101 Best Food Trucks In America 2012 Slideshow

#100 Happy Grillmore (Seattle)

A big old trailer that opens in the back instead of on the side, Happy Grillmore, which plies its trade mostly in Seattle's South Lake Union district, with side trips to Microsoft territory in Redmond, serves big, two-hand burgers with assorted condiments (including a black bean chipotle patty and another made with wild Alaskan salmon). Non-burger lovers might like the Hawaiian-style pulled pork topped with cabbage over steamed rice with spicy mac salad on the side.

TWITTER:           @happygrillmore
FOLLOWERS:                  1,122

#99 Pot Kettle Black (Charleston, S.C.)

Self-described as "a food truck catering to the lowcountry's most discriminate tastes," Pot Kettle Black specializes in "regional immigrant sandwiches and soups." The force behind PKB is chef Jon Caton, whose wayward bistro the Charleston City Paper notes has served winners like dipped Italian beef, muffulettas, pimento grilled cheeses, and perhaps most notably, The Duck Hunt a duck confit, arugula, and Brie baguette.

TWITTER:           @pkbfoodtruck
FOLLOWERS:                  1,122

#98 The Slide Ride (Chicago)

The self-declared original slider truck in Chicago is owned by Nida Rodriguez, who also serves as executive chef. Featuring a rotating menu of sliders, past hits have included a classic rib-eye with provolone, caramelized onion, and horseradish; and a caprese with tomato and mozzarella. In case you were wondering, this is no one-trick pony, The Slide Ride has black pepper Cheddar mac, Sriracha Buffalo chicken, and turtle brownies, among other things.

TWITTER:         @theslideride
FOLLOWERS:                9,004

#97 Tokyo Crêpes (Charleston, S.C.)

Some are sweet, others are savory — but all are delicious at this food truck where dishes are made-to-order in minutes. Using all fresh ingredients, Tokyo Crêpes tickles your fancy with dishes like the spicy corn cheese; the mid-east miracle, featuring falafel, feta cheese, spinach and homemade tzatziki sauce; and the banana tell, a marriage of banana and Nutella.

TWITTER:           @TokyoCrêpes
FOLLOWERS:                 330

#96 Seoul Taco (St. Louis)

Although founder David Choi freely admits he didn't invent the Korean BBQ taco concept, he believes Seoul Taco has taken it to the next level. Fascinated by the way food defines every culture, he found that locals in many cities kept singing the praises of Korean BBQ tacos. So he tried them. And had his mind blown. The rest is history. Fare from Seoul Taco includes the gogoi bowl, with rice, fresh veggies, fried egg, sesame oil, and spicy gochujang pepper sauce; burritos with kimchi fried rice, lettuce, cheese, carrots, sour cream, and Seoul Sauce; and tacos with Korean salad mix, green onion,  Seoul Sauce, crushed sesame seeds, and a wedge of lime.

TWITTER:           @SeoulTaco
FOLLOWERS:                  4,574

#95 Bloomy’s Roast Beef (Twin Cities)

This food truck serves patrons the classic diner dishes they know and love. From baked desserts to creamy mac and cheese to french fries, there is a lot to love here. The show-stopper? The slow roasted beef, obviously. The secret? Bloomy's meat is locally sourced, marinated for days, and slow cooked until it is crazy tender.

TWITTER:           @BloomysRB
FOLLOWERS:                  737

#94 Cucina Zapata (Philadelphia)

Your wish list is about to get a bit shorter. 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. Dishes include items like Cucina Zapata's 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. Boom in your mouth.

TWITTER: @Cucina_Zapata

#93 Hello My Name is BBQ (Charleston, S.C.)

On the menu: beer-braised pork on brioche; BBQ bacon tacos, featuring two corn tortillas with bacon, pimento cheese, jalapeños, slaw, and tomato; and bacon and blue cheese smashed potatoes. Be still thy beating heart. Providing the Charleston areas with Southern BBQ at "the speed of deliciousness," these folks suggest you "buckle up your tongue." Want to chase this flavor all over the city? Check out their Twitter handle to find out where they will be.


#92 Vellee Deli (Twin Cities)

If you love the flavors of Asia and Mexico, crave fresh ingredients, and want a memorable meal, check out Vellee Deli. The menu: the mojo, a jumbo lemongrass and ginger sausage topped with pico de gallo and fresh papaya; fish tacos; and chicken currito, a spicy Thai curry with chicken, potatoes, romaine lettuce, rice, and creamy sauce.

TWITTER: @VelleeDeli

#91 Momogoose (Boston)

The catchy name of this venture comes from a fusion of "momo," which represents "more eating, more sharing" and "goose," an homage to their old Cambridge restaurant Poppa & Goose. Founded by MIT alums in 1989, this truck features the super healthy fare of Southeast Asia. Offering something for everyone — from vegans to vegetarians to meat-eaters — the creators seek to boost taste and reduce the fats and calories. On the menu: rice bowls with seasonal veggies and a choice of protein like bulgogi beef or spicy daeji pork; crispy rolls; and 12-inch baguette sandwiches.

TWITTER: @momogoose

#101 Ebbett's Good to Go (San Francisco)

An old blue-and-yellow step van with the exortation "Admit it...you need a sandwich" on the side, Ebbett's turns up everywhere from the Mission District to the Embarcadero to Emerywille and Oakland, with a seasonal sandwich menu that includes tofu with Asian slaw, grilled English cheddar with bacon and apples, and what can only be termed a Bay Area Cuban — Niman Ranch pulled pork, artisan ham, gruyère, jalapeño relish, and chipotle aïoli on an Acme Bakery roll.

TWITTER:     @ebbettsgoodtogo

#90 Sushi Fix (Twin Cities)

Want to consume the best of sushi secrets? Grab a meal from Sushi Fix, where everything is crafted with the utmost care and dedication. Think years of practice scaling fish, to ensure proper sushi cutting; a commitment to the freshest local ingredients, and "washing sushi rice until finger tips don't feel." After working at multiple sushi bars and Japanese restaurants, the friends behind this hit decided to put their expert knowledge to the ultimate test and see if they could create a successful food truck. Victory!

TWITTER: @SushiFix

#89 Empanada Intifada (New Orleans)

After working in the corporate world — and feeling the "inner warnings of existential decay" — the founders of this food truck decided to peace out on their cubicles and office attire and start Empanada Intifada. Founded in 2010, the creators strove to create a top-notch food experience by serving up local, seasonal — and superb — empanadas out of a 1981 Grumman Step Van that is the self-proclaimed first Solar-Electric food truck in the city. Aiming to provide "SlapYourThigh delicious" fare, the menu includes items like mestizo meat pie, a fusion of the traditional empanada with the traditional meat pie; poblano-cream mac and cheese; and Wok yer socks odd, a veggie peanut stir-fry. Click here for an interview with Taylor Jackson.

TWITTER: @EmpanadaIntifad

#88 Seoul Sausage (Los Angeles)

Want to know what passion, word of mouth, and crazy good Korean BBQ create? Seoul Sausage, a venture started by two families — the Kims and the Ohs. Launched in 2010, these guys kicked things off with their Kalbi, marinated short ribs, and their spicy pork sausages. The food was so good it gave birth to a legion of fans eager wait in line at street fairs. Movie studios and Fortune 500 companies have catered events with this outstanding fare, and both wineries and chefs have made requests for private orders. They also basically managed to figure out a way to time the launch of their brick-and-mortar restaurant to them winning Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race. Top that.

TWITTER: @SeoulSausage

#87 Iyanzé aka "The African Truck" (Chicago)

Because it's only recently that the idea of cooking onboard a food truck has begun to gain traction in Chicago, some of the city's more familiar trucks are less food truck in today's parlance, and more like delivery vans. So it is with Iyanzé, aka "The African Truck," which delivers African food prepared at the restaurant by that name. Serious Eats notes that the truck is referred to on Yelp as the "African Truck," both because "it serves African-style cuisine (in this case West African countries like Nigeria and Ghana) but also because it caters to cab drivers who tend to be African." Expect some seriously spicy stews.

TWITTER: @IyanzeCuisine

#86 Foodie Call (New Orleans)

The Crescent City is hardly know for its culinary restraint, and there's a kind of all-stops-out feeling to the offerings at the lively food wagon found regularly on Tchoupitoulas Street. Arancini aren't just arancini; they come with Italian sausage and curry aioli; holiday gumbo is made with smoked ham and turkey in a sweet potato roux; boneless barbecue rib tacos are enhanced with Brussels sprout slaw, pickled onions, and cilantro aioli; there is even poutine, New Orleans style — with roast beef gravy and mozzarella cheese.

Twitter Handle: @FoodieCallNOLA
Followers: 671
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#85 The People's Pig (Portland, Ore.)

No prizes for guessing what the signature meat is at this popular sandwich truck People's Pig Wood-Fired Grill (previously, The People's Pig), which has its own mesquite grill, in downtown Portland. The meat is hormone- and antibiotic- (though happily not fat-) free, and while there is a changing daily menu flank steak and even chicken have been know to appear you can always count on porchetta, boneless roast pork roast seasoned with garlic, rosemary, and fennel.

TWITTER: @PeoplesPig

#84 Curbside Cravings (Los Angeles)

Found regularly on Wilshire Boulevard in the heart of Koreatown when they're not catering private events or parked outside a concert venue or in a church lot, this mostly Filipino food truck feeds hungry Angelenos with generously proportioned BBQ rice bowls, burgers (including a tocino burger — grilled pork patty with tomato, egg, mango-bell pepper slaw, and aioli), Filipino fish cakes, and such specialties as tapsilog, beef marinated insoy and garlic, served with garlic fried rice, a fried egg, and pickled slaw.

TWITTER: @curbsidecraving
LOCATION/SCHEDULE: Check for listings

#83 Cha Cha Chow (St. Louis)

Showing up in various parts of The Lou, Cha Cha Chow offers non-traditional tacos (short rib, "Baja style" roasted chicken, curried sweet potato — the latter two on flour tortillas) along with a pretty good burger and a "Cuban Crime of Passion" — pulled pork, pickles, cheese, and mustard on a double-toasted roll. Seasoned fries served with spicy ketchup are a side dish.

TWITTER: @whereschacha
LOCATION/SCHEDULE: Check for listings

#82 Tacos El Asadero (Seattle)

The big white El Asadero bus, with that glorious word "TACOS" emblazoned on the front in red, is part kitchen and part indoor seating area, though they also set up a picnic table under an awning outside. Calf's head and tongue are among the featured taco meats, there are immense quesadillas, and the tamales are very good. Mexican Cokes (made with cane sugar, not corn syrup) are available.

TWITTER: Not on Twitter
LOCATION/SCHEDULE: 7300 Martin Luther King Junior Way South

#81 El Norteño (San Francisco)

This old-style repurposed lunch wagon has become a SOMA standby, found daily at the corner of Harriet and Bryant streets, dispensing juicy carnitas tacos (as well as tacos made with brains, tongue, tripe, and other "variety cuts"), plump rice-stuffed Mission-style carne asada burritos, impeccable refritos, and other Mexican fare of the kind that may be conventional, but is always welcome.

