Enjoying a meal at a restaurant with real silverware is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but sometimes you just want to chow down at a food truck with your food served on a paper plate. Fortunately, Austin is flush with food trucks — and food trailers — that don’t disappoint when it comes to casual and convenient al fresco dining.
Whether you have a hankering for breakfast tacos, fried chicken, Thai curry, Texas BBQ, or something altogether different, Austin food trucks are ready to serve you. Consider this your starting list of the best food trucks in Austin.
Why choose one food truck when you can have ’em all? (Or at least a bunch.) The Picnic is a food truck park on Barton Springs Road where you can try a variety of food trucks at once. There’s Hey Cupcake, Coat & Thai, Four Brothers Venezuelan Food, and a few others. But one you probably don’t want to miss is the Mighty Cone. This Insta-famous spot is where you can get chicken, shrimp, or avocado “deep sautéed” (aka “fried”) in a savory, crunchy crust that’s then served in a tortilla cone.
Luke’s Inside Out
Located on South Lamar next to Gibson Bar, Luke’s Inside Out food trailer offers French-style sammies and apps for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. The Pressed Pig (jerk pork with Swiss cheese and pickles), The Cow (brisket banh mi), and The Vegetable (falafel, mozzarella, spinach) are just a few of the creative sandwiches you’ll find on the menu.
For a taste of authentic Northeastern Thai street food, Dee Dee food trailer is where it’s at. A perennial favorite among magazine and online “best of” lists, this popular food truck offers plenty of pork-centric dishes like the stir-fried pad kaprow (sautéed in a homemade chili paste), slow-roasted laab moo, and moo ping skewers. The Sunday BBQ rotisserie chicken is another popular option that often sells out. As for meat-free eaters, you can always try the tofu stir-fry with veggies.
Veracruz All Natural
With five trucks around the city — East Austin, South Austin, North Austin, Mueller, and Round Rock — Veracruz All Natural is an Austinite go-to for tacos (the migas tacos are especially popular), quesadillas, tortas, and other Mexican standards. Almost as popular as the food itself is the selection of freshly made smoothies, natural fruit juices, and refreshing agua frescas.
There’s no denying that Austin is a taco town, but don’t underestimate the power of the burrito. Especially one from Super Burrito. Whether you want your wrap loaded with carne asada and queso, veggies and mushrooms, or calamari and potatoes(!), you’re sure to get your fill with these savory creations that will probably keep you full all day.
Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ
This food trailer merges the best of two Texas traditions — Tex-Mex and BBQ — to create one can’t-miss eating experience. Along with the carefully sourced meats (think grass-fed natural Angus beef for the brisket and Berkridge Berkshire pork for the carnitas), Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ brings authentic Mexican touches. Expect homemade flour tortillas with your tacos and fresh salsas featuring avocado, tomatoes, onion, lime, and cilantro.
When those (meatless) midnight munchies hit, forget the drive-thru. Instead, do yourself (and the animals) a favor and head over to one of Arlo‘s Curbside food trucks. With three locations that are open until 2 a.m. — The Grackle, Cheer Up Charlie’s, and Spider House — you can load up on plant-based comfort favorites like the Bac’N Cheezeburger, vegan tacos, mac ‘n’ cheese, and tater tots.
The Vegan Nom
Another plant-based option for hungry Austinites, the Vegan Nom food truck offers tasty twists on tacos and other Mex-inspired eats for breakfast, brunch, and dinner. There’s a truck on Cesar Chavez (which offers a late-night menu) and another outpost on E. 7th. Try the Birdie Sanders with buffalo “chicken,” the Del Rey with breaded lemon-pepper “fish,” or the breakfast nachos loaded with queso, black beans, tofu scramble, jalapeños, and pico de gallo. Whatever you decide, these eco-friendly eats will make you feel good in more ways than one.
The Peached Tortilla
With a name like the Peached Tortilla, you might think this is a strictly Mexican food truck. But in-the-know Austinites head to this spot for Southern (and south-of-the-border) comfort food with an Asian twist — think kimchi queso, chicken pad thai tacos, and a Japajam burger with tempura onion strings and Chinese BBQ sauce. While the PT’s popularity has led to a brick-and-mortar eatery on Burnet Road, the restaurant’s food trucks roam around Austin for lunch, events, and festivals.
Like many other popular Austin food trucks, Garbo‘s has a brick-and-mortar operation as well as a food truck. (In this case, two food trucks.) Either way, you’ll get your fresh-from-Maine seafood fix in no time. The menu is short and simple, with a choice between the Maine-style or Connecticut-style lobster roll (both made with Maine lobster and served with Cape Cod potato chips, naturally). Or you can try the lobster Cobb salad, burger, or spicy crab roll, made with Maine crab, smoked gouda, and spicy mayo.
For tasty Mediterranean eats, head to the Kebabilicious food trailer on 3rd and Congress Ave. Choose your spice level and kebab size, then go to town picking your protein — beef and lamb, chicken, falafel — for your pita sandwich before adding extras like veggies, meat, sauces, and fries. Don’t forget the baklava for a sweet finish.
With a tagline that reads, “Bet you’ve never had churros like this before,” the Churro Co is all-in when it comes to this fried pastry favorite. While the traditional version of this Mexican street dessert features nothing more than cinnamon and sugar, here you’ll find an array of over-the-top toppings: apple pie and salted caramel (Texas Comfort), chocolate caramel sauce with chocolate crunch flakes (Double Trouble), and graham cracker sugar with Mexican chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and toasted marshmallows (Campfire).
East Side King
What do you get when you combine Japanese street food with a creative Austin twist? You get the Asian-Austin fusion that is East Side King. Each of the three food trucks (South Lamar, Liberty, Cedar Park) offer their own vibe and setting, but they all have one thing in common: unique eats that will surprise your palate. The menu is meat-centric with options like pork belly buns, deep-fried chicken thighs, and tempura fried shrimp meshi (Japanese rice). But plant-eaters shouldn’t despair. There are a number of vegan and gluten-free options as well.
It’s Time to Get on the Road and Fill Up
From Tex-Mex and BBQ to Asian fusion and plant-based comfort food, the ATX food truck scene is alive and well. Of course, there’s no way a single list could capture all the worthwhile options out there. But when it comes to finding the best food trucks in Austin, the bottom line is that you just have to get out, explore the city, and give them a try.
What are some of your favorite food trailers and trucks in the city? Did your top picks make it on the ATX Guides list? Let us know what you think!