Grill Without Borders Now’s the Read more →
A Guide to Austin Food Trucks
BY NAOMI PARKER
Austin’s a great food city, there’s no denying it. Austin’s a city of food rebels and dedicated locavores that want to know where their food came from, to ensure the best taste and sustainability. Global flavors and a desire to cook and make whatever a chef wants rules Austin’s food scene, so it was no surprise that they were an early adopter of the mobile food revolution in the state. As a matter of fact, Austin was one of the first Texas cities to move legislation and pave the way for restaurateurs and foodies alike to set up shop and serve great food on the go. We’re going to help you decode, find and enjoy some of Austin’s tastiest food trucks and trailers.
How to Find:
Austin’s food trucks are very socially active. Follow and keep up with already established favorites on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date on menu changes and locations. Social media is very important to Austin mobile eating, so take a picture of your meal. Ask a question on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll likely get a pretty quick and personal response from the crew of the truck or trailer. For finding new trucks, publications are very important. Austin’s a foodie city and many national and international magazines have written and talked about where to find the best mobile grub in the city from Food and Wine to Food Network Magazine and local magazines and newspapers, all of which can fill you in on events and sites where food trucks are likely to be parked, not to mention any foodie festivals or events going on that may have slipped the national press’ attention. Word of mouth is also very important; locals love sharing their favorite food truck finds and are more than happy to tell you all about it if you ask.
Where to Find Trucks:
Austin’s scene can be a little tricky to navigate and some of the food trucks are somewhat hard to find. Luckily, Austin has more dedicated space for trailers and trucks to park and serve their guests. Here’s a roundup of a few notable locations.
Downtown: Downtown’s usually buzzing with food trucks that cater to locals and tourists alike. During special events like SXSW and Austin City Limits (ACL), these trucks can be all over the place, so be sure to check Twitter or Facebook to pin down exact locations. Usually downtown hot spots are off Congress and down the very famous 6th Street.
Universities and Malls: Austin’s a college town and many trucks will post up for the day by universities to keep students well-fed. St. Edward’s University sometimes has trucks nearby and the University of Texas at Austin has trucks posted sometimes. These trucks aren’t just there to serve students, so if you’re in the neighborhood, check them out. Malls and shopping areas often have food trucks as well in Austin; The Dominion is a great example. These can be on a case by case basis, so keep an eye on your favorite truck’s social media to see what locations they’ll be visiting.
Surrounding Areas: Some Austin food trucks travel! Some head out to Bee Cave and out past Georgetown. The range of Austin food trucks is absolutely worth mentioning because it means that some trucks may be willing to travel a little out of range for company functions or fundraisers. Some Austin food trucks have even been spotted in New Braunfels, Pflugerville and San Marcos.
Trailer and Food Truck Parks: Most of Austin’s mobile food comes from trailers not trucks. A few dedicated locations serve as concrete or impromptu hitches for food trailers and trucks to serve hungry patrons. The South Austin Trailer Park and Eatery is one very famous one, and hosts trailers and trucks for lunch and dinner to keep Austin locals and tourists well fed.
Types of Trucks:
Austin has a huge variety of great food trucks, and they are all delicious. The types are incredibly varied: doughnuts, cupcakes, great BBQ, fusion, Asian, tacos and yes, a lobster truck… even a truck dedicated to pomme frites (a very fancy and very tasty French fry truck). Some are beloved chains like Torchy’s Tacos and others have great celebrity behind them like East Side King, the brain child of Top Chef (season 9) winner Paul Qui. Some trucks have brick and mortar locations like The Peached Tortilla, while others are just foodie greats that can sling delicious eats from the back of a truck or trailer.
Austin has a diverse and passionate mobile food scene that has kept tourists and locals stuffed and coming back for more. The trucks are also very convenient when visiting for bigger events in Austin, letting you enjoy delicious food while waiting for your favorite artist to take the stage or for the next big event. Austin’s a fun foodie city and it makes sense that some of the best eats are available to take on the go, giving you more time to check out the great concerts and nightlife.