D.C. Food Truck Fever

D.C. Food Truck Fever

Hey guys! It’s starting to get warm here in Washington, D.C., which means spring is around the corner! Brace yourselves, because food trucks are taking over sidewalks of streets and parks. Say hello to better noontime prospects!


Lunchtime scene at Farragut Square (a couple blocks from my work place)

Fortunately for me, I have the opportunity to try all kinds of truck food—the trucks gather only a block away from where I work. Though I was never really a “foodie” back in Malaysia, working and living in D.C. has turned me into something of a street food enthusiast. So, I’ve decided to make a list of D.C. food trucks I’ve had so far that I thought you might just dig.

*Note: Food trucks can be a little pricey, despite the casual experience they’re all about. The average price of a meal is $10. If you’re not a heavy spender, you might want to take your food adventure slowly—if money is no object, then eat away!


In no particular order:

1. Woodland’s Vegan Bistro

This was actually the first food truck I tried in D.C. And it was my first encounter with vegan cuisine. If you ever want to know what vegan burgers taste like, be sure to drop by to Woodland’s because they have one of the best ones in the city. Their “meat” patties are amazingly close to the actual thing. I highly recommend the Crab-Cake Sandwich - it’s phenomenal. Also, I believe their mac ‘n cheese is by far one of the best I’ve ever tasted.


2. Miso Honey

If you are craving ramen noodles, steam buns or Asian tacos, Miso Honey has it all. I’ve only had their Bulgogi Steam Buns, but I can assure you that they were totally worth the $2 I spent (for each bun).


3. Tokyo In The City

You can never go wrong with bento boxes…unless you don’t like bento boxes. I personally love the Shrimp & Chicken Katsu. The portions are generous, and you even get a free bowl of miso soup to complete the meal. Perfect!


4. Chatpat

This is where you go for great, authentic Indian food to-go. I had their Masala Dosa, which is essentially a crepe made from grounded and fermented rice and lentils. The dosa is really popular back in my homeland of Malaysia, so eating it really brought back great memories of breakfast with my family!


5. Z-Burger

Philly Cheesesteak burgers are quite the talk of the town here in D.C. I went for Z-Burger of all the other burger trucks because it had the longest line: long line = awesome food, right? The second I sank my teeth into their Bacon Philly Cheesesteak burger, I understood why I had to wait so long in line. Whether you’ve never had a Philly Cheesesteak, or you’ve had hundreds before, you definitely want to give the one here at Z-Burger a try.


6. Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

I went a little crazy when I saw this truck. Two of my favorite things in the world, donuts and fried chicken! Astro has an array of the most mouth-watering donuts to choose from, and I couldn’t help but get the Maple Bacon one. As for the chicken, they have it in finger-style or sandwich. Keep in mind that the "sandwich" option is chicken sandwiched by two donuts. One word: wow!


7. Puddin’

This was one of the more unique food trucks that I’ve tried. They mostly do seafood, with three main options: oyster, shrimp or catfish. I love shrimp, so I got the Po’Boys Shrimp in shortie (aka small size). It’s basically fried shrimp in a sandwich. My only regret? I should’ve ordered a “biggie."


8. Tasty Fried DC

Finally, here’s a classic food truck. If you haven’t already guessed, everything they have here is “fried." Again, my love of shrimp triumphed, and I ordered the shrimp basket. The shrimps did turn out rather overcooked and salty, though. But since this is one of the cheaper food trucks, I’ll let it slide. For under $8, I manage to save some for leftovers later that day.


9. Tempo Di Pasta

If you love pasta, this is the truck for you. There’s a very good variety on their menu. I went with the Milanese, which has breaded chicken breast, your choice of pasta and pomodoro sauce topped with parmigiana cheese. Excellent taste, generous portions.


10. Hungry Heart

This one was pretty disappointing, but their generous servings made up for it. The Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl I ordered turned out far from what I expected. The sauce was really thin and lacked seasoning. But since reviews are pretty good for this truck, I may just come back another day and try something else on their menu.


11. Shaku Ramen Bar

Here, ramen lovers can have their choice of broth: miso, tonkotsu (pork), shoyu (soy) or shio (salt). One thing I love about this truck is that they serve their soup in a separate container from the noodles, so your meal doesn’t get soggy by the time you find somewhere to eat. I highly recommend this one. They’re pretty new, so I’m patiently waiting for the buns and dumplings that will be available on their menu soon.


12. Sate Truck

Any exotic craving that you have will be satisfied at this Indonesian food truck. The day I visited them, I was craving something spicy, so I ordered the Sate Combo #1. It included chicken sate with peanut sauce, spicy beef curry (rendang), corn fritters, veggies, and jasmine rice. Again, this meal was especially satisfying because it reminds me of home, as Indonesian food is very similar to Malaysian food. Definitely another one of my recommendations, but only if you’re into spicy stuff.


Pictures of the list (clockwise; starting with top left)


*Note: There are more than 200 food trucks in the D.C. area alone. It’s almost impossible to try them all, therefore pick wisely! Different areas have different food trucks, depending on their schedule. So here's a

link to check the list of food trucks around D.C. and its location in real time. Or, you can just download any tracking apps out there to do the job. But personally, I prefer to just pick from the set of food trucks within sight. Unless there's a particular one that I'm a fan of, then I'll track what days and time it usually comes in the week.

Tip #1: If you want to try as many food trucks as possible, but feel like your wallet is starting to hate you, go out with a friend/co-worker and order from different trucks so both of you can do a trade off without having to spend more.

Alright, this is all I have for this post. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my list of food trucks and that it has helped you get a feel of what to expect when you encounter these nonstaurants. If you’re ever in D.C. for the semester, I encourage you to go on a food truck adventure of your own. Sift the great food trucks from the not-so-great ones until you find that one truck that you keep going back to over and over!


Since we’re discussing food, I’ve decided to do a throwback to one of the best food experiences that I had in D.C. To those of you who don’t know, Restaurant Week is a pretty huge deal here. For a limited time, you can dine at fancy high-end restaurants for a sweet deal of about $22-35 for a 3 course meal. Taking advantage of this, a friend of mine and I booked a table for 2 at a quaint little restaurant called Bistro Cacao. I had the best lobster bisque there, and an interesting entree of duck breast served with port wine blueberry sauce. Definitely plan a meal out during Restaurant Week if you’re here in D.C. at the right time, and treat yourself to some fine dining. Restaurant Week starts at the end of January.




Read Lizzy's previous blog posts here

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