Food & Drink

The Best Food Trucks in Memphis

The food truck scene is ever-evolving in Memphis. We’ve seen several successful trucks become restaurants, others become fixtures -- along Summer Avenue, at local breweries, around Court Square on Thursdays -- and sadly, we've also seen a few of those trucks and restaurants close. But one thing is always consistent: incredible food without the pomp of dining out. We've got authentic Mexican street tacos, dim sum, Thai delicacies, raw food, wood-fired pizza, deep-fried cornish hens, and so much more. These mobile kitchens are now staples of the Memphis food scene. Here are our favorites.

9 Dough 1

Various locations
An old-school mobile pizzeria

Grisanti is a name well known to Memphians and most often associated with delicious Italian food. Alex Grisanti, a fourth-generation restaurateur, was seeking work-life balance when he decided to take the cheflife on the road. Now he turns out gourmet eight-inch personal pizzas featuring lobster, buffalo chicken, barbeque chicken, meat lovers, and lots of fresh veggies. They are all made to order in two minutes.

Say Cheese

Various locations
Gourmet grilled cheese on the go

Terry and Allison LaRue left hectic day jobs for a more flexible career that would give them more time to spend with their four children. Their rotating sandwich menu includes Cluck Me (Buffalo chicken, blue cheese, and pepper jack ), the PCB (pimento cheese and bacon), the spinach artichoke dip on baguette, and the "Pizza" with pepperoni, cheese, and marinara. You can of course get tomato soup and even gluten-free bread.

Dim Sum

East Memphis (and beyond)
On-the-go dim sum, pot stickers, springrolls, and more

We hold a small grudge against the dim sum truck for focusing its efforts out east, but it’s definitely worth seeking out if you find yourself outside the I-40 loop. The menu features dumplings, pot stickers, spring rolls, and noodle soups. Customers love the six piece mix & match.

El Mero Taco

Various locations
Chef-inspired Mexican street food

El Mero, which is Spanish slang for “the best” definitely lives up to its name. Owners Jacob and Clarissa Dries met in culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu. He’s from Memphis and she’s from Oaxaca, and the menu reflects both of their influences. The top-selling taco features fried chicken, queso, pickled jalapenos, and pickled onions. Despite opening a restaurant in Cordova and expanding their offerings there, the El Mero truck is still out and about.

Flying Sobie’s

Downtown
Deep-fried cornish hens and plenty of sauce for your fries
The best place to find Flying Sobie’s is at the Ghost River Taproom on Sunday afternoons. Can you think of a better low-key brunch than one involving a cold pint of Rise & Grind, a deep-fried hen smothered in Spicy Memphis Gold Sauce then lovingly positioned on a crispy waffle, and a game of Scrabble? There are also fresh, hot French fries, potato salad, slaw, house-made ranch dressing, and several other sauce options. For those who want to look proper, a chicken salad croissant was recently added to the menu.

El Burrito Express

Midtown 
Cheap, reliable California-style burritos and tacos
The big yellow truck with Christmas lights parked at the Marathon on Madison and Belvedere (1675 Madison) is the go to for a $5 lunch. In addition to burritos, this California-style food truck offers authentic street tacos dressed with onion, cilantro, pickled carrots, and cucumber. You won’t find them on social, but you’ll always find them in their spot.

Fresh Gulf Shrimp

Various locations
Fresh shrimp, in so many styles

Fresh Gulf Shrimp has a simple concept -- source fresh shrimp and serve it up nice and hot. They specialize in fried shrimp, steamed cajun shrimp, shrimp boils, and shrimp poboys. Oh but they don’t stop with shrimp -- look for fried oysters and fresh cut fries too. The truck is often parked at the Oak Court Mall, but check their Facebook page for the weekly lineup.

Fries Guys

Various locations
On-point French fries and grilled cheeses

Fries Guys should not be confused with the Fry Guy, though both trucks specialize in French fries. The Fries Guys have a big mustache painted on a white truck and use potatoes to hold down their menus on the tables at the various breweries where they are most often found. The fry menu is very straightforward -- classic, seasoned, and bacon Cheddar fries.They also offer grilled cheese sandwiches on panini bread with various fillings (traditional, chicken, spicy chicken, pepperoni pizza).

gourmande
Courtesy of Gourmande

Gourmade

Various locations
Homemade gourmet comfort food

Jared Richmond, a self-taught cook, opened Gourmade (a combination gourmet and homemade) in a repurposed FedEx truck. His specialties include The Gourmade Burger (truffle aioli, arugula, white American cheese, and pickled red onion), “Appetite for Destruction” (pulled pork, grilled mac & cheese, crispy fries), lobster mac & cheese, and decadent desserts (strawberry cake, caramel cake, coconut cake, and banana pudding).

