The Best Food Truck in Every State Gallery from The Best Food Truck in Every State Gallery
The Best Food Truck in Every State Gallery
The Best Food Truck in Every State Gallery
Food trucks occupy their own unique restaurant category, balancing quality, creativity, and value with speed, accessibility, and of course, parking. In many cases, they come to you, willing to trek through terrain inaccessible to other food purveyors. We rely on food trucks to nourish us at music festivals, broaden our lunch horizons, and cater our bar mitzvahs, graduations, and engagement parties. Food truck owners don’t do it for the glamour or the fame or to meet Tyler Florence; they choose the confines of a stuffy 5-foot-by-10-foot kitchen space to share with us their cuisine, creativity, and culture. If traditional restaurants are like full length novels, then food trucks are novellas — concentrated and poignant. The most successful operations can take a style of cooking, boil it down into a few signature dishes, and expose an unaware group of eaters to new culinary opportunities.
These fearless restaurant nomads exist across the country, occupying pockets of every state. Thousands of trucks fuel up their gas and propane tanks each day to provide us with the best grub possible. Selecting the best food truck in every state is no easy task, but it’s an honor to be able to highlight our favorites. We pay respect to the originals, like New York’s Cinnamon Snail and The Chairman in San Francisco, but we also bring attention to newcomers and lesser known operations. To determine the best food truck in every state, we scoured the internet, reading hundreds of reviews, menus, Facebook comments, and Instagram posts. There’s always a degree of subjectivity with lists like these (California alone has hundreds of different trucks in operation), but we hope you’re motivated to hit the road and seek out the best food trucks in every state.
Alabama: The Tacos Dos Hermanos Food Truck, Birmingham
Across the street from an unassuming Sunoco gas station are some of the best tacos in Alabama. The Tacos Dos Hermanos food truck attracts a daily mob of customers looking for fresh and boldly seasoned tacos, burritos, and quesadillas at incredibly affordable prices. The Dos Hermanos Food Truck offers classic fillings like chorizo, carne asada, chicken, and barbacoa (lamb), and they top their tacos with freshly chopped white onion, cilantro, and pico de gallo. The truck is cash only, but it’s a small price to pay. One Yelp reviewer commented on how they walked away with five tacos and a burrito for under $20.
Alaksa: Yeti Dogs, Anchorage
This Alaskan gem serves locally made sausages with a daily menu that includes everything from bratwurst and hot dogs to reindeer and buffalo sausages. They’ll also offer special sausage and condiment options, but you’ll have to keep up with them on social media to find out. The truck sets up shop daily, unless the finicky Alaska weather forecast says otherwise. The state might be closer to Russia than to your front door step, but the Alaska food scene is truly one of a kind, and worth checking out.
Arizona: Emerson Fry Bread, Phoenix
The colorful Emerson Fry Bread truck might very well be the only truck in the country that specializes in Native American cuisine — one of the most underrated cuisines of the world — with a Mexican twist. The truck has been feeding Arizona locals for years incorporating local ingredients into their inventive dishes. Customers pick a protein and a wrap style, such as “Jazzy” (Indian-style with beans, carne asada, cheese, and pico de gallo), “Mi Bandera Linda” (with handmade red and green chile sauces), or “Bolli” (served in a taco bowl), and wash it all down with a fan-favorite 32-ounce prickly-pear-based juice. Emerson is a testament to the creativity needed to run a successful food truck.
Arkansas: Andouille, Fayetteville
Creole cuisine originated in Louisiana, but it draws inspiration from French, Spanish, West African, and Caribbean cultures. This spicy, piquant style of cooking has since expanded around the globe, including the short distance from Louisiana to Arkansas. The Andouille food truck offers their customers a wide selection of traditional Creole dishes such as red beans and andouille, chicken and sausage gumbo, and a mouth-watering roast beef po’boy. Their rice-based dishes like the jambalaya and “Cajun Stephen Special” (blackened chicken over rice, topped with cheese sauce) are all served with Cajun garlic bread. Yes, Cajun garlic bread.
California: The Chairman, San Francisco
This food truck used to be the cleverly named “Chairman Bao,” but dropped the “bao” when New York restaurateur–turned–cultural icon Eddie Huang (founder of the sandwich shop Baohaus) indicated he might sue them. Name change aside, The Chairman draws lines for its simple menu of steamed and baked buns with fillings like braised beef short rib with horseradish mayo, fennel slaw, and Japanese curry; pork belly with red miso glaze, pickled daikon, and green shiso; and a spicy chicken with toasted sesame puree, pickled vegetables, and cilantro. Their pink guava soda with passion fruit and toasted coriander is also a must. Since its inception, The Chairman has expanded beyond San Francisco with another truck up and running in Los Angeles.
