Los Angeles is constantly on-the-go, where locals log over 90 million miles per day. It makes sense that the country-wide food truck phenomena began in this Southern California city, which is also known for its famed car culture. Check out the best “meals on wheels” in the city that started it all. The trucks roam all over LA, so be sure to check out Twitter to pin down their locations.
The Truck That Started It All: Kogi BBQ Taco Truck
Boasting a fleet of four food trucks, the iconic Kogi BBQ Taco Truck was the first of its kind to make street food on wheels hip. Their menu offers Korean-Mexican fusion tacos, burritos, sliders and more. Order their signature short rib taco, which bursts with caramelized short rib, cilantro-onion-lime relish and salsa roja made from Korean and Mexican chilies. Two of the trucks, nicknamed the Roja and Verde, zip all over LA—from the greater San Fernando Valley to West LA, and San Gabriel Valley to South Bay.
California Does French: Crepes Bonaparte
Crepes Bonaparte makes fresh-made French griddle cakes, with a California twist. The chef wears a beret and the music is French, but the crepe choices are pure LA, including the California Sunrise crepe filled with avocado, cheddar, tomato, crisp bacon and scrambled eggs. This truck serves both the LA and Orange Counties throughout the week, so be sure to check their website to find out if they’re in town when you are.
Not-Your-Everyday Grilled Cheese: The Grilled Cheese Truck
From double-cream brie with sliced pears and fresh thyme, to habanero jack cheese with homemade chili and cilantro-lime sour cream, The Grilled Cheese Truck makes a mean grilled cheese sandwich. Craving something sweet? Try the Mom’s Apple Pie Melt, with sharp cheddar and brown-butter caramelized apples. The immensely popular four-wheeler typically operates from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. throughout the Los Angeles Metro Area.
One-of-a-Kind Ice Cream: Coolhaus
With flavors like beer and pretzels, buttered French toast and salted caramel, you won’t be able to resist the Coolhaus truck’s unique take on the ice cream sandwich. Simply pick your cookie then pick your ice cream, but don’t be surprised if you end up ordering more than one (or two or three!). Spot the Coolhaus trucks in Culver City or Pasadena.
Zesty Seafood Tacos: Mariscos Jalisco
Back in 2010 at the first LA Street Food Fest, Mariscos Jalisco truck snatched the gold from the hopeful hands of competing food truck chefs, carrying home both Best in Show and the People’s Choice Award. It’s still triumphing in the prestigious Vendy Awards today, so you’re likely to find a line. You’ll be glad you waited for some high-quality seafood dishes, including the trademark fried shrimp tacos dorados. Stationed on Olympic Boulevard in East LA, this truck opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 5:30 p.m., so head there before sun down.
Frankies Done Right: India Jones Chow Truck
If you’re in the mood for something spicy, head to India Jones Chow Truck. Try a frankie on your first visit—soft, rolled-up roti filled with chopped onions, tamarind chutney and your choice of meat. Or, go vegetarian and order the aloo tikki chaat, a scrumptious potato pancake loaded with chickpeas, chopped onions and cilantro. You can find the truck in the Greater Los Angeles Area and nearby beach cities.