TWITTER: @ElNortenoTruck

#80 CapMac (Washington, D.C.)

Run by chef Brian Arnoff, who has worked under Barbara Lynch in Boston and for one of Michael Mina's establishments in D.C. describes his wandering food truck as "The Capital of Macaroni." Mac and cheese is thus, not surprisingly, the main draw here, either in classic form or with meatballs or "sloppy" with meat sauce. There's also long-cooked brisket over rigatoni, Buffalo chicken mac, and a "happy ending" bar — a layered concoction involving a chocolate chip cookie, a coconut brownie, and a sheet of honey walnut toffee.


#79 Tasty Kabob (Washington, D.C.)

Tasty Kabob works the nation's capital pretty much from one end to the other (and deploys a sidewalk cart in Crystal City). The kelly green wagon is an elaboration on what New Yorkers would call a halal cart. The meat, in fact, is halal (the Muslim equivalent of kosher), and mostly involves very tasty skewered chicken or lamb, over salad, over rice, or in gyro sandwich form. The meatball kabob, available Wednesdays only, has a dedicated following.

TWITTER: @TastyKabob

#78 South Philly Experience (Los Angeles)

Two oversize food trucks with graffitied brick wall-pattern exteriors, South Philly Experience covers much of the LA area, for both lunch and dinner, from Venice and Santa Monica to downtown to the Valley. Yes, of course there's cheesesteak. Also Buffalo steak, pizza steak, and so on (including chicken versions of one and all), not to mention, no, not wings but "tails" — more or less chicken fingers, deep-fried in batter and served with Buffalo-style hot sauce, celery, and blue cheese. Dessert? Tastykakes, of course.

TWITTER: @southphillyexp

#77 Solber Pupusas (New York City)

The uninitiated ask, "What's a pupusa?" Those who've experienced Solber Pupusas usually answer, "a forty-five minute wait that's worth it." This traditional food from El Salvador consists of grilled corn masa patties that are hand-shaped and stuffed with cheese and meat (chicharron, chicken, fish, even pepperoni) and vegetable (pumpkin flower, beans, spinach, and zucchini). Winning the Vendy's in 2011 was almost like the food world's version of an Oscar for lifetime achievement – Solber Pupusas has been being served at the Red Hook ballfields for more than a decade.

TWITTER: @solberpupusas

#76 Liba Falafel Truck (San Francisco)

After finding inspiration in the falafel shops of Amsterdam, Gail Lillian "pondered how to deliver the same ingenuity, accessibility, and flavor intensity to the streets of the Bay Area." She decided to deliver it "via the cutest truck on earth." All the falafel, salads, and sweets on the Liba Falafel Truck are made from scratch, the falafel sandwich is served on locally baked pita and the falafel salad on organic greens (you can top them or stuff them with braised eggplant, red cabbage, Brussel sprouts with red apple and mustard vinaigrette, spiced carrot ribbons, rosemary peanuts, feta, hummus, harissa, fried pickled onions and more). All the take-away products are compostable ("every little thing" claims Liba's website under the tab titled, "Falasophy"), and at day's end, you guessed it, Liba's oil "gets turned into biofuel." Does it get any more green, cuddly, and... cute? Guess what? The food's good too.


#75 Souvlaki GR (New York City)

Ah, souvlaki, the "hamburger of Greece." You may be able to find a great souvlaki on every street corner in Athens, but in New York it's not quite as easy. (New Yorkers, don't you feel as though the city needs a quality gyro resurgence? Where did this once proud sandwich go?) Promising "a little bit of Mykonos in the heart of New York City," Souvlaki GR has been working to solve that problem the past few years. The owner of the young truck, Kostas Plagos quickly rang up Vendy awards in 2010 as Best Rookie and in 2011 as the People's Choice winner, and opened up a brick-and-mortar version on the Lower East Side.

What's the fuss? Warm pita wrapped around charcoal-grilled chicken, pork, or sausage with tzatziki, tomato, and onions. There's also a great Greek burger, fries are sprinkled with feta (which you can order baked, too), and all your favorite mezedes, from skordalia and hummus to melitzanosalata and taramosalata (eggplant and salmon roe, if you always have trouble remembering which is which).

TWITTER: @souvlakitruck

#74 Ms. Cheezious Fresh Made Grilled Cheese (Miami)

The art for the Ms. Cheezious truck? A scantily clad blond beach babe who practically looks like she's pulling off her red and white polka dot bathing suit with one hand while holding a melting gooey cheese sandwich in the other. The promise? That the "hottest sandwich lady in Miami" serves "full-bodied flavors" that will "arouse your palate" and promises "to keep you coming back for more." Looking for more good-natured innuendo? "Steamy," "turned on," and "hot" get thrown into the mix, too. The menu? Grilled cheese sandwiches, six standards, and a build-your-own option, with eight cheeses, about five breads to choose from, and six fixings to throw into the mix. Husband-and-wife team Brian and Fatima Mullins are the force behind the trucks (MC1 and MC2) voted Miami New Times' best in 2012. Grilled blue and bacon, goat cheese and prosciutto, and crab salad with Cheddar are just a few of the standouts that can be ordered with sides of turkey three-bean chili or tomato soup for dipping, and conventional and sweet potato fries topped with cheese or chili and cheese.

TWITTER: @MsCheezious

#73 Streetza (Milwaukee, Wis.)

Bloomberg Businessweek, Smithsonian, U.S. News & World Report, Time, GQ, and QSR have all named Streetza to their lists of the best, funkiest, coolest, and most creative food trucks in America. What's behind all the love? Scott Baitinger and Steve Mai co-founded a truck that serves hand-stretched dough baked in a 650-degree oven, and crowdsources everything from pizza toppings to the art on the side of the truck. There are conventional slices, special slices, Milwaukee neighborhood slices using "the best stuff from Milwaukee's neighborhoods," and slices sourced from Twitter. Things can get crazy — no joke. Look out for vegetable curry and rice, pickled herring, caviar, and potato chips. And that's just some of what you'll find in the "Milwaukee neighborhood slice" category. It doesn't even touch what's come across the wire on Twitter.

TWITTER: @streetzapizza

#72 The Peached Tortilla (Austin, Texas)

The Peached Tortilla was launched just two years ago, but since then founder and former litigator Eric Silverstein's Southern-Asian fusion fare garnered him and his catering director Mark Tamiso Eater's 2011 Austin Food Truck of the Year 2011, and with shout-outs to their brisket and mini crabcake mini sandwiches, a spot on Food & Wine's 2012 list of the best sliders in America 2012. There's a fairly long menu of tacos and burritos among other options including riffs on banh mi, Chinese barbecue, and pad thai. And to think, the first aha moment came to Silverstein when one of the partners in his former law firm recounted to him how he was telling his son not to go to law school. "If a partner is telling his son to go into a different field," Silverstein recalled thinking to Austinist, "am I going to enjoy this line of work 10 years from now?" Moral of the story? Skip the LSATS and just learn how to pass a health inspection.

TWITTER: @peachedtortilla

#71 Rancho Bravo Tacos (Seattle)

The Twitter presence isn't worth discussing, the press isn't overwhelming, there's now a brick-and-mortar spot (in a former Kentucky Fried Chicken on Capitol Hill) where you can sit with a roof over your head. But time and again, the Rancho Bravo Taco truck in Seattle comes up in popular review sites as one of the city's most reviewed and most favorably reviewed trucks. It's nothing fancy — and part of that popularity is due to the fact that its late hours (it's open until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday) make it one of the best things people who have been out drinking can find to eat. It's just good, cheap Mexican food served quickly from a truck parked in the lot of Winchell's Donuts just down the road from Dick's Drive-In. Everything save the tortillas and the torta buns is made from scratch, from the hot sauce and aguas de horchata down to the tamales.

TWITTTER: @RanchoBravoTaco

#70 Basic Kneads Pizza (Denver)

A few years ago, brothers Eric, Joel, and Reid Bakken took their monthly pizza night tradition to the street, launching Basic Kneads Pizza. It hasn't taken them long to be counted among Denver's best pizza spots. Not best pizza on a food truck, best pizza period. They outfitted their truck with a brick oven they built themselves, and fire it up to 800 degrees with locally trimmed hardwood and beetle-kill pine. The brothers eschew strict Neapolitan guidelines for D.O.C. pizza so that they can use local ingredients and experiment with toppings, and use the family dough recipe they've developed over the years, a mix of organic whole-wheat flour and refined Colorado flour (they also do a gluten-free crust). There are eight pies on the menu starting from basics (margherita, pepperoni, fennel sausage) to more extreme pies like their Sweet Thai Chili Chicken. They now have two other ovens (carts, technically) and are said to be planning a brick-and-mortar location.

TWITTER: @ikneadpizza

#69 Marination Mobile (Seattle)

"Big Blue" launched in 2009, touting Hawaiian-Korean curb cuisine ("Two cultures, one food truck"), the brainchild of Kamala Saxton and Roz Edison. The pair came up with the idea for Marination Mobile while eating their own marinated spicy pork tacos and commiserating over some unfortunate investments in Wall Street. Look for tacos filled with sweet and savory kalbi, pork, miso ginger chicken, or "sexy" tofu. They also do a kimchi quesadilla and rice bowl, and serve sliders stuffed with shredded Kalua pork or SPAM. Speaking of SPAM, if you're looking for something you don't see too often on the menu outside Hawaii, try the SPAM musubi, grilled SPAM on a block of rice all wrapped up with nori, an occasional menu guest star. Here's to hoping their brick-and-mortar Marination Station makes back that stock market-slashed nest egg.

TWITTER: @curb_cuisine

#68 Eatsie Boys (Houston)

Chef Matt Marcus is a CIA-trained chef with time put in at Heston Blumenthal's three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Britain and at Sonoma's Cyrus. But the menu served on the truck he runs with founders and friends Ryan Soroka and Alex Vassilakidis, includes dishes with names like "Pork Snuggies" (pork belly bao), "Sabotage" (a five-hour roasted pork sandwich), and "Frank the Pretzel" (a homemade chicken poblano sausage with sautéed onions and whole-grain chardonnay mustard on a pretzel bun. He may not take himself too seriously, but Houston's food lovers have, appreciating the Eatsie Boys enough to have made their café launch one of the most anticipated openings of the fall.

TWITTER: @eatsieboys 

#65 The Rib Whip (San Francisco)

"The nation's only truck with an onboard smoker" or at least that was what owner and St. Louis native Ryan Gessel claimed in an SF Weekly article of his Midwest-style barbecue food truck just in advance of its launch. Gessel was referring to the small Southern Pride smoker with digital controls he was installing, which would allow him to drop the temperature to 150 degrees and slice tender falling apart pieces of brisket to order. In addition to the 13-hour smoked Texas beef brisket (sliced or chopped), Gessel serves four-hour smoked St. Louis style barbecue ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, smoked turkey breast and drumsticks, "skinny legs" dry-rubbed drumsticks, and "St. Louis salsa," black beans, white corn, red bell pepper, cilantro, purple onion, jalapeño, and lime juice.

