Check out some of these food truck menu ideas – from classics such as Philly cheesesteaks and lobster rolls to upcoming dishes like Ravioli and Korean hotdogs.
Food trucks have come a very long way over the last decade and evolved into part of the mainstream of popular food culture. Where once food trucks were associated with shacks at the side of a highway, now it’s quite the gourmet affair, where you can find tasty cuisine from around the world.
From modern twists and upgrades on popular classics such as gourmet burgers and hotdogs to flavours from South East Asia such as Vietnamese Pho, Bao buns and Japanese sushi
So if you are looking for inspiration and need some food truck menu ideas for your new street food start-up then you have come to the right place.
Below is an updated list of 35 food truck menu ideas for 2023 from all four corners of the globe.
Fresh and healthy, sushi food trucks and stalls are becoming a new feature in the mobile catering industry.
Sushi stalls are very popular in Thailand and if you have been there you would no doubt have seen one.
Ethiopian food may have been a little undiscovered of late, but this is changing.
The image above is a dish called Shiro, which is a popular Ethiopian dish, which is a stew made from ground chickpeas or broad beans mixed with spices like chilli and ginger.
It is then served on a bread called “Injera” which has a slightly spongy texture made from teff flour.
If you are ever at the popular Borough Market in London, UK, check out the Ethiopian food stall there.
It always has long queues of people!
Another healthy, meatless and popular food truck menu item.
For those that don’t know what a Falafel is, they are crispy balls made from chickpeas.
The chickpeas are mixed with a range of spices and oil and then deep-fried.
They are then served either in a wrap with salad or in a salad box.
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Vietnamese food is starting to emerge on the food truck scene and it is definitely one to watch out for.
Fresh, fragrant and healthy, Vietnamese food is a good choice for anyone looking for food truck menu ideas.
Probably one of its most famous dishes is called “pho”, which is noodles, herbs and a range of different meat served in a broth.
5. Banh Mi Sandwich
Another Vietnamese favourite, Banh Mi, is French-influenced with a Vietnamese twist.
It’s a pretty simple concept of a French baguette filled with a meat patty, slices of pork or chicken and egg with cucumbers pickled carrots and chilli and mayonnaise dressing.
You can actually get a bit creative with this dish and add other veggies.
A popular Mexican food, especially in the Southern states of the USA, burritos are a good food truck menu item.
These are tortilla wraps filled with shredded meats like beef (carnitas) and rice, beans, avocado and salads.
And it’s a pretty low-maintenance sort of food to make which always helps when you are in the confines of a food truck with limited space.
Moving on to another famous Mexican dish let’s talk about tacos.
Similar to a burrito in terms of flavours and the things you can add to it, tacos consist of small corn or wheat tortillas filled with a variety of meats, veggies, and condiments.
It’s great with guacamole, cheese and sour cream.
8. Pad Thai
Thai food has to be up there with my 5 most favourite national foods (I will tell you my first later).
Spicy and fresh, Pad Thai is probably one of the most familiar dishes to westerners.
And this should hold you in good stead if you attempt to sell this food in your home country.
Made in a wok, noodles are fried with a range of meats, like chicken or prawn with beansprouts tossed in tangy pad Thai sauce and topped with peanuts.
For a veggie option, you can also make it with egg.
Indian food is another popular food around the world because of its great flavours.
It also has a lot of dishes to choose from when looking for food truck menu ideas.
Dhal is made from various split pulses such as lentils, peas and beans and mixed with spices to form a soup.
This dish goes well with naan bread and is another relatively inexpensive street food to produce.
10. Spinach & Chickpea Curry
Another great thing about Indian cooking is the amount of vegan and vegetarian options.
Chickpea and spinach curry are good examples of this, which brings together a healthy option with some very good flavours.
Selling vegan food also helps with profitability as dishes made with meat will be your largest expense.
11. Gourmet Burgers
I don’t think this food truck food needs any introduction.
Burgers have been one of the most popular food truck menu items from the get-go. And all these years it is still number 1.
But this doesn’t always mean a saturated market as there is still a demand for good quality gourmet burgers.
When looking for food truck menu ideas this is another safe bet.
Just like burgers, hotdogs have been served from all types of mobile catering units, from food carts and stall to large catering units for years now.
And just like burgers is still a popular choice on the street food scene.
A dish associated with Turkish cooking and Known popularly as a shish or donor kebab.
This dish is increasing my served up by mobile caters and has been given an upgrade into something a bit more gourmet.
14. Fried Chicken
Fried chicken is often associated with a particle chain of fried chicken shops which I won’t name here.
And it has grown to the size it has because of a very simple reason. People love fried chicken!
It’s surprising to see very few fried chicken food trucks or stalls (at least where I am from).
So if you live in an area like mine this could be a good food truck menu idea to get you started.
15. Bao Buns
Chinese food is another national cuisine that I feel is a little unrepresented on the food truck and street food scene.
Bao buns are made from flattened bread (known as lotus bread) stuffed with slices of stewed meat such as pork belly and dressed with pickled mustard greens and ground peanuts.
Although this dish originates from china you might also see Korean restaurants or food trucks selling these.
16. Jerk Chicken BBQ
I told you what dish was in my top five, so welcome to my number favourite type of international food.
And I’m not the only one with a love for Caribbean food which is also very popular on the food truck scene, especially as summer BBQ food.
There is nothing like the smell of jerk chicken being smoked on the BBQ to pique people’s interest.
17. Curry Goat
Moving on to another favourite dish of mine, Curry Goat.
This dish is made using goat, marinated in spices and slow-cooked to produce a sumptuous and rich tender goat in a curry sauce and served with rice and peas.
