Competition | February 2011 | By Daniel P. Smith

America’s Top 20 Food Trucks

Page 4
Food trucks serve city streets from coast to coast.
image used with permission.

Solar Waffle Works

Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Serving: Waffles
[Too cool for the Web]

Solar Waffle Works arrives from the minds of Portland high school students, who handled market research, truck design, marketing, and health department certification. Also a non-profit program created to help at-risk students transition into post-high school life, the solar-powered food truck serves some of Portland’s most creative fare, including an appetizing maple bacon waffle (five strips of apple-smoked bacon on top of a maple butter spread). Solar Waffle Works sources most of its food from within a 200-mile radius and even offers vegan-friendly options.

Rickshaw Dumpling Truck

Hometown: New York City
Serving: Dumplings
www.rickshawdumplings.com

A three-truck fleet, Rickshaw has regular customers who rejoice when “Dumpling Day” parks in their slice of the Big Apple. Looking to expand his restaurant’s brand, Rickshaw Dumpling Bar owner Kenny Lao turned to mobile units to share the popular, centuries-old street food, including healthy options like chicken and Thai basil dumplings, vegetarian edamame dumplings, and Peking duck dumplings.

Crepes Bonaparte

Hometown: Orange County, California
Serving: Crêpes
www.crepesbonaparte.com

Crepes Bonparte’s mustachioed truck (“Gaston”) features custom-made crêpe griddles where customers can view their crêpes’ creation by a beret-wearing chef while listening to French pop music. Signature crêpes include the PCH (peanut butter, Nutella, and honey), which tastes like a warm Reese’s peanut butter cup, and the Wake-Me-Up Breakfast crêpe, which features fresh-cracked eggs, mozzarella, and pesto.

Honorable Mention

The Munchie Machine

www.themunchiemachine.com

The L.A.-based Munchie Machine earned a loyal following for its gourmet grilled sandwiches, hand-cut parmesan pesto fries, and delectable Scooby Snack, a peanut butter-and-jelly s’mores sandwich.

Truckin’ Good Food

www.truckingoodfood.com

Jeffrey Kraus opened Truckin’ Good Food in Phoenix to deliver French dishes with hearty Midwestern flair, including pommes frites (double-fried potatoes in duck fat) and sweet crêpes.

Sweetflow Mobile

www.sweetgreen.com

A spawn of Washington, D.C.’s popular Sweetgreen eatery, the Sweetflow Mobile serves organic frozen yogurt with seasonal toppings as well as salads and wraps consistent with its healthy lifestyle branding.

Buns on Wheels

www.bunsonwheels.com

This Seattle food truck offers customers convenience—outdoor seating,
rain protection, and a patio heat lamp—alongside natural, clean burgers.

Joe’s on the Nose

www.joesonthenose.com

A San Diego “drink truck,” Joe’s features artisan espresso, coffee, and tea drinks, as well as various organic hot chocolates and blended drinks.

Big-Ass Sandwiches

www.bigasssandwiches.com

A Portland favorite, Big-Ass serves its robust, homemade sandwiches with fries on the sandwich, thereby creating Big Ass–specific flavors and combinations diners crave.

King of Pops

www.kingofpops.net

Steven Carse mans this Atlanta food cart that serves handmade gourmet popsicles, such as pumpkin pie, blackberry lemonade, and grapefruit mint.

Daniel P. Smith will be covering the fall of the pizza industry in the next issue of QSR.

Pages

Comments

Portland is the food truck/cart capital of the free world. All 20 of your choices could have come from here!

How is Kogi BBQ not on here?

they are not actually that good....since Kogi was the grandfather of all gourmet food trucks there menu lacks in improvement. all the other trucks that have come after them have had a chance to improve on the quality of their food. take Dos Chinos for example. dos chinos is also a latin asian food truck and their food is wayyyyyy better. try them out sometime and you will see what i mean. http://doschinos.com

Where is Grill 'Em All?????? Hands down the best food truck in the country!

There are hundreds of great gourmet food trucks. QSR limited themselves to 20, I'm sure they are aware that there are many more great choices!http://www.foodtrucktalk.com

Not sure why In-N-Out didn't make your list. Not only do they have the best Burgers in the country - but they practially invented the idea of a real restaurant operating a CLEAN and high QUALITY Food truck!!

okay in n out is good, but they are simple. if you want to increase the IQ of your taste pallet you can't use in-n-out as a baseline. I will admit that in-n-out is extremely successful and delicious, but you will never get a real thick juicy burger from them

Congrats to the Munchie Machine! I love this truck.

Where's the BV Nomad on this list??

Giovanni's Shrimp Truck on Oahu is LEGENDARY and has developed a passionate cult following. One of it's unique features is the fact that guests are invited to graffiti their names and any message they may have on the side of the truck. This tradition goes back for years. Giovanni's definitely deserves a mention on this list!!

Big ups to Dim Sum-a-gogo, holding the 305 hard with killa Asian fare. Miami, FL is on the food truck map! Believe it!

