LA Food Trucks – No City Tops These Wonders on Wheels

LA food trucks are almost a sort of wonder to those coming from smaller cities in the United States. No city tops Los Angeles, Calif. when it comes to variety and quality in the restaurant business, and those of the mobile type are of no exception! Based on our research, we’ve compiled a list of the top rated food trucks in the city, and what sets them apart from the “average joe’s.”

Best Food Trucks Los Angeles

El Chato Taco Truck – Acclaimed by most locals as the best of LA food trucks. Freshly chopped vegetables in a food truck? The mobile chefs at El Chato Taco won’t mind if you glance through their oversized window to see them serve up fresh meals, as they’re known by the locals for having one of the cleanest, freshest and most delicious food trucks in the city. Locals say its food tastes healthier and less greasy, and many just can’t say no to the special sauce. They serve a variety of meats in burritos, tacos, quesadillas and more. They even serve up old fashioned Coca-Cola in glass bottles. A big hit for students at UCLA, the food truck seems to be an undisputed favorite. As with many of the best food trucks, its most common complaint (and perhaps the only complaint) is that the truck just isn’t always there when your cravings hit! Secret tip: We heard this truck was cash only, so keep cash on hand if you’re heading down to LA. You may not forgive yourself otherwise.

LA Food Trucks - El Chato Taco Truck

El Chato Taco Truck Rates #1


Kogi BBQ – Serving Korean marinated meats and tofu, customers are given a choice between tacos, quesadillas and sliders for the savory meats. The dish receiving the most chatter, the Kimchi Quesadilla, has locals confused over how Kogi BBQ manages to melt all of its unique flavors for a delicious and somewhat Korean-Mexican experience. One of the few top trucks who accepts debit and credit cards, this is a great place to hit on a whim with no cash in hand. Locals complain about the long wait for this truck, although service is pretty fast. Kogi does a great job at handling what sometimes appears to be unmanageably long lines. With its cultish following, Kogi is a close tie for favorite among LA food trucks.

Mariscos Jalisco – It’s no secret Los Angelenos love Tacos. While researching different food trucks in Los Angeles, we quickly found the city’s most common food truck dishes are tacos. That doesn’t mean they are all the same, however, as one would quickly find simply traveling from El Chato Taco Truck to Mariscos Jalisco. Mariscos Jalisco serves a local favorite: shrimp tacos. In fact, this truck’s entire specialty is seafood tacos. Some have a kick of hot flavor, but locals don’t seem to be complaining about it!

Curbside Cravings – Heaping portions of Filipino food set this truck apart from other LA food trucks. Locals say the owners are some of the friendliest in town, and their menu includes an assortment of barbecue items, some of which are seasonal. Lobster balls, barbecue sticks, tocino burgers and tocino plates are some of the truck’s hottest selling items. Their fresh, cold mango juice is refreshing for hot LA days, and some claim it’s a secret recipe.

Curbside Cravings

Heaping portions of Filipino food set this truck apart from other LA food trucks.


Slanging Corea – This melting pot serves burgers, grilled cheeses (some with pork), dumplings, burritos, vegetables and more. Described well as a Korean fusion truck, fresh Kimchi is a must have at this local hot spot. Long lines are an obvious plague for most of these big hit restaurants, but service here is quick, so you have more time to enjoy things like their fabulous Korean Beef Barbecue Rice and friendly, down-to-earth customer service.

LA food trucks are almost a sort of wonder to those coming from smaller cities in the United States.


Arroy Food Truck – Thai Wings, Pork-belly Sliders, Thai Curry Chicken, Garlic Fries and even Thai Tea set this food truck apart from several in the area. Considered an Asian Fusion food truck, this truck changes its menu as often as daily, so locals come back for more and more, never tiring of the dishes. Humorously, yet oddly commonly, described as “Heaven in your mouth,” the only complaint locals seem to have about Arroy is the wait. The wait, of course, is caused by its loyal customers who claim to be addicted to their Sliders.

Arroy Food Truck - a Food Trucks Los Angeles Fav

LA Food Trucks Fav : Arroy Food Truck


The Lobos Truck – Who can resist an All American Burger? Not Los Angeles customers. At the Lobos Truck, they take a traditional sandwich to another level. Fried eggs on your burger? Check. Multiple cheeses? Absolutely. A fresh bun? Of course. It’s difficult to call anything American without adding bacon, so the Little Lobos Burger hits all of your favorites, piling them onto a fresh bun with their big smiling faces and friendly attitudes. This truck falls under the “Traditional American,” category, and we think among LA food trucks, it’s one of the best in its category.

