Even more frustrating than trying to remember the name/location of that hole-in-the-wall eatery that you stumbled upon and loved is returning to discover it’s relocated to a different address when you do remember the name and location. Such is the ongoing frustration of the food truck fanatic. While truck-tracking is still an imperfect science, the sites and apps below are doing their best to help fans locate their favorites, moment to hungry moment.
- MobiMunch.com (formerly MobileCravings.com)
- LoveStreetEats.com (also an iPhone app, StreetEats)
- Foodtrucksmap.com (also an iPhone app, TruxMap)
- RoadStoves GPS – a GPS-enabled real-time tracking app by the company that built most of the original Los Angeles food trucks (currently available for iPhone or Android) – only Los Angeles trucks, with more cities to come
Eclectic, unexpected and inexpensive, these food-truck finds epitomize the mobile gourmet movement. All are located in culinary capitals with up-and-coming food truck scenes.
- The Crème Brûlée Cart, San Francisco – a taciturn chef/owner makes cups of gourmet crème brûlée for $4; changing flavors include toasted coconut, vanilla bean, and lavender
- Dolci Peccati Gelato Truck, Miami – more than a half-dozen rotating gelato flavors – mango, nocciola, pistachio, dulce de leche – served out of a shiny purple art truck
- Skillet Street Food, Seattle – signatures like “bacon jam,” hand-cut French fries in gravy, and grass-fed beef burgers elevated this Airstream diner to the heights of food truck fame
- Chef Shack, Minneapolis – high-end nibbles range from tempura soft shell crab sandwiches to bison burgers; organic, locally sourced ingredients
It’s a bustling city full of culturally savvy people with demanding day jobs. The weather is often intolerable. No wonder our nation’s capital is a food truck haven. The improbably named FoodTruckFiesta.com tracks D.C. truck movements.
- Sweetflow Mobile – gourmet salads, yogurt, and oats from Sweetgreen, one of the metro area’s favorite healthy-casual eateries
- Sauca – two trucks bring international spice to the masses in the form of eclectic and spicy wraps ranging from Mumbai Butter Chicken to Pork Banh Mi
- Fojol Brothers – a self-styled traveling culinary carnival serves curries, international veggies and Lassipops in exotic sweet flavors
- Red Hook Lobster D.C. – lobster rolls, shrimp rolls and, Cape Cod Chips – from the popular Brooklyn seafood shack of the same name
It kick-started the food truck movement and now has nearly 2,000 trucks on the streets. Two of the better tracking sites are FoodTruckr.com and ClusterTruck.com.
- Coolhaus – possibly cooler than ice, featuring gourmet ice cream sandwiches made from scratch from natural ingredients, served in edible wrappers; food truck conceived and designed by a pro architect; now in multiple locations: Los Angeles, California; Austin, Texas; Hamptons, New York
- Kogi – the original Korean taco truck; still and always known for its short rib tacos and burritos, kimchi quesadilla, and Kogi sliders
- Grilled Cheese Truck – so simple, yet one of the best; from the standard American melt ($3) to the Cheesy Mac and Rib with BBQ pork and sharp cheddar, these sammies always satisfy; creative toppings include bacon, sliced apple, fresh basil, and marshmallow
- Baby’s Badass Burgers – the hook here is the smokin’ hot waitresses in tiny outfits; the food quality wins the return customers; the signature burger is the Cougar: aged beef, St. Andre cheese, black truffles; recent winner of Food Network’s Food Wars
Surprisingly not as thriving as other cities – mostly because New Yorkers know any food they crave is within walking distance – Big Apple food trucks still find success in specific niches, specifically sweets, late-night bites, and traditional street food. Of the many city-specific tracking sites, the just-launched tool by New York food authority Zagat is currently the most-buzzed.
- Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream – lauded from coast to coast for its luscious small-batch ice cream, handmade from fresh local ingredients, even down to the hormone-free milk; specialty flavors include ginger, red currant and pistachio
- Wafels & Dinges – multiple trucks serve “wafels” (or as we know them, waffles) with a variety of sweet or savory toppings; signatures include the BBQ Pulled Pork wafel and “de throwdown wafel” with spekuloos spread
- Rickshaw Dumpling Bar – dumplings with attitude, a soundtrack, and a slightly California vernacular; the selections are cross-culinary: Hudson Valley duck, vegetarian edamame, and Indian-inspired chicken saag
- Asia Dog – hot dogs, Asian style, with toppings like Asian sesame slaw, kimchi, Japanese curry, and BBQ pork belly
Locals of this Pacific Northwest city are passionate about their street food, even to the point of demanding the correct terminology: The city’s 450-plus food carts often can be found in pods of many or singly in locations tracked by foodcartsportland.com.
- Brunch Box – as seen on Food Network – gourmet breakfast sandwiches, burgers, and grilled cheese on Texas toast
- PBJ – gourmet grilled PBJ combinations on challah bread; combinations are very creative – for example, the Hot Hood, made with black cherry jam, applewood-smoked bacon, jalapenos, and PBJ’s peanut butter
- Potato Champion – French fries with gourmet dipping sauces like pesto mayo and horseradish ketchup; served until 3:00 a.m., six days a week
- Tábor – serving traditional Czech food for 10 years and counting, this cart is famous for its Schnitzelwich, which scored a rave review in Bon Appetit