A true melting pot of world cuisine, food truck operators deliver mobile eats to the people on city streets, at universities, in business parks and—if you're lucky—in food truck parks. They hawk everything from donuts and ice cream to Southern-style comfort food, Korean barbecue, tacos, empanadas and vegan sensations.
Roll through the country with these recommendations from our team of 30-plus local and national editors.
What's in a name? A party if you're Cantina on Wheels. Birmingham's popular taco truck serves up fun-loving creations like Cuban tacos and fire tacos with extra-hot kimchi. The truck's Mexican street corn is the ultimate portable food.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and there's no disputing that at The Magpie, where hearty egg sandwiches, omelettes and biscuits rule the menu.
The aptly-named Grilled Addiction delivers habit-inducing steak sandwiches and burgers with whatever toppings you fancy. Diners can also opt for lollipop lamb chops or blackberry-glazed pulled pork.
The Southern Frenchie thrilled diners with fried chicken and grits on the 2017 season of "The Great Food Truck Race." Back in Little Rock, it delights with pimento grilled cheese and Southern poutine.
Guy Fieri visited Irvine's Chomp Chomp Nation on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." Like the spiky-haired one, we're bowled over by the sweet-and-salty crab cake topped with slaw and spicy ketchup.
Del Popolo isn't your average food truck. The former trans-Atlantic shipping container houses an Italian-made woodfired oven perfect for churning out its Neapolitan-inspired pizzas.
Not one but five mobile carts make Biker Jim's a bona fide sensation. Hot dogs are made out of such exotic meats as elk, pheasant and, when available, rattlesnake.
They had us at ooey-gooey, but Melt Mobile goes beyond typical melts to offer comforting creations such as New York cheesecake melted between two slices of pound cake.
I Don't Give a Fork wins our prize for best-named cart. Beyond the clever puns, its "Naked Shrimp Po Boy" earns a spot in our stomach for its succulent Cajun seasoning.
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Another sweet fix comes in the form of Captain Cookie and the Milkman. Snickerdoodles, funfetti and vegan chocolate chip cookies reign here; pair it with local milk or ice cream or splurge on a decadent cookie cake.
Those who love Cuban food haven't lived until they've had a "frita" at El Rey de las Fritas, said Where South Florida editor Victoria Cervantes. It's made with a ground beef patty, sauteed onions and crispy shoestring potatoes, and sits on a fluffly Cuban roll.
In 2010, the sassy Ms. Cheezious took the South Florida culinary scene by storm. Its decadent grilled cheese sandwiches ooze with an assortment of chorizo pimento cheese, Fontina, provolone, ricotta and Jack paired with short rib, tempeh, country-fried chicken and more.
Food trucks aren't allowed to roam the streets of Atlanta. The city's solution: the Atlanta Food Truck Park. We love Yumbii, a panoply of Korean, Mexican and Southern cuisine; another favorite is the savory, slow-smoked Sweet Auburn Barbecue.
No trip to Oahu is quite complete without a visit to the North Shore where shrimp truck operators have parked along Kamehameha since the 1990s, offering heaping plates of sauteed garlic shrimp and two scoops of white rice, said Where Hawaii senior editor Simplicio Paragas. The original and still a go-to among island residents is Giovanniʻs Shrimp Truck, which is famous for its butter-and-garlic-drenched shrimp.
Rawdeadfish brings fantastic, fresh sushi to the masses. Inside the cool blue truck temptations made with hamachi, wallu and salmon dazzle diners.
The dialing code for Buenos Aires—where its founders hail from—is the impetus for 5411 Empanadas. Handmade, baked empanadas are stuffed with malbec beef, sweet corn, ratatouille and bacon, dates and goat cheese.
Traditional Mexican street food is on the menu at The Tamale Spaceship. Yucatan-style roasted pork, beets and goat cheese and duck confit are but a few of the fillings.
Fresh fruit bubble tea, ceviche and blueberry cheesecake empanadas are on the eclectic menu at Lulu's Licks. The truck is named after the family dog, Lulu, who was rescued from a shelter; all tips go to animal rescues.
Where Las Vegas editor Susan Stapleton, who hails from Iowa, gives two enthusiastic thumbs up to Gastro Grub. Her favorites: crispy Brussels sprouts and truffle fries.
Kansas City's food truck operators are so passionate about their craft, they call themselves the Food Truck Mafia. Among the craveable items these trucks deliver are the banh mi, chicken salad croissants and roadhouse burgers at Beauty of the Bistro.
Soul food and vegan delights come together at V-Grits. The loaded mac & cheese, for example, is topped with barbecue jackfruit and coconut bacon.
When he needs a fix of Anthony Bourdain-approved cuisine, Where New Orleans editor Doug Brantley heads for Taceaux Loceax. He loves the avocado fries and "crazy-good" gourmet tacos with fun names like Carnital Knowledge and Seoul Man.
A true Bite Into Maine is what you'll get at this divine lobster roll creator. Try them Maine-style, with light mayo and fresh chives, Connecticut-style with hot butter or picnic style with a layer a coleslaw, hot butter and celery salt.
Baltimore chose Gypsy Queen Cafe as its favorite food truck for five consecutive years, and with good reason: mouthwatering selections include crab and pork cones, Greek-style lamb tacos and curried basil falafel pitas.
