Food trucks are the latest food rage. Meals on wheels are not replacing stationary restaurants but they do serve a purpose – they offer a wide range of cuisines at affordable prices to customers on the go. Street food can be delicious and it is a great venue for entrepreneurs.
Who knew that food trucks are also controversial! Cities like Austin, TX and Portland, OR love food trucks. Portland feels that the food trucks promote an interest in food and eating that in turn helps existing restaurants. Some say that the food trucks promote safety in neighborhoods and on the streets.
In other cities like Nashville and Atlanta it is felt that the food trucks unfairly compete with existing restaurants. Their popularity, however, is forcing these cities to take them seriously and make accommodations, like food truck zones.
Want to find food trucks in your area or where you’re traveling? There are many ways you can do that.
There are food truck websites for specific areas, so Google Food Trucks in …(fill in your city)’ and you’ll see if your area is covered. For example, for Los Angeles there is www.findlafoodtrucks.com.
Washington, D.C. has Food Truck Fiesta, an app for both the iPhone and Android. It is based on the blog of the same name.
There are also nationwide apps to help you find food trucks in any area. Eat St. is a Food Network show about mobile cuisine in America. There is an app from this show, also called Eat St. For this app food truck owners update their own locations, menus, hours and profiles. New food trucks can be added by users but need to be verified by the specific food trucks in question.
The Eat Street app is for both the iPhone and Android and is free.
Roaming Hunger is a free iPhone app as well as a blog that covers food truck news and events. It was based in LA but now covers a much larger area and many major cities.
There is a TruxMap Lite Food Map App based on the US Food Truck Map website. It is for the iPhone and is free.
Should you want to read up on the subject, The Truck Food Cookbook by John T. Edge was just published in May, 2012. This is a cookbook, a travelogue and a food adventure. There are 150 recipes from his favorite food trucks around the country.
Check out this recent NY Times article about the first American cuisine food truck in Paris and what a huge hit it is!
Don’t forget your first food truck experience, the ice cream truck. Mr. Softee’s story.