Food Truck Take Over

California cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco are considered the original food labs where some of the country’s top food trucks cut their culinary chops and first hit the road. With ready access to fresh, local ingredients and diverse populations, these cities and others in the state gave rise to mouthwatering street food mash-ups like the Korean BBQ taco. See what’s on California’s mobile menu served up by some of the state’s top food trucks.

Northern California

Chairman Bao Follow: @chairmantruck One of San Francisco’s original gourmet trucks, the Chairman Bao crew is famous for their Chinese-style buns and panda-emblazoned truck. Headed by a former executive chef for Charlie Trotter’s Bar Charlie, expect surprises like Coca-Cola braised pork with savoury cabbage.

Sam’s ChowderMobile Follow: @chowdermobile A fabulous food truck spawned by Sam’s Chowder House Restaurant in Half Moon Bay, the truck version now brings seafood specialties like Baja-style fish tacos, New England Clam Chowder and Main lobster roll sandwich to locations throughout the Bay Area.

Curry Up Now Follow: Indian street food is the inspiration for the Bay Area’s Curry Up Now. Selections range from the traditional, like samosas and a thali (mixed dish) platter, to West Coast hybrids like the aloo parantha quesadillix (whole wheat potato stuffed flat bread) and “sexy fries” (criss-cut sweet potato fries dressed with garbanzo beans).

Krush Burger Follow: @krushburger Krush Burger is crushing it in the Sacramento area with two trucks serving up much-loved mini burgers like the Cow Bell, drenched in smoked Gouda and BBQ sauce, and the Ninja, featuring grilled Korean short ribs and Asian slaw. For dessert, satisfy your sweet tooth with choices like their renowned caramel toffee milkshake.

Central Coast

Elly’s Sweet Tooth Follow: Life is sweet as far as the folks running the Central Coast-based Elly’s Sweet Tooth truck are concerned. Housed in a vintage Airstream trailer, they specialize in delectable desserts such as made-from-scratch sugar cookies and cupcakes, including gluten-free varieties and even flavours for Fido.

The Pairing Knife Follow: Influenced by the Central Coast’s great foodie scene, The Pairing Knife brings street food with a gourmet twist to San Luis Obispo and surrounding areas. Typical menu items include a spinach and strawberry salad and a panko-crusted chicken breast sandwich dressed with homemade marinara sauce.

The Burger Bus Follow: @theburgerbus Santa Barbara’s bright yellow Burger Bus rolls through town sharing local goodness sourced from area farmers markets and artisans. Wow–worthy selections include the CB&J; a grass-fed beef burger dressed with homemade jelly on toasted ciabatta and for sides, there’s crunchy fried pickle chips. The popular falafel sandwich ensures vegetarians aren’t left out either.

Southern California

Kogi Korean BBQ Follow: @kogibbq A food truck rockstar, the famed Kogi truck was there at the beginning of the trend and is credited with being among the first to leverage social media. Award-winning chef Roy Choi fuses Korean and Mexican specialties for true LA fusion street food.

Grill ‘Em All Follow: @GrillemAll Heavy metal music is featured on the menu of this much-loved rolling burger joint based in LA’s San Gabriel Valley. Specialties include gourmet burgers, fresh cut fries, cheese-stuffed tots and “heavy metal mayhem.” They’re easy to find, just follow the loud music.

Green Truck Follow: @greentruck; @greentruck_SD Nothing says “Cali” more than this creative hybrid that mixes locally sourced, organic ingredients with a green-powered truck that runs on bio-fuels. With trucks covering both the LA and San Diego areas, some of Green Truck’s most popular items include their beet and quinoa salad and Mother Trucker vegan burger.

Barcelona On The Go Follow: @BrcelonaOntheGo A tasty concept: take the great tapas favourites of Spain and put them on wheels. This Orange County-based truck’s savoury specialties feature classics like paella as well as adding a street-food twist such as Churrasco con Chimichurri (sirloin with chimichurri sauce) piled on perfectly rendered fries.

Devilicious Follow: @deviliciousfood From Southern Orange County to stops throughout San Diego, the Devilicious truck fires up their grill and fans with specialties that turn staples like grilled cheese into foodie fantasies. Think butter poached lobster grilled cheese on sourdough and Angus beef cheeseburger dressed with spicy aioli.

Story content provided by Visit California.

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