Food & Drink

The Absolute Best Cities for Street Food in America

When people travel throughout the world one of the things they always comment on is the street food. Many cities have a vibrant street food scene like Bangkok where food from all over Asia can be found being sold at all times of the day and night. Anyone who has been to Cancun or Playa del Carmen can tell you about the women selling cups of chilled sliced fruit near the beaches. In a lot of countries people may eat breakfast lunch and dinner at a street food stall. Although having been around for a while, food trucks have become more and more popular and some cities in the US have started setting aside areas for food vendors. We have listed some of the cities that offer great street food.

6. Portland Oregon

Portland is known for inspiring creativity and having craft businesses. When it comes to the food scene that’s no different. Portland has over 500 food carts selling everything from burgers to Indian, Thai, Korean, German, Czech food and more. A lot of the street food carts in Portland are grouped together in “pods” where there will be anywhere from 3 or 4 food carts to over 50 at one location. Along with mobile food trucks these food pods make Portland one of the best places in the US for street food. For some truly memorable street food in Portland head to Viking Soul Food for Lefse, a Norwegian flat bread and some smoked salmon. There is a wide variety of cuisine to suit anyones taste. From the Thai dish Khao Man Gai served at Nong’s and the $12.50 Gutbomb served by Big-Ass Sandwiches to the Big Egg which is all about breakfast, serving breakfast sandwiches featuring ingredients locally sourced . Portland has definitely earned a spot as a top city for street food.


While DC politicians, staffers and power brokers like to be seen at the exclusive fine dining establishments around town, more than one knows when it comes to just plain good food there are some great choices among the cities food vendors. Food carts and trucks dot the city where once sat a hot dog cart now you might find Korean BBQ or Mexican food. You might want to try The Crab Cab serving up crab cake sandwiches, BBQ smoked salmon salad and crab bisque. How about Peruvian Brothers? Brothers Giuseppe and Mario Lanzone, don’t let the names fool you, were born and raised off the coast of Lima Peru. Thanks to the two brothers you can now have such tasty treats as their sandwiches, empanadas or quinoa salad, featuring peppers, tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers. From Vietnamese Pho served up in a zombie apocalypse truck by Pho Junkies food truck to the Reggae Vibes food truck serving up Caribbean Curry dishes, fried plantains and jerk platters, Washington DC has a thriving street food scene.

4. Austin Texas

There always seems to be something happening in Austin. With the University of Texas, the annual SXSW Festival, the nightly party atmosphere of 6th Street and more it is just natural that the street food scene has grown. Take for example The Best Wurst, since 1993 they have been serving up grilled bratwurst and other sausage sandwiches along with homemade brown mustard and curry ketchup to the hungry masses. Way South Philly serves up Philly cheese steaks and Italian sausage and tots from his little red trailer. The owner even offers a discount for people brave enough to wear Eagles football gear in the Dallas Cowboys town. One of the more famous examples of Austin street food started in 2009 with Aaron Franklin. From a trailer serving BBQ, Franklin has shot to stardom on cooking network shows and more. In 2011 Franklin BBQ moved from a trailer to a brick and mortar establishment but stayed true to its roots by insisting on first come first serve with no cutting in line no matter who you are and continually selling out of food daily.

3. New York

New York street vendors are an iconic part of the city. Even if you have never traveled to New York you probably have heard of the hot dog and pretzel carts. While the dog and pretzel carts still dot the city there is more to the New York street food scene today. Take Domo Taco for instance, an Asian inspired Mexican Food Truck. With lemon grass chicken and teriyaki steak tacos they are a favorite no matter where the truck stops. And then there is Uncle Gussy’s which serves up Greek food consisting of platters brimming with chicken and souvlaki to sandwiches, salads and those sweet baklava morsels. If you just can’t decide on what to eat from this world wide tour of food then you can always head over to Big D’s Grub Truck. Bid D, aka Dennis, serves everything from breakfast burritos and Spanish omelets to Tacos, Korean bulgogi, pork and chive dumplings to old fashioned grinders served on warm toasty bread.

2. Seattle

Besides having a street food festival every August, Seattle also has great street food year round. Take for instance Bambu Truck, serving up authentic Indonesian food like Curry Beef Lumpia and Chicken Satay or HamHock Jones Soul Shack with BBQ ribs, pulled pork, fried fish or the gargantuan bacon mac n cheese burger a ¼ pound burger with bacon topped with a mound of mac and cheese. Seattle may have a reputation for being rain soaked throughout the year but they have also become known for a vibrant street food scene. Take for example the simple blue truck emblazoned with crossed rolling pins as if they were cannons operated by the 314 Pie Company. From this unassuming little truck savory pies filled with lamb, curry or their famous steak cheese and mushroom pie are served. From grilled bratwurst, Mediterranean flatbread sandwiches, sushi to sweets of all kinds Seattle is a foodie paradise.


Los Angeles is dotted with street vendors selling everything from tamales to ice cream. Although illegal to sell street food it hasn’t stopped people from setting up shop in markets and sidewalks throughout the city. What is legal is the Food Trucks and they have been growing in numbers and the residents are the winners as some of these trucks put out some really good food. One of the early entrants into the food truck scene, and still going strong, is Roy Choi with his Kogi Food truck serving Korean fusion tacos. Short rib tacos and kimchi quesadillas keep the customers lining up. Another popular venue is the Ta Bom Truck. You can’t miss this bright green truck with Brazil emblazoned on the sides as it rolls up and starts putting out pastels, a Brazilian style empanada and dishes with Brazilian sausage and chicken. There is always a line at Leo’s Taco Truck. Since opening in 2010 and selling tacos starting at $1 Leo’s has expanded to 4 trucks roaming the streets and feeding the masses. While the lawmakers debate the fate of sidewalk street vendors in LA the food truck business is going well.