Today’s post comes to us from Alexis, a YAB member who explains why the food truck phenomenon has caught on in cities all over the world and why Millennials are embracing it. In short, food trucks are a social way to try new foods, support local businesses, and have fun with friends while sampling unique dishes that aren’t that expensive. A whopping 47% of Millennials have eaten at a food truck according to our recent Ypulse Lifeline research, proving that the shared experience around these trendy trucks is one that Gen Y appreciates. Alexis further explains why food trucks are a favorite among her friends, and as a LA resident, she discusses some of the top trucks — and foods — in her city.
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Food Truck Culture And Why It’s Caught On Among Gen Y
Los Angeles is the city that is credited with the start of the food truck craze. This phenomenon first began as mini restaurants on wheels provided quick and tasty food for consumers on-the-go. Today there are over 9,500 food trucks all across LA. The trend is now seen in most major cities and has spread to social networks. Consumers can check Twitter postings to see where particular trucks will be and what time they will be there.
Along with the excitement of spotting the now famous trucks is seeing each one’s signature decorations and trying their unique cuisines. I personally do not eat at food trucks because I have a lot of food allergies, but all my friends love them! They view the trucks as an opportunity to have a fun group outing while trying tasty, inexpensive food that they can eat picnic-style or on-the-go. Further, my friends, and I am sure others, see it as a chance to have an experience — trying the various trucks is an adventure and we also get to support local business.
As I mentioned before, when discussing the food truck phenomenon, one cannot ignore the influence social media has played in its development and why so many young people have embraced this new trend. Social media has fueled the food truck culture by allowing Millennials to tweet, follow, and post about this movement that has taken them by storm. Further, by following their favorite trucks online, young people can get daily updates about special offerings and make events out of going out to eat at one.
To fully understand just how popular food trucks are, I rounded up the top reviews from Zagat, Gayot, and ABC7’s ‘Top 10 Best Food Truck’ listings. The unanimous winner was the Vietnamese Nom Nom Truck that specializes in bahn mi, a baguette filled with chopped cilantro, sweet/tangy marinated carrots and radish, thinly sliced cucumbers, spicy jalapenos, mayonnaise spread, and either pulled pork or lemongrass chicken. Coming in second and third place were the ice cream truck, Coolhaus, specializing in gourmet ice creams, and the Korean truck, Kogi Korean BBQ, specializing in short rib burritos and tofu tacos.
Finally, since food trucks started in LA, below is a list of some of the most popular trucks in the city. Happy Eats!
1. Kogi Korean BBQ – Korean, Mexican
Recommended: Short Rib burritos, Tofu Tacos
2. Grill ‘Em All Truck – Hamburgers
Recommended: Cheddar and Pepper Jack Cheese Stuffed Tater Tots, Behemoth (burger with grilled cheese as the buns)
3. Shrimp Pimp Truck – Seafood
Recommended: The Frylander (Guiness beer battered Haddock with French Fries), Victoria Sandwich (sauteed shrimp and smoked salmon served on a toasted french roll)
4. Coolhaus – Ice Cream
Recommended: Brown Buttered Candied Bacon, Dirty Mint Chip, Earl Grey
5. Louks To Go – Greek, Mediterranean
Recommended: Beef & Lamb Gyro, Burrito Gyro
6. Crepe’n Around – Crepes
Recommended: Strawberries & Cream Crepe, Teriyaki Flank Steak Crepe
7. Nom Nom Truck – Vietnamese
Recommended: Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi (fresh baguette, chopped cilantro, sweet/tangy marinated carrots and radish, thinly sliced cucumbers, spicy jalapenos, mayonnaise spread), Grilled Pork Bahn Mi
8. LudoTruck – Eclectic/International
Recommended: Provencal Pepittes, Honey-Garlic Glazed Wings
9. Lobsta – Seafood
Recommended: Lobsta Roll (Fresh Lobster Meat on a toasted split top roll with mayo or butter)
10. Grilled Cheese Truck
Recommended: Chorizo con Papas Melt on Jalapeno Cheddar Bread, S’more Melt: Marshmallow Cream, Nutella, and Crumbled Graham Crackers.
Because this craze has gotten so popular in America, one man had an idea to move the trend to Europe! But would you wait in a food truck line for American food in Paris? Burgers and tacos over croissants and escargot? Parisians are praising a new cuisine called “très Brooklyn,” which is American food combining informal, creative, and quality dining. A few popular American food trucks that just opened in Paris include Cantine California, a taco truck, and Le Camion Qui Fume (The Smoking Truck), a burger truck. Jordan Feilders, starter of Cantine California, said “younger Parisians are really into the New York food scene and the California lifestyle.” Street food isn’t necessarily new to France with all of their outdoor markets and small food trucks, but the idea of gourmet American food from a truck definitely is. Yet since food trucks provide a sense of community and delicious dishes, it’s no wonder why they’re becoming popular worldwide!
Alexis is a freshman at New York University who picked up and moved from the sunny and relaxing Los Angeles, CA, to loud and crazy NYC. She has displayed her love for writing and magazine design through her role as Editor-in-Chief of her high school yearbook and her internship at exclusive Los Angeles Magazine, Angeleno. She was also published in two literary magazines in high school. Creative writing has always been a favorite for Alexis, but she also enjoys writing based on observation. Her favorite blogs to read are food blogs, although she enjoys indulging in gossip blogs as well. Alexis uses her opportunity of living in two amazing cities as an inspiration for her writing.