Like a phoenix from the ashes, Atlanta's all about rebirth; constantly remaking itself year after year into something bigger, bolder, and faster. But it never forgets its soul. Southern hospitality grounds the spirit of ATL, with tradition passed down through kindness. The city's culinary scene is no different, with old-world southern charm meeting new-world innovation. Fusion, deconstruction and reinvention run high when it comes to interpreting classic dishes for a brand new audience.
Central to all this are food trucks in Atlanta, which have remade the restaurant landscape overnight - taking big ideas out of the dining room(or the converted garage, same difference here), and into the streets. Imagination is met by accessibility, giving a larger, younger crowd a taste of the high life truck by truck. And now that the people have it, they're not looking to float back down. A phoenix just keeps flying, after all.
Reinvention really does make the city go round, and that starts with even the most essential of food truck eats - the burger. Mix'd Up Burgers takes the most classic of all American comfort staples and makes it new again. And again. And yeah, again. Billing itself as "a rockin' experience", Mix'd Up has the melodic flavor to match that billing. It's recently expanded into two separate brick-and-mortars, but the truck that started it all is still rolling, and still whipping crowds into a frenzy
By itself, Mix'd Up's namesake burger stands as one of ATL's juiciest and most satisfying, but imaginative riffs push the rest of the menu's burgers into stadium territory. The Rockin' Hero Bite features a lamb patty topped by spinach, feta & the open-faced Texan gets rubbed with chili & stacked with smoked Vermont bacon, cheddar, pulled pork and a chipotle ranch slaw. The Santa Fe may just be the new gold standard for veggie burgers - mashed from fresh black bean, it's slathered in cheese and ancho mayo, spread with avocado puree and finished off with pico de gallo. Finally hand-cut string fries come loaded with your choice of Buffalo, garlic parm, wing sauce or Southern (pulled pork + cheese + bbq sauce & onions) decadence. No matter which way you turn, you're faced with taste that's turned up to 11, so bring your appetite (....for destruction? Too much? Yeah ok, too much).
Southern comfort food is both the base and the peak of Atlanta's food pyramid, the alpha and the omega, the heaven and the - well, the second heaven. It should be no surprise then that Atlanta food trucks are the best in the world at delivering eats with soul. Sunday supper (and brunch) fare gets lifted out of the kitchen and floated straight to you, no invitation needed. It's all enough to make you believe in a higher power.
Soul starts at sunrise with Nana G's Chik-N-Waffles, where 103 year-old Nana G dispenses her 75+ year old recipes, all fancied-up and ready to be enjoyed in a whole new way, right on the streets where they're needed most. Chicken strips get seasoned to perfection while waffles are infused with smoky Maplewood bacon. Toppings range from fruit to powdered sugar to maple syrup to Nutella, while red-hot wings and seasoned fries buffer up the menu's savory side. Mix and match the tastes til your tongue's just as spirited as Nana G itself.
Cattywampus Grill's run by a boyfriend and girlfriend who, even combined, have less years on them than Nana G, but youth has a way of compensating for such things with fearless innovation. Cattywampus' southern classics have twists and turns aplenty, starting with their own take on chicken & waffles featuring shredded chicken, white cheddar, dill pickle and syrup chive mayo. The Tempted Palate's southern traditions are imported - from Louisiana to be specific - but the food itself is fresher than fresh. Co-owners Henri & Dyandra met while working together at JCPenny's (!) before making the big leap to running ATL's finest cajun food truck. Dyandra brings a deep knowledge of cajun spice to dishes like jambalaya and crawfish tacos, while Henri specializes in artisan pizzas, especially loaded-up seafood varieties. Together, they're redefining bayou bliss, right on the Georgia sidewalks.
Atlanta food trucks might not be the first thing you think when you think Mexican, but Mexican sure seems to be on their mind a lot. Granted, they just do it a little bit differently. Or a lot differently, in some cases. In fact, getting an answer to "where's a taco truck near me" generally results in a whole new question: "what kind of taco truck?" Making use of the city's inherent diversity, these taco trucks expand on the expected by mashing up cultures and flavors, til you're pretty much holding the whole world in your hands. Until it disappears into your mouth, of course.
