Phoenix is synonymous with heat, but that does not stop Arizonians from hitting the streets in search of the best food trucks in town. Most food trucks can be found buddying up with local breweries, tasting rooms and buildings with ample parking lots. The popularity of food trucks in the city is expanding exponentially, and this list of the top 10 food trucks in Phoenix is sure to please and excite even the most discerning diner.
Get a taste of Hawaiian fusion cuisine at Island Loco. Combining traditional island dishes with desert inspiration earned the truck a spot as a runner-up in AZ Central’s Best of 2013 Best Food Truck category. The menu comprises of tacos, plate lunches and salads, but the plates change based on the particular stop as well as the range of menu items being offered. The teriyaki burger is a crowd pleaser with its Angus beef patty seasoned with their house teriyaki and served with furikake french fries. The kalua pork plate lunch consists of kiawe infused Hawaiian pulled pork and comes with a side salad and a scoop of rice. Vegetarians will also fall in love with the island wrap, consisting of carefully prepared veggies wrapped in a warm tortilla. Check out their website and look for the tropical green truck buzzing around Phoenix.
When the temperature rises, it is time to find Lulu’s and cool down with Italian ice. Hand crafted with fresh seasonal fruits, purees, fruit juice and cane sugar, Lulu’s end product is smooth and packed full of nutrients and flavour. Everything is vegan, made with 100% natural ingredients, and is gluten, dairy, and cholesterol free. Along with the regularly available chocolate, strawberry, coconut, mango, blood orange, vanilla bean and pineapple lemongrass, owner Joe Natale offers a flavour entitled Bordeaux: blended blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and a hint of lime. The Italian ice is made right there in Scottsdale and seasonal specials come and go all year round so mixing flavours is encouraged. Be sure to ask what’s new when stopping by one of their carts throughout the area. Visit their twitter page for the latest tweets on cart locations.
Serving up Arizona-inspired quesadillas, tacos, tortas and salads made to order, Luncha Libre is one of the best well-known food trucks in Phoenix. They bring fresh, high quality ingredients from local sources to diners daily. Order the ‘All Thai’d Up’ quesadilla, a citrus marinated chicken breast, serrano’s, grilled onions, sweet Thai chili sauce and jack cheese encased in a warm tortilla, with a side of freshly made corn tortilla chips and charred tomato salsa. Luncha Libre’s juice and tea varieties change daily, are always hand-crafted and come quirkily served in a quart mason jar. Churros are filled with cajeta (a thick caramelized milk syrup) and the banana pudding is a favorite amongst the regulars. Get those taste buds ready for the full flavour and high quality meals found at Luncha Libre. Visit their main web page for the complete schedule of events.
Hardy barbecue comes in many forms at One-Eighty Q. When in the mood for brisket, try mac’s spicy meat. The meat is smoked on the truck for 12 to 16 hours and tossed on top of macaroni smothered in American cheddar and pepper jack homemade cheese sauce. If in the mood for a sandwich, the ‘Link’n’Pork’ puts a hot link, hand shredded pork, pickled red cabbage, and special cheese sauce between two pieces of lightly toasted bread, served with a side of chips. Co-owner Austin Carlise is also happy to make suggestions and explain exactly what goes into every reasonably priced dish. Austin believes ‘good people deserve good food’ so bring an appetite and One-Eighty Q will not disappoint. Check out their website for the times and locations.
Inspired by the Vietnamese legend detailing how the great pho king brought French recipes made with Vietnamese ingredients to the working classes by wagon, the Pho King delivers its cooking to the streets of Phoenix in a similar fashion. The menu rotates on a weekly basis, so different dishes are consistently available. The ‘Pho Cup’d’ offers pho broth in the traditional large bowl, filled with rice noodles, tender beef or chicken and comes with a side plate of sprouts, lime, basil, cilantro and jalapeños. Other menu items include stir fry, savoury crepes, spring rolls, and much more. French-Vietnamese fusion cuisine may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Phoenix fare, but this is a food truck not to be missed. Head to their website for where to find them next.
Rick’s Hit The Spot is best known for excellent burgers and fries at unbeatable prices. By mixing new and unique foods, they promise an unrivalled menu. Favourites include the chicken club sandwich made with a deep fried filet of chicken breast and hickory smoked bacon as well as the burger comprising of a fresh ground round beef and cheese topped with lettuce, tomato and served on a freshly baked bun. All sandwiches also come with a side of their ‘cut on the truck’ fries to complete the meal. When looking to satisfy a sweet tooth, the homemade apple pie is a tried and true crowd pleaser. Rick says his food is like eating at home, so grab the family or a friend and enjoy one of the most delicious burgers in town. Check their calendar on their website for hours and locations.
Sandra Dee’s is not shy in letting customers know it is ‘Arizona’s only real Louisiana creole food truck’, boasting truly authentic cuisine. Southern fried catfish with seasoned fries, southern style grits topped with garlic seasoned sautéed shrimp, biscuits and gravy, and crawfish étouffée are just some of the menu options available daily. The food is so good that a former member of the New Orleans Saints hired the food truck to serve meals at their recent event, but this newfound fame does not stop Sandra Dee’s from serving locals wholesome breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Head over to the website to see where they will be next and pause to check out their hilarious comic strips detailing Sandra Dee and Shannon’s antics.
Dutch-Indonesian Satay Gourmet Food Truck uses family recipes and shares its unique cuisine with the people of Phoenix at a very reasonable price. Run by Rik Micola, a Phoenix native, and his wife Mayme, the couple share their food with a city that has very little exposure to this delicious grilled fare. For those who are unfamiliar with Satay, it is made with fresh meat or tofu that has been marinated, skewered, and cooked over an open flame. Beef, chicken, pork, and tofu are the protein options and plates come with two skewers, steamed rice, gado-gado vegetable salad and atjar, sweet and spicy infused cucumber chunks. The truck handles food that contains allergens that may impact customers with special dietary needs, but just let them know before ordering and they are more than willing to accommodate. Follow them on twitter for where they will be next.
This food truck is the quintessential family-run business on wheels. Owners Brad and Kat traded in their corporate lives for more creative self-employment. With ‘simple and straightforward’ fare, they have taken an American favourite and put their own spin in it. Focusing on natural ingredients sourced locally, Short Leash’s gourmet menu boasts unique combinations such as the Oliver and the Igby, both named after the couple’s own canine companions. The Oliver is topped with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and a dab of Thousand Island dressing, whilst the Igby comes with coleslaw and crumbled bleu cheese drizzled with tangy BBQ sauce. Not a fan of an ingredient? Not a problem, Brad and Kat are happy to accommodate customer requests. Head to their twitter page for more information on where to find them.
The Uprooted Kitchen features a wide range of vegetarian and vegan options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. From special burgers, sandwiches, wraps, tacos, sushi and everything else in between, this husband and wife duo have built a business focused on healthy options that they hope to pass down to their children one day. The Uprooted Kitchen’s two food trucks roam Phoenix with items such as chilled butternut oats topped with chilled coconut or almond milk, served with organic fruit or a scone. For lunch, the rotating salad menu is phenomenal, especially the tempeh spinach salad, coated with avocado dressing and paired with an omega seed cracker. There is even a kids menu that includes an entrée, fruit kabob, mini cookie and small water. Keep an eye out for their vintage mobile kitchens and healthy fare. Check the homepage’s map for a live look at where the two trucks are.