Lunch Bunch: What To Order At The 12 Best Food Trucks In Town

Being a grown-up has its perks: No one can tell you when to go to bed, when to stop shopping, or why you shouldn't eat dessert for dinner. It's great, right? Except that the 9-to-5 life doesn't include recess. And while employers may never grant mandatory frolic time (c'mon, HR—get on that), the closest thing we've found to delight our inner child and actually make us look forward to the workday is the lunchtime gathering of food trucks.
Ever since these trendy meals on wheels began popping up across the District and spreading to the 'burbs, the ol' brown bag lunch has started to feel dated and downright impractical—why pack a soggy sandwich when you have an excuse to get out in the sunshine, grab an extra-cheap bite, and chill out in the park for a hot second? So, because the fight for the title of Top Food Truck is as hotly contested as the battle for the GOP nom, we did all the groundwork necessary to bring you our official food-truck cheat sheet. Behold: everything you need to know about the most delish curbside cuisine in the area, including where to find them and what to order.
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Takorean
This West Coast-inspired truck serves fusion Korean BBQ and Mexican tacos made entirely from scratch, with vegetarian and vegan options.


Photo: Via Takorean
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The Must-Trys
You can’t go wrong with the bulgogi beef tacos (thin-sliced ribeye steak marinated in a spicy-sweet sauce) with spicy, kimchi-style cabbage slaw. For vegetarians, the caramelized tofu tacos are topped with fresh slaw (spicy or mild), cool lime crème, sriracha chili sauce, fresh cilantro, and sesame seeds, then served on warm tortillas. Talk about mouth-watering!


Photo: Via Takorean
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Lemongrass Truck
We’re kind of smitten with the husband-wife team behind this mobile venture. Inspired by Steve Jobs’ now-famous Stanford commencement speech (stay hungry, stay foolish), the pair left their dependable government contracting jobs to bring Vietnamese cuisine to the streets. What we love even more is their minimalist philosophy: Acknowledging that Vietnamese cuisine can be daunting, they chose to focus on two key ingredients — grilled lemongrass chicken and slow-roasted pork, plus tofu for their veggie-minded friends — and serve it four different ways (banh mi, tacos, atop vermicelli noodles, or with salad).


Photo: Via Lemongrass Truck
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The Must-Trys
The lemongrass-chicken banh mi sandwich comprises a foot-long French baguette with chicken, pickled carrots, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, cucumbers, and homemade lime-flavored mayo, for an all-around tangy-sweet hoagie with a crunch. You also can’t walk away from a Vietnamese food truck without trying a quintessential treat, bubble tea —which comes in an iced-coffee flavor. (That’s right — coffee-flavored tea).


Photo: Via Lemongrass Truck
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Curbside Cupcakes
This unapologetically pink truck is owned and operated by long-time Washingtonians, and it travels the city with a cupcake roster that changes daily. After working in a law firm and finding that colleagues craved post-lunch cupcakes but never wanted to go find them, co-owner Sam Whitfield realized cupcakes should be brought to the people, rather than the other way around.


Photo: Via Curbside Cupcakes
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The Must-Trys
The flavors are different each day, and you'll be hard-pressed to order the wrong thing when it comes to these indulgences. But we don’t mind waiting for the Tequila Sunrise, S’mores, and Dulce de Leche variations.


Photo: Via Takorean
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Feelin' Crabby
This crustacean hotspot is famous for its “Crabwich,” a sandwich comprised of jumbo lump crab meat seasoned with Old Bay, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and mayo on a kaiser roll (or a bed of lettuce, if you’re forgoing carbs) with lettuce, tomato, diced red pepper, and parsley.


Photo: Via Feelin' Crabby
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The Must-Trys
The Crabwich, obvi, then wash it down with a house-made Arnold Palmer. Helloooo, summer.


Photo: Via Feelin' Crabby
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Pi On Wheels
When you’re in the mood for Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza, Pi on Wheels (the mobile version of District of Pi restaurant in Penn Quarter) is here to please. Pizza is served not by the slice, but by the whole pie — 9 inches to be exact — and it's meant to be shared by two people. The truck generally carries two meat and two veggie options, and crust-lovers, be warned: Once you taste the special cornmeal crust, there’s no going back.


Photo: Via Pi
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The Must-Trys
If it’s an option when you visit, go with the Kirkwood — mozzarella, Italian meatballs, red peppers, and basil. The Western Addition features mozzarella, a spinach-ricotta-feta mixture, mushrooms, onions, and garlic.


Photo: Via Pi
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Sweetz Cheesecake
“That Cheesecake Truck," sometimes known as “Big Blue,” is the mobile offshoot of the well-loved Sweetz Cheesecake bakery located in Gaithersburg. Since cheesecake is pretty sinful by nature, you'll actually feel good about the individual 4-inch versions — they're just the right size to reward yourself after a long week.