Colorado: Basic Kneads Pizza, Denver
We are suckers for a good pun, and even more so for a good pizza. Basic Kneads operates four different units (each with punny names) around Denver. Basic Kneads eschews strict Neapolitan guidelines for D.O.C. pizza so that it can integrate local ingredients, experiment with toppings, and use the family dough recipe its team developed over the years: a mix of organic whole-wheat flour, refined Colorado flour (Basic Kneads also does a gluten-free crust), and a lot of super-high heat from their wood-fired oven. There are eight pies on the menu, starting from the basics (Margherita, pepperoni, fennel sausage) to more extreme pies like sweet Thai chile chicken and the Hot Hawaiian which includes a combination of red sauce, mozzarella, pineapple, and jalapenos.
Connecticut: The Mercado Food Truck, Glastonbury
Tapas and small plates from a food truck? In Connecticut? Yes, the Mercado Food Truck in Glastonbury, Connecticut sports a five-star rating on Yelp and has residents smitten with their Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. The chefs don’t shy away from the deep fryer, and nobody is complaining; fried chickpeas, chicharrons, queso frito (fried cheese) and potatoes roasted in duck fat are just a few of the delicious offerings available. Some of the other stand outs include pork belly sliders with pickled red onions and roasted Brussels sprouts with spicy sauce, but it appears that the menu changes around often, which is an excuse for multiple return visits.
Delaware: Kapow, Wilmington
When it comes to food trucks in America’s first state, the number one pick has got to be Kapow. Seamlessly fusing the cuisines of Thailand, Korea, and Hawaii, Delaware’s “Thai Guy” prepares rice bowls with Peking duck, Thai curry, and bulgogi steak; a variety of tacos (like Delaware’s original kimchi taco — three for $7); Thai fried chicken; fried spring rolls; and Thai Guy’s wings. The truck is run by husband-and-wife team Wit and Jody Milburn, who can be found roaming around Wilmington or setting up shop at the town’s Rodney Square Farmers Market or the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts. They are committed to using only quality, fresh ingredients in all of their dishes, spending the extra money to ensure they’re using free range chicken and beef and locally grown produce.
Florida: House of Mac, Miami
With nearly 40 thousand dedicated Instagram followers, the House of Mac has quite a fanbase. But these followers are well earned. The truck’s owner/chef Derrick Turton is pumping out innovative dishes like jerk-salmon pasta and a long list of unique macaroni and cheese combinations. Chef Turton can, and will, transform any basket of ingredients into a delicious, gooey macaroni and cheese, whether it’s beef and broccoli, lump crab meat, Buffalo chicken, or pizza. Talk about cheese pulls; eating one of these mac and cheese renditions is like digging into of an edible work of art. House of Mac is not only the best food truck in Florida, but we consider it the best food truck in America!
Georgia: Yumbii, Atlanta
After years of success on the Atlanta food truck circuit, this Asian-inspired taco truck branched out and opened a brick-and-mortar location in 2017. Thankfully, their food truck continues to pump out innovative taco combinations like Asian rib-eye beef tacos, stir-fried tofu burritos, and their “Yumbii Sliders” which come with spicy pulled pork, mayo, shredded cheese, and cucumber kimchee. Although their tacos and burritos are top notch, the Yumbii truck is most famous for their sesame fries, which according to their menu, were named the best fries in the USA (Check to see if they made our list of America’s 50 Best French Fries). What makes them so special? The fries are sprinkled with sesame oil, salt, and chile flakes and can be served with a side of sriracha-queso dipping sauce.
Hawaii: Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, Oahu
Hawaii boasts a whole sea of various shrimp trucks (Famous Kahuku, Fumi’s, Big Wave, Geste), but Giovanni’s emerges victorious from the pack. It helps that the owners have been in the business for nearly 30 years (G’s was founded in 1993). Over that time, countless signatures of satisfied customers have covered the exterior of the truck paying their respects to the insanely tasty plates of shrimp scampi, lemon butter shrimp, and the “No Refunds” hot and spicy shrimp. Here’s to another three decades, or at least another plate of succulent shrimp.
