19 Great Cities for Food Trucks

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KEEP ON TRUCKING

Food trucks have gone gourmet, sparking a deliciously affordable culinary nationwide trend. The trucks' lower expenses mean foodies can usually sample gourmet flavors with international influences for less than in a sit-down restaurant. But the foodies in these 19 cities are the luckiest, as they boast some of the most varied selections of gourmet food trucks found in our research.
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LOS ANGELES

Los Angeles' sprawl and ample population has made it a haven for gourmet food trucks, with many operators sending out multiple vehicles in the city and suburbs. The best reflect the city's diversity, with cuisine culled from various international influences, including the Korean burritos at Kogi BBQ ($7) or the carnitas fries at The Lime Truck ($8).
Track those trucks: Find LA Food Trucks

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SAN FRANCISCO

Like the city itself, San Francisco's food truck scene is centralized, thanks in large part to a program called Off the Grid that organizes daily roundups of a dozen-plus trucks throughout the Bay Area. Try from-scratch Japanese curries at JapaCurry ($9) or the warming New England clam chowder from Sam's Chowder Mobile ($5.25).
Track those trucks: Food Truck Maps

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PORTLAND, OREGON

Gourmet food trucks reach into this city's suburbs, but downtown, entire square blocks are reserved for truck "pods," allowing residents to stroll in search of the best. Don't miss out on the shawarma fries at Gonzo Falafel & Hummus ($8 for a half, $12 for a whole) or the Asian comfort food of Nong's Khao Man Gai (chicken and rice starts at $9).
Track those trucks: Food Carts Portland

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SEATTLE

Though it can't compete with Portland's organized scene, Seattle is home to a few of the nation's most acclaimed mobile meals, typically congregating in downtown parks and microbrewery parking lots. Highlights include the Hawaiian-Korean fusion of Marination Mobile ($3 for each taco or slider) and the Asian-Fusion Cuisine of The Box ($2.75 for bao, $5 for a chop-chop salad).
Track those trucks: Seattle Food Truck

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HONOLULU

Lunch wagons serving macaroni salad and fresh fish have long been a part of Honolulu's culinary landscape, but they've been joined by a more diverse selection of trucks. The ones around Waikiki include seafood from Gilligan's Beach Shack (shrimp or steak bite plates for $12) or Portuguese doughnuts from Leonard's Bakery Malasadamobile ($1.15 each).
Track those trucks: Roaming Hunger

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TAMPA, FLORIDA

Residents take pride in their booming truck scene -- Mayor Bob Buckhorn even organizes and attends a Mayor's Food Truck Fiesta. Among the most acclaimed sellers are the Asian fusion truck I Wanna Wok, ($9 for three tacos), or Tostones, serving flaky empanadas ($2) and sandwiches using plantains as the bread ($9).
Track those trucks: Tampa Bay Food Trucks

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ORLANDO, FLORIDA

Thanks to fair weather and hungry citizens, Orlando boasts the most food trucks by population of any major U.S. city. OverRice serves up Hawaiian and Filipino plates starting at $10, while the Treehouse Truck rolls out some dishes that must be tasted to be believed (the GC Luther, $12, is a bacon cheeseburger between two Krispy Kreme grilled cheese sandwiches).
Track those trucks: Roaming Hunger

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AUSTIN, TEXAS

With their independent spirit and experimental takes on traditional cuisines, Austin's food trucks are a major part of keeping the city weird. The cultural capital of Texas has more than 150 trucks, including La Barbecue with its hot dogs and sandwiches ($8 to $11) and barbecue (available by the pound) and authentic Peruvian at Ceviche7 (most dishes for just over $9).
Track those trucks: Food Truck Maps

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TWIN CITIES, MINNESOTA

Food trucks of all persuasions turn up in Minneapolis and St. Paul during the warmer months, offering cheap and quick sustenance at farmers markets and breweries. Find new American fare for less at Butcher Salt, known for grass-fed sliders ($10) and candied maple bacon ($5), or lunch grub at Sasquatch Sandwiches (all sandwiches are $10, including the signature short rib).
Track those trucks: Roaming Hunger

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WASHINGTON, D.C.

