LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 19: General view of atmosphere at GenR: LA Force For Change I Am Not A Weapon Exhibition, hosted by Generation Rescue and the International Rescue Committe, on June 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Love Food Trucks? Who doesn’t? It seems like the entire food truck industry has boomed in the last 10-15 years, at least here in North Carolina. And for good reason. Food truck festivals are perfect for when you want to try multiple things- or perhaps your group just can’t agree on the same type of food. That’s why Food & Wine set out to determine the cities with the best food trucks across the country. And since trying food trucks in every city is a bit of a challenge, they decided to ask the people who know best- their readers! Food & Wine readers voted ten cities the “cream of the crop” as part of the publication’s Global Tastemakers awards. And one North Carolina city made the shortlist.

Food trucks are a great way for aspiring chefs and restaurant owners to test the waters without the high overhead of opening a full restaurant. Plus they have the ability to go where the people are ie festivals, concerts, breweries, etc. And then of course there is the novelty and appeal of food trucks for a lot of consumers. I have to admit though, with prices typically comparable to a sit-down restaurant, I’ll take that option most every time. But I’m in the minority I know! So which North Carolina city did Food & Wine readers say has the best food trucks? It’s one of my favorites!


  • Raleigh, NC

    Yep Raleigh made the list. The North Carolina capital city came in 10th on this list. I actually called Raleigh home for around 4 years (college) and still go back to visit 12-15 weekends a year. But outside of college functions and the NC State Fair, I don’t believe I’ve ever really eaten at a food truck in Raleigh that I can remember. I go to every NC State Football game however and Carter Finley Stadium did recently add an area called “Raleighwood” which features several food trucks. I tend to tailgate or hit up a bar before the games however so I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet.

    But which food trucks should you try in Raleigh? These are the ones specifically mentioned by Food & Wine:

    • The Wandering Moose
    • Chirba Chirba
    • Ospresso’s
    • Curry In A Hurry


  • Best Food Truck Cities

    Other cities mentioned include Houston, San Diego, San Fransisco, and the winner- Oakland, California. You can read the full list and highlights here.

  • North Carolina's Favorite Food Truck Food Is Unexpected

    Food trucks are showing no signs of slowing down in popularity. And for good reason. There are some delicious street foods that you can get from food trucks, not just your basic food options. Whether it’s an oyster po’boy, lamb curry poutine, or Alaskan reindeer sausage. Yeah, I had to google when that last one even was. Plenty of my friends follow food trucks around, going to breweries specifically to eat from the trucks. This surging popularity led Shane Co. to determine the most popular food truck items. To do this they turned to Google Trends. From there they analyzed search volume across 500 food trucks and 1,500+ menu items over the past year to find the favorite food truck orders and cuisine both by state and nationwide.

    Many of the favorite food truck items reflect the local cuisine. Some are more basic, and others had me scratching my head about how on earth that item was the most popular. Listen I love brussel sprouts but that’s the most popular item in Delaware? I have a hard time believing that. I know one thing I will be participating in these Google search trends trying to find a local vendor for some of these foods. Keep reading to see the most popular item by state including both Carolinas and our neighbors. You’ll also find out the ten most popular food truck foods. Read the full Shane Co. article here.

  • Most Popular Food Truck Item In Each State

    • North Carolina: Fried Shrimp Burger
    • South Carolina: Sauerkraut Hot Dog
    • Georgia: Pulled Pork Sliders
    • Tennessee: Roasted Cauliflower Tacos
    • Virginia: Curry Fries

    Fried Shrimp Burger

  • Second Most Popular Food Truck Item In Each State

    • North Carolina: Honey-Drizzled Pork Ribs
    • South Carolina: Korean Corn Dog
    • Georgia: Loaded Tator Tots
    • Tennessee: Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich
    • Virginia: Oyster Po’boy

    BBQ Pork Ribs

  • The Most Popular Food Truck Eats Across The Country

    **Based on Google search data in the past 12 months**

  • 1. Tacos

    Street Food Business Hit By Coronavirus Effect

    Tacos were one of the two most popular items in 10 states:

    • Alaska (Alaskan salmon tacos)
    • Arizona (Carne asada tacos)
    • California (Al pastor tacos)
    • Colorado (Birra tacos)
    • Idaho (Birra tacos)
    • Ohio (Birra tacos)
    • Arizona (Brisket tacos)
    • California (Shrimp ceviche tostados)
    • New Mexic0 (Carne asada tacos)
    • Rhode Island (Lobster tacos)
  • 2. Sandwhich/Roll

    Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival Presented By Coca-Cola - Chicken Coupe hosted by Whoopi Goldberg and Andrew Carmellini

    There are seemingly endless varieties of sandwiches, so of course, it’s the second most popular item! This includes lobster rolls in New England, Florida Cuban sandwiches, and North Dakota’s favorite Hawaiian pulled pork sandwich.

  • 3. Fries


    A conversation the other day led me to the realization that fries might just be my favorite food. So you can bet I’m ordering loaded fries at a food truck. Other popular options include pot roast fries in Arizona and curry fries in Virginia.

  • 4. Burgers

    Giant cheeseburger

    Always a classic. North Carolina loves the shrimp burger, other popular options are the Wagyu beef burger and a falafel burger!

  • 5. Hot/Corn Dog

    Hot dogs

    You can jazz up a hot dog but it’s still a hot dog. But some people love them. Idaho loves its classic corn dog while South Dakota prefers the Sauerkraut dog.

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