Idaho: The Kilted Kod, Boise
Fish and chips is a simple dish consisting of only fried fish and french fries, but this means there’s no sauce, topping, or bun to cover up any misstep. The Kilted Kod has perfected this dish, which is why Yelp reviewers are absolutely raving about the perfectly crisp pieces of fried cod and shoestring fries. The batter is a bit spicy, and the whole platter is served with house-made tartar sauce and a few glugs of malt vinegar.
Illinois: The Fat Shallot, Chicago
Husband and wife Sam Barron and Sarah Weitz are a foodie match made in heaven that fell in love over their shared passion for “all things delicious.” After making food for parties, pop-up dinners, and catering events around the world, the duo opened The Fat Shallot in their hometown in 2013 and have been blessing the Chicago locals with delicious sandwiches and sides ever since. Some of the fan favorites are their grilled cheese, which is made with Muenster cheese, sautéed spinach, and caramelized onions on sourdough, or the Buffalo chicken sandwich served on an egg bun with blue cheese sauce and a celery salad. For a side, don’t forget the truffle fries or the spicy sesame fries, which are topped with black sesame seeds and a spicy sesame aioli.
Indiana: Gaucho’s Fire, Indianapolis
It’s easy to see why Gaucho’s Fire is one of the premier food trucks in Indiana — almost everything on the menu involves chunks of meat and the deep fryer. This truck is serving Brazilian-style platters and sandwiches, loaded with yummy toppings and sauces. They also make a popular Brazilian street food called coxinhas, a savory, teardrop-shaped dough ball stuffed with a creamy chicken salad and fried. Their Brazilian sausage sandwich comes loaded with fries, grilled onion, mayonnaise, and a vinaigrette, and their skewered chicken and beef looks mouthwatering.
Iowa: Waabs Piggin Out, Des Moines
The exterior of this food truck ain’t glamorous, but that’s not why you come to Waabs — you come for the barbecue. Awesome Philly cheese steaks and fall-apart brisket are some of the fan favorites, but you can do no wrong with anything on the menu. The brisket sandwich is served on a focaccia roll and is topped with a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce. The truck is no-frills, but sometimes that’s what it takes to for stellar barbecue.
Kansas: The Flying Stove, Wichita
With a constantly revolving menu, The Flying Stove gives its customers a reason to come back week after week. It’s hard to put a label on the style of cuisine; the menu reads traditional American with some Southwest inspiration. Currently on their menu is a rosemary chicken taco, “Mexican-flag fries” (which come with grilled pork, pesto, cheese sauce, and chili sauce all atop of truffle french fries), and a marinated kale and avocado sandwich on marble rye.
Kentucky: V-Grits Food Truck, Louisville
Chef Kristina Addington created the V-Grits Food Co. after winning an episode of Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen. The truck specializes in creating vegan versions of classic comfort foods, reimaging dishes like macaroni and cheese, barbecue, chicken and waffles, and crab cakes. One of the most intriguing menu items is the “Po’boy,” which uses a jackfruit crab cake, pickles, spicy mayo, and is served on a pretzel hoagie. But please make sure to read the fine print before you order — the “Fish Sandwich” is actually a marinated eggplant filet; the “Crab Cake Mac” uses a jackfruit crab cake and vegan cheese; and the “Clam Chowder” uses oyster mushrooms instead of clams. Note, Addington is constantly adding new dishes to the menu, so come hungry and with an open mind.
Louisiana: Rollin Fatties, New Orleans
Rollin Fatties has a loyal following, many of which would say that it makes one of the best burritos in America. This New Orleans food truck staple serves oversized burritos, bowls, and platters of nachos topped with everything from chipotle chicken to barbecue tofu. Their fish tacos have been labeled by a number of Yelp reviewers as “perfect,” and this has helped the truck earn an immaculate five-star rating. Fresh pico de gallo, guacamole, and tomato salsa bring balance to boldly seasoned proteins, but it’s the pleasant staff and impeccable service that keep bringing customers back to Rollin Fatties.
Maryland: Bite Into Maine, Cape Elizabeth
Enjoy six styles of lobster rolls at Bite into Maine, using the freshest locally sourced Maine lobsters, bread, and butter for each. Styles include Connecticut, Maine, curry, wasabi, chipotle, and their “signature picnic style” — which comes with coleslaw as the lobster’s base, celery salt, and hot butter. From the truck’s location you’ll have an oceanside view of the Portland Headlight. When you visit, be sure to get one of their seasonal desserts and a Moxie soda to wash it all down.