TWITTER: @TheRibWhip

#64 KoJa Kitchen (San Francisco)

KoJa Kitchen, a portmanteau of "Korean" and "Japanese," serves a menu combining flavors from both cuisines between toasted rice cake patties. It's a clever and different idea that's refreshing in a field that's filled with corn tortillas, flour tortilla wraps, bao, and burger and hot dog buns. Look for Korean barbecue beef, chicken with pineapple, and teriyaki "vegetarian chicken," and the signature Kamikaze criss-cut fries topped with Korean barbecue beef, sautéed onions, kimchi, green onions, and Japanese mayo. There's a clever play on the tiramisu, too, the "Mochimisu" a short tower of lady fingers and mascarpone layered with chocolate mocha.

TWITTER: @KoJaKitchen

#63 Riffs Fine Street Food (Nashville, Tenn.)

Neither co-owner of Riffs Fine Street Food truck B.J. Lofback (Detroit) or Carlos Davis (Barbados) is actually from Nashville, but at this point, their truck is probably beloved enough in the city for it to adopt them as native sons. Lofback (a self-described "culinary school dropout" who credits Emeril Lagasse and Alton Brown for teaching him "a ton") and Davis (a culinary school grad and hotel chef) were inspired to launch Riffs in 2011 after reading about the Kogi truck in a post on Serious Eats. They've gone onto win Nashville's Battle of the Food Trucks two years running with a menu that leans heavily toward Asian and Caribbean flavors and the motto "Eat. Good. Food." Notes Jim Ridley of the Nashville Scene, "Whether the selection is a spicy Asian beef salad dusted with crunchy noodles, a terrific jerk chicken on skewers or a citrusy fish taco... They embody the energy and variety the mobile-food movement has brought to Nashville's restaurant scene — a tropical breeze currently enjoying the momentum of a hurricane."

TWITTER: @riffstruck

#62 Kung Fu Tacos (San Francisco)

Korean tacos, Japanese tacos, Vietnamese tacos — for a while the cuisines from these smaller Asian countries had been allying with that of Mexico and taking over the streets. What about China? Tan Truong, who owns San Francisco's dessert and wine spot Candybar, had the same idea, a truck "where east meets south... of the border." The Kung Fu Tacos truck's brief menu includes Asian Asada, Nun Chuck Chicken, Mu Shu Veggie, Wu Shu Char Siu (roast pork with green papaya), and their signature roasted duck with mango salsa, hoisin sauce, and green onions.

TWITTER: @KungFuTacos

#61 The Southern Mac & Cheese Truck (Chicago)

Early last year, Bucktown bar owner Jim Lasky and chef Cary Taylor jumped into the Chicago food truck scene. The bar doesn't do lunch, but the truck, well it sold out the first day in 25 minutes. Turns out Chicagoans like their mac and cheese, and the truck features a menu with 12 options: six vegetarian and six decidedly non-vegetarian. There's a pimento mac and cheese, and a New Mexican green chile, habanero, and cotija rendition, and others featuring truffle, sun-dried tomato, roasted artichoke, and goat cheese. Chef Taylor's meatier mac and cheese include among them riffs on pizza and Buffalo wings. There's one with pepperoni, tomato, and basil, and another with pulled chicken, Buffalo sauce, and blue cheese.

TWITTER: @thesouthernmac

#60 Lucky Old Souls (Philadelphia)

Philadelphia jazz impresario Matt "Feldie" Feldman's truck started out as a jazz radio show, and then a monthly concert series. Now, Feldie sources grass-fed beef from Lancaster County, and tops his L.O.S. burger with smoked Cheddar, pickled tomatoes, bacon cured by the truck, and sautéed onions, all whilst jazz plays from the Lucky Old Souls truck's speakers.

TWITTER: @LOSBurgerTruck

#59 The Big Cheese (Washington, D.C.)

"Grilled cheese used to be your favorite sandwich," notes The Big Cheese truck's site. "What happened? You grew up. Isn't it about time your sandwich did, too?" So what does that mean? Cheese from Cowgirl Creamery and bread from Lyon Bakery. The Thrilled Cheese (chipotle Cheddar with jalapeño and guacamole on sourdough) has to be a draw, but the Cherry Glen may be the truck's true calling, something you've rarely seen: a grilled cheese with chèvre and lemon fig jam.

TWITTER: @bigcheesetruck

#58 Oh My Gogi! BBQ (Houston)

"Gogi" in Korean means "meat." Owner Eric Nguyen hopes you'll be reciting his truck's name, "Oh My Gogi!" after sampling his food: Korean BBQ tacos, kimchi quesadillas, and OMG! Fries. Choices of filling include beef short rib, chicken, and spicy pork, and of course, you'll want to liberally add on the Oh My Gogi! BBQ salsa, a Mexican salsa roja mixed with Korean spices.


#57 Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs (Denver)

Once upon a time, Jim Pittenger repoed cars. Now? He splits hot dogs right down the center, chars them on a gas grill, and tops them with Coca-Cola-soaked grilled onions and a "swizzle of cream cheese unloaded from the front end of a caulking gun." Some of the dogs on the menu at Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs include rattlesnake and pheasant, linguisa, duck cilantro, southwest buffalo, pheasant, and Louisiana red hots, but the elk, wild boar, and reindeer have been attested to by none other than everyone's favorite gastrogrouch Anthony Bourdain.

TWITTER: @bikerjimsdogs

#56 JapaCurry (San Francisco)

Some say that the American Dream is dead; others try their hand at pursuing it. So it was with Mutsuo "Jay" Hamada, a Silicon Valley IT guy who according to SF Weekly, after being laid off in 2008, sold his house, and moved to Japan for six months to apprentice "in Kanagawa Prefecture with a young ramen chef called Roku to learn the intricacies of tonkotsu." Believing ramen to be impractical for a food truck, Hamada settled on something else he'd learned a little about, Japanese curry.

"The recipe for JapaCurry is based on Jay's special style and the curry is made from scratch and takes several days of cooking with secret spices and superior ingredients," his site notes. Lucky for you, all you need to do is order katsu (deep-fried pork or chicken) curry over rice, sausage, pumpkin, or kara-age curry, settle in, and enjoy. With a consistent food truck following, and a brick-and-mortar izakaya restaurant having opened last month, Hamada's gamble on selling his house seems to be paying off.

TWITTER: @JapaCurry

#55 Taïm Mobile (New York City)

In 2005, chef Einat Admony and her husband Stefan Nafziger, homesick for their favorite Tel Aviv street food, opened their own falafel shop on Waverly Place. Five years later, and with much anticipation, they launched the food truck version of Taïm. And while some of New York City's chicken and lamb carts might not be too happy about their presence (don't worry Moroccan mystic on 21st and Fifth, you and your secret eggplant and onion stash have nothing to be insecure about), most of Gotham's street lunch seekers are, especially those who don't eat meat (though it's a welcome break for even the most ardent carnivore). The menu features the standard falafel sandwich with hummus, Israeli salad, pickled cabbage, and tahini, as well as platters and salads and sides made from just about the same ingredients. But you shouldn't miss the special red pepper falafel they frequently offer, and make sure to ask for everything (and extra of it) and they'll add s'rug (Yemeni hot sauce), amba (pickled mango chutney), Israeli pickles, and spicy peppers for a spicy, crunchy, wet, delicious mess.

TWITTER: @TaimMobile

#54 The Mighty Cone (Austin, Texas)

There are two types of people in this world, those who put hot 'n' crunchy on food and those who don't. Chef Jeff Blank is the former. In fact, that's practically his motto. "If it sits still long enough, we'll put Hot 'n' Crunchy on it," notes The Mighty Cone's website. This successful truck was actually kind of born out of the Austin City Limits Festival. The story goes that Blank was approached "to entice local restaurants to join the festival's food court," decided to experiment with a sous chef's fish breading on different foods, which were then served in cones. Now, Blank's truck menu features staple cones filled with Hot 'n' Crunchy chicken, avocado, and shrimp, and Austinites, well let's just say they've become coneheads.

TWITTER: @TheMightyCone

#53 DC Slices (Washington, D.C.)

Oh, D.C. pizza truck scene, do you want to be Jumbo slices or not? Do you know? It's hard to tell with people lined up during lunch down the block for DC Slices. As much as Washingtoninians may hate to hear it, DC Slices is much closer to Adams Morgan's Jumbo Slice than it is to either Pizzeria Orso or Two Amy's. That doesn't mean it's bad. Not at all. It just has that same mottled cheese and sauce look and texture, and that same non-crispy bottom. It's a style of pizza that those not from Washington but who are adopting it as their next big city, and sensitive about their own small-town sensibilities, should just stop equating to New York and enjoy it for what it is, another regional style, and hey, a pretty good one at that, especially when you've had a few drinks (but not necessarily because of it). There are all the familiar toppings to be expected (including Buffalo chicken), no surprise there, but a strong side move is to order the tater tots either loaded, with pizza, bacon, and Cheddar, or chili and cheese style.

TWITTER: @dcslices

#52 5411 Empanadas (Chicago)

The 5411 Empanadas truck (that's fifty-four eleven, not five-four-one-one) "started in 2009 when three friends from Argentina wanted to bring a piece of their country to Chicago." It may have started small, but despite the restrictions it has faced in Chicago (not being able to cook on the truck, for example), 5411 has done very well. They now have one of the city's most iconic food trucks, as well as a brick-and-mortar location. On the menu, there are 10 savory empanadas, with beef being the best-seller, and one dessert empanada (banana and Nutella). The move? The chef's pick is the Malbec beef slow-braised beef and sautéed carrots and onions in a Malbec reduction with a side of chimichurri sauce.

TWITTER: @5411empanadas
LOCATION/SCHEDULE: Check for listings

#7 The Lime Truck (Orange County, Calif.)

Brash and cocky, with the ahi tuna poke nachos and sweet and spicy steak tacos to back it up, the trio behind the Orange County, Calif.-based  Lime Truck (owner Daniel Shemtob, with Jason Quinn and Jesse Brockman) wore lime-green headbands in the fast lane through much of season two of Food Network's The Great Food Truck Road Race. The trio, who launched the truck in June 2010, prides themselves on "local, organic, and sustainably sourced fresh ingredients, paired with hip, inventive recipes." Whether you rooted for or against the group while watching the show, you have to give this group of twenty-something's props for sheer determination and competitiveness.

Twitter Handle: @thelimetruck
Followers: 10,610
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#51 Jefe's Original Fish Taco & Burgers (Miami)

So here's how the story goes (at least according to the Jefe's Original Fish Taco & Burgers truck's website) in 100 words or less: "Mid-19th century, a young surfer called "Jefe" ("boss" in Spanish) dominated the waves of Ensenada, Baja, Calif. When not surfing, Jefe helped his father run the family fishing business and his mother with her beach taqueria. People asked Jefe what made him a good surfer. He swore it was mom's fish tacos. Time passed. One year, his father's boat was lost at sea while Jefe competed in a surfing contest, and his mother passed away. Years later, he reopened his mother's taqueria. It became very popular. Jefe died in 1976, but his recipes were rediscovered by a distant relative."

