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8 of the Best Food Trucks in California Worth Checking Out

8 of the Best Food Trucks in California Worth Checking Out

Check out California’s vibrant food truck scene and enjoy the best ethnic street food in California’s major food truck hubs.

Mateos Glen Hayes


6 min read

March 05, 2023

If you’ve been to one of the major cities in California, particularly Los Angeles or San Francisco, you’re going to be familiar with food trucks. California tends to lead the way for national trends. Since food trucks have exploded in popularity in California, they have become a staple part of the American culinary identity.  The food is delicious and convenient, and you can rest easy knowing you’re supporting California small businesses.

However, there are so many food trucks around California these days that it can take time to decide. If you’ve ever gone out to get lunch from a food truck you’ve probably been taken aback by the sheer amount of choice in the California food truck scene. Today you can find Tapas food trucks, pizza trucks, gourmet rotisserie trucks, and countless others. When it comes to what are the best food trucks in California, it’s important to note that each city has its specialty.   

Are Food Trucks Popular in California? 

California’s food trucks now offer a wide array of healthy quality eats and gourmet cuisine.

At first, food trucks were popular in California since the days of the horse-drawn chuck wagon. Then, however, they tended to be stereotypically associated with greasy and unhealthy junk food. Nowadays, food trucks are common on the streets of major Californian cities, but they are no longer confined to just oily street foods. 

California’s food trucks are fast becoming venues for international Haut cuisine and iconic California foods. There are many reasons for this new development, including the relatively lower costs of owning and operating food trucks and their compatibility with the fast-paced urban Cali lifestyle. The best food trucks in California are emblematic of this new age for food trucks since they represent a diverse assortment of international and local flavors.  

El Behanabachi Japanese Grill (Los Angeles)

Enjoy great Teppanyaki on the go at El Behanabachi Japanese Grill food truck in the Los Angeles area.

Location: 1457 Nogales Street, Rowland Heights, CA 91748

Working Hours:  Check their Instagram story for the latest hours 

For the best Teppanyaki food truck in LA, you can’t miss El Behanabachi Japanese Grill. This food truck serves piping hot plates of Teppanyaki in all of its possible varieties. You’ll love their well-seasoned meat, fried rice, and vegetable combos that make a perfect dinner. El Behanabachi only uses the freshest ingredients and serves generous portions so that you’ll be left full and satisfied. 

The great thing about Teppanyaki is also its sheer variety. So many ingredients go into any Teppanyaki meal, including yakisoba noodles, seafood, cabbage juicy Wagyu or Kobe beef, bean sprouts, and zucchini. All of this makes for a flavorful meal that stands apart from standard foot truck fare. The El Behanabachi food truck is based in Rowland Heights but check their Instagram for updated hours and locations.

Happy Ice (Los Angeles)

Get this iconic Philly-style dessert with syrup from one of Happy Ice’s colorful food trucks.

Locations: check the website weekly

Truck One Working Hours: Closed Monday and Tuesday; Wednesday and Friday 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Truck 2 Working Hours: Closed Monday and Tuesday; Wednesday to Saturday 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Regarding California food trucks in Los Angeles, this one is the best place to go for some unique desserts you won’t soon forget. Happy Ice makes incredibly delicious colorful ice creams made from a super-secret Philadelphia recipe. The result? The texture of traditional ice cream and the refreshment of a light and fruity sorbet. In addition to its brick-and-mortar location, Happy Ice has two ice cream trucks. 

The trucks are as colorful as the ice cream they sell and are on the move every day except Monday and Tuesday. Check Happy Ice’s truck location schedule to find out when the Happy Ice trucks roll up to your neighborhood. Oh, and did we mention that everything sold by this Black-owned ice cream shop in Los Angeles is extremely Instagrammable?  

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Oaxaca on Wheels (Los Angeles)

Choose Oaxaca on Wheels in Orange County for Mexican food with an Oaxacan twist.

