Which City Has the Best Food Trucks?

Header for Best Cities for Food Trucks

The food truck scene is a vibrant part of American culinary culture. From bustling cities to small towns, these mobile kitchens offer a convenient dining experience for customers and flexibility and mobility for food businesses. We recently analyzed Yelp reviews to determine the best cities for food trucks in the U.S. and found out which ones stand out in various categories and cuisines. Which cities led in overall quality, diversity, and specific foods? Food truck fans can use this guide to find out.

Key Takeaways

  • Glendale, CA; Los Angeles, CA; and Austin, TX are the best U.S. cities for food trucks.
  • Glendale, Los Angeles, and New York City have the highest number of food trucks in the U.S.
  • Amarillo, TX; Tallahassee, FL; and Mobile, AL, have the highest-rated food trucks in the U.S.
  • Columbus, GA; Clarksville, TN; and Madison, WI, have the most affordable food trucks in the U.S.
  • Glendale, Los Angeles, and Oakland, CA, have the most diverse food trucks in the U.S.
  • San Francisco, Sunnyvale, and Ontario, CA, have the most popular food trucks in the U.S.
  • Austin, TX, is the best U.S. city for Caribbean, Coffee & Tea, Mexican, and Middle Eastern/Halal food trucks.
  • Portland, OR, is the best U.S. city for Chinese, Fusion & Specialty, Japanese, and Salads & Sandwiches food trucks.

Top Cities for Food Trucks

Food trucks have become a beloved part of the American culinary scene, providing diverse and delicious options to hungry patrons on the go. Below are the best cities in the U.S. for food trucks, ranked by various metrics. This list includes the 200 most populated cities in the country.

Based on their overall food truck scores out of 100 possible points, Glendale, CA; Los Angeles, CA; and Austin, TX, stood out as the top cities for food trucks in the U.S. These cities have a thriving environment for food trucks, combining high ratings, affordability, and a diverse range of options. When it came to the sheer number of food trucks, Glendale, Los Angeles, and New York City led the pack. 

Quality was another key factor in our analysis. Amarillo, TX; Tallahassee, FL; and Mobile, AL, had the highest-rated food trucks, impressing customers with their delicious offerings and excellent service. Affordability is also a big draw for food trucks, and Columbus, GA; Clarksville, TN; and Madison, WI, had the most affordable options. 

Diversity in cuisine is a hallmark of a great food truck city. Glendale, Los Angeles, and Oakland, CA, excelled in this area, with a wide variety of food options that catered to all tastes and preferences. Meanwhile, San Francisco, Sunnyvale, and Ontario, CA, had the most popular food trucks, drawing large crowds and consistently high reviews from satisfied customers.

Best Cities by Food Truck Cuisine

Different cities across the U.S. have become renowned for their exceptional food trucks, with specialized cuisines that delight the taste buds. Next, we ranked the top three best cities for various food truck cuisines based on ratings, review counts, and the number of food trucks of that cuisine.

An infographic showing the top cities for food trucks by cuisine.

Austin, TX, emerged as the top city for several popular food truck cuisines. It led the nation in Caribbean, Coffee & Tea, Mexican, and Middle Eastern/Halal food trucks, making it a go-to destination for a diverse culinary experience. Portland, OR, also excelled in multiple categories, being the best city for Chinese, Fusion & Specialty, Japanese, and Salads & Sandwiches food trucks. Its vibrant food truck scene was full of unique and flavorful options.

For American cuisine trucks, Vancouver, WA, took the top spot. It provided some of the best American food on wheels, drawing food lovers from near and far. Glendale, CA, was notable for its dessert and Japanese food trucks, ranking among the top cities in these categories. 

America’s Premier Food Truck Cities

Food trucks reflect the innovation and diversity of American cuisine, offering a wide range of flavors and experiences. We’ve uncovered where to find those that excel in various aspects, from the number of food trucks to specific culinary specialties. Whether you’re in Austin for some delicious Caribbean food or Portland for a unique Fusion dish, these cities have something special for every palate.

Methodology

For this study, we leveraged the Yelp API to gather data on all food truck locations in the 200 most populated cities in the U.S. We used the following data for our meta-ranking and assigned the following weight to each:

  • Number of food trucks (30%)
  • Average food truck rating (30%)
  • Food truck affordability (15%)
  • Food diversity (15%)
  • Popularity, based on average review count (10%)

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