By Molly Dunn
By Catherine Gillespie
By Brooke Viggiano
By Kaitlin Steinberg
By Mai Pham
By Kaitlin Steinberg
By Kaitlin Steinberg
By Minh T Truong
But the big guns like H-Town StrEATs, Phamily Bites and Bernie's Burger Bus have never left the road, and are still trucking today. Bernie's has done so well for itself, in fact, that owner Justin Turner now has a fleet of bright yellow school buses roaming the city.
Meanwhile, promising new faces are cropping up every day: Look for trucks such as Craft Infusion, Miso Yummy and Fraiche to dominate this list next year, if their food stays as fun and fresh as it is right now. And while we have far, far, far more than ten terrific food trucks in this city, here are the ten best (give or take a few) on the streets today.
10. Breakfast Burritos Anonymous
A breakfast food truck was exactly what we needed. And in a city dominated by breakfast tacos, it's kind of refreshing to see a breakfast burrito place step in to fill that vacuum. The BBA Mobile, as it's often referred to, is usually parked outside Inversion Coffee House bright and early in the mornings. Besides just burritos — which you can customize with a huge list of ingredients, including healthy options such as turkey sausage and egg whites — the BBA Mobile offers other breakfast dishes, too. Try the Flapstick, which is essentially a breakfast corn dog: a sausage wrapped in pancake and dipped in syrup. Good thing you've got all day to work that off...
9. Muishii Makirritos
Muishii Makirritos is the newest food truck on this list, debuting late last year. But like the BBA Mobile, it filled a niche no other truck yet had: sushi. This isn't serious sushi but the sort of fun, silly, Americanized rolls with names like Swaggy Dog and fillings like crunchy fried shrimp, crab meat and spicy mayo. The truck also offers terrific Japanese-style karaage fried chicken and — wait for it — egg rolls filled with macaroni and cheese.
8. Good Dog Food Truck / Happy Endings
These are the two trucks I turn to when I'm in search of a top-notch hot dog, although each truck boasts very distinct offerings. At Good Dog, it's twists on standards like Chicago or Sonoran hot dogs, along with dogs of their own invention. My favorite is the Sunshine Dog, topped with pickled red onions, fresh dill relish, cream cheese and mayonnaise. Happy Endings is run by husband-and-wife team Emily Ng and Ryan Javier. Ng is Chinese and Javier Filipino, and their fusion marriage carries over into fusion cuisine, where the menu careens cheerfully between American, Korean and Japanese ingredients and flavors. Here, hot dogs are topped with bonito, kimchi, cream cheese, scallions and more, such as the Tsunami dog with seaweed and mayonnaise.
7. Flip 'n Patties / Koagie Hots
The second (and last, I promise) tie on the list is between my two favorite Asian fusion trucks. Flip 'n Patties features Filipino street food, burgers, the most amazing french fries slathered in mayonnaise and sesame seeds, and karaoke, courtesy of a TV screen and sound system embedded in the truck. Koagie Hots offers hot dogs, just like Good Dog and Happy Endings, and more — with a Korean twist. The kimchi here is homemade, and is absolutely stunning atop a mound of cheese fries, plus you haven't lived until you've tried a Philly cheesesteak filled with bulgogi.
The truck housed in a bright yellow school bus describes itself best: "Ladybird offers tasty, creative food inspired by familiar favorites." This means dishes that range from a chicken tikka taco on homemade flour tortillas topped with pickled red onions, diced radishes and mint chutney to a grilled cheese sandwich with Cheddar and goat cheese sandwiching sour slices of green tomatoes. And being a beet lover, I'm particularly intrigued by a current side of fried beets that I hope will turn more people onto the sweet, earthy root vegetable.
5. The Rice Box
Would you believe me if I told you that some of the best fried chicken in town comes from a Chinese food truck? Well, believe it — because the Golden Doomba Special at the Rice Box Truck rivals Frenchy's and the breakfast klub with its golden, crunchy, lightly battered drumsticks. That's not all this truck — usually found outside Poison Girl or Anvil — does best. Expect old-school Chinese-American cuisine done with attention to quality ingredients and classic flavors, all wrapped up in a cute Chinese take-out box.
4. Phamily Bites
Chef and owner Van Pham is practically the godfather of the current food truck scene, having started Phamily Bites in the spring of 2011 after moving back to Houston from San Fransciso. It was the first Vietnamese food truck in the city and is still the best, serving signature items like "The Vandalizer" banh mi filled with bo luc lac (garlic-marinated cubes of filet mignon) and cups of pho out of the bright yellow truck garnished with Pham's sly slogan: "Let's get pho cup'd."
3. Pi Pizza
You'd never know Pi Pizza chef and owner Anthony Calleo used to work in commercial real estate, so inventive and intricately balanced are his wildly creative pies. (The head-to-toe tattoos make it tough to believe his former career, too.) You'll typically find Pi Pizza's truck — named Pythagoras — parked outside Catbird's in Montrose, but Calleo delivers, too. The pizzas he makes fall into two categories: drunk food of the highest order (see the Cheeto-topped 420 slice) or impeccably crafted gourmet pizzas like arugula, Maytag blue cheese and cherries in port wine syrup.