The Grilled Cheese Truck – Almost every restaurant or fast food establishment in LA has a specialty, and LA food trucks are no exception. The All American grilled cheese has met its match, as the Grilled Cheese Truck offers a number of bizarre, though delicious, improvements. Whether you prefer rib meat on your grilled cheese, or macaroni and cheese with barbecue pork, you’re sure to find it here. While most food trucks skip the famous side dish of tomato soup with their grilled cheeses, the Grilled Cheese Truck conquered it. After what may be the world’s most unique grilled cheese, the staff will likely invite you to add a desert – a S’mores Sandwich.

Gus’s Lunch Box – Carne Asada fries, Burritos, Enchiladas, Mulitas and Chicken Tacos keep this Mexican food truck’s customers loyal. Customers say it’s no secret this is old-fashioned greasy, stick-to-the-hips kind of delicious. We think there’s a reason it’s a compliment and not a complaint. Secret tip: According to our research, of all the LA food truck locations this location charges a small fee if you aren’t paying in cash.

LA Food Trucks Were First

A Smithsonian columnist traced the food truck industry back to its origins in Los Angeles. Each neighborhood has its own feel and its own interpretation of the cultures around them. The food trucks Los Angeles have a great way of reflecting that. In a city with five star restaurants, world renowned cuisine and gourmet meals served daily, the food trucks reflect all of the fine foods that are available in LA in an endless number of ways. A food trick business can be quite successful in an area so passionate about its food. LA food trucks are in a competitive market, but the market can also very rewarding.

The Great Food Truck Race

The Great Food Truck RaceCourtesy of

Hosted by Tyler Florence (of “Food Court Wars”), the Great Food Truck Race is a reality competition show that follows a number of food trucks to see who earns the most. Aired on Food Network, the lowest earners get “booted” off of the show. The show is now in its fifth season with a devoted following, and has even inspired some to open their own food truck business. Airing on the Food Network, the show depicts several real challenges of food truck owners. Some “Speed Bump Challenges” are races to see how fast the trucks can get running and open to customers, and the winners usually earn a bit more for their time spent open while others are left behind. “Truck Stop Specialties” often challenge food truck owners to serve local dishes. Other real life battles include location issues, space obstacles and equipment issues.

The Great food Truck Race 2014

This season, the Great Food Truck Race 2014 features :

  • a Beach Cruiser Truck,
  • Chatty Chicken,
  • Gourmet Graduates,
  • Let There Be Bacon,
  • Lone Star Chuck Wagon,
  • Madres Mexican Meals,
  • Military Moms and
  • Middle Feast.


The Great Food Truck Race contestant

Chatty Chicken Food Truck


The food trucks travel throughout areas of the United States each season, and the show’s website even details the schedule in case you’re hoping to visit one of the contestants. This season features Tucson, Ariz., Southern Calif. and Austin, Texas, among others, which means contestants have an abundance of cooking and driving to do in order to win the race. Last season, the trucks traveled through D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland and even locations in South Dakota and Idaho.

The Great Food Truck Race contestant

Lone Star Chuck Wagon


The trucks featured in the network’s Great Food Truck Race shows aren’t all just ordinary trucks. Previously, a modern Singaporean style truck served sweet and salty crab cakes in Irvine, Cali. A delicious and popular Belgian waffle trucks won over fans on a prior season. Los Angeles got to enjoy cheese filled tater tots while Austin cooled off with an ice cream sandwich truck. A former film set decorator even had the opportunity to serve up delicious tacos in Hawaii. Whether you’re looking to find fish tacos, a latte with hormone-free milk, authentic Italian or pizza, there is certainly a food truck somewhere just waiting on your order.

The show presents a number of obstacles for food truck “racers,” including truck swaps, budget challenges, location competitions and even shifts of closing periods that affect when the trucks can be open for business. At times, the host even mandates that each truck sell the same foods to see who comes out on top!

