The best food trucks in Los Angeles

Sometimes stellar food arrives on wheels. Check out our guide to L.A.'s best food trucks for a solid meal on the go.

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

In a city as sprawling as Los Angeles, food trucks offer a vital oasis for hungry travelers in search of a quick bite or late-night snack. From tacos to pizza, hot dogs to grilled cheese, there are plenty of excellent options when it comes to grabbing a bite on the go. We’ve rounded up our favorite food trucks across the city to help you navigate the choices. And if you’re looking for more movable feasts, check out Roaming Hunger for the latest food truck options and news.

Fantastic food trucks in L.A.

1

El Chato Taco Truck

 

While there are certain trucks around town that we rely upon for knockout renditions of one particular type of taco (Leo’s, we’re looking at your al pastor), El Chato manages to deliver excellent options across the board (or plancha, rather). And since their small, palm-sized tacos run for $1 each, you can easily sample your way through the menu without breaking the bank. Favorites include the diced carne asada, al pastor, chorizo and lengua, all of which are treated to a healthy splash of their smoky roasted salsa roja, cilantro and onions. If you’re looking for a more hefty option, the quesadilla is a solid choice and still perfect for those on a budget. They're not too active on Twitter, but you can always find updates on their Facebook page. Just be sure to bring cash and be ready for the inevitable line.

Photograph: Victor Leung

Read more
Mid City
2

Coolhaus

 

Just as you chased down the ice cream truck as a kid, the architecturally-inspired ice cream sandwiches from Coolhaus are worthy of the chase. And while they can now be found across the country (and in a few brick-and-mortar locations), we still hold their sweet treats on wheels near and dear. The sky’s the limit when it comes to pairing their creative ice cream flavors with freshly-baked chewy cookies, but we’re partial to balsamic fig and marscarpone with double chocolate cookies. Keep an eye out for seasonally-rotating options, and don’t worry if you get carried away chowing down—the wrappers are edible. Keep an eye on Coolhaus' truck schedule for special events and locations.

Photograph: Victor Leung

Read more
Culver City
Advertising
3

Cousins Maine Lobster truck

Recommended

There are a couple lobster trucks roaming the streets of L.A., but Cousins Maine Lobster is at the top of the fleet. The company, which got their start by winning over an investor on Shark Tank, has grown to include multiple trucks that cross town, slinging lobster in various forms (tacos, tots, tails) but ultimately nailing two forms of lobster rolls: Connecticut and Maine. Both served on a New England-style roll, the Connecticut is warm and topped with butter, while the Maine is served chilled with a touch of mayo. Pair either with Cape Cod chips and settle down for a true taste of New England. Can't wait to get your hands on some? Check the site for locations daily, or visit their first brick-and-mortar restaurant, which happens to be located here in L.A. at 8593 Santa Monica Blvd.

Photograph: Courtesy Cousins Maine

Read more
4

Free Range

 

The bird is the word with these sustainably-raised, fried chicken and breakfast specialists. Start your day right with their crispy, tempura-battered fried chicken tossed with local honey and sriracha and served with scrambled eggs on a fluffy house biscuit, or opt for their hearty avocado toast on Clark Street Bread sourdough with an over-easy egg nestled beneath the avocado. If you’re feeling the lunch vibe more, the massive fried chicken sandwich is the move, topped with a zippy fresno chili slaw and a whole-grain mustard sauce. You’ll find the truck perched by different coffee shops around town each morning and drinking establishments on weekend nights, but follow the self-described “Chicken Gawds” on Instagram for the latest L.A. updates, or visit their new Newport Beach brick-and-mortar spot at 501 Park Avenue.

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman (top) / Courtesy Free Range (bottom)

Read more
Advertising
5

The Grilled Cheese Truck

 

What began as a contender at L.A.’s Grilled Cheese Invitational has since grown to an armada of trucks doling out cheesy, melty goodness across the nation. But the Grilled Cheese Truck still maintains a strong hold on the hearts (and stomachs) of Angelenos looking for a comfort-food fix. While you could keep things simple with a straightforward cheese-and-bread combo, if you really want to indulge, the fully loaded option hits you with sharp cheddar, smoked BBQ pork and a dose of mac and cheese. You’ll likely want to grab some tater tots and a cup of tomato soup if it’s not a scorchingly sunny day. Check their calendar and Twitter to find one of their four roving trucks.

Photograph: Victor Leung (top) / Jakob N. Layman (bottom)

Read more
6

Guerrilla Tacos

 

With a fine-dining background and a penchant for the freshest locally-sourced ingredients, chef Wes Avila brought his impressive skills to L.A.’s street food scene with Guerilla Tacos. What started as an under-the-radar cart grew into a bustling, bright-blue truck that serves a seasonally and sometimes daily rotating selection of creative tacos, quesadillas, tostadas and occasionally tortas. Stand-out favorites have included roasted sweet potato with an almond chile, feta, corn and scallions on fresh tortillas or the yellowtail tostada with miso, tomatillo salsa, seaweed, furikake and a citrus vinegar. The ingredients come from local farms and sustainable purveyors, so expect to pay more than you would at most taco trucks, but the next-level flavor is well worth it. Follow them and see the latest menus on Twitter and Instagram.

