It didn’t take us long to find out that in Austin, you’ll never go hungry. The state capital of Texas is a gem for affordable and delicious food that you’ll find at its many food truck parks.
Austin has been a dominant player in the food truck industry in the US since 2006. It is no surprise that it has become the second city with the most food trucks per capita in the country right behind Los Angeles. But Austin takes the lead as the fastest-growing food truck industry in the United States.
Every neighborhood and every corner of town has food trucks. While tacos and barbeque dominate the food scene, you can sample any type of cuisine at one of the food trucks parks. From Nepalese to Venezuelan food, there is a food truck for you in Austin.
As we ate our way through the Texas capital, we discovered, sometimes by chance, several food trucks parks along the way.
Here are 9 popular Austin food truck parks that are worth checking out. While this list is not exhaustive, it provides a comprehensive view of the main food trucks parks in town. You’ll find the parks addresses as well as the food trucks to check out.
#1- Northside Food Truck Park – 5000 Burnet Road
This is one of the first food trucks parks we stumbled upon. Locals kept telling us to check out Gourdough a food truck known for its “big fat donuts.” Not huge fans of the donuts which we find too sugary, full of additives and chemicals, we were skeptical.
This popular donuts food truck has several locations in Austin. One day, on our way back to our house sit on the north side, we decided to pass by the Burnett Road food trucks location. We were surprised to discover the cluster of adjoining food trucks.
In the mid-afternoon, things were still quiet and we decided to skip Gourdough’s this time. Instead, we went to their brick & mortar location Gourdough’s Public House for dinner.
This South Lamar location is the only one where we could also taste their savory donuts burgers. We ordered the Gourdough Big Baller which came with Angus beef, cilantro, red onions, sliced tomato on a donut.
The sweet donut was surprisingly good. We opted for the healthier looking Freebird which came with cheesecake filling, cream cheese icing, and graham crackers crumble topped with fresh strawberries and blackberries.
The handmade dough is the same for both the sweet or savory donuts. They are lightly fried and made to order, with a slightly crisp crust to reveal a dense dough underneath.
The beef and red onions was a nice contrast while the fresh fruits topping on the Freebird was flavorful and not too sweet. A perfect end to a night out.
#2 – Central Austin – 11th Street and Rosewood
They are known for making the best meat plates you can taste in town. So, Rosemary and I decided to share one plate with brisket, pork ribs, and a Tex-Czech sausage. We added coleslaw and beans on the side.
Our favorite was the made-in-house, Tex-Czech sausage. While we enjoyed the brisket, we found it a little bit on the fatty side. The lemon poppy-seed coleslaw was a nice surprise. The refreshing lemony flavor slaw and poppy seeds added crunch to the texture.
The outdoor seating is inviting. With Texas flowers and shrubs, underneath a canopy, this is a great place to relax and savor your barbecue.
On the street leading to Micklethwait Crafts Meat, we passed by several food trucks including one park located on 1106 East 11th street.
In this artsy park, you will find The Doughminican known for its empanadas, who’s name raises my interest (anything with dough is on my radar). For cajun & creole cuisine there is Wild Magnolia and Thai Kruefha for Thai food among others.
#3 – East Austin – Cesar Chavez
One of the best food trucks can be found on East Cesar Chavez. Veracruz All Natural offers the best breakfast tacos in town, and arguably in the U.S. The Cesar Chavez location is their flagship location.
Veracruz is particularly known for its migas. Migas are breakfast tacos inspired by the Mexican ingredients from the leftovers also called migas in Mexico.
It is hard to find anything we didn’t like on their menu. We tried the migas, the breakfast tacos, as well as chips and salsa with a refreshing watermelon aguas frescas while waiting.
Everything tasted fresh, was made to order, and had great flavors. If you had time for only one food truck in Austin, this would probably be it.
Watch video below about Veracruz All Natural Migas and breakfast tacos
Named one of the top 5 tacos places in America by the Food Network, Veracruz All Natural now has four locations in Austin and recently opened a brick and mortar location in Round Rock.
If you come to Veracruz All Natural with meat lovers, they can get their fair share of meat next door at Kerlin BBQ. Kerlin serves some of the best barbecue in town.
Veracruz All Natural & Kerlin BBQ
Address: 1704 E Cesar Chavez, Austin
#4- Downtown – 6th/7th Street & Red River St.
Closed to traffic on Thursday to Sunday evenings, this pedestrian-only street, also known as dirty street comes to life with tourists and locals alike. This is the famous entertainment district in Austin where bar and music venues attract visitors from Congress Avenue to I-35.
This food truck park offers the perfect spot for quick bites and late night snacks to keep the party going.
The location is a bit run down, nestled under a crumbling garage roof. While not as quaint as other Austin food truck parks, it is conveniently located to the party scene.
You’ll find the surprising gourmet grilled cheese crepes at Simply WOW. Next to it is a Middle Eastern shawarma food truck as well as a BBQ trailer. A little further down you’ll find pizzeria offering.
Around the corner from Red River and 7th street is the newly installed food truck called DittyDog. This hotdog trailer promises to change your life with a hot dog.
The most inspiring food truck we saw was Simplywow. We regretfully didn’t taste these famous cheese crepes, intimidated by the fatty and calorie-filled sounding name. However, upon reading the positive reviews, later, we definitely missed out.
Don’t miss these crepes. The next time you are on 6th street, be sure to stop by and taste chef Guiselly Cantú’s creative crepes.
