Best San Francisco Food Trucks

Just a few years ago could you have imagined ordering Russian blinis out of a red truck? What about an Indian burrito? Or perhaps frozen custard? Up until relatively recently, you’d have to grab a table at a restaurant or place a call for pick up in order to indulge in such culinary curiosities, but thanks to the hugely-popular phenomena of the food truck San Francisco Bay Area diners can literally walk out the front door or down the street to find a meal on wheels. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite food trucks in SF, ranging in style and flavor, that bring a whole new meaning to grab-and-go.

Best San Francisco Food Trucks #1

The Chairman

What: Asian-fusion
Order: Baos, baby
Created by culinary mastermind chef Hiroo Nagahara, The Chairman blends the very best flavors found in Asian street food and tucks them lovingly in a steamed or baked bun for the perfect handheld bite. Chef Hiroo’s professional cooking background presented him with the exciting challenge of combining his traditional brick-and-mortar know-how within the confines of a food truck. And we have to say, he did pretty darn good. What this SF food truck does really well (in our honest opinion) is combine the most desirable sweet, spicy, salty, and tangy ingredients in a way that packs a one-two-umami punch. One bite, and POW!, you’ve got yourself a food KO. Serving up baos, such as the red miso-glazed pork belly with turmeric pickled daikon and green shiso and Coca-Cola-braised pork with preserved mustard seeds and savoy cabbage, The Chairman has most certainly elevated the humble bao to something glorious. You can find The Chairman truck literally all over the Bay Area and at several food truck gatherings in San Francisco including Truck Stop SF, Off the Grid: Front and Vallejo, Off the Grid: Presidio Picnic, and 400 California. For more info, go online to check out the truck’s weekly schedule. hailthechairman.com.
Best Places for Easter Brunch in San Francisco

Photo Courtesy of The Chairman

Best Places for Easter Brunch in San Francisco

Photo Courtesy of Curry Up Now

Best San Francisco Food Trucks #2

Curry Up Now

What: Indian
Order: Tikka masala burrito
We love Indian food. It’s so flavorful and has an awesome spiced-up kick to it. It’s just too bad that it’s not more portable. If only there was a way to eat those traditional flavors wrapped up in a convenient bite. Oh, wait … there already is (*cue dramatic music*). Curry Up Now’s creative take on traditional Indian street food morphs all the flavors you know and love—and maybe some new ones you’ve never tried before—with a slight Mexican-ish edge. The food truck wraps up their creations in familiar and accessible ways, such as in a burrito or taco, making a truly one-of-a-kind, Indian-food eating experience. With their mission statement advertised as “bringing happiness to the world through food,” this San Francisco food truck is spreading a whole lot of happy. You can’t go wrong with any of their burritos, particularly the classic tikka masala, but if you’re feeling a little wild and frisky you may be in the mood for some Naughty Naan—Kulcha naan with cheese, caramelized onions, and shaved jalapeño with your choice of chicken or paneer. Or perhaps you’re lusting after some Sexy Fries—Indian-style “poutine” with sweet potato criss-cut fries, cheese, and a choice of chicken or paneer. Mmm, saucy. And best of all, Curry Up Now is super accommodating for anyone with dietary restrictions including gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan. So curry up (hooray for puns) and check out all of this food truck’s San Francisco stops online. curryupnow.com.

Best San Francisco Food Trucks #3

El Porteño

What: Argentinian
Order: Empanadas, empanadas, and more empanadas
You really can’t go wrong with any kind of handheld, stuffed pastry. We’re pretty sure that’s because there’s something irresistible about a warm sweet or savory filling in a fluffy, buttery crust. That, and secretly everyone likes to eat with their hands, but El Porteño’s empanadas are the kind of deliciousness that will satiate whatever food hanger you may be experiencing. Firmly rooted in Argentinian flavors and traditions while embracing the Bay Area’s locavore roots is what makes this empanada truck one of the best San Francisco food trucks around. (Plus it doesn’t hurt that they have a highly-coveted space in the Ferry Building, further cementing their culinary prowess.) With the goal of transporting each of its diners to the bustling city of Buenos Aires, Argentina in every bite, El Porteño tweaked family recipes to make such delights as the traditional Carne (onions, green olives, raisins, hard-boiled eggs), the classic Jamon y Queso (prosciutto with fontina cheese), or the savory-packed Champiñones (mushrooms sauteed with shallot, aged parmesan, and crème fraîche). The SF food truck also offers a seasonal choice, a sweet (dulces) option, and alfajores—an uber-traditional Argentinian confection with a sweet filling smooshed between two shortbread-like cookies. You can find El Porteño’s food truck all over SF including several Off the Grid locales. Go online for more info. elportenosf.com.
Best Places for Easter Brunch in San Francisco