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Read more
Downtown Arts District
Advertising
7

Jogasaki Sushi Burrito Truck

 

We’ve seen plenty of funky food truck mash-ups ditched by the side of the road over the years, but the wonderfully wacky Jogasaki Sushi Burrito truck seems to be sticking around. Instead of a flour tortilla, you’ll find a thin sheet of rice paper dotted with sesame seeds and filled with sushi rice, avocado, cucumber and a variety of fresh seafood options, including spicy salmon, crab meat or barbecued eel. Consider mixing things up with the salmon ceviche taco or the spicy tuna nachos. The truck covers a lot of turf, so check Twitter for the latest schedule.

Photograph: Victor Leung (top) / Courtesy Jogasaki (bottom)

Read more
8

Kogi BBQ

 

The grandaddy of the modern food truck bonanza since 2008, Roy Choi’s Kogi empire still rules the streets (and Twitter feeds) with a delectable mashup of Korean and Mexican flavors. The signature short rib taco delivers big with double-caramelized Korean BBQ depth balanced with a bright spike of salsa roja, a chile-soy slaw, cilantro and onions on two grilled-and-charred house tortillas. The now-classic kimchi quesadilla is still a winner, but the blackjack quesadilla with spicy pork, caramelized onions and salsa verde is also a solid choice. And if you’re looking to skip the meat, you can always swap in tofu as a filling. There are three trucks to track down (known as Roja, Verde and Naranja) in multiple locations daily; check the schedule online and find them on Twitter. You can also hit up their brick-and-mortar taqueria in Palms, and their Whole Foods outpost in El Segundo.

Photograph: Victor Leung (top) / Jakob N. Layman (bottom)

Read more
Advertising
9

Let's Be Frank

 

While we’re fans of L.A.’s abundant bacon-wrapped hot dog carts, when we’re looking for a quality, sustainably-sourced weiner, we turn to Let’s Be Frank. Packed with flavor, their grass-fed beef dogs have a great snap, and we’ll always opt for the grilled onions and their spicy Devil’s sauce. The heritage pork bratwurst is also a solid choice, and the soy-based, non-GMO vegan “not” dog is one of the best in town. Keep an eye on their Twitter for schedule changes and special events.

Photograph: Victor Leung

Read more
10

The Lobos Truck

If you’re feeling the need to indulge in some seriously hearty American comfort fare (especially late at night), the Lobos Truck is the one to track down. You’ll probably want to head straight for the OG Wachos—waffle cut fries treated like nachos—loaded with grilled onions, guacamole, blue cheese, bacon, cheddar sauce, tomatoes, scallions, Ranch and the house “angel” sauce (or, for a bit of heat, go for the Buffalo variation). You could also opt for the Chinook burger with cheddar and garlic aioli on a brioche bun, or go big with the mac and cheese topped with bacon and hot wings. And if you need to hit your sweet spot, there’s the salted caramel bacon brownie. Their location and schedule changes frequently, so follow them on Twitter to find out where they’ll be.

Photograph: Courtesy The Lobos Truck

Read more
Advertising
11

Made In Brooklyn

 

Made In Brooklyn slings quality New York-style slices on the streets of L.A., helping to fill the void in the hearts of homesick East Coast transplants and delighting pizza lovers in general. The onboard double-deck oven turns out a wonderfully crisp and thin foldable crust, topped with a bright and tangy sauce and fresh mozzarella. If you’re looking to venture beyond the classic cheese slice, we recommend the house-made sausage; the pepperoni stromboli is also worth checking out. The truck travels quite a bit, so be sure to check Twitter for locations and updates.

Photograph: Victor Leung (top) / Made in Brooklyn (bottom)

Read more
12

Mariscos Jalisco

 

One of the long-standing heroes of the old-school taco trucks (aka loncheros), Mariscos Jalisco has earned a deservedly loyal and devoted following. Their signature tacos dorado de camaron live up to the hype with flavorful and fresh shrimp folded into a corn tortilla that's then fried to a golden brown and topped with thick slices of avocado and a vibrant and complex salsa roja. You’ll also want to save room for their legendary tostadas, like the Poseidon, which is topped with shrimp ceviche, octopus and a fiery red aguachile of shrimp. Follow them on Twitter and don’t forget to bring cash.

Photograph: Victor Leung (top) / Molly Cranna (bottom)

Read more
Boyle Heights
Advertising
13

NoMad Truck

What happens when a Michelin-starred chef launches a food truck? We all win. Eleven Madison Park's Daniel Humm is bringing his flavor-packed burgers, fries and soft serve to the streets of L.A., and we're not sure what we did to deserve this gift, but who are we to question a truffled chicken burger when it lands in our lap? Follow along on Instagram to find the truck's location, then head out to wherever it is and indulge in some of the best food-truck fare in the city. Don't miss the collaborative sandwiches, and be sure to grab the drool-inducing soft serve with shortbread and honey. (Then get hyped for the full NoMad restaurant, launching in late 2017.)