6th/7th Street & Red River St Food Truck Park
Address: 519 E 7th St, Austin TX
#5- Mueller Trailer Eats – 4209 Airport Blvd
Located across the historic Browning Hangar and Mueller’s scenic Lake Park is where you’ll find Mueller Trailer Eats.
The food trucks in this area are diverse and you’ll find small bites or meals for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Coffee lovers will enjoy Compass Coffee which offers some of the best cold brew in town. Conscious Craving food truck offers modern Vegan cuisine that takes you on an unexpected culinary tour. Offering vegan wraps infused with spices and herbs from around the world, even the most discriminating palates will be delighted.
One of our favorite food trucks that opened just as we were leaving Austin, is Veracruz All Natural. We had a chance to eat their authentic tacos and nationally acclaimed migas at their original location in East Austin on Cesar Chavez.
Other popular food trucks in the area include StoneHouse Wood Fire Grill which offers burgers, sandwiches, kebabs and more. If you are looking for flavors from the South or anything saucy made with gravy and biscuits, Gravy ATX food truck will not disappoint.
Grab a bite and eat by the scenic lake. There are also picnic tables and a loop trail where you can enjoy the open space.
#6- Co-Op Food Court – UT Austin
Located right behind the University of Texas Co-Op, this food court is home to big names in the local food truck scene.
This popular spot with students and visitors is located in a wide open space with benches and tables. On one side is a larger-than-life-size replica of Bevo, the University of Texas at Austin, mascot.
Two food trucks that stood out were Song La and Ice Scrapers. Song La offers authentic Taiwanese street food including pork belly buns, bubble tea, and other traditional Taiwanese snacks.
For something sweet, Ice Scrapers, which sells rolled ice cream and shaved ice is an experience. You choose the base and mix-ins, the mixture is poured onto a cold surface and then scraped into rolls with your choice of toppings.
Get unique and inexpensive culinary options near the UT campus, with a stop at the Co-Op Food Court. The experience is a well worth it.
#7- SoCo – South of Congress Food Trucks
This vibrant neighborhood in downtown Austin is a new hip area just South of Congress Avenue.
The area is a popular hangout for locals and you’ll find retro/ bohemian stores, boutiques, eateries, galleries, and music venues.
Not surprisingly, you’ll find a variety of food trucks in the area. While not a food truck, Amy’s Ice Cream is an institution. Opened in Austin in 1984 and serving super-premium ice cream.
Amy’s now has more than 13 locations in Austin. The location in SoCo is not be missed. This is a great spot to cool off and refuel as you explore SoCo.
On your way to Amy’s Ice Cream, you’ll pass a few food trucks with a few open air table to relax and take a bite. You don’t want to miss Hey Cupcake with a gigantic cupcake on trucks roof. For savory options, swing by PitaLicious and its Mediterranean fares.
As you enjoy the funky vibe in SoCo, don’t hesitate to grab a bite at any one of the food trucks and a cool treat at Amy’s.
#8- Rainey Street – Downtown Austin
Just south of downtown Austin is a two-block row of houses, bars and delicious places to eat. This formerly sleepy neighborhood near the banks of Lady Bird Lake is now a local hotspot.
Recommended highly when we first got to Austin, we went to explore the area on a Sunday afternoon. On that day, there was a University of Texas football game taking place and the energy was high. People were spilling out of the bars and restaurants and that’s when we discovered pockets of food trucks.
As you walk up Rainey Street, away from the river and towards downtown, you’ll run into one set of food trucks. The setting here is a warm and comfortable with picnic tables underneath trees.
On the other side of Rainey Street, a little further up, is a large parking lot also filled with food trucks. Here you’ll find cuisine as diverse as Venezuela food from Four Brothers, grilled cheese sandwiches at Burro Cheese Kitchen, Asian, Mexican, lobster, donuts and more.
Popular with locals, this tucked away street is well known for the bars, restaurants and food trucks. If you are looking for an alternative to the touristy and popular 6th street, Rainey Street is a great option.
#9- The Picnic – Barton Springs
Last, but not least is The Picnic at Barton Springs. Considered one of the crown jewels of Austin, Barton Springs are pools fed by underground springs and this is a popular spot to keep cool from the Texas heat.
The Picnic at Barton Springs is the first trailer park dedicated to locally owned food trucks. While we personally did not visit this trailer park, locals recommended several food trucks.
The Picnic is worth visiting if cooling off in the Barton Spring pools.
The local food scene in Austin is dynamic and innovative. Food trucks are an integral part of the city’s culinary identity. Famous places like Veracruz All Natural and Gourdough got their start on wheels before opening a physical location. Following in the same footsteps is Micklethwait Craft Meats, which is opening a brick and mortar in Smithville, TX in November 2018.
Food trucks in Austin can be found almost everywhere. Most are stationary and they do not move around the city. The city’s motto “Keep Austin Weird”, is also expressed in the food. Expect to find familiar foods with unusual combinations, that take you on a delectable journey into unfamiliar territory.
We were never hungry in Austin. We took great delight in exploring Austin food truck parks and the local food scene.
Savor your adventures in Austin and enjoy high quality and local ingredients from affordably priced food trucks.
Which food truck is your favorite in Austin? Which food truck would you like to try?
Let us know in the comments below.
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Claire is a culinary explorer and the engineer brain behind Authentic Food Quest. Together with her partner, Rosemary, they created Authentic Food Quest to inspire people to travel deeper through authentic food. Through food, they believe, people can have more meaningful connections on their travels. Take the quiz and find out your Food Traveler Profile.