Start your trip in San Diego with El Gallito’s pork sandwiches, called tortas ahogadas. Make your way to Los Angeles — arguably the country’s food truck capital — and enjoy everything from gourmet tacos to giant tater tots. Then head to San Francisco where mobile eateries go global with French escargot pops, Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches and tacos served Filipino style.
1. El Gallito
El Gallito's tortas ahogadas are not only fast but also one of Marcela Valladolid's favorite street-food dishes. A "tortas ahogadas" roughly translates to drowned sandwich, the drowning courtesy of two spicy sauces covering a hefty sandwich of tender pork. But be careful while eating-- this food will get messy.
As their motto -- "food so good it's bad" -- implies, this San Diego-based food truck boasts a menu of classic comfort foods made with indulgent ingredients like butter-poached lobster and "bacon, bacon, bacon and more bacon." Vegetarians can (and should) try the decadent Asparagus Grilled Cheese.
3. Chomp Chomp Nation
Inspired by Singaporean cuisine, chef Gina Galvan is cooking up some "exotic tropical Chinese food" in the Chomp Chomp Nation food truck. Guy loved the crunchy, sweet and salty crab cake topped with slaw and spicy ketchup.
4. Don Chow Tacos
Don Chow Tacos' Los Angeles food truck fuses Chinese and Mexican cuisines to create such unique dishes as Chimales (Chinese-Mexican tamales, meat-stuffed masa wrapped in corn husks and steamed). Also worth a try: Kung Pao Chicken Tacos and the sweet 'n' smoky Chinese BBQ Pork Burritos.
5. The Lime Truck
The Lime Truck's concept is simple: create fresh, healthy and accessible food. Proof of concept? Try the slow-roasted pulled-pork fries drizzled with chipotle honey or the refreshing raspberry lychee limeades. Want more proof? The Lime Truck drove straight to No. 1 on Season 2 of The Great Food Truck Race.
6. Grill 'Em All
Get ready to rock 'n' roll with Beau MacMillan’s favorite street food: H-100s. Unassuming at first, these giant tater tots will explode in your mouth. As the Season 1 winners of The Great Food Truck Race, Grill 'Em All took everyone for a ride with their tasty, in-your-face burgers.
A self-proclaimed "veggie truck," Seabirds offers a rotating menu of organic and seasonal vegetarian dishes, like Cream of Broccoli Asparagus Soup and Mushroom-Spinach Mac and Cheese, to the Orange County area. Also visit their companion brick-and-mortar spot, Seabirds Kitchen, in Costa Mesa, California.
8. Crepes Bonaparte
Focusing solely on made-to-order sweet and savory crepes, the Crepes Bonaparte food truck roams between the Orange County and Los Angeles areas. In 2012, they expanded to include a second truck in San Diego.
9. Cafe Con Leche
Los Angeles-based food truck Cafe Con Leche serves up authentic Cuban cuisine for lunch and dinner. With founder Gabriel's cafe con leche recipe, Maria's salsa dancing and Chef Frankie's experience, the Café Con Leche truck has been a party ever since its wheels started rolling.
10. Kogi Korean BBQ
Calling themselves, the "little Korean-taco-truck-that-could," Kogi Korean BBQ hit the streets of L.A. on a mission to introduce the most delectable Korean tacos around. Adam Gertler noticed, calling their $2 short-rib tacos made with all-natural grass-fed beef a "flavor bomb" in your mouth on The Best Thing I Ever Ate.
11. Seoul Sausage
Winners of The Great Food Truck Race Season 3, Seoul Sausage used their prize money to open Seoul Sausage Co. in Los Angeles. The restaurant offers the guys' same menu items, including their flaming kimchi balls. The truck still gets used for catering events.
12. Sky's Gourmet Tacos
Sky's Gourmet Tacos had been selling Mexican-soul food fusion food in their Los Angeles restaurant since 1992 when they expanded to include a food truck in 2010. Now, you can get their signature Shrimp Tacos and more savory eats on the go. A full vegetarian menu is also available.
13. White Rabbit Truck
White Rabbit Truck features Filipino fusion food in the form of tacos, nachos and burritos. Its claim to fame is a six-pound burrito; those who finish one make the hall of fame. Not feeling quite that hungry? Try Pork Sisig tacos, made with fried pork belly, onions and jalapenos.
14. Twirl & Dip Soft Serve
Twirl & Dip Soft Serve serves up ice cream the all-natural way with fresh local ingredients, handmade sugar cones and even compostable cups.
15. Spencer on the Go
At Spencer on the Go, chef Laurent Katgely took his French fare to the food truck scene. According to Tyler Florence, he's succeeded in making the flavors of France come alive on a lollipop stick, so now you can have escargot pops or curried frog legs anytime, anywhere.
16. Nom Nom Truck
Nom Nom, The Great Food Truck Race Season 1 runner up, brings fusion and traditional Vietnamese sandwiches and tacos to hungry Californians using fun recipes and fresh ingredients. For a tasty meal on the go, try the Banh Mi, a crispy baguette layered with saucy meat, fresh cilantro and cucumbers.