Photo Courtesy of El Porteno

Best Places for Easter Brunch in San Francisco

Photo Courtesy of FK Frozen Custard 

Best San Francisco Food Trucks #4

FK Frozen Custard

What: Frozen custard
Order: Thai tea custard
Touted as the first frozen custard food truck in all of California, FK Frozen Custard began back in 2011 with founder Jason Angeles’ goal to reshape the frozen dessert landscape in the Bay Area, naming his new style of frosty treats West Coast-style frozen custard. While we are not entirely sure what that means, we do know that this SF food truck is frickin’ delicious. FK has practiced some kind of magic to create a rich, creamy, and 100-percent scoopable frozen treat in all kinds of intriguing flavors like matcha white chocolate, salted chocolate peanut butter, ube, black sesame, and (our personal favorite) thai tea. One decadent bite of this custard and you know you’ve stumbled onto something special. So special in fact that based on their success as a food truck FK opened two brick-and-mortars, further expanding their flavor offerings, and started to make custard bars (think, ice cream bars with tasty stuff on it), which has even been featured on CNN and Travel Channel. Oh, and did we mention they have toppings like toasted marshmallow fluff, cookies, and cornflakes? (You might want to wipe that drool off your chin.) The SF food truck also partners with artisanal purveyors, using local and organic ingredients with loads of flavor, all of which you can check out online. frozenkhusterd.com.

Best San Francisco Food Trucks #5

Señor Sisig

What: Filipino fusion
Order: The Señor Sisig burrito
What do you get when you combine a Chinese food truck (bought off of Craigslist) and two high school friends with a passion for food? Señor Sisig, of course. SF locals Evan Kidera and chef Gil Payumo thought the Bay Area could use a little more Filipino food in its life and in 2010 launched Señor Sisig right on the cusp of the burgeoning San Francisco food truck scene. Reaching back into Payumo’s Filipino roots, the duo landed on a fusion of traditional Filipino sisig showcased in Mexican-style burritos, tacos, and nachos. Pure foodie genius. Sisig is traditionally served during large parties and gatherings, and is a highly-seasoned mix of chopped up pork. Payumo adapted his family’s recipe to include other proteins, such as chicken and tofu, and is now slinging out sisig from five food trucks all over the city. If you’ve never eaten at the food truck before, you’ve gotta try the flagship burrito (The Señor Sisig), which is packed with a choice of protein (*cough cough*, get the pork), adobo garlic rice, pinto beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, and a signature cilantro cream sauce. Or explore the menu with the Tosilog burrito (Filipino sweet pork, garlic adobo rice, fried egg, and a peppered-vinegar for dipping), the sisig fries (fries with meat, cheese, pickled jalapeño, guacamole, pico de gallo, and sour cream), or the more traditional sisig with steamed rice—just be sure you order it “silog-style” to put a fried egg on top. Check’em out online to get your sisig fix. senorsisig.com.
Best Places for Easter Brunch in San Francisco