Much like Mix'd Up, Yumbii may have conquered the world of Atlanta food trucks & expanded to brick-and-mortar, but it's far from done taking victory laps. An inspired menu of east meets south-of-the-border offers up Asian rib-eye quesadillas, spicy pulled pork tacos and stir-fried tofu burritos, just to name a few specialties. Sesame fries offer up support, and the all-important Sriracha cheese dip offers up support for the support. Elsewhere, The Blaxican marries Mexican flavors to Southern soul roots, crafting cuisine that's as tasty as it is irreverent. The likes of blackened fish tacos pair off with collard green quesadillas and sweet fries dry-rubbed with BBQ sauce for your affection, and no matter which one you choose, you'll be getting the best of two tastes, joined together just like they've never been apart. Also, stop us if you've heard this one before but if you can't find the Blaxican out on the streets, you can now find it at a brand new brick-and-mortar location in Peachtree Corners.
Pre-dating both other trucks(along with almost every food truck in town) is The Pickle, launched in 2004. The truck mashes up more than two styles of eats to craft a menu with no borders, and flavor without bounds. Specifically Tex-Mex, creole and Asian flavors intermingle til you can't tell where one taste ends and the other begins. Cajun chicken egg rolls, crab cake sandwiches and pulled pork with sweet pickles all sit side by side, and all come together to become the epitome of new south cuisine.
Food trucks in Atlanta come in all shapes and sizes, and rep all sorts of cultures, including a few that haven't been invented yet. Dreamy Puf, for one, is looking to craft a whole new movement from cotton candy, by crafting it in ways you've never seen. Organic ingredients get spun into carnival treats that take the carnival itself straight to you, wherever you are. From cookies and cream to raspberry lime-aid, lavender and German chocolate cake, there's over 40 gourmet flavors waiting to make your acquaintance. They can even be customized with ground-up cookie dust, just to add some depth to your dessert.
For a cooler kind of sweet, Italian ice and ice cream truck treats are frequent visitors on the streets, but the undisputed ruler of frozen Atlanta food trucks happens to be King of Pops, which puts a whole new spin on popsicles. All-natural, organic ingredients go into a whole host of artisan flavors including cookies and cream (made with real cookies inside), key lime pie (complete with graham cracker crust) and banana pudding(fused to vanilla wafers). There's even King of Pups companion treats for your four-legged friend on a hot day. And not to leave your tongue's savory side out of the fun, Fry Guy delivers fresh cut Belgian-style fries in cones, whipped up into vibrant flavor combos like Bangkok (Thai peanut sauce, peanut crumbles, curry mayo) coriander-smoked salmon and classic poutine.
As always, check out the live Atlanta food truck map above or on the Roaming Hunger app to find the most accurate, up-to-the-minute location info for all trucks listed, alongside countless more options.
With such a wealth of food trucks Atlanta barely has room to fit them all on its streets. As such, Atlanta Food Truck Park's become an essential haven for trucks and patrons alike. In Food Truck Park Atlanta has a permanent spot to catch a rotating swath of choices(most of whom are already mentioned here). The food truck park doors open at five on Friday and stays open for the rest of the weekend.
During the week itself, options are more scattered but trucks are always out, and always moving. Catch a massive lunchtime collection at Street Food Thursday, 1125 Peachtree St., or stick to Centennial Olympic Park for constant pop-ups. Conversely, Food Truck Fridays attract a swarm of options to Broad Street Plaza. Georgia Tech and Georgia State are constantly reliable meccas for food truck goodness, day or night, along with the intersection of 12th and Peachtree.
Finally, make it easy on yourself and hire the Atlanta food truck of your choice through Roaming Hunger to grab exactly what you're looking for. No matter what event you've got cooking, CLICK HERE to ensure the cooking will be event-worthy. Catering's been reborn, just like everything else here, and when it comes to fresh, accessible eats, the sky's suddenly the limit. Time to hitch a ride.