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Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Guide to Chicago's food trucks

Track Chicago's food trucks with our guide to all the trucks, where they park, what they serve and more

Written by
Elizabeth Atkinson
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Chicago has 60+ food trucks, a number that's rapidly growing, thanks to rules getting a bit easier for food truck vendors—though there's still a long way to go before Chicago matches food truck meccas like Los Angeles or Austin.

To find your lunch today, here's a complete guide to all of them, plus where they park, what they serve and how to monitor their movements (Twitter, of course). From Jamaican restaurant trucks to lobster rolls, here's the ultimate list of all Chicago food trucks. 

Caponies Express

Caponies serves Italian favorites like arancini and panzerotti, plus cannolis for dessert.

Where: Find them at Adams and Wacker, 600 W Chicago or University of Chicago.

Twitter: @CaponiesExp

Grab a slice of 'za topped with meatballs or your favorite veggies, fold it in half and chow down. If you prefer your pizza in the morning, stop by for a breakfast pizza covered in eggs and sausage or bacon.

Where: Find the truck regularly at Wacker and Adams and NBC Tower.

Twitter: @dapizzadude1

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Build your own tacos, arepas, bowls or burritos by choosing fillings like braised pork, black beans and grilled steak. Finish it off with various salsas and avocado.

Where: Find them at the University of Chicago, Clark and Monroe, Adams and Wacker and Franklin and Randolph throughout the week.

Twitter: @CocinitaChicago

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The first licensed food truck in the city, the Salsa Truck likes to hang out at 116 W Aberdeen, or the Garage, its brick-and-mortar location, where staff serve tacos with housemade salsas and other rotating menus, like fast-food recreations. The Garage also hosts other food trucks, including Happy Lobster and Doner Men.

Where: Besides the Garage, the truck can also be found at the NBC Tower and 600 W Chicago.

Twitter: @THESALSATRUCK

Cheesie's Truck

If you're craving comfort food for lunch, head to Cheesie's Truck for thick Texas toast sandwiches stuffed with different combinations, like caprese with pesto mayo.

Where: You can often find it at Adams and Wacker and Jackson and Wabash, but the truck also travels out of the Loop sometimes.

Twitter: @Cheesies_Truck

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Da Lobsta is best known for lobster rolls, but it also serves crab and shrimp dishes, plus lobster mac and cheese. 

Where: The regular hangouts are Rush and Illinois and the University of Chicago.

Twitter: @DaLobstaChicago

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The DonerMen peddle doner, the traditional Turkish and German street food of meat shaved off a cone, a treat that isn't super easy to find in Chicago. It comes tucked in pita with a variety of sauces. They also offer currywurst, sausage with tomatoey curry sauce.

Where: Find them at Clark and Monroe, the University of Chicago and 600 W Chicago.

Twitter:  

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For a big ol' steak sandwich, head to Gino's. The menu includes a variety of steak sandwiches, and one for the vegetarians. The fries come topped with cheese and steak or chicken.

Where: Find it at Adams and Wacker and Illinois and Rush.

Twitter: @GinosSteaks

Chicago Cupcake's red truck dishes out mini and full-sized cupcakes, like the crème brulée cupcake.

Where: The truck hits up a variety of locations each day, but its usual hangouts are Adams and Wacker, Jackson and Wabash and Van Buren and Wabash.

Twitter: @chicago_cupcake

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Outside of big chains, ice cream is pretty scarce in the Loop. Now, there's Crave Bar, which serves messy chocolate pretzel ice cream bars, kind of like a big Klondike bar on a pretzel stick.

Where: The truck doesn't head out often, but when it does it tends to hang out at Michigan and Monroe.

Twitter: @TheCraveBar

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Cupcakes for Courage

Born out of a dream while fighting cancer, Kathryn Pekarik, who is now in remission, and her sister Laura, made cupcakes with a purpose a reality. They donate 10 percent of the proceeds to two organizations that fund cancer research and help people with cancer. 

Where: The truck frequents Madison and Wacker and Lasalle and Adams.

Twitter: @courageouscakes

Doughnut Vault

The Vault Van is on the road dishing out old-fashioned doughnuts seven days a week. With flavors like pistachio and lemon poppyseed on offer, get there early, before they sell out.

Where: Find the van regularly on Southport, at Lasalle and Adams or outside Brendan Sodikoff's restaurants.

Twitter: @doughnutvault

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By morning, the truck serves doughnuts and coffee, and by afternoon, it serves a doughnut ice cream sandwich (yes, an ice cream sandwich made with a doughnut).

Where: The truck tends to hang out at Clark and Monroe, Lasalle and Adams and 3627 N Southport.

Twitter: @FirecakesDonuts

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5411 Empanadas

5411 focuses on empanadas, with fillings like blue cheese and mushroom and malbec beef. While the truck always sells out fast, you can find a few brick-and-mortar stores to visit as well. 

Where: Find it at Lake and Stetson, Adams and Wacker, Clark and Monroe and Daley Plaza.

Twitter: @5411empanadas

Did you wake up a little too late this morning to grab breakfast before class? Northwestern students and Evanston residents, here is your answer to your breakfast hunger pains. Amanecer serves breakfast tacos, with varieties like chorizo and egg, potato and egg and machacado (egg, shredded dried beef, tomatoes and onions) out of their amazingly adorable and incredibly tiny food truck.

Where: They make early morning stops at various locations on Northwestern's campus and around Evanston, like Maple and Church, Garrett and Sheridan, Chicago and Sheridan, Noyes and Sheridan and Foster and Sheridan.

Twitter: @amanecertacos

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At the barbecue truck, you pick your meat (or veggie), like pulled pork, burnt ends or portobello mushrooms; whether you want it on a bun or not; and add sides like mac and cheese and collard greens.

Where: Find it at Madison and Wacker or Clark and Monroe.

Twitter: @HuskyHogBBQ

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