food truck trends
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If you want to start a crazy comfort food truck with an artistic flair, you’ve come to the right place. One thing you can usually count on with Portland trucks is great food that is likely also organic and sustainable. If that’s your thing you’ll be welcomed with open arms. Speaking of which, Portland is also one of the friendliest cities to register a food truck. They even offer rush service for a nominal fee if you’re eager to get started.
Another city that has expanded the food truck scene lately is Seattle. It’s no wonder that a city known for an outdoor market would be a great place to find food truck fare. Since new legislation was introduced in 2011, the process for starting a food truck business has been streamlined to encourage street vendors to set up shop. New food truck festivals pop up every year, including the recent Food Trucks For A Cause, which supports world hunger initiatives.
New York City
Despite having an extremely difficult permitting process (think taxi medallions), New York’s food trucks serve some of the best street food in the country and New Yorkers have embraced food trucks in recent years. These days nearly every cuisine is represented by NYC food trucks and you can sample the world on foot and without a reservation. It’s also one of the most popular cities for corporate food truck promotions.
This city was born to be a food truck hotspot. With a great music and art scene, good climate and an appreciation for both good barbecue and fine dining, the stars aligned for gourmet food trucks. SXSW is one of the best ways for new trucks to introduce themselves to the scene and many startup food trucks in the city rush to get up and running in time for their music festival debut.
Where it all began. Not only did the City of Angels invent the gourmet food truck trend, it’s also home to more food trucks than any other city in America. Some of the most well-known food truck brands started here, including Kogi, Baby’s Badass Burgers and the Lobsta Truck. Even though there are a lot of trucks already on the streets there is a lot of love for street food in LA. Summer festivals like Abbot Kinney’s First Friday’s and Street Food Cinema attract record crowds. It’s even possible to lease a truck and get your own business started in a matter of weeks.
There were quite a few great corporate food truck promos in the summer of 2014 but there was one clear winner, in our humble opinion. Shutterstock Premier went all out with their #brilliantbites campaign, giving out tons of cool swag, including: notebooks, usbs, decals, magnets, and so much more, in addition to serving an array of authentic Los Angeles style street tacos.
The two week campaign was a clear winner, with a well-planned route targeting production companies large and small to introduce their new high-end video library. The tacos were simple but delicious and guests regularly came back for seconds and thirds, allowing extra time for socializing with the dynamic brand ambassadors from Shutterstock.
The campaign was tied-in to social media with the #brilliantbites hashtag, allowing anyone who posted an opportunity to win a GoPro.
The truck was provided and run by industry leader, Roadstoves.
Well done to everyone involved.
With summer coming to an end, we can finally let those beach bodies go and indulge our cravings for sweet treats once again! While there are many dessert options to choose from in Los Angeles, few are mobile. Here are our top five dessert trucks that you can find driving your way.
In the city where Sprinkles began, and many cupcake bakeries have followed in its footsteps, surprisingly, not too many bakers have taken their cupcakes on the road. However, two health-conscious sisters dominate the streets of LA with their signature miniature cupcakes in Sugar Babies Cupcake Truck. Kassandra Workman and Rachel Crystal began baking small cupcakes because they thought regular-sized cupcakes were too excessive. With their mini cupcakes, their customers can enjoy more flavors without the extra calories! The best part about Sugar Babies is that they don’t just sell cupcakes – you can also find mini cheesecakes, cake pops, and cookies at this LA dessert truck.
If you want a beignet, but don’t think you can make it to New Orleans anytime soon, then head over to the Beignet Truck! After years of crafting and perfecting an original recipe, the Beignet Truck is serving made to order beignets with dipping sauces and coffee. To keep the experience of these beignets authentic, the ingredients and coffee are imported directly from New Orleans. This dessert truck isn’t just serving desserts – with its lively staff, the Beignet Truck is also dishing up a New Orleans ambiance to its customers!
B Sweet Mobile is the dessert truck that can do it all! Owner Barb Batiste serves everything from cookies and cupcakes to parfaits and pies in her two B Sweet trucks: Lil’ Angel and Lil’ Devil. While this modern day Betty Crocker serves nearly every dessert desired, Barb Batiste specializes in making her famous bread pudding. With flavors like glazed donut, apple pie, cookies and cream, and fudge brownie, B Sweet’s bread pudding is so deliciously famed that they can now be purchased at select Target stores across the country!
When you see “Belgian Waffle” on the menu of a dining establishment, you’re typically being served a Brussels waffle. At Waffles de Liege, however, you’ll be served the other Belgian waffle, that is, Liege waffles! Made with different ingredients, equipment, and preparation techniques, the Liege waffle is a richer, denser, sweeter waffle and is caramelized on the outside due to the pearl sugar it requires. Patrons can order a traditional Liege waffle with powdered sugar, or add various toppings like spreads, syrups, nuts, fruit, and ice cream!
If you’re looking to add some innovation to your dessert, be sure to seek out Coolhaus! Co-owners Natasha Case and Freya Estrella combined their passions for food and architecture by creating ice cream sandwiches and naming them after architects and architectural movements that inspire them. Coolhaus pushes boundaries of traditional desserts by combining unique sweet and savory ingredients. Unusual ice cream flavors to choose from include: fried chicken and waffles, gin and tonic, and Cuban cigar. If you want to take your taste buds on a thrill ride of delicious confusion, Coolhaus is your destination!
Have a better idea for a dessert truck? Contact our partner, Roadstoves, for help getting started.
