Top Food Truck Businesses in California
The goal of most food trucks is to create unique, innovative cuisine and sell a lot of it. Sounds simple, right?
To be successful, food trucks have to create a recipe for success.
We’ve researched the top food truck businesses in California – the ones who are definitely successful – and, we’re going to highlight them here. But first, let’s talk about the recipe for food truck success.
What Makes a Top Food Truck?
- To be a top food truck, you have to market your truck. (tweet this) A successful owner works to create an identifiable brand from the menu, to the logo, the website and social media pages.
- You have to generate revenue. Perhaps this is by providing lunch and dinner. Or, it might be adding on to that by providing event catering.
- Top food trucks are flexible. Be prepared to change locations and shift operating hours to accommodate the marketplace.
- Join with other trucks. A group of five trucks is more likely to draw a crowd than a single truck by itself.
- Charge what you need to charge to earn money. Be fair with yourself.
- Hire the right people so they’ll stick around and be loyal to you. Reward their loyalty.
- Be prepared to work hard. Food truck ownership isn’t for the faint of heart. You are building a small business, and getting it off the ground requires time and capital.
Now that we’ve looked at what makes a top food truck, let’s look at the leading trucks in California.
Bacon, Bacon, San Francisco
As the name implies, you can expect to find a bacon-filled menu. Customers enjoy bacon-fried chicken, bacon tacos, chocolate-covered bacon and a bacon burger with sautéed onions and cheddar.
Rest assured that you can smell the delights coming from this California food truck.
Border Grill Truck, Los Angeles
Delicious citrus chicken, carne asada, and Yucatan pork tacos with quesadillas, homemade tortilla chips and cumin fries delight Los Angeles.
Coolhaus, Los Angeles
When it comes to ice cream, this food truck is tops. They converted a postal van and fitted it with a fold down bar and pink top.
Customers choose their cookie flavor and the ice cream that goes inside. Ice cream aficionados can choose traditional flavors or go the gourmet route with blood orange and chocolate chipotle. It’s an artsy truck serving up overstuffed ice cream sandwiches.
Cousins Maine Lobster, Los Angeles
Owned by cousins, these food truck owners bring fresh Maine lobster to Los Angeles. It’s flown in daily, and they fill their lobster rolls with delicious meat, mayo and a New England style roll. They also serve up lobster bisque, lobster tacos and even lobster ice cream. They round it out with more New England favorites like whoopie pies and root soda.
Devilicious, San Diego
Their motto is, “food so good, it’s bad,” Devilicious participated in The Great Food Truck Race on Food Network.
The serve up classic comfort foods including some unique items such as butter-poached lobster and asparagus grilled cheese.
Fairy Cakes, San Jose
Named Fairy Cakes because that’s what cupcakes are called in England, they employ local students and bakers to create their small cakes. They use only natural ingredients, and everything is baked from scratch.
Juice Wave, San Diego
You might expect a truck to serve up fresh pressed juices and smoothies in healthy California, and this truck doesn’t disappoint. They use fresh ingredients from local farms, using what’s available during the growing season. They are dedicated to practicing sustainability.
Kogi Korean BBQ, Los Angeles
This truck creates as much of a following as a movie star in Los Angeles.
Food Network even named their short-rib taco the best taco in California. Serving up the best in Korean tacos, make plans to stand in line when dreaming of their food.
Pierogi Truck, San Diego
Billed as the only Polish and Eastern European Cuisine restaurant in San Diego, they serve handmade pierogi filled with a variety of stuffing. They also delight customers with Hungarian pancakes, blitzes, Polish sausage and more.
Takoz Mod Mex, San Jose
Owned and operated by the chef, this Mexican Cuisine takes a modern spin.
Their tacos are so unique because they are garnished with a signature arugula mix featuring arugula, green and red cabbage, julienned carrots, radish sprouts, picked onions and a house vinaigrette.
The Chairman Truck, San Francisco
A top food truck in the Bay Area, they serve up Chinese Buns. You can try Chinese spiced duck confit with mango salsa as well as hybrid drink offerings such as a combo that includes shaved ice, large and chewy tapioca pears, pineapple and salted caramel sauce.
Long lines seem to follow the Chairman everywhere.
The Grilled Cheese Truck, Los Angeles
Deemed one of LA’s most famous food trucks, nearly everyone loves their signature sandwich, the Cheesy Mac and Rib. This concoction features cheddar cheese melted with barbecue pork and caramelized onions inside toasty bread.
For those non-meat eaters, they dish up a fresh Harvest Melt with butternut squash, sautéed leeks, Balsamic and Agave Syrup. Or, equally as delicious, you’ll find a Brie Melt on cranberry walnut bread with sliced pears and honey.
The Lime Truck, Orange County
Winner of Season 2 of The Food Networks Great Food Truck Race, they create fresh, healthy and delicious food.
Customers enjoy pulled pork fries drizzled with chipotle honey and raspberry lychee limeades.
Two for the Road, San Diego
American comfort food with a twist springs forth from this enticing food truck. Burgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, salmon burgers, and chicken sandwiches partner with unique and retro sodas. They use fresh ingredients that are never frozen and are hormone free.
Food trucks have risen to popularity in the last several years, and that has certainly been true in California. One study found that there are more than 4,000 food trucks in cities with populations of 100,000 or more. That puts a lot of food trucks in the sunny state.
Now that we’ve talked about the top food truck businesses in California, you might be inspired to open your own food truck with your own unique idea.
Food trucks are riding the wave of the future, and with their unique offerings and ability to cater to people where they are, food trucks are a good bet in 2016.
Be sure to follow the recipe for success we talked about above, make a plan and craft an innovative, simple and interesting menu people will love to create your own top food truck.
Food trucks absolutely need a responsive, mobile-friendly website. (tweet this) It’s the ideal way to highlight your menu and share your weekly locations.
At Restaurant Engine, we build responsive, mobile-friendly restaurant websites. Contact us today for your free website consultation. We are here to help you update your website and stand out in the crowd so you can stay ahead of your competition.