The Great Food Truck Race contestant

Beach Cruiser Food Truck


Though some of the struggles presented on the Great Food Truck Race show aren’t reflective of struggles that common food truck owners face, they can prepare the business owners for virtually anything that could go wrong. Common food truck owners do face location dilemmas, though they aren’t specifically planned as they are in the show. However, owners do have to look for prime locations to maximize profits. Owners have to plan more than regular restaurant owners, as stocking areas are limited, and sales need to be accurately forecasted. Not only will a truck owner need to choose a location, but he will need to choose several. Especially if one plans to increase his customer base by visiting festivals, carnivals and other areas that typically profit the most from food trucks, he will need to stay current on local events.

Food trucks are held to the same health standards as a restaurant, so keeping equipment maintained is key. While the show has some “speed bumps” that mimic these scenarios, in real life, it could cost the owner several day’s revenue and a portion of their customer base.

“More information on The Great Food Truck Race may be found on the show’s website,”

Tyler Florence

Tyler Florence (Photo :


Overall, Tyler Florence delivers a somewhat realistic, although more thrilling, insight into the food truck industry. When contestants battle issues such as going over budget and having to return items to the local markets, they represent a real struggle that can happen to any restaurant owner who isn’t prepared enough. The show also represents, however, the devoted customer base that a food truck can obtain. During the challenges that force all food trucks to prepare the same meals on the show, one can instantly see disappointed customers as they approach their favorite truck.

In summary, the Great Food Truck Race allows the best insight available on television to those seeking to enter the food truck industry.

Rules and Regulations for Your Food Truck Business

If you are preparing to venture into the food truck business you’re going to need to be up to date on everything that’s happening in the government regarding your potential business and that could possibly impact on your food vendor license. It’s important to know that changes to the laws regarding the food truck business are being proposed in many cities and states across the country. These laws will affect the way that your business is able to operate from defining the hours, to defining exactly where you are able to park your food truck. Since you are looking to turn a profit from your business it’s essential that you know what’s taking place in the legal environment before you jump in with both feet.

Could Your Food Truck Business Cope With Imposed Restrictions?

As an example of what can occur, one of the proposed changes in Libertyville (a suburb of Chicago) is limiting the open hours of a food truck business to the hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Another proposed change is where a food truck is allowed to be parked. It is proposed that food service vendors would be able to stay in one location for only eight hours and would only be able to sell in one zone a total of four times during one calendar year. This regulation would also require a $500 permit and a background check before that permit would be issued.

Before you start thinking that you don’t live in Libertyville Chicago and you don’t have to worry about these proposals – think again. Many cities and states across the country are proposing similar regulations and changes for mobile food vendors. It is believed that these changes will help to limit the vast number of food trucks that have been popping up all over villages and cities of all sizes. Libertyville has noticed a drastic increase in the number of mobile food trucks in their area and they are not the only ones.

So How Does This Affect You?

So how does this affect you?  Well the first thing you need to know is that purchasing a permit will cut into your bottom line. This will cost you more money right up front which can be difficult when you are just starting out. On top of that, if you will only be able to sell during specific hours that can make a big difference in your profits and your flexibility as well. Think about when you would really like to sell your products if given the choice. Chances are you know the area that you want to sell in and you know what times of the day that area is the busiest. Those are the times when you want to sell and if those times do not fit into the specified hours being proposed, this is a challenge to your livelihood and such facts need to be reflected in your food truck business plan when you’re setting up.

Busy cities like New York never sleep and the busiest hours for mobile food vendors may be after midnight. If they were to adopt regulations like this it could be more difficult to earn the best profits. This also means that you need to work set hours which takes away from the flexibility of being your own boss and working when you want to work. Having to stay in certain areas for only certain amounts of time during the year can also cut into your flexibility and your profits. As a result, you could have more trouble getting what you want out of your business.

Can Your Food Truck Business Influence These Regulations At All?

This can happen anywhere around the country which is why it’s important to know about. But once you know you can plan around these changes. You’ll be able to locate the best areas to be in at certain times of the year and of the day. You’ll also learn how to maximize your profits during the hours that you are allowed to sell. It’s all about understanding what’s available to you and what you can do about it. But is there anything that you can do to change these regulations?

“Talk with other food vendors about how the new regulations affect them and then talk with the people who frequent your food truck
and find out how the regulations affect them as well.”

