tables and entertainment – the ideal spot for locals looking to take a little time out for a treat or for visitors who want to experience the best food the city has to offer.
4. Tampa, Fla.
Tampa has food trucks at the heart of its culture, even playing host to the Food Truck Rally, a business specializing in connecting locals with food trucks and promoting the local cuisine. The company even hosts seminars aimed at people who are interested in running a food truck and stages events across the city. Every year, Tampa also hosts the World’s Largest Food Truck Rally on the Florida State Fairgrounds.
Some of the city’s top food trucks include Wicked ‘Wiches, a gourmet sandwich vendor, the Taco Bus, which boasts only fresh ingredients in its recipes, and the Fire Monkey Food Truck, which serves up Gorilla Balls – mushroom risotto balls stuffed with blue cheese and beef before being deep fried.
Staying on the East Coast, we move on to Atlanta. This city has only recently recognized the potential of food trucks. But, they have been embraced into the heart of the local foodie culture and it’s now the ideal time to sample the amazing options. Atlanta is home to vendors specializing in home-cooked down South comfort foods combined with Asian and Mexican influences. You won’t be able to miss The Good Food Truck. Its name says it all, and its top seller is The Poodle – a hot dog that comes served on a French toast bun and loaded up with spicy mustard and apple maple slaw. Another popular choice is Blaxican, a Mexican-inspired truck that serves up amazing collard green quesadillas and Buffalo chicken tacos. Thanks to a change in the legislation in Atlanta, it’s become easier than ever for food trucks to ply their trade on the public roads around the city, so the way is clear for even more and better options as time goes on.
The second Floridian city on our list, Miami is home to countless food trucks, many of which offer cuisine that you’ll struggle to find in any other city. South Floridians are passionate about food trucks. One of the city’s most popular vendors is The Latin Burger, which serves an extraordinary array of treats, including the Macho Burger, made from sirloin, chuck, and chorizo and topped with Oaxaca cheese and caramelized onions – just delicious! Fans of Asian fare won’t be disappointed either. The Dim Ssam a GoGo serves out-of-this-world gourmet sandwiches, including exotic ingredients, such as kimchi and foie gras. However, perhaps the most popular truck in the entire city has to be HipPops, a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth. Offering handmade desserts, this truck gives customers the opportunity to make their own customized desserts from a choice of frozen yogurt, sorbet, and gelato along with no less than three types of high-quality dips made from Italian chocolate. As a finishing touch, you can top off your pop with a choice of almonds, pecans, hazelnuts or pistachios, all finely crushed for a maximum crunch. It doesn’t get more perfect than that!
No matter where you’re traveling in the country, you’re sure to find a city near you with food trucks to suit every taste. Whether you’re craving the spiciness of Asian cuisine, the familiarity of hot dogs or burgers, or the sweet goodness of a tasty dessert, there are food truck owners out there who are catering to your tastes. Enjoy experimenting with some of the nation’s finest street cuisine and find your perfect flavor!
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