Whatever you believe about that story (keeping in mind that this truck is Miami, not Baja), if you're among the uninitiated, you need to try two things on the menu. One is the Ensenada-style fish taco with beer-battered crispy fish, shaved fresh green cabbage, pico de gallo, crema, and lime. The other is the Double Cheezer Miami-Style (two patties, two slices of American cheese, and extra everything (for free), which means tomato, lettuce, pickle, onion, and Jefes' "boss sauce"). Smacks of In-N-Out? Tacos aren't the only thing worth emulating from California.

TWITTER: @jefesoriginal
LOCATION/SCHEDULE: Check for listings

#50 Dim Ssäm à Gogo by Sakaya Kitchen (Miami)

Chef and owner Richard Hales has been fighting the good food truck fight for a while now in Miami since launching his food truck in 2010. Having dealt with more permit and event issues than he's likely interested to recall, it's no surprise that he's taken his affordable some 30-item menu brick-and-mortar. But you can still get your "Popcorn" Shrimp Ssäm with spicy sticky rice and banchan in the truck, provided the cops aren't harassing him.

TWITTER: @SakayaKitchen

#49 Pepe Food Truck (Washington, D.C.)

Launched less than a year ago, Pepe Food Truck might still be the best example on the planet of how far food trucks have come. It's chef José Andrés for crying out loud. This is the kind of move toward food trucks by a major chef that starts to build up in you that bravado to ask, "Hey, Thomas Keller, that's right, you bum, Grant Achatz, where's your food truck! Are you just being lazy?" There have been about eight sandwiches available on the menu at Andrés' D.C. sandwich truck since it hit the scene in March. Most recently, the menu featured a Spanish pork burger, fried chicken sandwich, roasted eggplant with red peppers and mojo rojo, a Spanish grilled cheese, a ham and cheese, and a seared beef tenderloin with caramelized onion, piquillo pepper confit, and blue cheese. There's also a sandwich that's not likely to make the chef any fans in Madrid, "Fútbol Club Barcelona," thinly sliced chicken with bacon, lettuce, tomato, and shallot mayo. How anyone who has had Ibérico pork would be able to turn down the "Pepito de Ibérico" featuring it with Serrano ham, green peppers, caramelized onions, and aioli, we'll never guess. But hey, if this chef put it on the menu, trust you won't be disappointed.

TWITTER: @pepefoodtruck

#48 Crêpes Bonaparte (Los Angeles)

Ever waited on a Paris "rue" and seen one of those street vendors with a line of people behind you hungrily expecting that their crêpe with ham and cheese will be the next one to be folded over into paper and handed over for a few euros? Then you remember that warm, salty cheesiness, the reaffirming enjoyment of life that comes with biting down into well-made freshly cooked crêpe. It's thin. It's crispy. It's salty, gooey, satisfying, and soul-affirming in a way that almost shouldn't be possible. And yet it is. The partners behind Crêpes Bonaparte know that love, too.

The truck was an offshoot of founder Christian Murcia's graduate project at USC's School of Entrepreneurship. As Food Network notes about one of its past The Great Food Truck Race contestants, the truck, "emulating the experience of ordering a crêpe off the streets of Paris, Christian, his fiancée, Danielle Law, and his childhood friend Matthew Meyer, take crepes out of the fine dining realm." On this menu, there are breakfast crêpes (a fresh-cracked egg with a variety of other fillings including bacon, ham, Cheddar, peppers and onions, garlic pesto, mozzarella, and guacamole), savory crêpes, dessert crepes, and traditional crepes (ham and cheese, cinnamon and sugar, lemon or butter and sugar, or Nutella), all served from the truck by folks wearing berets, black vests, and ties to the sound of French pop. Own it, baby. Own it.

TWITTER: @CrêpesBonaparte

#47 The Grilled Cheeserie (Nashville, Tenn.)

You know those people who scoff at grilled cheese being made at restaurants, right? "Geez, I can't think of what's more pathetic, the people who couldn't think of a more original idea or the people who are so sad that they can't even make their own grilled cheese sandwich — it's the simplest thing to make in the world!" That all may or may not be true, but given the love that people have for grilled cheese sandwiches, and the success of so many across the country, you'd probably be well served to just offer the comeback, "If it's all so easy, why don't you go make a mint off it, too?" It's likely to shut them up. The truth is that there are some monster grilled cheese trucks doing some much beloved things across the country, and The Grilled Cheeserie in Nashville, Tenn., is one of them. Run by Los Angeles transplants Crystal De Luna-Bogan and her husband Joseph, The Grilled Cheeserie has been mopping up in Nashville with more than 14,000 Twitter followers and five specialty melts, among them a grilled pimento mac and cheese, a croque madame, and a harvest melt with triple cream Brie and pulled turkey. Luna-Bogan, a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef also allows customers to make their own melts, with choices of seven cheeses and about 10 additions on the menu, from eggs and oven-roasted tomatoes to roast beef, shaved ham, or avocado aioli.

TWITTER: @GrlldCheeserie

#46 El Camión (Seattle)

For anyone who knows Spanish, the name of this one makes perfect sense. For those who don't, "El Camión" means the truck. And as SeattleWeekly noted earlier this year, it's owner Scott McGinnis' homage to many of the more nondescript taco trucks in Southern California where he's from, which prowled the streets in a time before trucks were trendy. "There'd be one nearby and McGinnis, familiar with the area's truckie scene, would turn to his buddies and ask, 'Hey, wanna go to the truck?'" Like those aforementioned trucks, El Camión serves quite a few different carnes, including carne asada, pollo asado, carnitas, cochinita pibil, adobada, chorizo, lengua, tripas, cabeza, and fish. There are tacos, burritos, quesadillas, gorditas, mulitas, tortas, tamales, and breakfast burritos. It's a big menu, and that doesn't even include the platos, which are worth a spin through of their own. Whatever you get, take comfort that McGinnis makes all six of his salsas from scratch.

TWITTER: @elcamionseattle

#45 Fivetenburger (Oakland, Calif.)

Fivetenburger's chef-owner Roland Robles hasn't suffered for lack of acclaim. His Eel River Ranch 100 percent grass-fed organic 6-ounce burgers have been named one of Grub Street's Top 50 in San Francisco, and his mobile kitchen one of Zagat's 5 Best Food Trucks in the Bay Area... you get the point. There are now two trucks, and a brick-and-mortar on the way, and the burgers are just as popular as ever. They come with lettuce and tomato, house-made pickles, onions, mayo, ketchup, and mustard with your choice of American, Cheddar, and Swiss, you know, like most burgers do. But these aren't "most burgers." Often, extra toppings substitute as innovation and execution. At Fivetenburger, sure you can add applewood bacon, a cage-free egg, and garlic oil fries, but these burgers shine in their simplicity. Everything's cooked, toasted, and served in its appropriate ratio. Not feeling like a burger? That same execution is applied to the hot slaw- and hot mustard-topped handmade beef and pork sausage from Taylor's in Oakland, the New York steak sandwich, and the chicken sandwich with pickled onions, all served in rolls from Bui Phong Bakery.

Twitter Handle: @fivetenburger
Followers: 3,293
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#44 Vizzi Truck (Los Angeles)

Launched in early 2010, Vizzi Truck's menu was said to have was been "inspired and crafted by taking French cooking techniques... mixing it with coastal flavors from around the globe, and finishing each bite with subtle Pacific flair." Those "coastal flavors" from around the globe show up on chef David Fuñe's truck menu in the form of bacon-Brie grilled cheese with arugula and caramelized onions, and organic chickpea sliders or maple-braised Wagyu beef with chimichurri crème fraîche on sweet Hawaiian bread. Confused? Relax. Apparently, it doesn't all have to make sense. Food also isn't the truck's only raison d'être — their other goal is to introduce customers to "the sights and sounds of undiscovered talent." The truck is equipped to showcase independent musicians and short film clips from up-and-coming producers and directors — Vizzi's attempt to "sync adjacent neighborhoods in hopes we can all flourish as one."

TWITTER: @VizziTruck

#43 Komodo Truck (Los Angeles)

The Hotel Bel-Air's former grill chef Erwin Tjahyadi made a splash in 2010 for serving Asian-Mexican fusion that didn't involve tacos, but burritos, when he launched Komodo. Since then, Tjahyadi's legend has grown, and his black-and-white Komodo dragon truck has gone brick-and-mortar. But the truck still rages on, serving menu classics like seared top sirloin, grilled marinated chicken, fish n' grapes, spicy Singaporean-style shrimp, and Indonesian shredded pork rendang with sides like truffle or garlic fries (or tater tots) and meatballs with romesco sauce.

TWITTER: @komodofood

#42 Nom Nom Truck (Los Angeles)

Yes, more Asian tacos, but this Los Angeles truck that takes its cute name from the onomatopoeia at least focuses a bit more on Vietnamese bánh mì sandwiches made on wheat/rice flour baguettes. Founders Jennifer Green and Misa Chien met as undergrads at UCLA, and did some brisk business, but really rose in national exposure due to their stint on Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race. They dress their bánh mì with house mayo, cucumber, jalapeño, pickled carrots, daikon, and cilatntro, and your choice of grilled pork shoulder (infused with honey, garlic, and soy), grilled chicken (infused with lemongrass, chile, and sesame oil), steamed tofu, or Vietnamese cold cuts (uncured ham, steamed pork loaf, head cheese, and pork liver pâté). And while they eventually lost out to Grill 'Em All, the Nom Nom girls were able to expand their business, opening a new truck in San Francisco.

TWITTER: @nomnomtruck

#41 Luke's Lobster Nauti Mobile (New York City)

It's just the kind of embarrassment of riches that food trucks have brought that New Yorkers can fight over who has the better lobster roll truck. (It also says a lot about the migration of lobster rolls as a sandwich that besides finance guy Luke Holden's lobster roll truck Nauti, he also now has five New York locations, and three in the Beltway.) Born and braised in Cape Elizabeth, a small town on the coast of Maine, Holden "grew up lobstering, built his own skiff, and launched a lobster company while still in high school." These days, the lobsters are taken from the dock to Luke's family seafood business Portland Shellfish. According to the Luke's Lobster site, "In just hours, the frisky pinchers are steamed, picked, and individually wrapped before they're sent south." Chilled lobster is served in a buttered and toasted split-top bun "with a swipe of mayo, a sprinkle of lemon butter, and a dash of our secret spices." You can order it without mayo, butter, and spices, too if you'd like, or opt for either the crab or shrimp roll, but this menu's move is the lobster roll.

TWITTER: @LukesLobster

#40 Señor Sisig (San Francisco)

What's sisig? It's a Filipino dish made from pig's head and liver, often seasoned with calamansi and chile peppers, and at San Francisco's Señor Sisig, it's obviously the star of the show, except that as SF Weekly noted, chef Gil Payumo makes the trucks version with pork shoulder instead of offal, "for a cleaner and meatier sisig." Payumo launched the truck in 2010 with high-school friend Evan Kidera and the two have been slinging sisig on tacos, fries, nachos, and in burritos ever since. You have basically five options at Señor Sisig, with your choice of protein being pork, chicken, or tofu. There are tacos with onions, lettuce, and cilantro cream sauce. A Señor Sisig burrito takes those toppings minus the onions and adds adobo rice, pinto beans, and salsa, but their signature is probably the California Sisig Burrito featuring fries, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. If that's not out there enough, "Silog it" for $1 more and add an egg to your sisig.