When Where Boston editor Mike Hodgkinson hits up a food truck, Tenoch Mexican and Bon Me always get his attention. The former is known for its tortas (Mexican sandwiches); the Tenoch has both carnitas and ham. Vietnamese cuisine purveyor Bon Me lets you pick the protein for your salad, rice bowl, sandwich or noodles.
Detroit's Campus Martius Park is a hotspot for food trucks. You'll frequently find El Guapo here; it was the first licensed food truck in Detroit. Its beef brisket, chorizo and shrimp tacos are topped with creamy, smoky and delectable guapo sauce.
Hero or Villain makes food fun by naming its sandwiches after classic heroes or villains. It can customize your deli sandwich to fit any dietary requirement.
World Street Kitchen's menu is inspired by street carts from Morocco through Vietnam. Taste a whirlwind of flavors, from mushroom bulgogi lettuce wraps to red curry chicken burritos and sweet onion-stuffed falafel burgers.
Comforting Southern street food is on the menu at Lurny D's Grille. Find a new favorite in the "Goober burger," which is topped with creamy peanut butter and bacon.
Guerrilla Street Food was another truck to catch Guy Fieri's attention—and in turn, ours—on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." The Filipino street food purveyor was a pioneer of St. Louis' food truck scene.
Bring on the Sauce! This Bozeman-based truck brings seasonally inspired global bounty to southwest Montana in the form of salads, sandwiches, tacos and smothered frites.
Heoya's Korean barbecue tacos, crab rangoon and Korean fries are tops at this Asian fusion food truck.
"Colin is like the godfather of the food truck scene in Las Vegas," said Where Las Vegas editor Susan Stapleton of Fukuburger's founder. A key ingredient of its success are sauces such as wasabi mayo, Japanese barbecue sauce and Fuku sauce.
Slow-smoked 'cue comes from a hickory pit smoker inside Gabi's mobile kitchen. Brisket, pulled pork and pulled chicken is stuffed inside tacos, sandwiches and—on the weekend—chili (brisket only).
You'll literally go bananas for this dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan approach to ice cream at Amanda Bananas. The soft serve, made solely from bananas, comes in a dozen flavors you can't put down—Cracker Jack sundae, fluff-a-nutter and apple pie banana among them.
Student chefs gain experience at the higher-minded Street Food Institute. Diners rave about the Korean barbecue tacos and pork belly sandwiches made sustainably from local ingredients.
Among the Big Apple trucks that top Where IN New York editor in chief Lois Levine's list are Korilla BBQ, Anton's Dumplings for Russian comfort food, Cinnamon Snail for vegan sensations, Coolhaus for arty ice cream and Los Viajeros for mouthwatering Mexican cuisine.
Tin Kitchen is one of Charlotte's original food trucks and was featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." Thanks to the unique blend of ingredients it uses on its tacos, sliders and quesadillas, the operation has expanded to three trucks.
Hearty burritos that burst with fillings make us hunger for Sweeto Burrito. From its namesake burrito with sweet shredded pork to the breakfast sensations with chicken and chunky bacon, we can't put these down.
What could be better than Bleu Garten? Food trucks, outdoor seating and beer—it's paradise found.
With its thousands of fanatical followers on Instagram and the juicy, crisp textures of its carnitas, it's no surprise that Tight Tacos has quickly produced a cult-like following, said Where Hawaii senior editor Paragas. The authentic Mexican street-style tacos are served from a food cart behind a Mini Mart.
Falafel Omelet Hoagie anyone? If this creation from Philly's A&M Halal Food Truck is good enough for the stars of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate," so is it for us.
The day's catch comes straight to you from the Shuckin' Truck: anything from sea scallops, lobster, fish and squid, depending on what's fresh. The one constant are the farm-raised Salt Pond Oysters that are harvested year-round.
Dakota Snow's fluffy shaved ice creations bring the spirit of aloha to the Midwest. Among the decadent flavors are butter pecan, cake batter, tropical punch and cream cheese frosting.
All things bacon can be had at Nashville's Bacon Nation food truck. You mouth will water with joy for fries seasoned with bacon salt, a BLT with six strips of goodness and tacos with chicken, ranch dressing and—of course—bacon.
Local, organic and sustainable cuisine is the name of the game at Farmers & Foragers. The bountiful, rotating menu shines with items such as soft-shell crab sliders, fried avocado tacos and poutine.
French food in Virginia? Yes please, if The Frenchman's serving it up. It marries the French technique with Southern charm—plus, you can frequently find it at breweries and wineries.
Grass-fed beef is behind every burger at Buns. To make them even better, they're served on brioche buns and come with truffle fries.
We don't mind getting sauce on our face if we can order ribs from Rollin Smoke BBQ. Not only are they available as a dinner order, they're available by the pound, rack or half-rack.
Architectural Digest chose Press Waffles as one of the world's most stylish food trucks. We choose it for Belgian liege waffles topped with speculoos cookie spread, honey goat cheese, chutney and candied bacon.
Don't hold up The Daily Press—get it hot and ready for classic Reubens, turkey clubs and Cuban paninis.