If you really want to make a change in any community the best thing to do is start a petition for your local government. Talk with other food vendors about how the new regulations affect them and then talk with the people who frequent your food truck and find out how the regulations affect them as well. The government is more likely to listen to the complaining public than they are to listen to the group of food vendors – which is why these regulations end up getting proposed in the first place. If you can get feedback from enough people who frequent your food cart at times or in areas that don’t fit the mold of the regulations you may be able to keep these rules from being passed at all.

Stricter Health Department Regulations for Food Trucks

New York City Sets the Scene for Changes to the Food Truck Business

Are you thinking about starting your food truck business in New York City? If you are then this is definitely something you’re going to want to read and if you’re not … well you’ll want to hear what we have to say as well as this sets the scene for what may start to happen in every corner of the country. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is beginning to more closely regulate food truck businesses throughout the state of New York. This department is responsible for inspecting every food truck that ever hits the streets in this state before it is allowed to serve food to the public. This is important for the safety of everyone in the city and it’s something you can no doubt understand and appreciate.

Stricter Health Department Regulations for Food Trucks

Hot Dog Cart Business in the Big Apple

What Does this Mean for Your Food Truck?

What does an increase in regulations mean to you however? As a resident food truck business in New York City it means you need to follow specific rules on equipment and sanitary practices. It also means you have specific methods of storing your carts overnight. Unfortunately it also means a cap on the number of food trucks that are allowed to be parked on any street, and with a waiting list that is a mile long. No matter what type of food you sell or where you want to sell it you could be stuck on this waiting list for a very long time.

Unfortunately it also means a cap on the number of food trucks that are allowed to be parked on any street, and with a waiting list that is a mile long.

Over the last year there have been over 3,000 inspections within Queens alone with over 2,000 resulting in issuance of violations. Of those a total of over 300 carts were closed down and almost 40 were seized entirely. All of this means that the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is really cracking down on keeping the general public safe from food-borne illnesses. But what if you aren’t a food truck business in NYC?

No matter where you live or where you want to set up shop you need to start by paying attention to the rules and regulations of your neighborhood. Take the time to look up anything that could affect your business and then take the time to walk through the area you want to set up. How many food truck vendors are already there? What kinds of food are they selling? What kind of business are they getting? All of these things added to your knowledge of the regulations of your area will help you to determine what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it.  The answers to these questions are all critical inclusions in your food truck business plan.

Are regulations going to affect your business? Absolutely they will. And whatever the rules are right now – be aware that they may change and you will have to keep abreast of those changes.   You’re going to need to make sure that you’re following all of the newest regulations as soon as they are passed. You’re also going to need to make sure that you’re keeping up to date on all of those regulations so that you do follow them at all times. Prempt changes, even, as your business and your livelihood is at stake. If you don’t then you could end up with citations from your local Department of Health. Expensive fines or being shut down are definitely not things that you’re going to want at any point during your food truck career.

Does This Mean the End To Your Food Truck Business?

Is this a threat? No it’s not. If you’re planning to run your food truck business as a career then you know that you need to keep it healthy for your potential customers. That means you need to serve them quality food from a vehicle that meets Health Dept Regulations. You definitely don’t want to be breaking food regulations even if you could get away with it because then people wouldn’t want to come back to your truck and you’d be out of business before you even really got started at all. So the fact that new regulations are coming out is not a threat to you. It means you will likely have to spend a little more money but you won’t have to worry about it stopping you from getting started in the first place.

Selling Cupcakes is a Food Truck Business

Cupcake Trucks have become a very popular type of Food Truck Business

If you ensure that you’re reading up on the rules around your area then you will be able to fit all the regulations from the start which means there will be no reason for the health department to deny your petition for a permit. You’ll be ready to get started out on the streets right away and the fact that you’re serving safe food to your customers means that they’ll want to keep coming back on their lunch breaks again and again.

If you have your heart set on operating your food truck business in the New York City area and the waiting lists prevent you, you’ll realize that another location will be your best bet while you sit out your turn on the waiting list.  There is competition and opportunity in any market and you may be surprised to find that an alternative, possibly overlooked area where there are none or few mobile food trucks, may prove more profitable for you. Where might the untapped opportunities exist for you, that others have failed to see?  Take any knock-back as a challenge and look for the opportunity door that opens as one door closes.