Maryland: The Jolly Pig, Baltimore
It’s difficult to use the phrase “Maryland food trucks” without mentioning The Jolly Pig. The pink truck has been a mainstay (if you can use this phrase to describe a mobile restaurant) in Maryland for several years now, and is constantly racking up awards, nods, and other accolades. As for the food, there’s an awful lot of pork (mostly of the pulled variety) on the menu. Of course, by “awful” we mean “delightful,” because the options include tacos like the Korean barbecue, Jamaican jerk, Peking, Carolina, and al pastor, in addition to sandwiches like the Cuban, the Figgy Piggy (with mortadella, or Figgy No Piggy without), and the Carolina Sliders. Now that you’ve got the rundown, it’s time to pig out!
Massachusetts: Daddy’s Bonetown Burgers, Boston
Daddy’s Bonetown Burgers serves juicy burgers out of its truck, which features a large decal of a high-heeled boots-wearing, bikini-clad woman in the form of a devil, sitting on a shark-shaped rocket and eating a burger. It’s very much the Guns N’ Roses brand of rock and roll with a host of other cultural references on the menu. But how do the burgers stack up? People love them. Whether you order the Kick Out the Jam, their 100 percent Angus burger with pickled red onions, bourbon bacon jam, and Monterey Jack cheese; the Richard Simmons, a black bean and quinoa burger with cilantro aioli and cheddar; or the Lemmy, 100 percent Angus beef, bourbon barbecue sauce, crispy fried onions, bacon, and cheddar cheese; consider yourself welcomed to the jungle (of flavor). You’re guaranteed a mouthful of happiness, and if you’re still hungry, pick up an order of tots, because, you know… tots!
Michigan: Detroit 75, Detroit
Detroit 75 Kitchen is a perfect representative of Detroit’s buzzing food scene. Their website describes their style of cooking as “street food made with high-end techniques,” and there must be some truth to this; they’re widely considered to make some of the top sandwiches in Detroit. Their Third Street Detroit Philly is a crowd favorite, made with tender beef, pickled jalapeños, mushrooms sautéed peppers and onions, and swiss cheese, all topped with their signature vinaigrette on a toasted bun. On Wednesdays, they do a “magic dusted,” applewood-smoked chicken served with jalapeño cheddar cheese cornbread, and honey butter. Add a side order of their BBQ Chicken Egg Rolls and you can die happy.
Minneapolis: Vellee Deli, Twin Cities
Open since 2011, this Minnesota staple continues to feed the hungry masses a creative blend of Asian and Mexican flavors. The menu has items like The Mojo (a jumbo lemongrass and ginger sausage topped with pico de gallo and fresh papaya), a Currito (burrito with chicken, spicy Thai curry, potatoes, romaine lettuce, rice, and creamy sauce), and fish tacos. However, the most attention (from both satisfied customers and members of the press) is given to the B.P.T., a grilled pork taco with aioli, slaw, and a house pickle.
Mississippi: One Guy Steak and Chicken, Brandon
The name is vague, but One Guy Steak and Chicken is famous in Brandon, Mississippi. Behind the wheel of this food truck is Kendrick Gordon, a trained chef with over 25 years of experience working in the restaurant industry. The menu reflects Chef Kendrick’s dedication to elevating food truck fare with a classic French spin. For under $15, customers can purchase a grilled filet mignon platter with leek mashed potatoes and a tarragon cream sauce, a rib-eye sandwich with applewood bacon, smoked Gouda cheese, fries, and “One Guy” sauce, or a char-grilled chicken pita. It’s also difficult not to be intrigued by the bourbon fries or the battered-and-fried steak fingers.
Missouri: Go Gyro Go, St. Louis
Is it "jy-ro" or "year-o"? However you say it, you’ll call the rendition served by Go! Gyro! Go! "tasty." Owners Nick and Laura Cowlen bought their truck in 2011, outfitted it themselves, and set out into the streets of St. Louis with food inspired by the family recipes of Nick’s yia-yia and papou (both from the island Zakynthos off the southwest coast of Greece) and his own experiences when visiting the motherland. Their menu is simple, but delicious: There’s the classic beef and lamb, chicken souvlaki, chicken tahini, and veggie gyro. Whatever you do, make sure to add some of their homemade tzatziki (a cool yogurt and cucumber sauce) to any order.