Location: alternating, see schedule

Working Hours: see schedule for updated hours 

One of the best food trucks in Orange County, and one of the best Mexican food trucks in Los Angeles, is Oaxaca on Wheels. This is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to try something other than the usual Tex-Mex fare you find everywhere in America. The confluence of Spanish, Zapotec, Mixtec, and Aztec cultural influences gives Oaxacan cuisine unique richness and vibrancy. Oaxaca on Wheels brings this storied cuisine to the streets of Los Angeles and has been doing so since 2014. 

An Oaxacan family runs the food truck with generations of experience preparing food in traditional restaurants in their country of origin. This shows in their delectable range of classic Oaxaca fare. Catch them at one of their alternating locations for some great Tacos Oaxaca, or try Tlayuda Oaxaquena, a corn tortilla filled with pork lard, black beans paste, queso Oaxaca, avocado, and your choice of meats.   

Indian Express (San Jose)

Indian Express serves everything from Indian street food classics to full curry meals.

Location: North 1st Street, San Jose, CA 

Working Hours: Wednesday and Friday only 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 

Indian Express is one of the best food trucks in California, perfect for all the Bay Area foodies who want something spicey. Indian Express pops up regularly at campuses, parties, and events throughout San Jose and offers the authentic, flavorful meals you’ve come to expect from Indian cuisine. The cool thing about Indian Express is that their menu is quite varied for a food truck. 

You can either get something small to snack on—like a samosa (or two)---or you can grab a whole meal complete with rice and naan, sprinkled with vibrant spices like cumin and ginger. Fans of this food truck in San Jose especially recommend the goat Masala, a divine meal of tender goat meat slices simmered in masala-style curry. 

Leilani’s Food Truck (San Diego)

San Diego’s foodies will love this unique food truck and its hardy Hawaiian fare.

Location: Check their Instagram stories for updated locations

Working Hours: Daily 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Moving on to San Diego, let’s check out one of California's more unique food trucks. Leilani’s Food Truck brings the flavors of Hawaii to the mainland with meals such as the big ol’ Aloha plate loaded with slow-roasted kalua port and teriyaki chicken. 

Their menu also features seafood if that’s more your style. We recommend their poke with high-quality ahi tuna, sesame oil, and soy sauce for a tasty fish dish. Leilani’s colorful food truck is easy to spot no matter where it is parked and they specialize in fast service, so you can get your filling meal and be on your way. You can also hire Leilani for catering if you want the food truck to show up at your next special event.  

Luciano’s Scoop (Sacramento)

Luciano’s Scoop carries a wide range of gloriously authentic Italian gelato, perfect for the warm Sacramento summers.

Location: 1315 10th Street, room 1046, Sacramento, CA 95814

Working Hours: Tuesday to Sunday noon to 4 p.m.

If you’re in California’s capital city and got a hankering for something sweet, we’ve got the scoop on the best food truck in Sacramento. Luciano’s scoop is a full fledge Italian gelato shop based out of a Eurovan. If you’ve ever had the privilege of trying authentic gelato, you know it’s a delightfully creamy and rich experience, and Luciano’s scoop is no exception. 

Their truck is based right in the heart of downtown Sacramento, making it the perfect stopover when you’re exploring the state capital city on a warm summer day. Luciano’s scoop offers catering services so you can treat your guests to an array of quality gelato flavors.   

Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie (San Francisco)

Visit Roli Roti for succulent gourmet rotisserie when you don’t have time to stop by San Francisco’s markets.

Location: Check out their schedule for updated locations

Working Hours: See schedule for hours

Looking for a tasty bistro experience but don’t have the time to stop at one of California’s great food markets? Then, San Francisco has the solution for you. Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie is a fancy food truck founded by a third-generation Swiss butcher that serves the most succulent rotisserie you’ve ever tasted. Roli Roti is proud to use only the best cuts of free-range meat sourced from local family farms in the Bay Area. 

As you might have guessed, the name is short for “rolling rotisserie”, and their food is very delicious and filling. And don’t think the gourmet in the name is just for marketing because Roli Roti is truly a high-end restaurant on wheels. In addition to serving quality meats and sandwiches, this food truck also offers sous vide products, which are meals made in vacuum-sealed containers, much like in high-end Parisian restaurants. 

Disclaimer: does not receive any kind of compensation for reviewing any of the products or services mentioned in this article.

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