Fuel

Downtown
Memphis’ OG food truck

The Fuel truck was the first real-deal food truck in the city and set the bar pretty dang high with its thoughtfully sourced ingredients and the best homemade veggie patty in all the land. What started as a catering truck for movies has come full circle now that the restaurant has closed and the big blue truck is busy on the set of “Bluff City Law.” However, the red truck still makes the rounds and you can get your taco fix at the Memphis Farmers Market on Saturday mornings and select locations throughout the week.

MEMPopS

Various locations
“Farm to Stick” pops from fresh produce

What started as the most adorable food truck in Memphis, if not the entire world, has become as household name just as owner Chris Taylor dreamed it would be. Despite having three thriving retail locations from Crosstown to Collierville, the little blue mail truck is still out on the streets, serving up the freshest and most delicious pops in town. MemPop flavors vary depending on what’s fresh and they recently wowed us with fig and orange cream pops as well as fig and goat cheese pops. Other signature flavors include roasted peach, sweet cherry, lemongrass watermelon, and avocado lime. Pops sell for $4 each.

New Wing Order

Various locations
Award-winning wings, made to order

In less than 10 years, a group of friends went from frequenting the Southern Hot Wing Festival to competing to winning to owning their own truck. How’s that for dedication? 
The truck offers traditional or boneless wings with signature sauces (Memphis Buffalo, Grind City Gold, Midtown Masala, Pineapple Habanero, Ring of Fire) and seasonings (lemon pepper, Nikki’s hot). Don’t miss out on the hot wing nachos, fried chicken barbecue nachos, and buffalo chicken tacos! Go ahead, bring a vegetarian -- they have mighty fine avocado tacos, several varieties of fries, salad, and chips.

Pupuseria Anitas

Berclair
Handmade Mexican and Central American food
Anita’s truck/mobile pupusa unit is parked outside of a convenience store cum dining room (658 Stratford Road) so that her customers can sit and enjoy their food. She has a wide selection of Mexican and Central American food, but people line up for her pupusas -- stuffed, thick flatbreads made of cornmeal. Filled with your choice of cheese, pork, and beans, pupusas are perfection.

Raw Girls

Midtown, East Memphis
Chef-made raw foods

Hannah and Amy Pickle, better known as the Raw Girls, started with raw food home delivery and expanded to two trucks that you’ll find permanently parked at Eclectic Eye (242 S. Cooper) in Midtown and Hollywood Feed (5502 Poplar) out east. Their hours tend to vary, so always check online before heading out to load up their amazing offerings like taco salad, mung bean pasta, French lentil soup, hummus toast, zucchini pasta, and lemon cheesecake. (Look for their first brick and mortar store coming to Saddle Creek in the coming months.)

Soi Number 9

Various locations
Authentic Thai street food served with genuine smiles

Tim Vimonnimit, a classically trained chef, and his wife, Mai Mitrakul, are the two smiling faces you will see at the Soi Number 9 truck. Tim specializes in authentic dishes created from recipes shared across multiple generations. The rice bowls and noodle bowls are crowd pleasers as are the spring rolls, pot stickers, fried tofu, sticky rice, and iced Thai coffee. They recently opened a permanent space located inside UT Health Science Center’s Food Hall (920 Madison Ave) where they serve lunch Monday through Friday from 11am - 12:30pm. The truck can still be found out and about on evenings and weekends.

Stick Em

Various locations
Delicious kabobs and a side of veggies

Go to any food truck rodeo and Stick ‘Em is sure to have the longest line. Meat on a stick just can’t be beat. Chicken, tofu, shrimp, or beef served up with a side of perfectly seasoned, grilled vegetables make for a healthy, delicious meal. Pro tip: The owner also has a restaurant, Blue Nile, which specializes in Ethiopian food, but they serve the same kabobs you find on the truck.

Tacos Los Jarochos
Charles Morgan

Tacos Los Jarochos

Berclair
A taco truck with a patio, and ice cream

The Tacos Los Jarochos truck is permanently parked at 4900 Summer Avenue in front of a Mexican neveria of the same name specializing in frozen treats. There’s a lovely patio where you can sit and enjoy your tacos, tortas, and more. You're also welcome to sit inside.

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Stacey Greenberg is a Thrillist contributor and author of the award-winning blog, Dining with Monkeys.