While we don’t know exactly which country invented the concept of a mobile food cart or truck, we can definitely agree that the modern gourmet food truck was an American invention! America’s best food trucks are the unusual and crazy ones that make themselves a monument of the town they serve in. It’s Independence Day on Friday and what better time than the week of America’s birthday to celebrate the top 10 most interesting food trucks that makes the U.S. the leading nation of this culinary phenomenon.
Established in 1920, the Good Humor Ice Cream Truck drove its way through suburban America and street food history. Equipped with the world’s first ice cream bar on a stick and original all white uniforms, Good Humor Ice Cream Trucks are still ringing their signature bell that makes everyone scream for ice cream.
A food truck dressed as a quaint purple dream home, Nu Natural Beauty brings natural skincare, bath, and beauty products on the road in Orlando, Florida. The first of its kind, the products this darling, dollhouse-looking mobile boutique sell are handmade, but not at the expense of the customers wallet.
8. Fashion Trucks
They may not serve food, but the innovation of the fashion truck landed them on our list! In particular, Blvd Love, one of Los Angeles’ earliest fashion trucks, converted an old short bus into a fully functioning mobile boutique. While this fashion truck has since retired, others have followed in its footsteps, sparking America’s newest shopping trend.
Tied for seventh place are two inimitable pizza serving food trucks. Pizzetta caters organic, vegan, and/or gluten free pizza to parties of 30-300 in an eco-friendly refurbished fire truck. Outfitted with a photo booth, a sound system, a TV to watch the chef cook, water canons for a hot day, on-board beer taps, and much more, Pizzetta is the ultimate party food truck of Southern California.
While Pizzetta’s modern features are distinctly unique, the Pizza Trolley’s charming authenticity couldn’t be forgotten on this list. Reminiscent of San Francisco’s old-world transportation, the Pizza Trolley in Florida dishes up a wide assortment of pizza, from the classic Margherita to the unusual Nutella and Mascarpone dessert pizza.
This food truck isn’t so much a truck as it is a snow mobile! The one-of-a-kind Roving Mammoth is a snow cat that delivers hand warmers you can eat to the slopes of Mammoth Mountain in California. Parked in a different location everyday, skiers can conveniently purchase burritos and calzones without having to go all the way to the lodge.
Maximus Minimus is an attention-grabbing pig-shaped food truck in Seattle, Washington. With an assortment of sandwiches, two signature sauces (Maximus and Minimus), slaw, and Seattle’s famous Beecher’s mac ‘n’ cheese, this pig is serving up plenty of good eats for the rainy city. Some pig, indeed!
A food truck that’s out of this world, the Space Shuttle Café of Santa Barbara, California is a novelty that holds a lot of history. This food truck wasn’t originally a truck at all, but instead a 1944 Douglas DC-3 airliner that was used during WWII. Equipped with a full-service kitchen, this spacecraft is ready to serve astronauts and space fans alike with their favorite meal.
Another pioneering spin on the food truck that we love is the gaming truck. A 28ft trailer renovated to be the supreme video game hauler with consoles hooked up to eight 47” TVs and all of the best games, Chicago’s Windy City Game Theater Truck is every gamer’s dream.
2. Angry Friar
Originally a 1961 London Transport Routemaster, The Angry Friar dishes up a little bit of London for all of Denton, Texas in this mobile restaurant food truck, where the kitchen is on the bottom and seating is on the top. With images of the Beatles on Abbey Road and serving fish and chips, this double-decker bus brings British street food and culture to America.
Our number one choice for the most interesting food truck in America is this tractor-trailer-food truck hybrid that can eat other food trucks for breakfast, lunch, dinner … and also the occasional late night snack. Within the walls of this Transformers-looking mobile kitchen contains a full-size professional refrigerator, oven, and space for storage and extra staff. This Los Angeles food truck is truly a chef’s dream kitchen on wheels.
Have your own unique food truck concept that you want to make happen? Send us a note and we will try and help!
Update: Originally number nine was Lora’s Lasagna House, but we were informed that it had been transformed into Nu Natural Beauty.
President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry have announced their support for the U.S. Food Truck Industry at Expo Milan 2015, an international food exposition. 98 Countries so far are participating, and the U.S. has committed to creating a “Food Truck Nation” expo showcasing this new wave of homegrown creativity.
“Our program will showcase the uniquely American food truck experience taking hold across the United States as a representation of American diversity, innovation and entrepreneurship,” say the Friends of the U.S. Pavilion Milano 2015 (the Non-Profit charged with funding the project).
“Food truck experiences in the U.S. will lead up to Expo Milano, where ‘trucks’ will operate at the USA Pavilion and in the streets of Milan.”
The food trucks will be on equal footing with the U.S. pavilion’s other dining facility, the James Beard American Restaurant. This operation will be a “100-seat restaurant that will showcase top American culinary talent, beverages and other products, as well as a burger bar and beverage program to give Expo Milano visitor and VIPs a true taste of American Food 2.0.”
Pretty impressive for a food truck to be considered one of LA’s best restaurants. Congrats, Kogi BBQ
We are so excited to see this much anticipated food truck movie. Congrats to Roy Choi for teaching filmmaker Jon Favreau how food trucks are done! #authentic
“Jon Favreau’s wonderfully entertaining return to independent filmmaking works beautifully as our 2014 opening-night film, with his sharp and funny take on the world of food, artistry, and family in the age of social media,” said head of SXSW Film, Janet Pierson.