Photograph: Rozette Rago

Read more
14

Peaches’ Smokehouse

 

There’s something about eating BBQ outside that seems to enhance the experience exponentially, and that goes double for this truck serving excellent Southern classics. Run by Georgia-born chef Ryan “Peaches” Lamon (who also co-owns Poppy & Rose in Downtown's Flower District), the truck serves up a succulent, 15-hour-applewood-smoked pulled pork sandwich with a tangy BBQ sauce and creamy slaw on a Portuguese sweet bun. Other hits include the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich and the country-fried steak sandwich with house peach preserves and garlic aioli. For a non-meat option, the veggie burger is a solid choice, and you’ll definitely want to share the waffle fries. The schedule and locations of the two trucks change frequently, so check their Twitter for updates.

Photograph: Courtesy Diana Lamon

Read more
Advertising
15

Plant Food For People

 

While many of the city’s food trucks skew toward meat-heavy choices, Plant Food For People serves healthy and delicious plant-based options that even omnivores would love. The standout is definitely the Super Crazy Taco with marinated jackfruit “carnitas,” pinto beans, pico de gallo, cabbage slaw, chipotle mayo and tomatillo salsa, all served on organic yellow corn tortillas. You could also opt for the nachos version or the torta variation on a bolillo roll, as well as the creamy mashed potato taco. Find the truck at farmers' markets around town, parked in front of Civil Coffee or Johnny’s Bar in Highland Park and on the occasional Sunday at Smorgasburg—but check their Twitter feed for exact schedules and updates.

Photograph: Victor Leung (top) / Courtesy Plant Food for People (bottom)

Read more
16

Prince of Venice Food Truck

This handmade-pasta truck's got places to go and people to see—namely the streets of Los Angeles, and it's got to see the hungry throngs that line up for its little tubs of gourmet Italian noodles. You can also find the prince's fresh pasta for sale in 8-ounce bags—and yes, there is really a prince involved. To find Prince Emanuele Filiberto di Savoi's roaming pasta truck, follow along on Instagram or check the site daily.

Photograph: Courtesy Prince of Venice

Read more
Advertising
17

Ta Bom Truck

 

Launched by a mother-and-daughters trio, this Brazilian truck has been bringing a bit of carnival to the streets of L.A. for the past several years. Start off with the crisp, empanada-like ground beef pastel and consider sharing the potent garlic fries with parmesan. For a heartier option, go for the grilled steak bauru with caramelized onions, melted mozzarella, pickles and tomatoes on a fluffy, toasted roll. On the sweeter side, check out the banana and Nutella pastel. Keep an eye on their Twitter and Facebook feeds to keep up with the party.

Photograph: Victor Leung

Read more
18

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

Recommended

As soon as Brooklyn's favorite butter-yellow food truck hit the streets of L.A., it was love at first bite. Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream churns out seasonal and locally sourced flavors such as pistachio, earl grey, and espresso. Don't skip the vegan ice cream, which uses raw cocoa butter. Find it keeping festivalgoers cool all year long, and parking in front of the Broad Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7pm, and on Abbot Kinney all weekend long—Fridays to Sundays from 2 to 10pm. For schedule updates, visit their site.

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Read more
Advertising
19

Yeastie Boys

 

L.A.’s first bagel truck draws big pre-noon crowds for their quality, hand-rolled bagels served up with plenty of schmear and swagger. Available in plain, poppy, sesame, everything and addictive cheddar, the Yeastie Boys’ bagels offer that sought-after delicate balance of fluffy center and thin crust. Particularly after a late night, the Game Over scores with soft scrambled eggs, peppery bacon, beer cheese, tomato and jalapeño spread. Meanwhile, the Lox features smoked salmon and dill spread, radishes, cucumber and caper pesto. Follow them on Twitter, and get there early before they sell out. You can also visit their permanent pop-up at Alfred in the Alley in West Hollywood from 8am to noon on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Read more

Looking for a great burger?

Comments

3 comments
Darren B

Burnt To A Crisp puts Peaches to shame in every category. Burnt To A Crisp is the best Texas BBQ, with hefty helpings and a great staff. They're my favorite food truck in LA.

Tacos B

Yummy tacos bien paisa .. Van nuys ca 91405 y su especialidad. Tortas ahogadas estilo jalisco.. shermanway and sepulveda frente al CVS

molly g

Check out Ahimsa Caravan Cafe and Bar. This vintage and whimsical caravan in versatile in function as it can operate as a cafe serving organic, locally roasted and fair-trade espresso based drinks or as a bar pouring wine, beers, and creative signature cocktails on your behalf. Ahimsa Caravan Cafe is all about cultivating love and community and is perfect of any event! Check us out at www.ahimsacaravancafe.com