Summer is here which means food truck season is in full swing. These trucks have become staples of life in major metro cities and offer a unique local taste that can’t be found elsewhere. They’re also an affordable and delicious option when traveling in big cities. And since we always encourage smart financial decisions, we of course think cost-conscious meals are a perk!
While it’s easy to envy the locals who get to eat these delicacies year round, you can at least make sure you try these food trucks during your yearly travels. From NYC to to LA and everywhere in between, we’ve used our friends and coworkers to crowdsource some favorites:
NYC | The Halal Guys
Halal trucks are a NYC staple. And while you can rarely go wrong grabbing a $5 lamb gyro from any random street meat station, The Halal Guys truck is worth searching for. With lines that have been known to wrap around the block, The Halal Guys is a lunch-time favorite for New Yorkers and visitors alike. The winning combination of texture and spice is sure to appease your taste buds, and it’s one of the few meals you can get in Manhattan for under $10.
Order this: Lamb and chicken over rice with white sauce and a splash of red sauce. Just remember to bring cash, as they don’t accept credit cards. To find the red and yellow Halal Guys carts, view their daily location schedule.
Another tip: if you’re a food truck fiend and traveling with a large group, head to Brooklyn and try out Smorgasburg, which features some of the best food in the city.
Boston | Cookie Monstah
Featured on the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations”, Boston’s Cookie Monstah isn’t your traditional food truck. Specializing in fresh-baked cookies and ice cream sandwiches, Cookie Monstah’s mobile sweet treats include homemade style cookies made from high quality ingredients like Callebaut chocolate, bourbon vanilla, and farm fresh butter. These delicious cookies are baked to soft, chewy perfection – just like Mom (or Dad, Grandma or Uncle John) makes.
Order this: The Shortcake (strawberry ice cream sandwiched between two fresh baked sugar cookies).
To find the baby blue Cookie Monstah trucks, view their daily location schedule. We recommend the pop-up location at the Greenway Carousel. It’s a staple for Boston travelers.
Chicago | Husky Hog BBQ
Chicago is well known for its hot dog and deep dish pizza joints, so it may come as a surprise to hear that the best food truck serves southern-style barbecue. But, the Chicago-based Husky Hog team consistently wins awards all over the U.S. for its killer barbecue recipes. With a menu including burnt ends, pulled pork, bacon baked beans and fried oreos, every BBQ lover will rejoice.
Order this: Loaded tots which are topped with mac ‘n cheese, bread crumbs, pulled pork, tangy barbecue sauce, and pickles. These babies are worth planning a trip to Chicago for.
To find the red, white, and blue Husky Hog BBQ truck, check them out on Twitter.
Austin | Cow Tipping Creamery
What could possibly be better on a sweltering Texas day than a sweet frozen treat? With a truck full of delicious cups, cones, shakes, and stackers (similar to sundaes), Cow Tipping Creamery has you covered. Unlike your typical soft serve truck, Cow Tipping Creamery boasts gourmet toppings including maple bacon crisps, toasted marshmallows, Ghirardelli chocolate sauce, saffron syrup, mango puree, and Frito Saltine toffee bark (just to name a few!).
Order this: Gimme S’more Stacker – a sundae stacked with creamy vanilla soft serve, warm and gooey toasted marshmallows, Ghirardelli chocolate chips, CTC buttery graham crumble, and dark chocolate sauce. Don’t worry, sharing isn’t required.
Pro tip: Craving a specific combination that’s not found on the menu? You can always customize your order.
To find the pretty blue Cow Tipping Creamery truck, check out their Facebook page for the most up-to-date location schedule.
Denver | Jessie’s Smokin’ NOLA
Not making it to New Orleans this year? No problem. You can still find authentic cajun food at Jessie’s Smokin’ NOLA food truck in Denver. Jessie’s seafood and sausage based dishes are sizzling with authentic flavor. Menu favorites include gumbo, catfish, shrimp oyster po’ boys and more. The seafood lovers in your group will be very pleased with your dining choice.
Order this: The Mardis Gras – a traditional New Orleans po’ boy with fried shrimp. Extra points if you wear beads to the food truck.
To find the black and purple Jessie’s Smokin’ NOLA food truck, view the daily location schedule.
Los Angeles | El Chato Taco Truck
Street taco trucks may be a dime a dozen in LA. But El Chato Taco Truck is definitely the leader of the pack. With scrumptious tacos for only $1 each (need we say more?) and an amazing homemade chipotle sauce that would put Sriracha to shame, El Chato Taco Truck is where the locals go to get their late night taco fix (they’re open until 3:30 am on weekends).
Order this: Carne asada tacos with lime.
Pro tip: They only accept cash, and they’re very popular with the locals. Wait times can be long but don’t give up – it’s worth it!
You’ll find El Chato’s Taco Truck at the corner of Olympic and La Brea.
Local eating is often the best part of traveling – especially if your town doesn’t have access to some of the unique food joints metropolitan cities have. So, take an afternoon or evening break from the tourist traps and try some local food trucks for an authentic (and often much less expensive) eating experience. Add these picks to your travel list this year. Bonus points if you can hit them all.
What are the best food trucks in your city? Tweet your favorite spots to @HavenLifeInsure with #FoodTruckEnvy and let us know. We’ll add it to the list.
P.S. Did you get a chance to reminisce with us on our favorite childhood toys and gadgets?