Photo: Via Sweetz Cheesecake
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The Must-Trys
For sweet with a bit of a bite, we opt for the Lemon Drop (pure lemon with lemon swirl), and when we’re in a nothing-but-chocolate mood, the Turtle Sundae (swirled chocolate with caramel and pecans on a chocolate cookie crust) does the trick every time. And psst: We hear that a new Mint Chocolate Chip cheesecake is debuting this week.


Photo: Via Sweetz Cheesecake
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Basil Thyme
Washingtonians go crazy for this ultra-comforting Italian food cooked just the way your old-country nonna made it. The dishes are universally adored and oh-so-filling, especially the famous $10 lunch combo that includes a healthy portion of lasagna, crisp salad greens with veggies, a mini cannoli, and a drink.


Photo: Via Basil Thyme
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The Must-Trys
We love when family favorites take on a creative spin that actually works. Ever heard of pork lasagna? We hadn’t either, but the taste-gasmic Lisetta is made from slow-roasted pork in vodka sauce. Yes, please! The Guissepe veggie lasagna incorporates black truffle with gorgonzola and Portobello mushrooms.


Photo: Via Basil Thyme
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Sâuçá
Sâuçá aims to be a global bazaar of diverse tastes from different regions, inspired by mobile snack vendors in India, Europe, and the Americas. You may be crunching numbers all day, but a visit to this truck will have you feeling all kinds of cultured upon your return to the office.


Photo: Via Sauca
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The Must-Trys
Try the Polpette Marinara, which packs savory Italian turkey meatballs and marinara sauce into a soft flatbread — so simple, so good. Our other fave is the Buffalo Chicken wrap, with tasty chicken drizzled with special hot sauce, sweet caramelized onions, and crumbled blue cheese.


Photo: Via Sauca
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Rolling Ficelle
The sandwiches at this truck are served on soft, thin baguettes with slightly crispy exteriors, known as Ficelles. In the name of freshness, the bread is made each morning from wheat and rice flours at local bakery Lyon in Silver Spring. Customers can choose from six sammie options named after artists that have inspired the Rolling Ficelle chef on various trips to Europe. The Rothko, for instance, is made up of shaved prosciutto and provolone with romaine lettuce.


Photo: Via Rolling Ficelle
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The Must-Trys
The Newman — a roasted turkey sammie with bacon, avocado, and onion marmalade — is a must. When available, the Frida salad counts fresh watermelon and jicama among its ingredients.


Photo: Via Rolling Ficelle
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Sweet Bites
Not only can you satisfy a serious sugar craving with this mobile café’s famous cupcakes, you can snag baked goods ranging from bars and tarts to muffins and cookies, and fill up a fresh coffee or tea. Talk about a one-stop shop! The Italian owner focuses on European-style confections made in small batches with high-quality butter, European chocolate, Madagascar vanilla, and other artisanal ingredients.


Photo: Via Sweet Bites
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The Must-Trys
The perfectly-moist chocolate banana bread is made with quality cocoa and dark chocolate chips, and the salty caramel and chocolate coconut cupcakes are flawless. The dense brownies, made with Belgian semisweet chocolate and cocoa, are enough to make you forget all about that meeting-from-hell this morning.


Photo: Via Sweet Bites
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Red Hook Lobster Pound
We think it’s safe to say that this roving truck offers the best lobster rolls this side of Maine. Sure, quality lobster ain't the thriftiest lunch in the world, but this splurge is so worth it.


Photo: Via Red Hook Lobster Pound
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The Must-Trys
First, pick your poison — lobster meat served Maine-style, with lemon-based mayo, or Connecticut-style, simply doused in butter. (The latter is our fave, as purists.) Then opt for the $18 combo meal, which gets you a lobster roll, chips, and a drink.


Photo: Via Red Hook Lobster Pound
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Fojol Bros.
A self-described “traveling culinary carnival,” the quirky band of Fojol Bros. wear gypsy-esque garb with enormous fake mustaches, to boot. The Merlindia truck serves Indian cuisine over beds of basmati rice; the Benethiopia truck dishes up Ethiopian food to be eaten with your fingers; and the newly launched Volathai truck has — you guessed it — Thai food. Our favorite part? You can order fruit-flavored “Lossipops” (lassis in popsicle form!) to temper the spicy meals.


Photo: Via Fojol Bros.
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The Must-Trys
Buttered chicken or spinach and cheese with a mango Loossipop. For veggie lovers, try the cabbage and chickpeas with a ginger Lossipop.


Photo: Via Fojol Bros.
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