38 Unique Food Truck Ideas & Concepts

food truck ideas

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In the not-too-distant past, food trucks were a rare sight. Over the past decade, they have become incredibly popular. Cities and towns across the United States have adapted to ensure that food trucks can operate on busy streets during lunch hour and during festivals and other events.

To have a successful food truck, you will need to sell great food – and have a menu that your patrons can’t get elsewhere. It can be challenging to choose a concept that is both unique and workable in the small confines of a food truck. Our list of 38 great food truck concepts can give you the inspiration that you need to choose an amazing idea for your own food truck.

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How to Come Up with a Great Food Truck Concept

Food trucks are incredibly popular. They have become a staple of markets, fairs, and other outdoor events. You might even see a food truck at a wedding or other special occasion.

If you want to get into the food truck game, one of the most important things that you will need – beyond a truck that can be converted – is a cool concept. There is a lot of food truck competition in many cities throughout the U.S. To be profitable, you may need to offer something a little different than the standard food truck fare.

You may have already come up with a food truck concept based on anything from your heritage, your travels, or your love of a particular kind of cuisine. For example, you may have a long-time love for Hawaiian plate lunch – which could inspire a food truck concept that could do good business in the continental United States, where it is a lot harder to find plate lunch.

You may also draw inspiration from your community itself, any holes that you have identified in the market (such as an allergen-friendly food truck), or even a loved one who you want to honor. When considering your concept, be sure to think about the practicalities, including:

  • What equipment will be necessary to cook this food?
  • Will I have enough space in my truck to prepare this food?
  • How much of this menu can be prepared ahead?
  • How long will it take to prepare an average menu item?
  • Are my menu items easy to eat on the go?

If you have a great idea that won’t be feasible to prepare in a small space or for hundreds of people, then it may be time to go back to the drawing board. A successful food truck will offer great food that is well-suited for outdoor events – and that can be prepared relatively quickly so customers aren’t kept waiting.

Great Food Truck Ideas to Get You Started

It is one thing to know that you need a unique concept to set yourself apart from the crowd. It is quite another thing to come up with an idea.  If you don’t already have something in mind, this list of 38 cool food trucks can help you brainstorm.

Wood-Fired Pizza Truck

When you consider the kind of kitchen that a food truck likely has, you may not think it possible to cook wood-fired pizza. Yet San Francisco’s Del Popolo has found a way to do just that. They offer wood-fired pizzas, salads, and more from a shipping container that has been converted into a kitchen complete with a traditional wood-fired oven.

Native Cuisine Truck

Many Americans are largely unfamiliar with Native American cuisine. Seattle’s Off The Rez food truck aims to change that reality. Their menu includes everything from fry bread tacos to quinoa salad with succotash to sweet fry bread desserts.

Shrimp Truck

Let’s be real: the words seafood and food truck don’t often go together. But Giovanni’s is located on Hawaii’s North Shore – the perfect place for a shrimp truck. They serve shrimp prepared in a number of different ways together with a side of rice.

Korean BBQ to Go

Celebrity chef Roy Choi wasn’t content to just serve his delicious food from a traditional restaurant. He started Kogi, a Korean BBQ truck, back in 2008. This L.A.-based food truck offers Korean food with a Mexican flare, like a kogi kimchi quesadilla or a spicy pork taco.

Mexican Dessert Truck

Who doesn’t love a churro? If you’re in Austin, you won’t have to wait for a trip to Disney to get a delicious churro. The Churro Co. sells churros and other Mexican street foods from its food truck.

BBQ Truck

If you’re into BBQ, then Oink & Moo is the food truck for you. This New Jersey truck offers savory, slow cooked meats together with all of the fixings – to go. 

Fish and Chips Food Truck

Have you ever been on vacation and had food that you only wished you could get at home? That’s the origin story of The Kilted Kod, an Idaho food truck that specializes in fish and chips. Its owner decided to open the food truck after visiting Scotland and realizing that his community would love this traditional British dish.

Banana Dessert Truck

One of the most fun parts of having a food truck is that you can truly offer almost any kind of dish – no matter how obscure. Enter Bananarchy, Austin’s only frozen banana stand. This food truck only sells frozen bananas, coated with a dip and rolled in a yummy topping.