Photo Courtesy of Senor Sisig

Best Places for Easter Brunch in San Francisco

Photo Courtesy of Mary E on Yelp

Best San Francisco Food Trucks #6

Kolobok

What: Russian
Order: St. Petersburg blini
Perhaps one of the newer San Francisco food trucks to join this list’s fleet, Kolobok earned a spot in this round up because when, if ever, have you had really good Russian soul food served out of a truck? As the first Russian food truck to hit the scene in the Bay Area, co-founders and chefs Ellen Doren and Bulat Nasybulin felt it was their civic duty to introduce the people of San Francisco to the deliciously-diverse world of Russian soul food. (It’s more than just borscht and cabbage rolls people!) Focusing first on the blini—a thicker, sturdier, Russian buttermilk crepe—the pair fill up the traditional after-school snack with modern ingredients that have some kind of commonality with old-world Russian flavors, like kale, peppers, and onions, while still adding that California flare with avocado and chipotle sour cream. For classic flavor combos get the St. Petersburg blini. Piled high with smoked Norwegian salmon, green onions, capers, and sour cream, it’s truly a timeless bite. (Psst, you can also order blinis gluten free.) Kolobok also serves more traditional Russian dishes like borscht, piroshkis, braised cabbage rolls, and pelmenis—ridiculously good meat dumplings—all with a modern twist. For example, the borscht is served with short rib for a punch of savory goodness, the cabbage rolls are stuffed with spiced-up turkey and rice, and the pelmenis are accompanied with a jalapeño slaw and adjika—a chili, garlic, coriander, tomato topping. So roll yourself on over to Kolobok and check out their SF stops online. kolobokfood.com.

Best San Francisco Food Trucks #7

A16 Pizza

What: Italian
Order: The whole damn pie
OK, to be perfectly honest A16’s interpretation of a food truck doesn’t necessarily fall into the same category as the rest of the San Francisco food trucks on this list. Does it come in the classic rectangle on wheels? No. Does it sling out pizza from the bed of a truck every week? Hell ya. While we’d liken A16’s setup closer to a farmers market stand, of sorts, we are still including it on this list because of it’s mobile, wood-fire pizza oven that turns out some killer Neapolitan-style ’za. You can spot the pizza truck, fondly nicknamed Willy, at Fort Mason’s Off the Grid event every Friday, and perhaps around wine country, as it frequently makes pizza at a handful of wineries. In addition to the crispy-chewy-charred crusts, the pizza-mobile serves up southern Italian classics including meatballs and cannolis to lovers of all things food-related. And if you miss out on Willy’s appearance at Fort Mason, the OG pizza joints in SF and Oakland are happy to fill in those pizza-eating gaps for you. Go online for more information. a16pizza.com.
Best Places for Easter Brunch in San Francisco

Photo Courtesy of A16

Best Places for Easter Brunch in San Francisco

Photo Courtesy of Izzy’s Cheesesteak

Best San Francisco Food Trucks #8

Izzy’s Cheesesteaks

What: American
Order: The Classic
We love a good sammie. Meat, cheese, veggies, and all the accompaniments together on a fluffy cloud of carbohydrates … honestly, what’s not to love? And when that hoagie is kicked up a notch to include seared ribeye and melted cheese toasted up on the flattop before sliding into traditional Amoroso rolls from Philadelphia, you’ve landed on something great. San Francisco food truck Izzy’s Cheesesteak is the Bay’s best bet for a luscious, flavor-packed cheesesteak— outside of Philly—rolling around on four wheels. Born out of the simple idea of introducing the SF Bay Area to great Philly cheesesteaks, this food truck combines the delicious elements you know and love with a bit of a California twist. Using only the best ingredients (did we mention that Izzy’s uses 100-percent ribeye?) the cheesesteak truck offers the classic ingredients, including beef, provolone, and even Cheez Whiz, before going a little off the rails with their sandwich creations. As a good starting point definitely try The Classic (choice of protein and cheese with grilled onions and sweet and hot peppers) before moving on to something a little more zany like the Loco Moco (a twist on the Hawaiian dish complete with sauteed mushrooms, gravy, and a fried egg on top) or the Bourbon Crunch—drizzled in bourbon sauce and sprinkled with chili cheese-flavored Fritos. Check out where this SF food truck will be stopping next by going online. izzyscheesesteaks.com.

Love Stretchy Pants?

If you’re digging what we’re dishing up, you might like any number of our culinary experiences. To see and eat at some of the best places in SF check out our Stretchy Pants Food Walks. Or if you’re looking to up your culinary game, we also offer cooking classes and custom events for your next office or holiday party. Happy eating! Lauren Bonney

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