Food trucks are everywhere these days, and each mobile eatery that pops up seems to generate a devoted following among local foodies. Here are some of our coast-to-coast favorites.
Bon Me Truck
The Menu: Named as one of the healthiest food trucks in America by Shape, this Beantown eatery specializes in Southeast Asian favorites like rice bowls, Thai ginger lemonade and sandwiches featuring spice rubbed chicken and Chinese BBQ pork. But to date, Bon Me’s most popular dish has been the soba noodle salad, topped with tofu, shitake mushrooms and house-made sesame dressing.
Critical Praise: “The long line snaking back from this cheerful yellow truck is a testament to its delicious, veggie-packed Vietnamese menu” – Time Out Boston
The Menu: Co-owners Carrie Summer and Lisa Carlson are committed to helping local farmers and food producers. As a result, every entry on the menu is sourced from nearby farms or co-ops. These include grass-fed beef tongue tacos, heirloom tomato and watermelon gezpacho and – the most popular selection – Indian-spiced organic mini-doughnuts.
Critical Praise: “For the past three years, the Chef Shack food truck has served marketgoers in the Twin Cities its creative, delicious fare” – Saveur
City: Los Angeles
The Menu: Voted the “Best Food Truck in the United States” by Smithsonian Magazine, Kogi offers a mash-up of Mexican and Korean cuisine. Tacos and burritos made with chicken, spicy pork, beef short ribs, calamari or tofu are available for $6 or less, while pricier favorites include the Blackjack Quesadilla, Pacman Burger and Sweet Chili Chicken Quesadilla.
Critical Praise: “A savory mash-up of hot and cold, sweet and salty, and rich and spicy that works even if you aren’t a little on the drunk side” – GQ
The Menu: Mmmpanadas offers a range of variations on the classic Mexican pastry. Savory offerings include green chili chicken, asparagus prosciutto and soy chorizo with Brie, while sweet versions made from pineapple, mango ginger, and peach cobbler are also available. And not only does the truck operate seven days a week, but the owners also offer catered deliveries to local residents.
Critical Praise: “This little red truck lives up to the “Mmm” in its name and offers a wide selection of warm, flaky empanadas wrapped up in wax paper. At only $3.25 a pie, you can’t beat one of these for a delicious snack” –Texas Monthly
Red Hook Lobster Pound
Cities: New York and Washington, D.C.
The Menu: In 2010, Red Hook Lobster Pound – a highly respected seafood restaurant in Brooklyn – unveiled Big Red, a mobile eatery that has been touted as the best food truck in the city. The menu features clam chowder, lobster mac and cheese and other offerings made from fresh New England seafood. The operation was so popular that two more trucks have opened for business in the nation’s capital.
Critical Praise: “One thing was immediately clear, they didn’t skimp on lobster. This sucker was packed with lobster meat. In fact, the roll was so full that it was a little tricky to pick up at first” – New York Street Food
The Menu: Voted the “#1 Food Truck in the U.S.” by Bloomberg Businessweek, Streetza offers a slew of signature pies (such as pumpkin, s’mores and crab legs) to go along with their more traditional selections. Streetza also wins points for expediency; the kitchen staff regularly serves hundreds of slices within a matter of minutes.
Critical Praise: “Streetza uses locally grown produce on their pies and makes good use of Wisconsin’s famous mozzarella cheese. The pizza is baked onsite in a specially-designed 650-degree oven and Streetza prides itself on its custom crust” – Relish.com
Where Ya At Matt
The Menu: Chef Matthew Lewis, a New Orleans native, dishes up Cajun comfort food to his fellow Seattleites. His menu features all the usual suspects – jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and rice, and sweet potato pie. WYAM also offers nine different varieties of po’ boy – including catfish, smoked portabella and big bold Creole pork – all smeared with his house-made aioli spread.
Critical Praise: “Yeah, you might have to get a little rained on, but that just makes the food taste even better” – Seattle Magazine
By Brad Nehring