TWITTER: @senorsisig

#39 Clover Food Lab (Boston)

Sometimes it's better to just let people speak for themselves. That's the case with the Clover Food Lab's founder Ayr Muir: "We're here to make food you love, the kind you talk about and look forward to eating. The Clover Food Lab is serving up a new type of fast food. This food is local, it's just-cut, when we can it is organic. I always loved the food trucks at MIT when I was a student. September 2008 I thought: what better way to kick things off pre-restaurant than with a truck of our own. A bunch of things fell into place and here we are. Now we have restaurants and trucks around Boston and Cambridge. The menu will be changing with the seasons, and we'll keep the latest posted on this site. You can expect french fries made from just-cut PEI potatoes, fresh juices like you've never had before, perfect sandwiches, and we'll be ladling out just-made soups in the winter, salads in the summer."


#38 Food Shark (Marfa, Texas)

Not just any old food truck, Marfa's Food Shark, depending on where you're coming from of course, just may be one of the most out-of-the-way trucks you can pilgrimage to. But this tiny desert town is home to food trucks with some personality, and the folks behind Food Shark since 2006 (chef Krista Steinhauer and Adam Bork) describe their menu as "Mediterranean-by-way-of-West-Texas."

Bork is an artist-musician who advertises around town with his collection of old cars, including a Barcelona matador that was actually made to fly in one Bond movie. They also accept call-ins when it gets cold, but the location is all about the metrosexual gallerina scene.

The Food Shark's lead menu item, on which most of the rest of the menu is based, is the Marfalafel, a large flour tortilla filled with falafel balls, fresh romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, tahini, yogurt, harissa sauce, and hummus. Desert falafel that does you right, don't mess.

TWITTER: @foodshark
LOCATION/SCHEDULE: Tuesday through Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. under the pavilion between the railroad tracks and Marfa Book Co. (occasionally open Saturdays).

#37 Country Boys/Martinez Taco (New York City)

This 2009 Vendy's winner doesn't need introduction to New York's taco lovers (especially the desperate ones from Texas or those who are either from California or spent time there gaining the taco cred needed to lord the "there's no good Mexican food here" mantra over Manhattanites). It's one of the city's best Mexican food trucks. It's just a pain to get to for most everyone besides people who live near the Red Hook Ball Fields where Fernando Martinez and his wife Yolanda (originally from Puebla, Mexico) have set up since 1993 when they "started off with one grill and two tables" near the intersection of Clinton and Bay.

Yes, there are tacos, quesadillas, sopes, and chalupas, but the reason to wait on the at times more than hour-long line at Country Boys/Martinez Taco, are the huaraches: pressed to-order masa filled with a layer of soft beans, which is then cooked and topped with your choice of meat, shredded lettuce, guacamole, crema, and salsa. Is it worth waiting in line for an hour and a half? Is anything? To that New Yorkers will counter that these are good people doing the taco god's work, making good food, country food, "food for farmers," as Martinez told Leanne Tory-Murphy of Nona Brooklyn in 2011.

Yes, yes it is.

LOCATION/SCHEDULE: Saturday and Sunday, corner of Clinton and Bay Streets, starting about 11:30 a.m.

#36 Frysmith (Los Angeles)

The "truck with fries that eat as a meal" serves them exactly the way you'd think they would — they "throw stuff on top." Lots of it, with a great ratio of toppings to really well done, hand-cut Kennebec potatoes fried twice in canola oil to make sure they're crispy enough — and you're much less likely than usual to find yourself with those dry straggler fries at the bottom of your cardboard boat. But toppings can vary at co-owners (and married couple) Brook Howell and Erik Cho's truck depending on the season.

The Frysmith food truck serves the requisite Cheddar and chili cheese fries made with Angus all-beef (beer- and chocolate-laced) chili. But menu items get a bit more far-flung with kimchi fries topped with Kurobuta pork belly, onions, and Cheddar, and the Rajas fries loaded up with fire-roasted poblanos, caramelized onions, and shawarma-marinated steak under melted Jack. Yes, there's a vegetarian option, the vegan chili fries with tomato, mixed beans, soy chorizo, smoked paprika (with or without cheese), and that seasonal menu means that even when it doesn't get cold late in the year in LA, poutine variations (most recently with short rib) make the rotation.

TWITTER: @Frysmith

#35 Coreanos (Austin, Texas)

Like the Washington Redskins, the Cleveland Indians, and the Atlanta Braves, there's probably also something vaguely wrong with Coreanos' caricature of a short Asian man standing under a sombrero, but as with food truck innuendo and sport, you kind of just have to go with it when it comes to Coreanos' truck design. In another homage to LA's Kogi, Austin's Coreanos truck (now also in Houston) serves "Mexican cuisine with Korean in-between."

Of course, that means Korean barbecue tacos, quesadillas, and burritos with your choice of marinated beef short rib, spicy twice-cooked pork belly, spicy marinated chicken, or marinated tofu. That LA homage is driven home by two great menu items: the hot dogs. There's the L.A. Hot Dog (bacon-wrapped hot dog with grilled onions, grilled jalapeños, and mayo), and the Coreanos dog, also bacon-wrapped with grilled onions but also topped with caramelized kimchi and "El Scorcho" sauce.

TWITTER: @coreanosATX

#34 Staff Meal (Boston)

What should you get when you order from Boston's Staff Meal truck? Per the truck's name and philosophy, whatever you're lucky enough to be served. As anyone who has ever even spent time with someone who has worked in the restaurant industry knows, staff meal is what the front and back of house employees (if they're lucky to have enough time between prepping) eat each day in those last moments before the dinner rush. Depending on the restaurant (and how much pride the cook making family meal has), staff meal can either be something tremendous or wildly forgettable.

In this case, the truck's Brian Dennehy takes the pride approach, noting on Staff Meal's site, "We like to think we've made some pretty tasty staff meals over the years and we'd like to share those meals with everyone." There's still something of an element of staff meal though: unpredictability. Will you be feasting on Hamdouille (hot ham and Andouille salad) with pickles and oyster crackers? Or beef blood meatballs in marinara with provolone and crispy shallots. Perhaps crab stick and scallion cream cheese, wontons, and apple butter? Who knows, just don't mention their archrival, Boston's Phantom Gourmet.

TWITTER: @staffmealtruck

#32 Smack Shack (Minneapolis)

As natives of Minneapolis know, Josh Thoma has been no stranger to trouble when it comes to the restaurant business. But he sure seems to have hit it big with Smack Shack, the popular food truck he co-owns with Kevin Fitzgerald. The truck (white with a giant lobster painted on its top), which touts the motto, "Shrimp, Sausage and More," serves lobster rolls that have been voted one of the best in the country by Bon Appétit, shrimp and sausage po'boys, a roasted leg of lamb sandwich, burger, and lobster mac and cheese. For $6 more, you can upgrade your lobster roll to a "King Roll," twice as much lobster as the basic model.

Twitter's your best bet for finding the truck Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., but you can find the full menu at the 1029 Bar Tuesday through Sunday starting at 5 p.m., and if Foodie File's Stephanie March is right, after some delays, Smack Shack's months-awaited brick-and-mortar restaurant in its warehouse space on 6th and Washington in the North Loop, is supposed to merit drive-bys in December. Lobster Christmas, anyone?

TWITTER: @Smack_Shack

#31 Guerrilla Street Food (St. Louis)

St. Louis has something you probably don't: a badass food truck serving Filipino-inspired cuisine with the motto: "Fresh. Local. Filipino." The founder and chef Joel Crespo and Brian Hardesty have been open for about a year and already they've taken over the Gateway to the West, their Guerrilla Street Food truck being named the 2012 "Best Food Truck in St. Louis" by the Riverfront Times.

The rotating menu of dishes might require a little explanation to those who are less than familiar with Filipino cuisine, but you don't need a passport to order Guerrilla's signature dish, the "Flying Pig." Slow-roasted pork set on jasmine rice, topped with egg and accented by calamansi tartness and Sriracha heat. "You're content to wait for trucks bearing tacos, pizza, or whatever to park near you," the Riverfront Times noted. "Guerrilla Street Food you hunt down."

TWITTER: @guerrillastreet

#30 Korilla BBQ (New York City)

You'd have thought it would have hurt team Korilla BBQ for being called cheaters for adding more than $2,000 of their own money into their cash drawer on what has basically been the representative show for food trucks on cable TV (Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race). But chef Tyler Florence sending this truck packing didn't relegate its owners Edward Song, Paul Lee, and Stephan Park to obscurity — it has quite the following in New York City.

Taking a cue from Kogi like so many others before it, Korilla BBQ does the whole Korean-Mexican fusion thing, but in orange tiger-striped fashion, offering three ways to KBBQ: tacos, burrito, or the chosun bowl. You get your choice of rib-eye, pulled pork, chicken thighs, or tofu, with either sticky or bacon and kimchi fried rice, kimchi (red, summer, cucumber, kimchi slaw, red radish, or summer radish) and depending on which of the three ways you went, tomato salsa, red leaf lettuce, Korilla barbecue sauce, and shredded Monterey Jack.


#29 Chairman Truck (San Francisco)

You might not remember this, but San Francisco's Chairman Bao Bun Truck really stuck in the craw of onetime New York City restaurateur turned food and pop culture commentator Eddie Huang. Apparently, it was a bit much that another business serving Asian food took the word "bao" and deigned use it in the name of their food truck. "I'm 28 years old, I opened the restaurant last year, I did it all with my own money," Huang told SF Weekly's BuzzMachine. "Street trucks are like independent businesses, many times ethnic. To co-opt something like this reeks of corporations." Then he started talking about suing them, too. If that's the case, Roy Choi should basically have sued every food truck across the country.

Regardless, the Chairman Bao Bun Truck did change its name to "The Chairman" (won't that upset Food Network's Iron Chef somersault personality Mark Dacascos?), and still draws lines for its simple menu of steamed and baked buns, which are known for having featured pork belly with pickled daikon, crispy garlic tofu with miso greens, red sesame chicken with pickled carrots and cucumber.

TWITTER: @chairmantruck

#28 Schnitzel & Things (New York City)

Tacos, banh mi, gyros, bistro food, Spanish sandwiches, meatballs — a few years ago, it kind of felt like you'd seen it all. Then in 2009, Schnitzel & Things showed up on the New York City food truck scene and won the Rookie of the Year at the Vendy's. Clever, huh? Not something you would have thought you'd find on a food truck, right? (Those folks that always tell you, "Everything has been done," don't know everything.)

The hand-pounded, lightly breaded, thin cutlets of fried veal, chicken, pork, cod, and (yes there's a vegetarian option) eggplant are really good — so too, the sides, especially the Austrian potato salad (Yukon Gold dressed with white wine shallot vinaigrette and scallions) and the cucumber salad. Count Schnitzel & Things among the other trucks whose asphalt success has led them to a permanent home. They still have the truck, but now it's in addition to their brick-and-mortar Midtown spot on 3rd Avenue between 45th and 46th streets.

