The DFW food truck boom has certainly slowed, but that's not necessarily a bad thing — sure, the craze ain't what it used to be, but the consistency and execution of the food served in the trucks around town have never been better. Whether you're grabbing a pastrami sandwich on your lunch break from the office or devouring an ice cream sandwich at one of the many upcoming summer festivals, consider this a guide to getting the most out of the local food truck scene. Here, in no particular order other than alphabetical order, are 15 trucks worth standing in line for.
There's a serious dearth of bubble tea in central Dallas, so Bobaddiction's variety of fruit- and milk-based teas — along with Vietnamese coffee and shaved snow (a close cousin of shaved ice) — is a welcome four-wheeled sight. The boba slingers can often be found parked at Monkey King for weekend dinner service, and for those of us who enjoy chewing their beverages, it doesn't get much better than hand-pulled noodles paired with lychee green bubble tea.
This truck, often spotted at the Truck Yard, offers a flagship food that is as much fun to say as it is to eat: the crawfish pistolette. It's kind of like a Cajun kolache, but the dough is flaky like French bread, and inside it is bubbling with crawfish and cheese awash in Chachere's-style spices. The Tailgators don't stop there, though; riffs on boudin balls, gumbo, and beignets are all worth their seasoned salt. Don't feel like chasing down the truck? Hit up their brick-and-mortar in downtown Plano.
Face it: Most of us aren't fancy enough to eat crepes in our regular, everyday lives. But somehow, these thin French pancakes make the perfect food truck meal — whether yu go sweet with Nutella and bananas or savory with turkey, creamy brie, apple, bacon, and tomato. Whichever way you go, do include an order of their spectacular, award-worthy-in-their-own-right garlic-parmesan fries.
A fixture at Klyde Warren Park, Coolhaus consistently delivers delicious ice cream sandwiches with aplomb. Soft, fresh-baked cookies in flavors like red velvet, chocolate chip, and snickerdoodle can be paired any-which-way with ice cream in varieties that range from crowd-pleasing (Nutella, Tahitian vanilla) to downright weird (fried chicken and waffles, beer and pretzel). If you dreamt it in a drunken haze, Coolhaus probably serves it.
This perennially popular truck from Miley Holmes and Caroline Perini is by and large one of the kings of the Dallas food truck scene, and the throne is rightfully theirs. Those eponymous sliders, though lacking the bulk of the Metroplex's other celebrated burgers, stack up in flavor; they are as damn good as they are adorable. The Roadside (with cheddar, jalapenos, and barbecue sauce) is a crowd pleaser, but the Sweet & Lowdown is the headliner: goat cheese, bacon, and strawberry jam gloriously combine to give Easy Slider their most delicious tiny achievement.
Piles and piles and piles of hey-this-is-actually-a-reasonable-facsimile-of-a-New-York-deli pastrami is what Gandolfo's is selling, and in that, they surely succeed. Yes, they lay it on pretty thick with the New York-by-way-of-Dallas motif and the cringe-inducing menu wordplay, but their pastrami sandwich is simple, executed well, and a pleasure to ingest. Catch them during breakfast hours for a breakfast sandwich, New York-style — that is, served up on a kaiser roll — minus the ever-present smell of garbage and rude commuters.
The Holy Frijole truck often haunts the Fort Worth Food Park, serving quesadillas, burritos, tortas, homemade salsas, and huaraches — think tasty masa pancakes covered in beans, salsa, cheese, crema, and avocado. The tacos they're banging out aren't bad at all either, and with a panoply of options — chicharron, fish, even duck —you're not stuck ordering your standard asada and pastor if you don't want to be. If you do, though, don't worry; Holy Frijole makes sure their standby options are executed just as well as the eclectic ones. But seriously, where else are you going to get a huitlacoche quesadilla from a truck?
Any worthwhile listicle of trucks that serve food must pay respect to its forebearers, and Jack's Chowhound was one of the originals, laying the groundwork for the DFW food truck scene. Jack's Chowhound bills itself as comfort food on wheels: Their pulled-pork grilled cheese is every bit as oozing as it sounds, and sourcing their bread from Village Baking Company (just like Off-Site Kitchen) gives their big-ass burgers a sturdy, well-constructed base. With good ingredients and heaping portions as its pillars, Jack's has staying power.
This prolific truck boasts sizable and scrumptious banh mi-style sandwiches. (The tacos they're turning out are no slouches, either.) Their pork offerings, grilled and BBQ, are both formidable, but the BBQ version is slightly better — the flavors pack more punch —and definitely what you should choose to fill your just-the-right-ratio-of-crusty-to-pillowy baguette with. Grab a bag of shrimp snacks too; they're crunchy and salty and a unique, worthy companion to one of the best banh mi in town. Stay tuned for their more permanent digs coming soon to the Dallas Farmers Market.
RUTHIE'S ROLLING CAFE
Ruthie's food trucks are a veritable swarm. There's four of them, proving that DFW's hunger for grilled cheese sandwiches can never truly be satiated. Perhaps most popular (and rightfully so) is The Boss — brisket dressed in barbecue sauce, bathing in an obscene amount of cheddar cheese, smushed inside expertly buttered and grilled sourdough toast.
The folks behind the budding Fort Worth empire that is Salsa Limon know their way around all kinds of traditional Mexican tacos: lengua, tripas, chorizo, barbacoa. Their food truck, often parked on Berry Street, near TCU, is what started it all; they grew from humbly slingin' straighforward truck tacos to now operating multiple restaurants. So next time you're in Cowtown, go gaze upon their truck — and, of course, order some delicious, best-in-DFW tacos. You can't go wrong with the El Capitan, intensely beefy skirt steak with melted cheese, pickled cabbage, onion, and cilantro heaped inside a buttery flour tortilla.
Get acquainted with the Cup Bob: rice or noodles, choice of meat (you can even choose Spam, if you dare), and choice of sauce (bulgogi sauce? eel sauce? spicy sauce?), all in one cup. It's customizable, portable, simple, satisfying: It's everything food-truck food should be. What's more, Say Kimchi's Korean tacos are a little more inspired than your average version: The white corn tortillas are thoughtfully charred, and the spicy chili sauce is actually spicy. Their bulgogi Philly cheesesteak is also worth trying; while it is undeniably a monstrosity, it's also quite good.
Ssahm's kimchi fries are the unholy, sloppy, gooey, crunchy, spicy Korean fusion version of Tex-Mex enchiladas. They may not be original, or nutritionally advisable, or particularly appealing-looking, but when the fries are fresh and crispy, the pork spicy, and the mayo sauce piquant, they're damn near the best-tasting street food that Dallas has to offer.
A staple of the scene outside East Side Social Club, Denton's sprawling, everyman craft booze mecca, the Waffle Wagon slings (surprise) waffle-based fare. Most of their menu items read like mistakes — a BLT on a waffle? chicken waffle salad? — but thankfully, they're all prepared with an enthusiasm and dedication that matches their creativity. The waffles themselves are airy and addictive, and even the pairings that raise an eyebrow work — especially when you've had a couple drinks.
Yim Yam sounds like the name of an app that live-streams digital millennials buzzword jargon content. Or maybe the secret name of the illicit currency of some dark corner of the underground Internet: "ATTN N00BS GUNS AND DRUGS FOR SALE 5 YIM YAMS OBO." Behold, it is neither; it is a food truck, serving Thai food, but with unexpected irreverence: green curry pork tacos, for example, and Thai chicken wing pops. Chicken wings on sticks! Meats on sticks were sorely missing from Dallas's street food ouevre, so thank you, Yim Yam, for doing something about that sadness.