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The 10 Hottest Food Trucks in the U.S.

By Zach Brooks
May 7, 2014

The food-truck scene might not be as buzzing as it was a few years back, but new vendors are still hitting the streets every day in cities all over the U.S. And for good reason: there is still no better way for young, cash-strapped entrepreneurs to test out new restaurant ideas, as has been proven by how many mobile businesses have made the jump to brick-and-mortar.  Here are 10 new food trucks worth checking out around the country. 

For more stories about and inspired by the movie Chef, check out zagat.com/cheffilm. Chef is in select theaters May 9.

  • Boston: Lilian's Smokin' Rack Barbecue

    Boston's food trucks are starting to creep back out after the long, hard winter, and Lilian's Smokin' Rack Barbecue is already making a name for themselves. Run by a Texas native, the company started off selling dry rubs before upgrading to a full-fledged food truck serving up BBQ. The menu features beef ribs, pulled pork and clam chowder...you know...because, Boston.

    Follow @LiliSmokinRack

  • Washington D.C. Area: Arepa Zone

    Born in Venezuela, raised in Miami, and schooled at American University, Gabriela Febres has brought the food of her home country to the streets of Arlington, VA. Arepa Zone is the latest truck to hit the DC metro area, serving up arepas stuffed with beef, cheese, ham or chicken as well as empanadas and cachapas, a sweet corn crêpe of sorts. Wash it all down with a Malta Polar.

    Follow @ArepaZone

  • New York City: Moo Shu Grill

    From the people behind Bian Dang, the truck that brought Taiwanese salt-and-pepper pork chops to the streets of New York City, comes a new concept called Moo Shu Grill. The namesake pancakes come three to an order ($9) and feature proteins like five-spice pork, Taiwanese basil chicken, Peking duck and fried tofu. They can be found on Mondays in Brooklyn, and rest of the week in Midtown Manhattan. Not into the flour wrapper? They do rice bowls as well.

    Follow @MooShuGrill

  • Philadelphia: Undrgrnd Donuts

    Open since last fall, this donut truck spends a lot of time on the campuses of Drexel and Temple - lucky for those students. Not content to serve just any type of fried dough, Undrgrnd Donuts' creations are dunked, swirled and dipped into various toppings. "Wake up" with a chocolate-dipped donut that's been dusted with espresso and swirled with cream, or go for the "Caramel Apple," which gets dunked in caramel (naturally) and topped with dried apple and a vanilla swirl.

    Follow @UndrgrndDonuts

  • Cleveland: Wok n Roll

    Food-truck season is just starting to kick back into gear in Cleveland, where some old friends have returned and a few new food trucks are getting ready to debut. One of the new ones turning some heads is the Wok N Roll, which took over Umami Moto's shuttered food truck. Expect to see banh mi and Japanese okonomiyaki when the truck launches in the next week or two.

    Follow @CLEWoknroll

  • Miami/Ft. Lauderdale: Box of Chacos

    When it comes to Asian tacos, LA has Kogi, Austin has Chi'lantro, New York City has Kimchi Taco Truck and now South Florida has Box of Chacos. Their tacos feature fillings like "Tio Tsao's five-spice pork" and red-curry skirt steak, with Mexican-style toppings like avocado, corn salsa and queso fresco. But their greatest creation is the kimchi burger, a black Angus patty topped with fried cheese, kimchi and a miso sauce, which Miami food-truck expert The Burger Beast calls a "game changer."

    Follow @boxofchacos

  • Austin: Little Lucy's Mini Donuts

    Austin is no stranger to donuts from a truck. Gourdough's has been serving over-the-top creations (like the cream cheese, bacon and jalapeño-topped Porkey's donut) out of an Airstream on South Lamar for years. But if you're looking for something a bit more sensible, there's now Little Lucy's Mini Donuts.  Inspired by the bags of mini-donuts the owner enjoyed as a kid in San Francisco, Little Lucy's offers up one thing only - pink bags of mini-donuts coated in cinnamon and sugar.

    Follow @LoveLittleLucys

  • Houston: Foodgasm

    Wings, waffles, fried seafood and double-stacked burgers are what you'll find coming out of the window of this six-month-old Houston food truck. If you want to try their signature dish, order the Screaming O: an order of deep-fried Oreos, topped with their special sauce.

    Follow @FoodgasmHtown

  • Los Angeles: Guerilla Tacos

    Guerilla Tacos isn't exactly new; they've been serving gourmet tacos from a table in Downtown Los Angeles since 2012. But last year they upgraded to a truck, allowing them to pop up in front of hipster coffee shops all around Los Angeles. Chef Wes Avila's menu changes every day, and everything is sourced from the best local farms. One day you might try a taco with octopus chorizo and pistachios; the next it'll be Maple Leaf Farms duck with cashew chile, nectarine and hazelnut. And don't let the truck's name cause you to sleep on their awesome breakfast burritos.

    Follow @GuerillaTacos

  • Portland, Oregon: Steak Frites PDX

    Portland is one of the few cities where new food trucks still seem to be multiplying exponentially, and the one that's gotten people pretty excited these days is Steak Frites PDX.  Less than two months old, they're located at Pod 28 serving up different cuts of beef on different days alongside thick-cut, Belgian-style fries. Choose between hanger, flank, top sirloin, or teres major, a super-tender piece of beef cut from the shoulder.

    Follow @SteakFritesPDX

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