TWITTER: @schnitznthings

#27 LudoTruck (Los Angeles)

It made lots of sense in 2010 when French chef Ludo Lefebvre launched a mobile kitchen with no permanent location other than the road. After all, this beloved chef with 13 years of training at three-Michelin-starred restaurants has made his reputation with LudoBites, a pop-up restaurant of sorts, which has still managed to garner recurring accolades from the likes of none other than Jonathan Gold (now with the Los Angeles Times) who named dishes prepared by Lefebvre as a Top 10 Dish of the year from 2007 through 2010 for LA Weekly.

The LudoTruck serves Lefebvre's famous fried chicken. Buttermilk chicken, honey garlic-glazed wings, crispy breast strips, and the crispy chicken sandwich can be dressed with honey mustard, béarnaise, spicy mayo, and ranch dressing (ranch dressing made by a French chef, oh yeah, get you some of that), and eaten with slaw, fries, or a honey lavender biscuit.

TWITTER: @LudoTruck

#26 Spencer on the Go (San Francisco)

"Dinner tonight will begin with an escargot puff lollipop amuse, just a little something to say 'Hello,' from the chef. He'll follow that with cauliflower bisque — don't you think cauliflower is an unappreciated vegetable? Chef does. For something decadent, the next course is a foie gras torchon and toast. And then, chef would like to know, do you like truffles? Yes? Parfait. D'accord, he weel be sending out pour vous, ze far west fungi truffle emulsion 'vol au vent.' That's the small hollow case of puff pastry. You're sure to enjoy."

Sounds like a fancy restaurant, huh? Nope. Just a rundown of some of the menu items that have been available from the converted taco truck self-branded as "San Francisco's one and only mobile bistro," Spencer on the Go. Sweetbreads, ratatouille, boeuf bourguignon, and dishes that include truffles are some of the fare to expect from this truck founded in 2009 by chef Laurent Katgely, a native of the French Alps with culinary cred including Lespinasse (New York City), and Pastis in LA, who also happens to be the owner of San Francisco's Chez Spencer, which serves what not a few have called some of the best bistro food in San Francisco.

TWITTER: @chezspencergo
FOLLOWERS: 6,710           

#25 Basil Thyme (Washington, D.C.)

In June 2011, former IT professional Brian Farrell introduced the District of Columbia to homemade and gourmet lasagnas made with from-scratch pasta and served on the go. The "scratched" metal finish on this food truck is just where the hard work began for Basil Thyme. "It took me 250 hours with a drill and sandpaper to create the swirled-brushed aluminum look," said Farrell. "In the beginning, I had no funds for a fancy wrap, so I just hoped people would get it: scratched truck equals from-scratch food — and forgive our appearances in favor of our 100% hard work (and hopefully tasty) menu! People seem to like the finish though, so I think It's going to stick."

People also seem to really enjoy the food Farrell serves with the help of Chef Alberto Vega. There are five different kinds of artisan lasagnas, among them the Linda ("traditional" lasagna with seasoned beef), the Cantena (wine and shallot sautéed chicken with spinach), the Guiseppe (black truffle lasagna with gorgonzola and portobello truffle cream sauce), and the newer lobster or crab lasagnas — it was the Washington City Paper's readers' pick for second-best food truck in the city. And it looks like Washingtonians are about to be rewarded with double the basil and thyme. Basil Thyme is about to launch its second truck: "Basil Thyme's Two." Farrell says it's going to focus exclusively on fresh pasta, with innovative techniques and specials. "Now I'm working 70 hours a week, just to do lunch — so I just wont have the same time to devote to decorating this new truck; it will definitely have to have a wrap," he joked.

TWITTER: @BasilThymeDC

#24 Baby's Badass Burgers (Los Angeles)

OK, here's the deal: Baby's Badass Burgers did make The Daily Meal's tongue-in-cheek list of Food Truck Names That Should Be Banned. It wasn't that the name was actually that outlandish, but something about the presentation was just a bit, well, much. It takes a page out of the Fojol Bros. of Merlindia's book: outlandish getup. In the case of Baby's Badass BurgersEater LA noted that means tiny booty shorts, tight tank tops, and high heels worn by the "burger babes," who you can view here.

The truck, the creation of ex-New York restaurateur Erica Cohen and event planner Lori Barbera, has a mysterious section named, "View the Goods," and the logo features a scantily clad girl holding up two burgers near where, well, where the strap of her bra is falling off. All of this, of course, makes it pretty wildly popular on LA's streets and also on TV — the truck has had cameos on both Entourage and CBS' The Defenders.

There are seven 1/2-pound "maneater-sized" burger options on the menu made with ground Angus and served on Kings Hawaiian Rolls, as well as a turkey and vegetable option, all with names drenched with the innuendo you'd expect (Cougar, Mamacita, She's Smokin!, The Other Woman, and The "Perfect 10"), but The Bombshell is the move: "A ½-pound Maneater sandwiched between two bacon grilled cheese melts, topped with grilled onions and a side of baby's special sauce." As the menu says: "Baby-Liscious."

FOLLOWERS: 14,845           

#23 Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie (San Francisco)

Chef Thomas Odermatt calls himself "more of a caterer nowadays," but this son of a Swiss 'Metzgermeister' (master butcher) who still pulls his Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie truck into farmers' markets, would deserve to rank among America's best food trucks just for his prescience alone. Odermatt went into the food truck business 10 years ago, a good five or six years before the trend took off, a time before Twitter, when as Inside Scoop SF reported, getting a break publicity wise was tough, and the truck's big media break came when news of the truck being stolen made the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle ("It's the first truck with a giant chicken ever stolen in the city, a police dispatcher said.").

After earning his master's in organic farming in Zürich and attending UC Berkeley, Odermatt became more interested in the "wood fired ovens of Chez Panisse and the lively farmers' markets," and took the popular rotisserie dinners he'd been making for friends on the road in a food truck. If you're lucky enough to find Roli Roti at a market, you're probably just going to want to order each of the three signature items: the RoliRoti Combo (a quarter chicken and a side of rosemary roasted potatoes), the porchetta sandwich, and the roasted pork knuckle.

TWITTER: @RoliRoti
FOLLOWERS: 4,802           

#22 Bernie's Burger Bus (Houston)

Sometimes you just have to fully embrace a theme and go with it. That's what chef and owner Justin Turner has done with his Houston burger bus, an old-school short bus that takes the school shtick and runs with it — from labeling press as "report cards" and truck swag as "school supplies," right down to the name of every burger. But it's all done with a good-natured wink and elbow to the ribs, and dedicated philosophy to from-scratch dishes that bring you in on the fun.

Turner, the former personal chef for Houston Rocket Shane Battier, is said to have gotten his start flipping burgers at Wendy's at age 16, but the burgers from Bernie's Burger Bus are a blend of three cuts of natural Black Angus beef, served with homemade toppings including the ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, and pickles.

The burgers? There's The Principal, of course (classic burger), The Substitute (blue cheese, bacon, and caramelized onions), the seasonal Study Hall (Cheddar, barbecue sauce, and pork belly) and Fire Drill (roasted tomatoes, pepper jack, chipotle aioli, spicy guac, and crispy tortilla strips). But let's face it, if you're going back to school, you're going to either want to take down The Bully (two patties, Cheddar, fixings, and roasted tomatoes), The Cheerleader (pepper jack cheese, crispy jalapeños, roasted tomatoes, and jalapeño ranch, or go to Detention (two applewood-smoked bacon grilled cheeses sandwiches used as the bun, two patties, Cheddar, "tipsy onions," and fixings). And if you finish detention, you get on the Bernie's wall of fame.

TWITTER: @BerniesBurgers

#21 Maximus/Minimus (Seattle)

If you have any interest in American street food, you've likely seen a photo somewhere of Kurt Beecher Dammeier's iconic Maximus/Minimus Seattle food truck. What started out as a small storefront became a catering truck (named after his son Max), which with some help from local designer Colin Reedy, morphed into a giant, distressed metal gray pig complete with snout and perked-up ears. (The design was enough to rank Maximus/Minimus among The Daily Meal's Most Outrageous Food Trucks.)

But let's not be distracted by form over substance. There's a very basic menu — just about four or so options including grilled chicken, posole and pork, and a "Max & Cheese." But the flagship is the truck's inspiration pulled pork, which started as braised pork with a barbecue sauce developed at Dammeier's restaurant Bennett's. There are two versions of the sandwich, the MAXImus (made with hot and spicy peppers, onions, and fruit juices) and the miniMUS (sweet and tangy with tamarind, honey, and molasses).

TWITTER: @somepigseattle

#20 The Cinnamon Snail (New York City)

"Has a 1991 Grumman / Chevy P30 become a Buddha?" asks The Cinnamon Snail's website. No, you don't have to prepare to get into chaturanga, but this is a full on vegan and organic food truck — right down to the grill, which when the truck was gutted was replaced with "a brand-new commercial grill which had never touched animal flesh." So what food inspires food and bliss? What kind of menu serves "food to help you transform into a being of pure light who can serve all living creatures simultaneously and eternally"? Well, a seasonal one to start. But the truck, a longtime dream of Adam Sobel (who before the truck ran a vegan catering service in New Jersey), has a menu that features breakfast, raw food, sandwiches, and pastries. There are burritos with scrambled tofu and refried beans, blue corn or fresh fig pancakes with pine nut butter and chamomile blood orange syrup, and sandwiches featuring seitan burgers, tempeh, and grilled tofu.

Twitter Handle: @VeganLunchTruck
Followers: 7,149           
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#19 Fukuburger Truck (Las Vegas)

"Be Careful How You Pronounce It," noted one headline announcing the arrival of Robert "Mags" Magsalin and Colin Fukunaga's exotic burger and fry truck when it rolled into town back in 2010. Just keep in mind that it's a last name when you say the truck's name out loud (who's kidding who here, you know what you're going to call it), and get ready to choose from a menu of just five burgers (and a chicken katsu sandwich) whose simplicity is said to have been modeled after In-N-Out's approach of doing a few things really well. The "All-American" burgers with a Japanese twist feature 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). They made enough of a splash in Vegas, and enough of an impression on restaurateur Harry Morton of the Pink Taco (and the restaurant-innovating family behind the Hard Rock Café and Morton's Steakhouse chain) for him to team up with Fukunaga on a brick-and-mortar location in Los Angeles, where they've upped the ante by allowing customers to Sumo-size their burgers for $40 to 2 1/2 pounds of meat, bun, and all the toppings.

Twitter Handle: @fukuburger
Followers: 10,137
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#18 Red Hook Lobster Pound (Washington, D.C.)