Gourmet Grilled Cheese

Who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese? At Nashville’s The Grilled Cheeserie, you can get almost any kind of grilled cheese sandwich you want – from a pimento mac & cheese sandwich to a pizza melt. You can also make your own by choosing your favorite bread, cheese, and other ingredients.

Coffee Shop on Wheels

Have you ever gone somewhere and wished that there was a good coffee shop around?  Tampa-based The Bean Bar Co. makes it easy to get a gourmet cup of joe no matter where you are. In addition to an array of beverages, they have breakfast sandwiches and pastries on their menu.

Mediterranean Food Truck

If you’re into shawarma, falafel, and kabobs, then Sajj Mediterranean is for you. Based in San Francisco, this food truck features warm spices, classic flavors, and absolutely delicious food.

Hearty, Healthy Food Truck 

Food truck fare doesn’t have to be fried or unhealthy. At Los Angeles’ Pico House, you can choose from a range of grain bowls that feature meats, veggies, house-made pickles and fresh herbs. All ingredients are locally sourced and full of flavor.

Donut Food Truck

Who doesn’t love a hot, fresh donut? At Austin’s Gourdough’s, the donuts come to you. This food truck specializes in amazing donuts topped with everything from maple icing and bacon to nutella and fresh cut strawberries. 

Vegan Jamaican Food Truck

Santa Fe-based Ras Rody’s offers Jamaican food with a twist: the entire menu is vegan. At this food truck, you can get fresh juices, smoothies, soups, combo plates, and desserts. All menu items are completely free of animal products, and are offered at affordable prices.

Locally Grown Indian Fare

Charleston-based Roti Rolls offers Indian street food with a twist: all of its ingredients are sourced locally from South Carolina farmers. Its food truck has been nicknamed the “green machine” – and has grown so popular that it expanded to Atlanta.

Korean-Mexican Street Food Truck

You may not know it yet, but you are really going to love Korean-Mexican food. Need proof? Head to Oh My Gogi in Houston, which features dishes like kimchi quesadillas and Korean beef tacos.

Japanese Fusion Burger Truck

When you think of Japanese food, you probably don’t think of burgers. Yet Las Vegas’ FukuBurger offers traditional hamburgers with a Japanese twist, like the namesake fukuburger with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, finished with a drizzling of wasabi mayo and Fuku sauce or crispy fries topped with togarishi garlic salt, serviced with ketchup and crack sauce.

Ceviche Food Truck

If you’re not familiar, ceviche is a Latin American dish that features seafood that is “cooked” by the acid from citrus juices. Because you don’t need a stove to make ceviche, it is a great choice for a food truck. In Hawaii, Piska offers Ecuadorian-style ceviche from its mobile truck.

Bar on Wheels

Who says a food truck just has to serve food? The Flores Food Truck, based in New York’s Hudson Valley, offers specialty cocktails, beer, wine, and more. It is a great choice if you’re hosting an event at a space without a liquor license.

Hot Dog Truck

Hot dog stands may be considered the original food truck. But Alaska’s Yeti Dogs offers a slightly different take on the standard, with ingredients that are unique to Alaska. This includes treats like reindeer sausage and elk jalapeno cheddar dogs.

Oyster Food Truck

Food trucks often stick to food that is fairly easy to make on the go, like burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches. At the Nantucket Shuck, the menu is a bit different. It has all types of seafood, including raw oysters, ceviche, ahi tuna chips, lobster rolls, and poke bowls.

Dumpling Food Truck

Boston-based Mei Mei Dumplings started as a brick-and-mortar restaurant that also offered dumpling classes. The popularity of the restaurant soared, and soon Mei Mei took their New England style Chinese food on the road. This food truck offers a range of seasonal and classic flavors, like lemongrass pork dumplings, cheddar scallion potato dumplings, and five spice tofu mushroom dumplings.

Hawaiian Dessert Truck

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to vacation in Hawaii, then you probably sampled at least one of their popular shaved ice or rolled ice cream desserts. One food truck owner decided to bring a taste of the islands to South Dakota. At Sub Zero Desserts, you can order these and other Hawaiian-style treats.

Dog-Friendly Food Truck

Dog people are often very into their pets. It’s little wonder, then, that Seattle’s The Barkery has become so popular. They are often parked outside of dog parks where they sell freshly-baked treats for dogs, like bacon “pupcakes.”

