Carl Casper, the fictional chef memorably played by Jon Favreau, would be proud of Texas.
The Lone Star State — and not just trendy Austin — has quickly become one of the ultimate food truck capitals of America. In fact, Texas ranks behind only California in food truck power on the new Best Food Trucks in America rankings put out by the Daily Meal.
Only California (19) nabbed more spots in the rankings than Texas (13). And four different Texas cities placed food trucks in this Top 101 while California’s winners are completely dominated by San Francisco and Los Angeles. Heck, even Marfa lands a food truck on the list (the distinctive silver Food Shark).
While Austin and Dallas each earn four spots in the rankings, San Antonio walks away with the highest-rated Texas food truck. Rickshaw Stop, a “gourmet Pakistani” food truck, stands out from almost anything else on the street (especially in the land of The Alamo) with its kebabs and samosas. It’s the fifth highest-rated food truck in all of America. For a family-owned food truck (a husband, wife, mom, uncle and aunt run the truck), those are lofty heights. And Carl Casper thought he was a food truck sensation!
In Dallas, Nammi Truck (No. 65), Ssahm BBQ (No. 33), Easy Slider (No. 26) and Jack’s Chowhound (No. 22) make the cut. Austin also boasts four top food trucks in Love Balls (No. 81), One Taco (No. 74), Hey … You Gonna Eat or What (No. 54) and East Side King (No. 31).
Houston’s three ranked food trucks are familiar names. Bernie’s Burger Bus comes in at No. 32, even though its owner, Justin Turner — NBA player Shane Battier‘s former personal chef — mostly concentrates on his restaurant in Bellaire these days. Oh My Gogi! (No. 38) and Coreanos (No. 53) also make repeat appearances in the top 101.
To Tyler Florence, host of the Great Food Truck Race on the Food Network, the formula for a great food truck is simple. “The best food trucks specialize in one thing,” he tells the Daily Meal. “Do you make tacos? What kind of tacos? Korean? Indian? Traditional ones? Whatever you love, stick with it. Trucks that offer a global menu have a tendency to not be good at anything. And when it comes to the food, you and your team need to become authorities on your obsession.”