Where is grill em all....and nom nom is a joke their food is not even worth it.

you can get a better Banh Mi in Alhambra, CA that is 100x better than Nom Nom

Your Los Angeles picks are a joke... Nom Nom really? Do you even know who won the great food truck race? GrillEmAllTruck!!! all the way. Sorry Nom Nom but you serve an overpriced Banh mi that doesn't compare to the 2.50 one I can get at Banh mi & Che Cali.But really how can grill em all not be on this list. I frequent all these food trucks and hands down your los Angeles choices should have included kogi BBQ and the great grill em all! Btw did I mention grill em all!!!!!

Your Los Angeles picks are a joke... Nom Nom really? Do you even know who won the great food truck race? GrillEmAllTruck!!! all the way. Sorry Nom Nom but you serve an overpriced Banh mi that doesn't compare to the 2.50 one I can get at Banh mi & Che Cali.But really how can grill em all not be on this list. I frequent all these food trucks and hands down your los Angeles choices should have included kogi BBQ and the great grill em all! Btw did I mention grill em all!!!!!

what is with everyone and kogi? they are NOT THAT GOOD, try a better truck like dos chinos or something.

Two of the BEST are missing from the OC/LA regional picks. Nom Nom is overpriced and gross half the time (un-reliable!)

LOVE you guys! and I cannot WAIT for the ethiopian truck - lamb tibs!

The judges sure didn't come to Hawaii. The Kahuku Shrimp trucks; Gee a Deli, and nearly every beach park has a truck worthy of entry.

Thanks for the suggestions, I am definitely going to try them when i make it out there

Where are the Chicago food trucks? Gaztro-Wagon and the new Southern Mac truck are just a few of the great ones rolling around the windy city!

The Justice League of Street Food may have to serve you a big helping of pain.

What about Florida. You Forgot about the Nosh Truck

What about Florida. You Forgot about the Nosh Truck

What about Florida. You Forgot about the Nosh Truck

Some of the trucks listed are definitely worthy. Others to me are fully second rate to what is available. I mean Lake Street Creamery and Chunk-n-Chip are far superior to Coolhaus in LA. Lake Street makes their own ice cream right on the truck. Chunk-n-Chip makes their own cookies and serve them warm.And many valid points in the comments. With the ridiculous number of food trucks out there I don't think you can make this list without having a popular vote. You left off Chef Ludo too!

that one is tough though...i am a huge fan of chunk-n-chip, but coolhaus is also awesome as well.

Name the five best quarterbacks of all time. The ten greatest composers. The five best presidents. Etc. All lists are subjective. What does "best" mean? While I might not personally agree with some selections and want to see some of my own personal favorites get their just due, I look thru the comments and think this story did exactly what it was supposed to. It got people talking. People are tossing out trucks I've never heard of, but will be sure to look for in my travels. And it also highlighted the momentum of trucks in the restaurant industry, which is pretty interesting. We'll all wonder how X, Y, or Z were left off, but lists always open up debate. Frankly, I like the diversity of this list (hello, there is a food truck culture outside of NYC and LA), the fact that there are so many different concepts and food types represented, and how it seems that the entirety of the experience was valued (consider Food Shark's dining car--don't know if that makes it better than others, but certainly something unique and a value added).

like in garden grove, ca. or when people follow a postal truck delivering packages and then steal them from dootstop? or home invasion robberies at christmas? this is happening all the time in so. calif, which makes this the garbage pit of humanity in america? which includes a greedy, inept governor?

I think a lot is just marketing! but be warned, HUGE CORPORATIONS like ARAMARK and SYDEXO are jumping in the Food truck game. They hate small great trucks taking away from their profit margins, they control tons of corporate and university clientele for food service. i bet they'll have a say in stricter parking regulation too, be careful with your votes.

Do you really feel that Syria spying on dissidents?

The Gourmelt food truck (the BEST grilled cheese sandwiches!) in Reno serves the best versions of grilled cheese sandwiches that I have ever had!

Now days, food trucks are becoming more popular than multi-star restaurants because of its different food dish or services. These all above mentioned are best of Americas food trucks which offers best food and services to people. I think it can be the best place for food to street food lovers. I also like to eat from food trucks.

Now days, Food Trucks are becoming more and more popular than big restaurants because of its different food dishes and services. Above mentioned Food Trucks are very popular in America. They offers best services as well as best food to people. I also like to eat from Food Trucks or small shop of street.

Now days, Food Trucks are becoming more and more popular than big restaurants because of its different food dishes and services. Above mentioned Food Trucks are very popular in America. There are also other Food Tracks available which also provide best food services to people. I also like to eat from Food Trucks or small shop of street.

you forgot the busiest truck in OC.....Burger Monster. Seriously their lines are the longest at every lot i see them at. check them out for yourself http://www.burgermonster.net

El Guapo in Detroit

Hey, check out this exciting new brand that just launched in the Miami Market called HipPOPs handcrafted gelato bars ( www.HipPOPs.com and www.Facebook.com/HipPOPsTruck ). Quickly becoming a local favorite. Searching for the right group to expand the brand.

Pages

Add new comment