America's Top 10 Food Truck Festivals
Food trucks started in the 1860s and provided low-cost, on-the-go meals for workers. But the 2010s changed the food truck game forever, turning them from a convenient lunch alternative to a trend that has only gotten stronger with the years.
Now, you'll find food trucks serving all kinds of gourmet dishes, catering at fancy events and being the center of several festivals around the country. If you want varied food choices, high quality and good prices, this is exactly the event for you.
You'll feel as if you've died and gone to foodie heaven at the best food truck festivals in the U.S.
10. Sea Isle City Food Truck Fest
Location: Sea Isle City, New Jersey
Dates held: Mid or late summer
The dates for the weekend Sea Isle City Food Truck Fest change every year. What doesn't change is the quality of the event, which provides some of the most fun experiences you can have in the summer on the Jersey Shore.
Games, crafts and live music accompany the real star of the show: amazing food.
9. Reno Food Truck Fridays
Location: Reno, Nevada
Dates held: Every Friday from June to August
Who says you need to go to Vegas to have a good time? Summer in Reno is made that much sweeter with Food Truck Fridays, an event that features over 40 trucks. Besides delicious food, you'll find beer, spirits and wine trucks from local vendors. There's also a small rock climbing wall that kids love.
The event is so popular that we'd highly encourage people from nearby California towns to cross the border just for it at least once.
8. Tacos 'N Taps
Dates held: Varies
If you have a restaurant on wheels, you might as well make it a traveling restaurant. This is exactly what the organizers of Tacos 'N Taps had in mind with the event, which rolls around the country hosting one-day festivals in different cities.
The festival's theme, as you've probably deduced, is tacos and beer. We can't think of anything that goes better together.
7. Chicago Food Truck Festival
Location: Chicago, Ilinois
Dates held: Last weekend in June
Chicago may reign as the best foodie city in America, given its numerous neighborhoods that specialize in different types of cuisines. It makes sense, then, that the Chicago Food Truck Festival would make it to the top 10 in the country.
Expect a very large variety of food choices — everything from Mexican to pan-Asian to unexpected fusions. Every food truck that makes it to the festival is high-quality, and summer in the city is delightful. Entrance is free, but a ticket is required.
Our only wish is that this festival offered more dates. A single weekend is not enough.
6. Columbus Food Truck Festival
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Dates held: August
For three days in August, Columbus becomes a food truck mecca. The city's annual food truck festival packs in a number of fun activities to complement the food: live band concerts, a carousel, a bounce castle and more.
Families, in particular, love the event for its kid-friendly offerings. Besides the trucks, vendors line up in the streets selling local and national arts and crafts.
5. Cape Cod Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival
Location: East Falmouth, Massachusetts
Dates held: The first weekend in August
Summer at the Cape is simply magical and is made even more so by the Cape Cod Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival. You can choose from a selection of mouthwatering international, American and fusion foods, and then wash them down with some of the country's best craft beers.
If you're in Massachusetts in August, this is a must-do event.
4. Interstate Food Truck Festival
Location: Boonsboro, Maryland
Dates held: August
The two-day Insterstate Food Truck Festival centers mostly on BBQ, with a BBQ competition being one of its main events. But if you don't eat meat, there are a myriad of options to choose from.
Besides eating, the festival organizes lots of fun activities, including karaoke, axe throwing, pony rides and cornhole. Plus, there's a bounce castle that will keep your kids occupied for a long, long time.
3. Food Trucks Tuesdays at Haulover Park
Location: Miami, Florida
Dates held: Tuesdays year-round
What's the advantage of living in a city where it never really gets cold? Being able to have food truck events throughout the year. Get out of the tourist strip in South Beach and set your eyes north to Halouver Beach.
On Tuesdays, you can head to Miami's best beach (take it from a Miami native) from 5 to 10 p.m. to go food truck hopping. As this is Miami, you'll find all kinds of Latin American and Caribbean food, as well as internationally inspired fare.
Bring a beach chair to eat right on the sand. Or don't. There are also grassy areas here if you're not one to dip your toes in the water.
2. Food Truck Carnival
Location: Northglenn, Colorado
Dates held: Annually in May
Colorado natives are too cool for festivals, so they launched a Food Truck Carnival instead. Don't make the mistake of thinking the name is an exaggeration. This is a veritable three-day carnival with 15 to 20 rides appropriate for different ages.
When you're not soaring through the sky or screaming your guts out as adrenaline rushes through you, head to the food trucks, where you'll find some hearty food that'll keep your heart strong and brave. There is also plenty of classic carnival food to be had.
Entrance is free, but you do have to pay for the rides.
1. California SoulFood Cookout and Festival
Location: Turlock, California
Dates held: Mid-September
The California SoulFood Cookout and Festival does not take the concept of "festival" lightly. Food trucks are a focus of the event, of course, but the live music does not play second fiddle.
A large stage hosts R&B/gospel concerts throughout the weekend, so attendees can enjoy gorging on food from some of the Bay Area's most popular food trucks while listening to great music.
Though soul food is the star, you'll find other delicious cuisines represented in the more than 25 trucks that vie for your attention. Several vendors also make an appearance. So you can shop between eating and dancing.