What started at husband and wife Ralph Gorham's and Susan Povich's kitchen table (yes that Povich, she's the daughter of former A Current Affair host and daytime TV star Maury Povich), has turned into a hugely successful multi-city lobster roll truck. The couple, so the story goes, "were tearing into the fresh live lobsters that they'd brought home from a trip to Maine, wishing that someone would start a business bringing live lobsters to Brooklyn," until it dawned on them, "why not us!" Six months later, The Red Hook Lobster Pound opened. Gorham haggled with lobstermen in Maine each week, and Povich devised the menu. The truck, "Big Red," opened not long after in 2010, bringing "Maine-style" lobster rolls to the masses. There are shrimp rolls, a lobster BLT, bisque, and New England and shrimp and corn chowder, but let's face it, it's about the lobster roll: lobster, served cold with celery, spices, a touch of homemade mayonnaise and on a J.J. Nissen split-top bun (or Connecticut-style, warm and buttered) isn't Reds on wheels, but it's one of the city's best renditions; save Pearl Oyster Bar it's likely New York's best. It's also one of New York's best food trucks, period. The lunch move? The hookup: a lobster roll with Cape Cod chips and a choice of Maine Root Sodas (root beer, ginger brew, mandarin orange, blueberry, sarsaparilla, or lemon-lime).

Twitter Handle: @Redhooklobster
Followers: 6,967
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#17 Where Ya At Matt? (Seattle)

Matt? Who Dat? Seattleites know. Why? Ever had a muffuletta in New Orleans? Then you know how hard it is to get a really good one anywhere outside the city. The bread, the flavor, and the ratio of it to cheese, meat, and chopped olive salad — it just seldom comes together. Lucky for Seattle, they have native New Orleanian chef Matthew Lewis, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America who counts among his experience tours with Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club in Alabama, and Seattle's own Restaurant Zoe and Canlis (ranked #31 among The Daily Meal's 101 Best Restaurants in America). Besides the New Orleans-style French bread made for him by a local baker, Lewis claims to make "everything handmade right down to the mayonnaise."


Besides that mean muffuletta on his Creole food truck Where Ya At Matt? you'll find his riffs on all the N'awlins classics: jambalaya (rice, chicken, and house-cured Andouille sausage), chicken and Andouille gumbo thickened with okra, red beans and rice, shrimp and grits, and of course, beignets. Of course, no New Orleans menu would be complete without a po'boy and Lewis serves nine different options. And while the oyster, shrimp, roast beef, "big bold Creole pork," smoked portabella, smothered chicken, Andouille, and catfish are all reputable, it's hard to go with anything other than the Peacemaker — fried oysters, house-cured bacon, and Cheddar piled high with lettuce, tomato, pickles, Mama Lil's Pickled Peppers, and aioli. Really, Seattle? With Lewis' new Fremont brick-and-mortar spot Restaurant Roux, you're just being greedy.

Twitter Handle: @WhereYaAtMatt
Followers: 3,715
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#16 The Buttermilk Truck (Los Angeles)

When you think about it, it makes lots of sense that this would be one of the country's best food trucks. Americans love their breakfast after all — pancakes, waffles, eggs, sausage, and bacon — and they don't like to be told when and where they can eat it. So why not all day and on the side of the road? Founder and FCI Pastry Arts grad Gigi Pascual makes that happen for Angelenos with The Buttermilk Truck, taking its name from the fact that it uses buttermilk as a key ingredient in most menu items, and its philosophy from Pascual, who claims to "eat breakfast morning, noon, and night."


In the morning they serve Hawaiian bread cinnamon French toast sticks, red velvet chocolate chip pancakes, cake donuts, Hawaiian bread breakfast sliders (with sausage, sautéed onions, and scrambled eggs), and breakfast brioche sandwiches with cheese, fried eggs, and either bacon, tocino, or chicken apple sausage (opt in for the rosemary garlic hash browns). The pancake, waffle, and donut batters are made from scratch and cooked to order. Late night, you can still swing the pancakes and sliders, but there are a few other savory options — things helpful for soaking up fun: fried chicken with cinnamon waffles, and a classic must-have called the "Buttermilk Brick." That's hash browns with two eggs over easy, a buttermilk biscuit, and house-made chorizo gravy.

Twitter Handle: @ButtermilkTruck
Followers: 22,551
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#15 Jogasaki (Los Angeles)

Be they Korean, Asian, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, or Malaysian, Asian-Mexican fusion tacos are old news. But burritos? Undeterred by chef David Chang's stab at the Asian burrito, the chef behind this Los Angeles food truck, Yo Pratioto, took the burrito concept and applied a perhaps even more daring spin on it: sushi. You get your choice of traditional tortilla or near transparent sesame-studded soy paper wrapped around a healthy portion of vinegary-sweet sticky rice rolled around spicy tuna and cucumber with your choice of barbecue eel, crabmeat, or shrimp tempura. And if that's not enough fusion for you, there are always the spicy tuna nachos. 

Twitter Handle: @JogasakiBurrito
Followers: 9,220
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#14 Wafels & Dinges (New York City)

Waffles and New York City have long been simpatico. Technically, at least according to Saveur, Belgian waffles (or "Brussels waffles") were actually introduced to Americans during the 1962 World's Fair, but it wasn't really until the 1964-65 World's Fair in Queens that they really took off. Still, the city didn't know waffles like they know them served by the canary yellow, award-winning truck Waffles & Dinges. In 2007, Thomas DeGeest quit his job at IBM, bought a yellow 1968 Chevy box truck, and parked on a corner of Broadway in SoHo to sell his first Liege waffle. He made $83 that first shift and never looked back. Some five years and several trucks and carts later, DeGeest helms one of the most iconic, lauded, and beloved trucks in the city. Wafels, whether Brussels (rectangular, doughier, and saltier) or Liege (usually more ovoid, chewy, and sweet), come with your choice of dinges (sides) that include dulce de leche, Belgian chocolate fudge, maple syrup, whipped cream, walnuts, bananas, butter, Nutella, strawberries, and perhaps one of the most underrated toppings of our time, speculoos. Imagine Golden Grahams cereal in dessert sauce form. It's sweet, it's salty, it actually originates from a thin, crunchy cookie typically made using butter, sugar, and a combination of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and sometimes ginger), and if it's your first topping, it's free (for $2 you can load your wafels with every topping in the truck). While a dessert truck, there are definitely some elusive savory options worth investigating (they're not available at the carts), including the seasonal "chilli con corne" (a corn wafel topped with chili, sour cream, and cilantro), "de bacon and syrup wafel," and most epic: the BBQ pulled pork wafel — a wafel topped with pulled pork, sweet barbecue sauce, and a coolickle (you have had a Kool-Aid pickle, right?).

Twitter Handle: @waffletruck
Followers: 25,606
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#13 Sam's ChowderMobile (San Francisco)

Sam's ChowderMobile is the offshoot of Sam's Chowder House, a 225-seat seafood restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Half Moon Bay, Calif., that opened in 2006. Of course, the 24-foot-long truck headed by owner Paul Shenkman  serves New England clam chowder (made with clam broth, cream, clams, potatoes, smoked bacon, onion, and thyme), but the mobile menu also features fried seafood favorites like calamari, fish and chips (Old Bay fries), a piled high shrimp or Andouille po'boy, and a lobster roll declared to be one of the top five best sandwiches in America by NBC's TODAY.

Twitter Handle: ? @chowdermobile
Followers: 9,976
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#12 India Jones Chow Truck (Los Angeles)

After competing in the first LA Vendy Awards, chef Sumant Pardal took the title in 2012. But Pardal is no culinary newcomer; he's been in business in the greater Los Angeles area for more than 25 years, owning (by his count) at least 12 restaurants, and feeding hungry Angelenos with his India Jones Chow Truck for the past three. The fare? Frankies. For the uninitiated, frankies are a Mumbai street food, an egg-washed Indian wrap, filled here with lamb, chicken, beef, shrimp, paneer, or mushroom and cheese. There are also curries (butter chicken, tikka masala, or one of the other vegetable or meat curries of the day), and paratha (spicy stuffed roti) served with raita, aloo (potato), gobhi (cauliflower), or keema (minced beef).

Twitter Handle: @IndiaJonesCT
Followers: 9,334
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#11 Red Hook Lobster Pound (New York City)

What started at husband and wife Ralph Gorhams and Susan Povichs kitchen table (yes that Povich, shes the daughter of former A Current Affair host and daytime TV star Maury Povich), has turned into a hugely successful multi-city lobster roll truck. The couple, so the story goes, "were tearing into the fresh live lobsters that theyd brought home from a trip to Maine, wishing that someone would start a business bringing live lobsters to Brooklyn," until it dawned on them, "why not us!" Six months later, The Red Hook Lobster Pound opened. Gorham haggled with lobstermen in Maine each week, and Povich devised the menu. The truck, "Big Red," opened not long after in 2010, bringing "Maine-style" lobster rolls to the masses. There are shrimp rolls, a lobster BLT, bisque, and New England and shrimp and corn chowder, but lets face it, its about the lobster roll: lobster, served cold with celery, spices, a touch of homemade mayonnaise and on a J.J. Nissen split-top bun (or Connecticut-style, warm and buttered) isnt Reds on wheels, but its one of the citys best renditions; save Pearl Oyster Bar its likely New Yorks best. Its also one of New Yorks best food trucks, period. The lunch move? The hookup: a lobster roll with Cape Cod chips and a choice of Maine Root Sodas (root beer, ginger brew, mandarin orange, blueberry, sarsaparilla, or lemon-lime).

Twitter Handle: @Redhooklobster
Followers: 6,967
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#10 Chef Shack (Minneapolis)

Life partners and chefs Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer each have more than 20 years of experience, and also one of the most lauded trucks in the country. Carlson reportedly cooked for Gray Kunz, Christian Delouvier, and Daniel Humm, while Summer is credited for opening Morimoto's pastry department and working at Jean-Georges' JoJo. Ingredients are organic when possible, and from family farms and co-ops within Minnesota and Wisconsin, and the food is served in 100 percent biodegradable packaging. Speaking of which, the menu (seasonal), ranges from signature Indian-spiced mini-donuts, tempura soft-shell crab sandwich, and grass-fed beef tongue tacos, to bison burgers, bacon beer brats, and Thai and Indian vegetable curries. There's literally something for everyone — something Wisconsinites have recently been made aware of at the truck's new Bay City brick-and-mortar location just opened a few weeks ago.

Twitter Handle: @chefshack1
Followers: 7,725
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#9 The Grilled Cheese Truck (Los Angeles)

What started for Michele Grant and chef Dave Danhi as a weekend activity entering their cheesy mac and rib melt into LA's seventh annual Grilled Cheese Invitational became the inspiration for The Grilled Cheese Truck. Their calling? "Not just the classic bread, butter, and cheese," notes their site, "but amazing creations that are constructed with the best ingredients, local produce, and made with nothing but love." The menu features no fewer than six savory melts (the plain and simple melt, the cheesy mac and rib, the Brie melt, smothered pork chop melt, goat cheese melt, French onion soup melt) most with a variety of complementing ingredients. But the menu goes beyond classic and clever combinations; there are also additions — 12 savory (among them, BBQ smoked pork, bourbon chicken, mac and cheese, bacon, avocado, and smoked turkey) and five sweet (toasted marshmallows, peanut butter, and graham crackers). Sides include the prerequisite tomato soup as well as mac and cheese, and tater tots. These are beautifully, near uniformly browned surfaces, thin and toasty but not overly cooked beneath the surface. And they're filled with gooey cheese that spills out the way a good grilled cheese sandwich should — no skimping — to the point that one of their sandwiches, the "Cheesy Mac and Rib" featuring macaroni and cheese with sharp Cheddar, BBQ Pork, and caramelized onions, even ranked among The Daily Meal's most outrageous grilled cheese sandwiches in America. Extra points for giving all website visitors the option to own their own Grilled Cheese Truck.