I love this dish for its simplicity and because it is classed as a one-pot dish, which is easy to make in bulk and serves a lot of customers in one go.
18. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Grilled cheese sandwiches are good because people eat them at any time of the day, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
This means longer trading hours, hence higher sales and profits.
19. Jacket Potatoes
What can I say about the humble spud, apart from its very versatile and there’s not much that doesn’t go with it.
It’s also a type of food that seems to becoming popular at food stalls.
20. Loaded Fries
Loaded fries are good as both a stand-alone product in a niche food truck or as a side dish for stalls that sell burgers or hotdogs.
This is a good product because of its simplicity, the cost to produce and because it’s an easy ingredient for stock control as you are just using one main product.
21. Stone-baked pizza
This iconic Italian dish is probably of the most famous dishes out there and won’t take to the hard sell to entice customers over to your food truck.
It’s also a very versatile dish with a pretty endless array of toppings to choose from and relatively easy to produce.
22. Shrimp Po’boys
Poy boys, also known as po’ boys, are a classic type of sandwich that originated in Louisiana. They are made with a variety of delicious fillings, such as roast beef, fried shrimp, or oysters, and served on a long French roll.
Poy boys are often served with sides like coleslaw or potato chips. If you haven’t tried a po’ boy before, you are in for a treat – they are hearty, flavorful, and sure to satisfy your hunger.
23. Lobster Rolls
Lobster rolls are a popular seafood dish that consists of boiled or steamed lobster meat mixed with mayonnaise and other ingredients such as lemon juice, celery, and spices and served on a toasted bun or roll.
They are a good choice for a food truck because they can be prepared in advance and served quickly. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that this type of food truck item is more of an upscale option which means whilst it can be sold at a higher price in some areas where lobster is relatively cheap, in other areas it may not be viable.
Nachos are a popular Mexican dish that consists of tortilla chips topped with cheese, beans, and various toppings such as salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.
They are a good choice for a food truck because they are relatively easy to prepare which means less cooking and time saved in the kitchen.
25. Terriaki Bowls
Teriyaki bowls are a popular and very healthy dish served at Japanese restaurants and food trucks and involve cooked and raw meat or vegetables which are then coated with a sweet and savoury sauce made from soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.
The cooked meat or vegetables are then typically served over a bed of rice in a bowl, along with other ingredients such as vegetables, tofu, or eggs. Perfect for the health-conscious consumer.
26. Philly Cheesesteaks
Philly cheesesteaks sandwiches are an iconic food in the USA, originating in Philadelphia USA. They are made using thin slices of grilled steak then topped with melted cheese, and a range of other various toppings such as grilled onions and peppers, and all served inside a toasted roll.
27. Mac N’ Cheese
Mac n’ cheese or macaroni cheese, whichever way you want to say it is quite the versatile dish.
Made from macaroni pasta with melted cheese and then topped with an array of toppings.
It goes particularly well with salami, smoked bacon or fried shrimp.
28. Korean hot dogs
Korean hot dogs, also known as “tteokbokki hot dogs,” are a popular and very tasty street food snack originating in Korea, which are now finding their way to a range of other countries with a street food scene.
They are made by wrapping a frankfurter-type sausage in a thin layer of rice cake and then deep-fried until crispy and golden brown. It is then served on a stick with a variety of toppings such as mustard, ketchup, and mayonnaise.
You may all be familiar with the Italian classic Ravioli, which consists of pasta dough filled with a range of ingredients such as meats, vegetables and cheeses such as ham, spinach and ricotta.
But what you may not know is that food trucks are now popping up selling this traditional Italian classic, such as food truck companies like “Hand-Man Ravioli” in the US.
Momo, also known as dumplings or gyoza is a South-East Asian dish, particularly in Nepal.
They are made from a simple white flour dough which is filled with a choice of ground meats, such as pork and mixed with spices like ginger, soy and garlic and then steamed.
For vegetarian options, these can also be made with vegetables or paneer cheese.
31. Juice & Smoothies
Food trucks and street food isn’t all about the main course you know.
Drinks such as juices and smoothies are also very popular, especially over the summer.
And the profit margin for this type of product is relatively high.
Our nation’s addiction to coffee is not just confined to the coffee shops in towns and cities.
Oh no, coffee is also a staple in the mobile catering industry with mobile coffee carts selling lattes and cappuccinos at street food markets.
33. Ice Cream
This is another product that doesn’t need any real introduction.
Ice cream has been and continues to be a very popular street food product.
Food trucks are now also diversifying into vegan ice cream options.
Note, this can be a seasonal product, however, so if you live in a climate with cold winters then this might not be the one for you.
French crepe stalls have been around for quite a while and are a good option for a food truck menu idea.
Easy to make and with a relatively low cost of ingredients, crepes can be served as a sweet or savoury street food dish.
35. Mango Sticky Rice
I can’t say I have saved the best to last but if it’s on my list then it’s a product worth considering.
Unless you have been to Thailand you may be unfamiliar with this type of street food.
It’s a simple but very tasty Thai dessert made with ripe mango and glutinous rice served will sweet coconut milk.
All of the food truck menu ideas were listed, not only because they are popular in many places, but because they are suitable foods to cook in the confines of a food truck or food stall.
Food trucks are also a good place to “niche down” into a specific area so choosing a dish and adding other types of food from the same country or region is probably a good idea.
That way you will stand out from the crowd and people know what food you specialise in.
Gavin D is the founder of Street Food Central and Tru Foo Juice Bar Co. and has worked in the mobile catering industry for over 7 years.