Food trucks? Miami has plenty of them. It’s one dining trend this city can’t get enough of (along with, of course, the brunches in Miami). Roving restaurants are the barometer of a city’s food scene. Big name chefs might open concepts in trendy neighborhoods, but skyrocketing rents have forced the real culinary creatives to turn to food trucks, where they create everything from the best desserts in Miami to tacos that rival those from the best Mexican restaurants in Miami. These days, hitting a Miami food truck rally on a Saturday night gives you more inventive options than an entire season of restaurant dining—for half the price.
Best food trucks in Miami
Despite roaring success in its two stand-alone stores, Ms. Cheezious keeps it real and still roams the streets in its trademark turquoise truck. Sandwiches like the grilled bleu and bacon, the frito pie melt and the fried chicken and waffle melt have become staples of the South Florida culinary landscape. And they still taste just as delicious handed down to you from that magical window as they did in the beginning.
Where to find it: You can track the truck's whereabouts through the Ms. Cheezious Twitter account.
This timeless dessert truck has won pretty much every award a food truck can receive. The concept is genius: take a flavor of hand-made gelato (like Oreo, Belgian chocolate or salted caramel brûlée) dip it in one of three chocolates and then cover it with toppings such as pretzels, sprinkles or caramelized pecans. It’s the ultimate in customizable desserts and—even if you know nothing about flavors—it’s impossible to go wrong.
Where to find it: HipPOPs is usually at ArtsPark (1 N Young Cir, Hollywood) on Mondays from 5:30 to 9:30pm. They also have a handy calendar on hippops.com.
Sometimes it feels like South Florida is a barbecue desert. And then you happen upon the oasis that is King of Racks, a rolling smoked meat emporium that quenches your barbecue thirst with mouthfuls of homemade sweet and tangy sauce. As the name might imply, the go-to order here is the baby back ribs, which are slow cooked and served with creamed corn. However, if you want something that won’t leave sauce all over your face, the brisket sandwich and pulled pork tacos will have you thinking you’re square in Texas—until you feel the humidity.
Where to find it: King of Racks travels to different events and competitions around town. Keep up with its whereabouts via the King of Racks Facebook page.
The best food truck burger in Miami can be found here, at this Colombian fast-food joint. Monster Burger serves up the best mobile flame-broiled beef in South Florida. The best part of these burgers is the crushed potato sticks atop the patty, adding an element of crunch and saltiness to the monsoon of sauces. The hot dogs are worth a try, too. Those are topped with sausage, bacon, mozzarella, the trademark Monster sauce and more potato sticks.
Where to find it: Monster Burgers is a regular at the weekly gathering of food trucks at ArtsPark (1 N Young Cir, Hollywood), every Monday from 5:30 to 9:30pm. Keep up with their Facebook page for other happenings.
For out-of-town visitors looking for a true taste of Miami in the form of a food truck, go to Don Mofongo. The specialty is—obviously—mofongo, the smashed-plantain Caribbean delicacy mixed with chicharrones and garlic sauce. But the truck’s menu has some other fantastic native dishes, like the chimi, a popular street food in Santo Domingo consisting of seasoned beef on a bun. The grilled churrasco with onions and tostones is a wise choice too. Simply put: it's all worth a bite.
Where to find it: Don Mofongo’s is usually parked out in Kendall (9225 SW 137th Ave). Keep up with them on Facebook to see any special events.
Much like the 400lb bouncer who everyone calls “Tiny,” the name of this Wisconsin-inspired food truck isn’t to be taken literally. The crowning item on the menu is the butter burger, a Dairyland specialty that starts with a bun coated in a heap of butter topped with bacon, cheese and some lettuce (that’s the wholesome part). If you want to delve a little further into Wisconsin tailgate culture, there’s also bratwurst on a pretzel roll and pretzel bites with cheese sauce.
Where to find it: You can find the Rollers at most major food truck gatherings around town, like the Monday Hollywood ArtsPark gathering, but the best way to keep track of the truck is through its Facebook page.
If you’ve never had a bison burger, this food truck is the place to try one. The truck is a collaboration between chefs David Shipman and Michelle Duncan and it serves up some of the most unique food to come on four wheels in Miami. The real niche, though, is the buffalo burger. The classic is a steal at $9, but—if you want to get fancy—the truffled burger with quail egg, red pepper, truffle oil and goat cheese is the best thing on the menu.
One of the cool things about living in Miami is that we have access to cuisines that aren’t too common in the rest of the country. Take, for example, Mr. Good Stuff's signature item, the luna, Venezuelan corn arepas filled with everything from BBQ pulled pork to short rib to gouda cheese. It’s the kind of thing you’d have to search long and hard for in other cities, but all we have to do is pull up Mr. Good Stuff’s Twitter and find the truck’s location.
Taiwanese shaved ice cream was not a concept familiar to many in the Magic City until the last couple of years. But this method of shaving ice cream off a giant cylindrical block to create dessert plates that look a little like sushi in a froyo dish is now a food truck mainstay. Taiwan Ice, the hottest (coldest?) dessert truck in Miami, serves rolls of ice cream topped with fruit, sprinkles and other deliciousness. Creating a fantastic race to snap as many pictures as you can before it starts melting.
Where to find it: Keep up with the truck on Twitter or visit its brick and mortar locations (2560 N University Dr, Coral Springs; 16165 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami Beach).
Stuffing tacos and bao buns with everything under the sun has been a food truck staple for years, so it was only a matter of time before someone started doing it with egg rolls. This truck has, as it says, “flavors from all over the world” rolled into deep-fried wonton wrappers. There's the Philly cheese steak, sausage alfredo and roasted pork and plantains. Wash it down with homemade strawberry lemonade and you’ll never look at egg rolls the same again.
Where to find it: The egg roll gurus are normally posted up in a parking lot in Lauderdale Lakes (3684 W Oakland Park Blvd, Fort Lauderdale) but they travel around too and post about events on their Facebook page.
Tacos served from trucks are nothing new, but Chinese tacos? That’s the angle at Box of Chacos, a truck that takes Asian-influenced ingredients and puts them in tortillas. The curry skirt steak and chao mai chicken are the move for carnivores and the vegan carnitas with chipotle-braised jackfruit is your top veggie option. Pair them with the chili-spiked tater tots and you’ve got a great meal from the best Asian-fusion food truck in the city.
Where to find it: The best way to keep up with Chacos is through its Facebook page, where the truck regularly posts when and where to find it.
Stuffing fries into a sandwich has been a time-honored tradition since Primanti Brothers introduced the idea to steelworkers in Pittsburgh in the 1930s. The next logical step is to fuse that very-American idea with cuisines from around the world, which is exactly what Moty’s does so skillfully. This Mediterranean truck still serves some of the best falafel, shawarma and kebabs in Miami. But the Bomb—which consists of falafel, chicken shawarma and French fries in a pita—is a full lunch you can devour in under five minutes.
Where to find it: Moty’s is at Haulover Park Tue 5–9:30pm; Pelican Harbor Wed 5–10pm; Virginia Key Thu 5–10pm; Tamiami Park Fri 5–9pm. Keep up with its calendar at motysgrill.com.