Montana: Cajun Phatty’s, Billings
Cajun Phatty’s was born on the bayou to parents/owners/operators Shane and Ashley Robichaux, who recently moved to Montana to be closer to family. Although, honestly, this is a bit of a half-hearted apology — because Big Sky Country residents should instead consider themselves lucky to have access to authentic Cajun eats like shrimp or fried chicken po’boys, fried alligator, pork and sausage jambalaya, and crawfish boils served by fun, festive, and friendly folks. (We know we’re jealous!) Clearly the relocation is working, too, as Cajun Phatty’s recently opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant serving even more Louisiana-inspired fare like gumbo, baskets of fried catfish and shrimp, and a decadent crawfish étouffée.
Nebraska: Dos de Oros, Lincoln
This no-frills taco truck is serving authentic Mexican flavors to Nebraska natives. With a wide variety of fillings — from carne asada to lengua to chicharron — the menu has something (but most likely multiple things) for everyone. Yelp reviewers go crazy over the food, but what really makes Dos de Oros stand out is the value they give their customers. According to the most recent review, four tacos only cost $8.00 and the tortas, quesadillas, and burritos are all under $5.00. When you’ve got Mexican food this good, who needs Chipotle?
Nevada: Fukuburger Truck, Las Vegas
For the record, Fukuburger gets its name from co-founder Colin Fukunaga’s last name, not from a naughty word (because remember, we live in a society with a certain moral standard which every food truck should uphold). He and Robert "Mags" Magsalin serve "All-American" burgers (and a panko-encrusted chicken katsu sandwich) with a Japanese twist, featuring toppings like wasabi mayo, pickled red ginger, avocado cream, Japanese barbecue sauce, and furikake (dried and ground fish, sesame seeds, chopped seaweed, sugar, and salt). Looking for a unique side dish? Try the togarashi garlic fries with banana ketchup or the Fukumoco (steamed white rice topped with an all-beef patty, fried egg, brown gravy, and bonito flakes).
New Hampshire: B’s Tacos, Londonderry
The food truck industry is still building in New Hampshire, but B’s Tacos is one of the originals. With a nearly flawless Facebook rating, the truck uses fresh ingredients to make stellar Mexican food. The namesake dish is available in 6- and 8-inch varieties, and there are also 8-inch fajitas, 12-inch burritos, and bowls with your choice of meat (slow-cooked pork loin, seasoned ground beef, chorizo, and grilled or Buffalo chicken) and all the standard toppings. Of course, those who take their tacos seriously will add avocado, bacon, and grilled onions and peppers, or all of the above!
New Jersey: Aroy-D, The Thai Elephant, Verona
Calling itself “New Jersey’s first and only authentic Thai food truck,” Aroy-D, The Thai Elephant doesn’t take this distinction lightly. Thailand-born Pupay moved to the United States in 2006 and soon began longing for her native Thai food, which she started making at home. One day she sent food into the office of her husband, Jon, and his co-workers went crazy for it. She began catering meetings and eventually joined the Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race, and the rest is history. In 2011, the duo opened Aroy-D (Thai for “very yummy”) and have been cruising the streets of New Jersey selling Pupay’s creations ever since. The dishes are flavorful yet approachable — think pad thai, drunken noodles, pad see ew, pineapple fried rice, and dumplings. For those who love the heat, the truck offers three different levels of spice: Dare, Double Dare, and Triple Dog Dare. Choose wisely.
New Mexico: Cheesy Street, Albuquerque
With a name like “Cheesy Street” you can expect some serious Instagram-worthy cheese-pulls. One Yelp reviewer calls it the “best grilled cheese ever,” and we have no reason not to believe them. The menu has the classic “Yo Mama’s” version made with slices of American cheese (which can be served with a side of homemade tomato and basil soup), as well as some more creative renditions like the “Almosty Cristo” (Swiss and Gruyere cheese, ham, raspberry jam, brown mustard and a dusting of powdered sugar); the “Jalapeño Popper” (cream cheese, freshly roasted jalapeños, bacon, and cheddar cheese); and the Pizza Grilled Cheese (homemade tomato sauce, crispy pepperoni, and mozzarella. For dessert, they’ve created a ridiculously indulgent churro bread pudding. Yes, please.