Lobster Food Truck

If you’re into lobster, then Luke’s Lobster is the food truck for you. Based in Maine, this gourmet food truck offers everything from lobster rolls to seafood platters to soups and appetizers.

Mexican-Soul Food Fusion Truck

The United States is often referred to as a melting pot, and nowhere is that more true than with food trucks like The Blaxican. Based in Atlanta, this food truck offers Mexican cuisine with a soul food flare, like blackened fish tacos and and collard greens quesadillas.

Food Truck for Rural Dwellers

City-dwellers typically have a lot of choice when it comes to restaurants and food trucks. If you happen to live in a more isolated area, it can be harder to get good food. The Misunderstood Heron operates in the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland, and offers fresh, local food.

Jewish Deli Food Truck

Sometimes, nothing hits the spot quite like Jewish deli fare. Caplansky’s is a Toronto-based delicatessen that also has a fantastic food truck. Whether you want matzo ball soup, a reuben, or brisket, Caplansky’s has what you are craving.

Mobile Wine Bar

While it may not be a traditional food truck, what could be cooler than a wine bar that comes right to you? In New Orleans, Bubble Tap is a stylish truck that brings wine and champagne on tap to your event. This concept won’t necessarily work in states with strict liquor license laws – but is still pretty cool.

Vegan Food Truck

A lot of food truck menus rely heavily on dishes that feature meat and cheese. Kravegan is different. This vegan food truck offers a range of classic meals – like a fried chik’n dinner – that are all made without animal products. If you’re in the Orange Park, Florida area, be sure to check them out!

Pay What You Can Food Truck

In tough economic times, it can be difficult for many people to splurge on a meal. The Hope Food Truck is a Boston-based truck that does not have set menu prices. Instead, they ask patrons to pay what they can for classic food like chicken tenders, loaded nachos, burgers, and sandwiches. 

Hummus Food Truck

Once relatively unheard of in much of America, hummus has become a grocery store staple.  The Chubby Chickpea takes advantage of this popular dip and spread with a food truck that focuses on Middle Eastern fare. All of their dishes are served deconstructed, so you can construct your sandwich the way that you like best.

Asian-Inspired Fare

If you’re into ramen, bahn mi, or other Asian cuisine, you don’t have to wait to go out to a restaurant.  Boston’s Bon Me offers these dishes and more from their fleet of food trucks.

Italian To Go

If you’re into pasta, you might assume that you can only have it if you make it at home or eat at a red sauce restaurant. In Austin, you can get classic Italian foods like cacio e pepe, pasta pomodoro, and spaghetti carbonara. Check out Patrizi’s on your next trip to Austin!

Tex Mex BBQ Food Truck

There is just something about Texas barbeque. At Valentina’s, an Austin-based food truck, you can sample a range of Mexican-inspired Texas BBQ. You can buy brisket, pulled pork and more by the pound, or order sandwiches and sides to go.

Roving Creperie

Crepes can be sweet or savory – and always hit the spot. At Houston’s Melange Creperie, you can get a breakfast taco crepe, a ham, egg and cheese crepe, or try one of their many dessert crepes. They also serve salads and sides to round out your meal.

Canadian Classics Truck

If you’re not familiar with Canadian cuisine, you may not be aware of the deliciousness that is poutine: fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. At Toronto’s The Ultimate Food Truck, you can get poutine, peameal bacon sandwiches, and other Canadian favorites.

Indian Street Food Truck

India has a vibrant street food scene. Vancouver’s Indish strives to bring foods like sev puri and samosa chaat to the masses. There, you can customize  a rice bowl, paratha wrap, or poutine with your choice of fantastic Indian street foods.

How Budget Branders Can Help Your Food Truck Business

If you own a food truck, then you know firsthand just how stiff the competition for customers at special events can be. Serving food and drinks in custom-branded disposable products can give you the edge over other trucks. When your patrons step away from your food truck, they will be carrying an advertisement for your business around with them – which may lead to increased sales.

At Budget Branders, we know how hard it can be to run a successful restaurant or food truck business. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for small to medium-sized businesses to get custom printed disposable products at prices and in quantities that fit their budget. We know that when profit margins are tight due to inflation, it is more important than ever to have affordable marketing options like branded disposables.

If you’d like to know more about our products, we are happy to help. You can press the live chat button to talk to someone about a product quote or fill out our online contact form to request a quote for custom branded disposable products.

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