Twitter Handle: @grlldcheesetruk
Followers: 57,884
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#8 Roxy's Gourmet Grilled Cheese (Boston)

A relatively recently launched food truck and one with a menu focused solely on grilled cheese sandwiches, Roxy's gained national visibility via season two of Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race. While the season was ultimately won by the brash trio behind The Lime Truck, Roxy definitely held their own. Brothers and bandmates James and Mike DiSabatino teamed up with trained chef Marc Melanson to sling some pretty sick cheesy sandwiches (griddled with mayonnaise instead of butter). The truck (launched in March 2011), features a rotation of sandwiches perhaps best described by James as "grilled cheese without borders." The menu rotates, but staples include the Green Muenster (Muenster, guacamole, and applewood bacon), Mighty Rib Melt (Fontina, braised short ribs, and caramelized onions), and, of course The Rookie Melt (Vermont Cheddar and vine-ripe tomatoes). Sandwiches and sides are cooked to order ("It takes approximately eight minutes for grilled cheese perfection," they note), and take comfort: you can add bacon to anything.

Twitter Handle: @RoxysGrilledChz
Followers: 10,496           
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#6 Hapa SF (San Francisco)

Most Americans don't have as much exposure to Filipino cuisine as they do with the food from other Southeast Asian countries. Chef and owner William Pilz is working to change that in San Francisco with his truck Hapa SF (Hapa being the term for mixed-race Asian or Pacific Islanders). It didn't take long after launching his truck for Pilz (formerly of chef Elizabeth Falkner's acclaimed Citizen Cake) to rake in the accolades. His modern, organic cuisine has been praised by SF Weekly for "making some of the cleanest, most technically sophisticated food on wheels." On the menu you'll find Filipino classics often highlighted by Mexican, Thai, and Vietnamese touches. And whether you order chicken adobo banh mi, pork sisig tacos (face meat), or kilawin (raw vinegar-marinated fish) you can be pretty sure you're eating local and humane — Pilz lists as partners Soul Food Farm, La Victoria Bakery, Monterey Fish Market, and Dirty Girl Produce.

Twitter Handle: @HapaSF
Followers: 4,958           
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#5 Grill 'Em All (Los Angeles)

"Steadfast in the belief that the heavy metal and culinary worlds were bound to collide one day in a victorious marriage of massive meat and riffage," buddies and bandmates chef Ryan Harkins and Matthew Chernus won it all in 2010 with their over-the-top burgers when they beat fellow Los Angeles food truck Nom Nom during Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race. You'll be tempted to order the Molly Hatchet (fennel sausage gravy, bacon, and maple syrup), the Dee Snider (peanut butter, jelly, bacon, and Sriracha), and the Witte (pronounced "Wit-e," a burger topped with cream cheese, deep-fried bacon, beer and Sriracha onions, and malt vinegar aioli), but you haven't "grilled 'em all" until you've tackled the Behemoth: two grilled cheese "buns" with Cheddar, bacon, beer-soaked onions, pickles, and "Grandma's Mosh Pit BBQ Sauce" and a side of hand-rolled tater tots.

Twitter Handle: @GrillEmAllTruck
Followers: 26,366           
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#4 Border Grill Truck (Los Angeles)

As trucks have gotten more mainstream, more high-visibility chefs have gotten in on the act. So it is with Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, two Top Chef Masters contestants, long known as Food Network's "Too Hot Tamales," and as successful West Coast chef-restaurateurs (City Café and CITY Restaurant in LA), who took the upscale modern Mexican cuisine of their successful Border Grill restaurants to the streets with the Border Grill Truck. Border Grill recipes were adapted to be on-the-go. And if the truck menu isn't quite as extensive as the restaurant's, it doesn't miss by much. There are five or six different taco options (including Yucatan pork, carne asada, and Baja fish); three quesadilla options; corn tortilla cones filled with Peruvian ceviche made with sustainable fish, pickled onion, and aji amarillo; sides like cumin fries, and of course, guac and chips. And as recently reported by The Daily Meal, news is there may soon be more than one truck on the road.

Twitter Handle: @BorderGrill
Followers: 14,258           
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#3 Big Gay Ice Cream Truck (New York City)

A summer experiment in June 2009 by founders Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff soon turned into one of New York City's most iconic food trucks, and even went brick-and-mortar (soon to be twice, with a second shop scheduled to open soon at 61 Grove and Seventh Avenue). Yes, they just do ice cream. Sure, per this article's introduction, this could disqualify them from consideration. True, but their creative toppings (olive oil, wasabi pea dust, Sriracha, Nilla Wafers, and Trix), clever dessert names (Salty Pimp, Mexican Affo'gay'to), flavor combinations (apple butter and bourbon butterscotch), and army of Twitter followers all helped rocket them to the top of this list (along with Doug's ridiculous charm and reputation as one of the most commendable photo hams you'll ever meet). And it helps that Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go's authored their ice cream truck song. But everyone's favorite unicorn- and rainbow-chasing mobile ice cream vendor merits accolade based solely on its custard recipe alone. It's one of the softest, most wonderful soft ice creams you've ever tried, and that's not hyperbole — this is the stuff that takes you back to your very first time of... eating ice cream. Hopefully, they'll share some of the secrets behind this feat in their upcoming cookbook (to be released in 2014).

Twitter Handle: @biggayicecream
Followers: 41,737
Location/Schedule: Check Twitter

#2 Fojol Bros. (Washington, D.C.)

Fojol co-founder Justin Vitarello and his partners timed the launch of their innovative food truck to the Obama inauguration in 2009, a date which you can basically attribute the launch of Washington, D.C.'s food truck scene to, and in colorful fashion. It's a shtick, but a powerful one. The Fojol Brothers of Merlindia and Benethiopia, a group of four young men (three from D.C., one from Seattle), dress colorfully, wear turbans, and sport twisty Ringling Brothers throwback moustaches. There are blankets for customers to sit on while eating; biodegradable and compostable eating materials and napkins made from 100 percent recycled paper; a portion of the proceeds from these products fund at-risk youth programs; and a loudspeaker blares opera, John Philip Sousa marches and Punjabi music. The food? Merlindian butter chicken, saag paneer, and chicken masala are all of high quality, so too the Benethiopian beef berbere, split peas, and lentils. The "traveling culinary carnival" got in hot water this summer when it was accused of racism and minstrelsy, but more than two years after its launch it all seemed more like opportunism for nascent activists looking to make a name than about them actually caring about the people supposedly being taken advantage of. Case in point, all indications are the Fojol Bros. don't actually cook, having partnered with a former hot dog vendor turned Indian-cuisine chef who it's said "prefers to remain anonymous." Funny how little fuss, or media attention, there's been about that.

Twitter Handle: @fojolbros
Followers: 12,083
Location/Schedule: Check Twitter

#1 Kogi BBQ (Los Angeles)

"Thanksgiving of 2008, Kogi BBQ had first rolled out as the little Korean-taco-truck-that-could, peddling $2 Korean barbecue tacos on the streets of LA. Little did they know that within... months, they would become an icon of LA street food... Kogi set off a nuclear bomb that would shake up... the foundations of the industry so that street food would never be looked at the same way." That's from Kogi's site. What's the saying? It ain't bragging if it's true? So it goes with chef Roy Choi's truck, which you can credit (or at this point, blame) for the proliferation of Asian tacos across the U.S. Korilla, TaKorean, Jogasaki, these guys, among many others, should be paying Choi royalties. Yes, he's been flirting with vegetarianism, sure, he has brick-and-mortar joints like Chego, which some argue have surpassed his mobile fare, but kimchi quesadillas and short rib tacos are the kind of dishes that made Kogi famous, created crazy lines, and like the man said, made people notice food trucks. Until someone can knock this pioneering Best New Chef and his four trucks off, his deserves the title of America's best food truck.

Twitter Handle: @kogibbq
Followers: 101,138
Location/Schedule: Check for listings

#67 Scratch Truck (Indianapolis)

Matt Kornmeyer got the idea to start his Indianapolis food truck after a business trip to Portland, Ore. "I was amazed at the food scene that was there and the crazy food being made in trucks/trailers/carts. I would daydream about finding a way to bring what I saw, smelled, and tasted in Portland to Indianapolis." Three months after that trip, the middle-aged husband and father had his chance, one which, at first, most people might not have seen as an opportunity — he lost his job as operations manager of a packaging company. "I can remember as I was being told I no longer had a job, I was very calm and a strange smile came over my face," Kornmeyer explains on his website. "Here I was, at the intersection of preparation and opportunity. One door was closing, but another one was opening. Since then I have slid all of my chips in the middle and present to you Scratch." The menu at Scratch is straight-up comfort food: burgers, grilled cheese, an upscale Sloppy Joe called "The Dapper Joe," and that prince of all potatoes, poutine. Here's to you Matt, for going all in.

TWITTER: strong@scratchtruck

#66 Diggity Doughnuts/Little Blue Brunch Truck (Charleston, S.C.)

Ambergré Sloan remembers weekends at her grandparents' where when she woke up there would be a dozen fresh donuts from the local bakery — those memories instilled in Sloan a love of donuts. But she found as an adult that they gave her a stomachache, so she set out to make "a yummy, mildly healthy, fake-free doughnut that would taste as good as the others." Her personal quest turned into Diggity Doughnuts a successful food truck known for serving at least 30 flavors of natural, whole-grain, egg-free and dairy-free donuts, one of the most notable being the peanut butter and Sriracha.

TWITTER: @diggitydoughnut
FOLLOWERS: 785           

#33 Lobsta Truck (Los Angeles)

Does the lobster roll at the Lobsta Truck (whose inspiration comes from what has to be considered one of the best, if not the best lobster roll in the country) serve as much lobster as its muse Reds Eats in Wiscasset, Maine? No. But the Lobsta Truck is also serving $12 rolls on the road, all the way across the country in Los Angeles, where Maine lobster doesnt come quite as easily as out of the traps from the water nearby Reds, and they certainly have the right idea in mind it doesnt get much better than Reds.

Former seafood distributor and truck owner Justin Mi was inspired by the idea to start an LA lobster roll truck after doing a lobster roll tour through Maine (something that can practically inspire you to just move there). He flies in fresh lobsters from Maine and Canada several times a week (and those famous top-loading buns), and offers a simple menu that has been a hit in LA. Theres little more than the lobster roll (clam chowder, lobster bisque, chips, whoopie pie, and an ice cream sandwich), but they've added one West Coast item that's likely to make many East Coast seafood lovers jealous enough to start thinking how they can get their own version: a fresh Dungeness crab roll.

TWITTER: @lobstatruck