The Best Food Trucks in D.C.
Home to over 150 active registered food trucks, DC’s food truck phenomenon is alive and well. From ethnic to comfort food, most trucks are situated along public squares, namely Franklin and Farragut Squares, and outside Metro subway stops such as Union Station, Metro Center, L’Enfant Plaza, and Rosslyn. With numerous options, locals and visitors can utilize the Food Truck Fiesta mobile app or website to track their favorite curbside eats in real-time by map and list format.
Washington, DC, USA
There’s often a line at this food truck (they also go to Maryland and Virginia) but their super-fresh lobster rolls are worth the wait. Go either Connecticut-style (warm and buttery) or Maine-style (chilled with homemade lemon-based mayo) with a side of New England clam chowder or lobster mac n’ cheese.
1339 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA
Dangerously Delicious Pies was the first DC restaurant to spawn a food truck. Renamed The Pie Truck, one can score some sweet slices such as Apple, Peach, and their signature Baltimore Bomb (vanilla chess pie topped with berger cookies, a chocolate-based shortbread) or savory ones like BBQ pulled-pork and the S.M.O.G. (steak, mushroom, onion, and gruyere cheese).
M Street Southeast
As one of the first to appear on the DC scene, this well-known food truck guarantees freshly baked thin-crust pies with homemade sauce and freshly grated cheeses served to you in under 10 minutes (I was told 8 minutes and they were spot on). Their most popular: buffalo chicken and jalapeno pepper with your choice of ranch or blue cheese on the side. Tater tots (plain or loaded) and deep-fried mozzarella sticks are top sellers as well. Check the website for the truck’s monthly schedule.
301 Water St SE, Washington, DC 20003, USA
Renowned chef Jose Andres’s first food truck unleashes with a variety of his favorite flauta sandwiches he grew up eating in his native Spain. Options include pork with roasted peppers, fried chicken breast, Serrano ham and Manchego cheese, and the $20 Iberico pork stuffed in a freshly baked thin baguette. Or skip straight to dessert for a chocolate and hazelnut ice cream flauta.
1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA
DC’s first and only food truck offering mouth-watering deep fried pork, beef, chicken, and vegetarian empanadas. The “Traditional” with shredded beef, Spanish olives, roasted peppers, onions, and cilantro is a top seller, but unique fillings representing a variety of cuisines are offered like jerk chicken, chicken tikka, ginger teriyaki, marinara, bacon cheeseburger, and Philly cheesesteak.
L'Enfant Plaza Southwest
Co-owners Brian Farrell and chef Malik Umar, serves housemade sauces over freshly made-from-scratch pasta noodles like spaghetti, fettuccine, and lasagna. The “Linda” (traditional lasagna with beef) and the “Giuseppe” (black truffle lasagna with gorgonzola cheese and portobello mushrooms) consistently draw the lunchtime crowds to DC’s first established Italian food truck.
If you’re in the mood for healthy meatlessness, this bright orange truck dishes out some stellar falafel sandwiches and platters with hummus and pickled cabbage. Crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. Other Middle Eastern delights like Tabouli (parsley and bulgur wheat salad) and the Greek-style fries with oregano, feta cheese, and olive oil are scrumptious.
1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA
Inspired by the west coast craze, owner Mike Lenard created DC’s first food truck devoted to the Korean BBQ taco. These “taKos” feature trademark seasoned meats including Korean-style buigogi beef, tangy chicken, or caramelized tofu all topped with fresh spicy kimchee or mild napa-romaine slaw, cool lime crème, Sriracha chili sauce, cilantro, and sesame seeds on top of warm corn tortillas. Missed the truck? TaKorean has a permanent storefront inside Union Market.
Founded by longtime friends Daniel Diaz and Louie Hankins, Rito Loco serves up filling burritos that incorporate Cuban, Spanish, and soul-food elements. Their idea originated from a barbecue in which Diaz mixed his homemade BBQ sauce with leftover pasta shells and melted cheese and added them into their breakfast burritos the next morning. Since then, they’ve added a few more flavors, notably the Rib Rito which is stuffed with pulled baby back rib meat.
600 Maryland Ave SW # 3000, Washington, DC 20024, USA
What started off as only one truck by owner Steve Hanifi, now there are five, making Tasty Kabob DC’s largest food truck fleet. Often seen around L’Enfant Plaza, Franklin Square, Farragut Square, and in Rosslyn, VA, each truck serves up generous, flavorful portions of grilled chicken, lamb, or veggies over rice, salad, or pita bread topped with creamy dill sauce. Complement the meal with a side of their cumin-laced chickpeas.
950 13th Street Northwest
As DC’s first grilled cheese food truck, the Big Cheese uses artisan cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery and local farmers’ markets to create the fabulous gooey comfort sammies. Should you want to keep it simple, seek out the Full Vermonty containing sharp, tangy Vermont cheddar. But if you’re craving a gourmet version, keep your eyes peeled for the Truffle Shuffle (sottocenere black and white truffle cheese with artichoke), the Mt. Fuji (honey, apples, and brie), or the Thrilled Cheese (chipotle cheddar, jalapeño, and guacamole).