New York: The Cinnamon Snail, New York
Even though The Cinnamon Snail is often more active in Red Bank, New Jersey, nowadays, this city-born truck is still a New York original (it even opened a brick-and-mortar store in Penn Station’s Pennsy food hall. With a 4.5-star rating and nearly one thousand Yelp reviews, The Cinnamon Snail is absolutely the most deserving truck for this slot. Not only does TCS serve high-quality food, it checks all the other boxes, too. If you think vegan food can’t compare to the meaty competition, The Cinnamon Snail will prove you wrong. Looking for a sandwich? Try the gochujang-glazed crispy seitan with kimchi, pickled red onion, and sriracha mayo all on a grilled pretzel bun, or the Creole grilled tofu, or the Korean barbecue seitan. Their burgers are even more over the top, gushing with toppings that range from umeboshi plum-marinated cucumbers to seitan sausage baked ziti to smoked chili coconut bacon! Gluten-free? Replace any bun or bread with millet flax bread or have your meal served over greens and red quinoa pilaf. When all else fails, there are also doughnuts and pastries; on any given day, the truck stocks about 30 different varieties. By the way, did we mention everything is also vegan? Mind blown.
North Carolina: Papi Queso, Charlotte
Featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, the Papi Queso food truck has charmed the residents of Charlotte with beautifully constructed grilled cheese sandwiches. Papi Queso isn’t winning customers over with gimmicks or ridiculous toppings, they’re simply doing the classics right, letting their high-quality ingredients and cheeses speak for themselves. Their menu is small but focused. The Bacon and Tomato (cheddar, American, provolone, smoked tomatoes, bacon, chile mayo), the Mac Melt (mac n’ cheese, cheddar) and the Spiced Apple (sautéed apples and onions, honey, white cheddar, brie, walnuts) are some of their more popular items, but looking at the menu, you really can’t go wrong. Check out their elegant creations on their Instagram (which is approaching 10,000 followers). If you’re ever in North Carolina, you’ve got to check them out.
North Dakota: Sweeto Burrito, Fargo
North Dakota ain’t exactly friendly to food truck-types. The state legislature makes it notoriously difficult to operate a mobile food business in the Roughrider State, with some cities banning the practice outright. But Sweeto Burrito has persevered, operating around a dozen locations across eight states, which all started with a single trailer in the oil fields of North Dakota. The brand found success with its drool-inducing burrito varieties that include everything from the normal-ish Carne Assassin (grilled steak, rice, pepper jack cheese, lime, cilantro ranch, salsa, and sour cream) to the totally unique Buff Chick (crispy chicken, tater tots, cheddar, cilantro ranch, and hot sauce) to the brilliant All America (basically a cheeseburger and fries wrapped in a tortilla). It has tacos, bowls, salads, wraps, and apps, too — but can you really resist the call of the burrito?
Ohio: Fired Up Taco Truck, Cleveland
Fired Up Taco Truck serves tacos and empanadas out of their converted SWAT truck, which is now covered in paintings of flames. Cleveland goes crazy for these tacos, and we can see why. Popcorn shrimp served in a flour tortilla with Fired Up slaw, corn and green chile salsa, jack cheddar, seasoned fries, barbecue, and lime crema? Color us impressed. Don’t feel bad for the vegetarians; they get to enjoy pineapples in their tacos and empanadas.
Oklahoma: Bobo’s Chicken, Oklahoma City
The Midwest food scene is often overlooked, but there are hidden food gems parked on even the most inconspicuous street corners. Bobo’s Chicken is an Oklahoma City institution with regulars returning year after year for its famous fried chicken. Described by one Yelp reviewer as “a hidden gem among hidden gems,” what sets Bobo’s apart from the competition is that their chicken is first smoked, then fried, then drenched in honey. Make sure to tack on a side of their homemade biscuits or fries in order to really do this food truck properly.
Oregon: Bing Mi Food Truck, Portland
Plenty of food trucks around the country are slinging amazing burgers and succulent lobster rolls, but finding a truck serving authentic Chinese crepes is a little harder to come by. The Bing Mi food truck specializes in jianbing, a humble yet savory dish whose origins are traced back to the villages of northern China, according to their website. Their signature, jianbing, is a delicate Chinese-style crepe, made with freshly scrambled eggs, a salty-tangy black-bean paste, chile sauce, pickled vegetables, green onion, and crispy fried crackers. Jianbing is a symphony of sweet, sour, spicy, and savory flavors as well as textures, with the crunch of the wonton cracker and the chewy crepe. This might flat out be one of the best crepes in America.