Tourists and political insiders alike enjoy the trucks downtown area offering regional specialties from across the nation and world. PhoWheels specializes in hearty noodle broth and other Vietnamese mainstays (main dishes starting at $9), while Halal Grill has Mediterranean food starting at $6.
Track those trucks: Food Truck Fiesta

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NEW YORK CITY

The truck trend just extends Manhattan's storied, multicultural street food history from the Moroccan of Comme Ci, Comme Ca (sandwiches, vegetarian fare, and a lemon chicken cous cous for $7) to the aptly named Old Traditional Polish Cuisine (pierogi starting at $8, combo plates for $10).
Track those trucks: Tweat.it

Related: 50 Free or Cheap Things to Do in New York City

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MIAMI

Miami only got its first food truck in 2010, but the scene has exploded. More than 100 trucks now serve up distinct foods such as the hearty South American specialties Che Milanesa, ($2.50 for empanadas, or breaded meat fillet sandwiches called milanesas as low as $9, with fries) or the Chinese taco truck Box of Chacos (most $10, including tacos of kimchi and burger and seared ahi tuna).
Track those trucks: Roaming Hunger

Related: The Best of Florida on a Budget

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ATLANTA

Southern, Mexican, and Asian cuisine intersect boldly in Atlanta's growing food truck scene, including at the three-acre Atlanta Food Truck Park, which hosts favorites such as the Yumbii taco truck (each for $3) and the Happy Belly, which focuses on healthy food ($9 for a chicken sandwich or beets over kale and quinoa).
Track those trucks: Roaming Hunger

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DENVER

More than 100 food trucks call Denver home. Mestizos Food Truck serves up some of the city's tastiest offerings of Mexican cuisine (a toasted burrito for less than $9, three specialty tacos for $10), sometimes crossing paths with Pavlo's Taste of Ukraine ($7 for a cabbage roll, $2 for steak fries).
Track those trucks: Roaming Hunger

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NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

Nashville is famous for barbecue as well as music. Some of the city's best is found at Smoke Et Al, notable for its brisket tacos ($8) and pork shoulder sliders ($6). More eclectic cuisine can be found at Asian fusion trucks such as Funk Seoul Brother (small poke bowls starting at $7).
Track those trucks: Roaming Hunger

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BOSTON

Thanks to the patronage of white-collar business workers and starving students alike, Boston has become New England's unquestioned hub for street food. Nosh on a Vietnamese sandwich of toasted baguette and pork pate ($7) at the Bon Me Truck or the healthy fast food of Clover Food Labs (with a shifting menu of sandwiches starting at $8).
Track those trucks: Feed Me Boston or Boston Food Truck Blog

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CLEVELAND

Cleveland's 40-plus trucks congregate either in Cleveland State's University Circle or downtown. Look for the Fired Up Taco Truck (tacos and empanadas are $8 for two) or the StrEat Mobile Bistro (mac and cheese for $7, "truck" potato chips topped with pulled pork or shredded chicken and toppings for $8).
Track those trucks: Roaming Hunger

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LAS VEGAS

Locals and tourists flock to the gourmet food truck boom in Las Vegas, craving favorites such as Fukuburger, known for its Japanese burgers (around $10) or Dragon Grille specializes in Asian Fusion (small rice bowls for $8, sriracha mac and cheese for $6).
Track those trucks: Roaming Hunger

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CHICAGO

Chicago may not have as many trucks as other cities, but it matches up in variety. Alongside trucks serving authentic Polish street foods döner kebabs are fresh concepts such as Piko Street Kitchen (with tacos, sliders, and bao starting at $3.25) and imported tastes such as the Cajun and Creole Boo Coo Roux (seafood gumbo for $5, a fried shrimp po'boy for $12).
Track those trucks: Chicago Food Truck Finder