Food trucks are just one of many things to love about Austin (more about my love affair with the city in a separate post…). We’re not talking “roach coaches” or the standard taco trucks that cruise construction sites – although I hear you can get some pretty mean Tex Mex. I’m talking about the early-morning, late-night, humble, vegan, kitschy, original, ethnic, delicious cafes, barbecues, dessert wagons and more. No matter your taste, they’re a culinary adventure on wheels. It turns out that, in addition to being the Live Music Capital of the world, home of the UT Austin, Whole Foods and the hipper-every-year South by Southwest festival (SXSW), Austin is a street food lover’s paradise. Appearances range from unassuming to artistic, clever and sometimes downright odd. Some go it alone, rolling with abandon from one spot to the next and you have to track the location via Twitter. Others cluster together in cozy two’s or three’s and feature shaded tables by day and a festive, sparkling ambiance at night. One establishment – Torchy’s Tacos – even grew from one trailer to 14 locations in 4 cities, and others have been featured on The Food Network and Cooking Channel. These aren’t dives or greasy spoons – often food trucks offer some of the best and freshest food served by some of Austin’s most talented chefs. There are several websites such as Austin Food Carts, Best Austin Food Trucks, Food Trailers Austin and Roaming Hunger that feature maps, menus, reviews and more.
Although the Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival is taking a sabbatical, that combination of words stirs the imagination and makes me want to pack a basket and hit the road. The good news is that every day is a festival and you can have the pleasure of sampling good food at decent prices when you visit these local eateries on wheels.