Pennsylvania: Cucina Zapata, Philadelphia
Cucina Zapata serves up Thai food in a taco, so you can go ahead and cross that one off of your food fantasy mash-up list. Other dishes include items like a Cap’n Crunch-crusted tilapia burrito topped with avocado, pico de gallo, and peanut sauce. Or the sweet potato curry. Or the Thai short rib tacos covered in veggies and topped with avocado, or basically anything else. Thai-Mexican is a culinary combination we would definitely like to see out there more often.
Rhode Island: Rocket Fine Street Food, Providence
Who knew such a small state had so many fantastic food trucks? (Well, actually, we did; this article about the scene in Providence was penned almost three years ago.) Maybe we’re a sucker for the sci-fi theme, but we love Rocket Fine Street Food. Using 100 percent natural Black Angus beef with no hormones or antibiotics, Rocket offers “out of this world burgers” ranging from standard options to the double-sized Gemini, to crew favorites like the Ron Swanson (with grilled onions, a fried egg, and extra bacon) or Roswell (with green chile sauce, onions, pickles, lettuce, and cheese), to specials like the boar sausage or pork belly sandwiches, the food is simply stellar. Rocket also has hot dogs (with Star Wars-themed specials), egg sandwiches, and a couple vegetarian options too!
South Carolina: Pink Bellies, Charleston
Pink Bellies serves Vietnamese favorites like phở and bánh mì to the good people of Charleston, and they love it. The menu options rotate, but here are the kinds of things to expect: pulled pork with mayo, blueberry jam, chiles, pickled carrots, pickled red onions, and cilantro; “The Realest” bánh mì with pâté, pork belly, loin ham, roast pork, chiles, cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro, and spring onions; or the house lo mein with red roast pork, tofu, shrimp, yu choy, Chinese celery, vegetables, and chile satay. Pair it with a Vietnamese iced coffee or toasted sweet iced tea (matcha green tea, ginger, and toasted rice), and your belly will be happy.
South Dakota: Backyard BBQ, Sioux Falls
Like its northern neighbor, South Dakota has limited options when it comes to food trucks, but fortunately some brave entrepreneurs are entering the industry. Backyard BBQ has gained the respect from South Dakota residents by serving delicious barbecue out of its always on-the-move mobile location. The truck, which sells lunch but can also be booked for private events, serves a range of barbecue treats like smoked chicken sandwiches, St. Louis-style ribs, brisket, pulled pork, molasses baked beans, mac and cheese, and cornbread. Backyard BBQ, which also operates two brick-and-mortar locations, also serves up some terrific chicken wings. Think you can handle the heat? Go with their “flaming” or “mango habanero” sauce options.
Tennessee: Thunderbird, Nashville
A food truck completely dedicated to chicken wings? Yes, one glance at these perfectly charred wings and thighs and you’ll fall head over heels (or drumsticks) in love. Thunderbird has already captured the heart of Nashville with a simple menu that features just wings, thighs, boneless wings, chicken salad, and a handful of classic barbecue sides. The key is in the execution; the chicken is smoked over pecan wood and seasoned with a special spice blend.
Texas: The Waffle Bus, Houston
Featured on The Food Network, Cooking Channel, and Zagat, The Waffle Bus is a newcomer to the list of America’s Best Food Trucks. The truck earned its spot by turning out some over-the-top waffle-inspired sandwiches. For their savory selection, The Waffle Bus offers a fried chicken and waffle sandwich which can be topped with spicy mayo or ancho chile honey. If you’re looking for something on the sweeter side, check out their Strawberry Irish Cream Crème Brûlée or S’mores waffle sandwiches.
Utah: Waffle Love, Salt Lake City
If Leslie Knope lived in Utah, she’d probably spend most of her time chasing the Waffle Love truck around Salt Lake City. (Also, founder Adam Terry totally looks like Ron Swanson.) Here are three reasons you should be chasing it too: the Dulce de Liège (a cinnamon sugar waffle topped with fried ice cream and dulce de leche), the Nutella Love (with your choice of fruit), and the Banana Cream Pie (stuffed with chocolate and topped with bananas and cream). All the options cost about $8, but the various weekly specials can be enjoyed for just five bucks. The company started with a single truck in 2012 and has since grown to include a brick-and-mortar location and five trucks, and another coming soon to Los Angeles.
