The food-truck trend is still going strong in Austin, and you won't have trouble finding lots to choose from. There are clusters of trailers in areas like Barton Springs Road, Rainey Street, East Sixth Street and East Cesar Chavez Street. You’ll also find colonies of trucks at Austin events, including South by Southwest, the Austin City Limits Music Festival and the Long Center for the Performing Arts’ seasonal Trailer Food Tuesdays. And plenty of local bars host a trailer or two parked onsite. Some favorites have transitioned from a food truck to a bricks-and-mortar location, like Odd Duck, from acclaimed chef Bryce Gilmore. Others, like Torchy’s Tacos, East Side King and Kebabalicious, maintain both trailers and storefronts. A couple of things to remember before you go trailer-hopping: 1) Just because you’re eating at a food truck, don’t expect fast-food prices. 2) Chances are, you'll be dining outside, often without shelter from the sun. But if you’re cool with those two things, you’re in for some good eating. Here are five of my favorites:
East Side King Thai-Kun
Is it wrong that I daydream about Thai-Kun moving into my backyard, enabling me to eat the Waterfall Pork or Thai Kun Fried Chicken every day? This truck, located at Whisler's cocktail bar, has to be the most flavor per dollar that you can get in Austin.
Veracruz All Natural
The slow-cooked barbacoa tacos at this truck are so luscious that they’ll ruin you for anyone else's. For breakfast, the migas tacos are justly revered as some of the best breakfast tacos in this breakfast taco-obsessed town. You can pair your tacos with fruit smoothies, fresh juices or aguas frescas.
Micklethwait Craft Meats
You can’t get much more Austin than a barbecue trailer started by an ex-rock ‘n’ roller. That's the backstory on Micklethwait's, a friendly place that takes its top-quality brisket, sausage and other meats seriously and doesn't overlook the sides and desserts. (And, by the way, the trailer itself is charmingly old-school.)
The Peached Tortilla
The flavors of Austin intersect with those of Asia and the Deep South at the Peached Tortilla. That means you can make a meal of a banh mi burrito with a side of fries and bacon jam. The flavor combinations have proved so popular that a Peached Tortilla storefront will soon join its food trucks.
The Mighty Cone
The Mighty Cone serves breaded chicken, shrimp or avocado in a tortilla with ancho sauce. For years, the cones were available only at Austin City Limits Music Festival, leaving Austinites to crave them between festivals. Relief came in 2009, when the opening of the Mighty Cone truck made them available all year.