New Orleans is a city synonymous with food. Creole cuisine was born and perfected here, mashing up French technique with Southern grit to create a whole new food culture. It's a culture that draws in thousands upon thousands every year just to experience it in its native land, and taste it like it's done nowhere else.
Now with the advent of food trucks, New Orleans is slowly (very slowly) bringing the flavors of the bayou out of the restaurants and into the streets. Alongside every other kind of cuisine imaginable. For a town that's also synonymous with late night, the food truck movement's has been stubborn to start here (largely by legal design), but now that it's finally revving up, NOLA's looking to put its unmistakable stamp on it. It's a stamp that carries heavy heat, heavy accents, and heavy stomachs. Ideally, yours.
Burgers Ya Heard serves up some of New Orleans' tastiest burgers, decked out in both classic and creole-infused variations. The truck's signature burger is the Burger-Laya, and it comes just as loaded as you'd expect: rice, crispy andouille, pepperjack, peppers and onions, and obviously - a heaping portion of jambalaya.
Complimenting the southern-seasoned burgers are sides spanning from cajun fries to bacon/jazz apple brussel sprouts, all of them rotating seasonally to give you the freshest flavors all year round. All in all, Burgers Ya Heard is grilled magic on wheels, and wherever it rolls, you'll wanna be front row for the show.
When it comes to NOLA food trucks, NOLA cuisine tends to dominate. Funnily enough. From crawfish to gumbo, the tastes that have dominated New Orleans from its very founding dominate its streets today. The spice is high and the flavor wide, with a fleet of food trucks who are making bayou bliss ever more accessible, and ever more delectable.
Dirty Dishes takes some of Louisiana's finest comfort staples and dresses them up all nice and fancy, with fresh twists and gilded details that push their menu head and shoulders above the rest. Their trademark dirty mac (swimming in smoked gouda and topped with crawfish and turkey tasso) draws the crowds in, while specialties like their pig in a blanket (slow-smoked pork and bacon in a root beer BBQ, sealed in waffle) spread the legend further with every crowd.
Kenny's Cajun & Creole Food Truck hues a little more traditional with its recipes, delivering Louisiana chicken and loaded po' boys street by street and mouth by mouth. Meanwhile, Rue Chow loads their menu so high with local favorites that it has to rotate its offerings day to day. Stop by to grab your fill of shrimp and corn chowder on Tuesday, then loop back on Wed to claim your smoked sausage with black eyed peas. The more food that rotates, the more excuses you have to visit. All in all, it's a mutually beneficial situation.
While French culture's spread a rather obvious influence on the city, inside and out, Latin's become big business for New Orleans food trucks, with tacos and tamales quickly outnumbering étouffée on street corners all around town. Listed below is a wave of Mexican food trucks re-seasoning NOLA's international flavor. It's a wave you're gonna wanna catch over and over again.
La Cocinita roughly translates into "The Little Kitchen", and serves New Orleans late night Latin comfort that was sorely missed before. Specifically missed by its own owners - Chef Benoit Angulo and wife Rachel decided to launch the truck after a long restaurant shift left them hungry and hopeless, with no options to satisfy nearby. Chef Angulo's arepas have been his calling card since the age of 9, and they remain his strongest asset onboard. But a full menu of comforts blanket the star attraction, including tacos, bowls and hybrid "burri-tacos" that give you the best of both worlds.
Mamita's Hot Tamales focuses on another favorite speciality - one that's probably obvious to you. The Oaxacan delicacy gets wrapped and loaded with your choice of beef, corn or chicken, and served up in authentic Mexican street food fashion. Finally, Taceaux Loceaux serves their Latin fare with fusion twists that fold the whole world into your hand, country by country. TexMex brisket sits comfortably alongside Andouille and beans, with outliers like a Korean variation and avocado fries providing options for every kind of tastebud.
Bonafried serves up classic grub split cleanly into three messy categories: wings (dressed up in Buffalo, BBQ or honey hot), sliders (both in juicy beef and crispy chicken varieties) and absolutely loaded frites. But as delectable as all the food is (and it really, really is), the sauces are wait turn Bonafried into a bayou blockbuster. From chimichurri to curry ketchup, they're the perfect finishing touch to any item you order. Conversely, Taylor Made Wings on the Geaux starts with the sauce, and in many ways, ends there too - with over 14 varieties to choose from, it could take a long time to work your way through this menu. Lucky you.
Finally, Nola Snow Snoballs takes New Orleans' favorite dessert, and perfects it right on the street where it's most needed. A fine and fluffy cousin of the more common (and more basic) shaved ice, it's a dessert with over 70 years of history here. And in Nola Snow's hands, it's in the prime of its life. The Big Easy institution has two different stands to serve from, but it's the fleet of mobile units that have made Nola Snow the final word on the local classic.
As always, check out the live Detroit 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.
New Orleans has been notoriously strict with permits since the inception of the food truck revolution, only allowing 100 permits for mobile businesses. In 2014, the laws loosened, allowing another 100 permits for food trucks specifically, but as a whole, the city still lacks the omnipresent activity found in Austin, LA or even Baton Rouge.
Nonetheless, food trucks do great business wherever they do pop up, most commonly along Bourbon st and off the campus of Tulane. Regular meet-ups also occur at Champions Square for Food Truck Friday, and monthly festivals pop up all over town, not just celebrating New Orleans' food, but its legendary music scene too.
Finally, click HERE to book any of the food trucks listed above (and any that aren't) for your next big event. Or small event. Or any event in between. You'll be covered on all fronts, basically. In a city defined by its unmistakable cuisine, make your next party equally unmistakable. Not to mention un-missable.