A How-To Guide to Food Truck Festivals

The food truck trend is finally rolling into the Triad. Many independent trucks and restaurants are gassing up and heading out to find customers in search of food. Be a trendsetter and check out these mobile kitchens before the crowds of ravenous diners swamp the scene. As evidenced by the thousands of people attending the latest food truck rallies, people don't know the hard and fast rules to enjoying such an event. We're not used to meals on wheels.
You're gonna have a wheelie good time!

TIP ONE: Research 
Every food truck worth its weight in french fries will have a Facebook page AND a Twitter handle. Since they're mobile and are always on the go, they want you to know where they are every second of the operating business day. When a food truck rally is planned, a complete list of trucks and their links will be listed. Check out each site, decide which truck(s) you want to hit up and make a list, real or imagined.

TIP TWO: Menu planning
Decide what food items you're going to get and make alternate choices, lest the truck is out of a particular item. It happens. People get hungry, trucks get busy and the sandwich that got your mouth watering online is sold out. Most of the time, the truck will have a whiteboard with sold out or no longer available items. To see what happens when a popular items runs out and people don't get the memo click HERE

TIP THREE: Make a budget 
Unless you're Daddy Warbucks and money is no object, buying all of the food you want can add up pretty quickly. Be sure to make a budget and stick to it. If you don't plan ahead, have only $10 and the line is 90 minutes long, is that really worth your time?

TIP FOUR: Conquer and divide
Go to the food truck rally with at least one other person. AND BRING CASH ONLY. Divide up that list you just made and divide yourselves amongst the crowd to get the most bang for your buck. Plan to get multiple food items from multiple trucks so that time spent standing in line isn't wasted.

The first thing to do when you get to the parking lot, sidewalk or space where the food trucks are parked, find a place to park your butt. Bring some lawn chairs, camping chairs, blankets and chill. Stake your claim to an area so that you have a Base Camp to come back to to devour all of the delicious food you just got.

This post highlights a few of the many trucks out there and is NOT an exhaustive list of the best places to get your eats from the streets. For a list of the latest and greatest food trucks in our area, check out the newly formed Central Carolina Food Truck Alliance.

Taqueria El Azteca (Greensboro) This long-standing truck is a permanent fixture on Spring Garden Street. Doling out food reminiscent of their Friendly Avenue restaurant location, the tortas and the fresh tacos are what bring people back time and time again. You'll be headed down el camino to tell your friends about El Azteca in no time. Easy on the pocketbook and hard to resist, be sure to hit up the truck on Taco Tuesdays (every Tuesday) and take your own lawn chair to make your wait in line easy.

King Creole (Burlington) Can you hear the Zydeco band yet? Jambalaya and a crawfish pie, oh me, oh my-oh! Bourbon Street has nothing on B-town! Get the taste of the bayou right here in the Triad. Don't know where to start? Don't worry because the owner of the truck was born and raised in Nola and will send you in the right direction. I suggest you try the gumbo and get ready to laissez le bon temps rouler (let the good times roll) with this truck. Be sure to check out King's exclusive Yelp Deal to get $10 worth of food for only $5!

Camel City Grill (Winston-Salem) The newest truck in town offers big tasty burgers for reasonable prices. The array of interesting fare such as the popular PBB&J burger slathered with peanut butter, stacked
The only time its acceptable to eat off the sidewalk
with bacon and accented with red pepper jelly will have you jumping back in line for more. For my
vegetarian friends, don't pass up the Chipotle Grilled Cheese--Spice and everything nice on fresh, sourdough bread. I bet these guys stick around because everything that comes from this truck is delicious. Fresh Angus beef + fresh toppings + bread from Camino Bakery = the tastiest truck in town.

Hickory Tree Turkey BBQ (Greensboro) Around these parts, barbecue is a noun, not a verb. The only verb you’ll be doing is eating because this all-turkey Eastern style barbecue is original and out of this world. Load up on turkey wings, turkey hot dogs, chopped plates, cole slaw and hush puppies here. Smack dab in the middle of the barbecue belt of the South, this restaurant’s mobile truck can be found at the latest food truck festival near you.

The photos above are courtesy of Tacqueria Azteca and Camel City Grill Facebook pages

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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  1. You have me wanting to check out my area for these! No clue if there are any, but it's worth looking for.

  2. I feel so lame. The Azteca food truck parks just blocks from my house every night and I still haven't been. That's going to change this week!

  3. Great post! I will certainly be linking to it on our resources page, if you don't mind? Fun Dit is coming soon. We will be helping to fund this exact sort of thing.

  4. Great post and ideas Nikki! In our area Food Truck Rallys are so popular since Food Trucks really aren't allowed yet by city ordinances they get slammed, and become a festival of sorts. The problem with that becomes trying to juggle food/drink/friends/change, so having a base camp of sorts is a great idea. Another tip, especially for Rallys is get there EARLY! You don't want to wait forever in every line, and you definitely don't want to get to the front of the line and realize the PB/Bacon Burger you craved is gone because you got there late :) So sad we are going out of town this weekend- otherwise I'd be lined up eating off a truck.

  5. Every Friday night, there is some local event featuring a slew of food trucks. I follow many of my favorite trucks, here in Oklahoma City, on twitter and Instagram. I like your budget idea. I always spend too much at he trucks.

    I found you at the #LOBS party.


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