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Food Truck Apps

There is nothing more dear to my heart these days than food trucks.  They have broken through the stigma of being exclusively for construction workers and of specializing in day-old sandwiches.  These days you will find food trucks catering to white-collar worker, student, tourist and gourmands alike.  Neighborhoods specializing in Asian restaurants will have boba and noodle trucks parked conveniently along the street.  Need a quick vegan meal.  There’s a food truck usually within walking distance from campuses or food co-ops.  The lure of these vans can draw me away from pressing work, and out in the streets hunting for a duck taco.  Their cuisine can be definitely upscale.  And the lure seems to be burned into our unconscious memories from the days of ice cream trucks.

The key with food trucks is finding them.   Most vans will post their location online or tweet their location.  So, by simply following your favorite truck, you can always be in the know.  But the problem is when you are in a neighborhood and you want something different.  A food truck must be just the thing.  But how do you locate trucks in your general vicinity without having to walk or drive miles out of your way?

Now, a number of national websites (with apps) can give you both real-time information on where a food truck is located, including those that are planning to be in a neighborhood later that day.

  • RoamingHunger.com provides locations of food trucks in major cities, with easy-to-use search engine and tabs that allow you to indicate the times.  This allows you to plan a lunch for example later in the day if you know you’ll be a location.
  • Foodtrucksmap.com is a google-map service also available as apps on Android and iPhones that shows current and planned locations in major cities.  Each truck is displayed on a google, and allows traffic to also be displayed.
  • FoodTrucks.Zagat.com is currently in beta, but allows you to find specific cuisine in major cities.  For example, if you are looking for Turkish food van, then you can simply select this from one of their checkboxes.
  • Eat St. is a mobile app that boasts of tracking food trucks in major cities.  The app will provide menus, hours and pictures of food trucks that you select.  Some of the updates of location have been problematic however.

Other sites are geared to specific cities.  For example, Los Angeles has findlafoodtrucks.com, the Los Angeles Street Food app and clustertruck.com.  Or you can simply follow @LAFoodTruck on twitter.

Another easy way is to use Google maps to find trucks near you.  Or, follow the tweets of your favorite trucks.  Also, keep a list of your favorite trucks and follow them on-line.  Each truck has a different way they broadcast their location.  Half the fun is finding them.

If you are like me, I’m short on planning and long on spontaneity.  For food vans, you can usually find something close by, depending on your municipality.  For example, LA seems to be the hub on the west coast for these trucks. While in L.A., I eat most of my breakfasts and lunches from trucks. You’d be very surprised at how far truck food has come.  Avoid the trucks with pre-made sandwiches or pastries wrapped in plastic.

At the trucks, try sampling their specialties.  I usually find that I eat standing up.  But you can also ask for it to-go and find a place to sit and enjoy.

Food trucks bring great food right to your doorstep, or at least close by.  All you need to tap into this roving resource is your mobile device, a few good sites to follow and a ravaging hunger.  Don’t worry about planning your meals.  Just glance down at your screen when you’re hungry, and see what’s close.  You’ll be surprised.

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