Traveling across the United States offers a cornucopia of flavors at unique and popular restaurants from coast to coast. But if you really want to take a culinary exploration, try a food truck.
Since 2008, food trucks have experienced a massive growth in popularity. And for all you travelers, Zagat’s now offers a food truck guide that highlights all the wonderful flavors and spices you can experience – from sushi, dim sum, Brazilian barbecue and Greek sausages to red velvet pancakes, Vietnamese sandwiches, cupcakes, Indian dosas, Filipino halo-halo, Texas barbecue and hundreds of other flavors. And they’re all delivered on wheels!
Why the sudden surge in food trucks? After all, food trucks have been around for more than a hundred years. In fact, the first reported food truck dates back to 1872, when a food vendor parked his covered wagon in front of a local newspaper office in Providence, R.I. With windows cut into the wagon, he sat on the inside box and sold sandwiches, pies and coffee to the newspaper’s journalists and pressmen.
Fast-forward to 2008 when a group of Los Angeles entrepreneurs that included chef Roy Choi gained national attention with their food truck, called Kogi BBQ. They capitalized on social media to build a fan base for their food truck, which is credited with beginning the modern craze. They even inspired a film, 2014’s “Chef,” starring Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Oliver Pratt, Dustin Hoffman and others. Choi served as a co-producer for the film.
Millennials – those born roughly between 1980 and 2000 – are a big reason food trucks have become so popular. The generation is known to be made up of adventurous eaters, and they love the fast, convenient – and unique – meals on wheels.
Some traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants have capitalized on the food truck trend by gathering a handful of their most popular menu items and taking them mobile with a food truck. Whether their customers crave a sit-down experience, or prefer dining on the go, they are able to serve both segments. It’s another example of restaurants adapting to changing tastes and services.