Vermont: Farmers and Foragers, Burlington
The Farmers & Foragers truck epitomizes Vermont food culture. Fresh ingredients are made into a variety of light yet flavorful dishes, spanning all types of cuisines. Owners Sol and Lauren incorporate local ingredients into dishes like their pork-belly bahn mi, peppery udon noodles, and Vermont cheesesteak. Pair one of these yummy sandwiches with a cold, Vermont craft beer and enjoy the good life.
Virginia: Captain Cookie and the Milk Man, Northern Virginia
A truck that deals only in cookies, milk, and ice cream? Yes, it exists, and it’s called Captain Cookie and the Milk Man (everyone’s favorite crime fighters). The team behind this sweet-forward food truck operates three locations around the Virginia/DC area serving bottles of local milk and homemade cookie creations. Their signature smash-style cookie comes in flavors like peanut butter, snickerdoodle, chocolate chip, oatmeal, and funfetti. They also offer big cookie cakes that can feed up to 16 people! The truck’s tag line is “saving the world, one cookie at a time” — so buy a half-dozen and do your part!
Washington: Where Ya At Matt, Seattle
Where Ya At Matt has been bringing New Orleans-style po’boys, muffulettas, jambalaya, and more to Seattle since 2010. It’s just like dining on Bourbon Street, minus the debauchery and ever-present threat of mild nudity. It has been called one of the best food trucks in the country by Thrillist, and Eater named its fried oyster po’boy one of the city’s most iconic food truck dishes. The side dishes look just as spectacular as the mains; who can resist cheesy grits or fresh cornbread with honey butter? But don’t stop at the savory — its beignets, as well as sweet potato and pecan pies, are just as excellent.
Washington, D.C.: PhoWheels
Washington, D.C., is the political epicenter of the United States, but its food scene is much more appetizing than some of what goes down in the halls of government. The densely concentrated area is home to an astonishingly diverse range of food truck options, serving up everything from lasagna and fajitas to lobster and Spam; so let’s be clear: This was not an easy choice. That being said, after taking into account social media following and Yelp reviews, PhoWheels takes the prize — and their menu is legitimately incredible. The truck is beloved by fans because of their reasonably priced yet super-flavorful Vietnamese food. Their banh mi (a classic Vietnamese sandwich traditionally served on French bread) stands out from the pack thanks to their truffle-garlic aioli and flaky, buttery croissant-sub roll. Their tacos also channel the flavors of Vietnam, with filling options that include pork belly, chicken thigh, and mushroom-onion tofu, which are layered on a roti canai (traditional Malaysian flatbread) and are topped with cilantro, pickled carrots, and Sriracha-lime mayo. And of course, the truck serves an aromatic and rich beef pho which fans go crazy over — perfect for those brisk Mid-Atlantic winters.
West Virginia: Appalachia Barbecue, Barboursville
Food trucks are hard to come by in West Virginia, but at the end of the day it’s about quality, not quantity. Appalachia Barbecue has earned the respect of those who respect and appreciate a properly smoked pork butt and some fall-off-the-bone ribs. Their Facebook page is loaded with seductive pictures of perfectly charred ribs, pork butts, smoked burgers, and burnt ends that are black as coal. They also offer classic barbecue sides like their “God Father’s” baked beans, mac and cheese, and Italian pasta salad. And despite specializing in the pig, the truck has an impressive selection of towering pies (which appear all over their Facebook feed), like their triple-chocolate cheesecake.
Wisconsin: Streetza, Milwaukee
Food trucks are all about serving the people without frills or pretentiousness. Nobody does that quite like Streetza, which crowdsources everything from pizza toppings to the art on the side of the truck. Conventional slices, special slices, Milwaukee neighborhood slices using "the best stuff from Milwaukee’s neighborhoods," and slices whose components are suggested by Twitter fans all come out of its oven, which is heated to a blistering 650 degrees F. Exceptional examples include the Wisconsin State Fair Chili Slice (made with an award-winning chili recipe from 1989) and The Farmer’s Market Slice (which is actually made of a medley of random vegetables from the Milwaukee Public Market).
Wyoming: Nipa Hut, Cheyenne
A nipa hut (also known as a “bahay kubo”) is a little house found on the islands of the Philippines, so of course the Nipa Hut food truck looks like a little bamboo shack and serves Filipino food. Featured dishes include lumpia (beef or vegetarian with celery, carrots, garlic, onions, and cilantro), chicken or pork adobo (slow-cooked in sweet soy sauce, garlic, onions, ginger, and vinegar), empanadas, and sides of fried rice and pancit noodles.
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