It’s become nearly impossible to walk through any major city without seeing a food truck. The mobile food craze has grown tremendously in the past few years and shows no sign of stopping. Many food trucks, carts, and pods serve authentic international fare, bringing the world’s favorite street foods to hungry Americans. From Korean to Salvadoran to Filipino and everything in between, when it comes to food trucks, the more exotic the better.
Make your own Street Food: Suadero Tacos with Serrano-Cilantro Salsa
Here are 5 of the most unique ethnic food trucks I found:
1. Pho Wheels – Washington, DC: Okay, I partially chose this one because the name is hilarious, for realz, but also because they serve up modern Vietnamese cuisine like nobody’s business. Think tacos on Malaysian flatbread, bahn mi sandwiches with truffle aioli, Saigon eggrolls, and of course, pho, the beefy noodle soup for which the truck is named.
What I’d order: Two tacos with five-spice maple-glazed pork belly, pickled radishes, cilantro, and spicy mayo, plus a Vietnamese iced coffee to wash it all down.
2. El Olomega – NYC: Serving authentic Salvadoran street food since 1990, this Brooklyn’s Red Hook Ball Fields institution is a cult favorite for its mouthwatering pupusas. What is a pupusa, you ask? It’s a round, pancake-like tortilla made with maseca (corn flour) and stuffed with various types of meat, loroco flowers, sweet plantains, and cheese.
What I’d order: Since one of everything is not an option, I’d order a pupusa stuffed with chorizo and sweet plantains, one corn tamal, rice and beans, fresh plantain chips, and lots of sour cream.
3. Hey Joe! – Phoenix, AZ: Women can inspire their husbands to do crazy things, like open a Filipino food truck in Arizona. After Brian and his wife, Margita, got married in her hometown (Lapu-Lapu, Philippines), he instantly fell in love with the local cuisine and wanted to bring it home to the streets of Phoenix. After winning the city’s Best Food Truck award in 2012, I’d say the husband and wife team are doing something right!
What I’d order: I’m a sucker for a good steamed bun, or siopao, as they call it in the Philippines. I’d order one with local pork meatballs and another with chicken, sriracha aioli, and calamansi pickled onions. I’ll have to come back for their infamous pancit, a generous portion of rice stick noodles with chicken and vegetables. YUM.
4. Kogi – Los Angeles, CA: This iconic LA food truck brought fusion food to new heights when it introduced a Korean-Mexican hybrid cuisine to the Golden State. Six years and four trucks later, they’re still going strong, serving delectable Korean BBQ and tacos on the daily. Long live kimchi!
What I’d order: The kimchi quesadilla, one calamari taco, and a sriracha bar for dessert. Wait, what? According to their blog, “It’s a layer of crisped rice in dark chocolate, smooth sriracha ganache, liquid caramel and candied nuts spiced in cinnamon and cayenne before being enrobed in a thick cocoon of dark chocolate again.”
5. Chaat Shop – Austin, TX: Austin is known for its incredible food trucks, including this Indian-inspired gem. Chef Joshua Thomas has an impressive culinary résumé up his sleeve and a flair for bringing modern Indian cuisine to the streets of Austin. The truck specializes in “chaat”, the quintessential street food of India. Think tapas, but with more spice.
What I’d order: A “chaat box” with one samosa and idly fry, which the website describes as crispy lentil and rice cakes tossed in toasted coconut, and then served with coconut chutney and a spicy lentil broth. Add on an order of roti for dipping and I’m set.