Without a doubt, food trucks are a huge part of culture right now. Worldwide, you will find trucks, stalls and booths set-up serving delicious meals at reasonable prices to a generation of hungry and inquisitive food lovers.
But it’s time for tacos, bánh mì and burgers to move over because there is a new type of food taking over the landscape of the food truck culture: Indian food. If it’s curry in a hurry that you savour, then these on-the-road eateries are bound to serve up everything from Mumbai street food classics like pani puri or vada pav or your standard Americanized classics like butter chicken.
Here are 8 Indian food trucks showcasing just how awesome Indian culture and food can be:
Spice Box – Indianapolis, IN
Nitin Naidu and his wife Mo didn’t dream of being food truck owners, but it just sort of happened one day in 2011. Located in Indianapolis, the offerings from Spice Box center around Naidu’s childhood offerings that his mother use to cook up for him consisting of chicken tandoori and a Bombay box which included a grilled chicken topped with chutney on top of an egg. While the offerings are traditional, they still have a slightly modern twist which their customers have come to love and appreciate. Everything is cooked in-house using the best locally grown ingredients and freshest spices to make these dishes pop. Since their opening, Spice Box has gone from one truck to two and just recently opened their very own brick and mortar location.
New Taste of India – Portland, OR
If you’re headed to Portland, then you’ll want to track down the New Taste of India food cart. With multiple location throughout the city, the cart serves authentic Northern-style Indian food made up of fresh, local ingredients. The cart, which offers abundant servings fit for two people or more, has a daily 5-course lunch special – meat or vegetarian – that is only $5 including rice, naan and three other items of your choice. Not too shabby!
Hot Indian Foods – Minneapolis, MN
Photo courtesy Hot Indian Foods
There’s no way you can miss this bright orange truck when you’re in Minneapolis! The truck, which rolled out onto the streets in 2013, was a passion project of Amol Dixit. He had wanted to make Indian food less intimidating and thus, their menu was centred around familiar formats with Indian flavours. Currently the truck has two signature dishes which customers from all over the Twin Cities travel to try out: the Indurrito (Indian Burrito, filled with chicken, lamb, spinach paneer, or vegan channa) and Indi Frites (Indian-seasoned Fries). Since the truck has gained so much popularity, they have expanded into a bricks and mortar location and also have a food stall at Target Field.
India Jones Chow Truck – Los Angeles
If you’re going to L.A., then you’ll have no shortage of food trucks. But you might want to check out Chef Sumant Pardal latest concept, India Jones Chow Truck, which has had locals buzzing about it. In L.A., many locals are familiar with Pardal’s eats, having previously owned the East India Grill chain. The food found on the Indian Jones truck is a modern style of Indian food with a certain American fusion that has left customer hungry for more. Case in point: one of the truck’s most popular items is an Indian burrito, wrapped in a roti filled with beef, lamb, cheese, fish or shrimp. Another is the baby back ribs, topped with mango chutney BBQ sauce served with naan bread.
The Desi Food Truck – New York, NY
A Vendy Street Awards finalist in 2014, the Desi Food Truck has been a New York staple since 2010. Serving up midtown lunch crowds everything from dal, curry, kati rolls and biriyani, the Desi Food Truck has earned quite a loyal and respected following. Owner Alamgeer said in a prior interview that his inspiration for starting the truck was due to the, “lack of tasty Indian street foods in my beloved city, NYC and being mobile to reach into different neighborhoods to offer these tasty Indian foods not available in over 90 percent of desi restaurants all over.”
Masala Dhaba – Austin, TX
As we all know, Austin is known for having an amazing food truck scene. So it comes as no surprise that Masala Dhaba has opened up to such amazing reviews. Serving up an authentic array of authentic Indian cuisine, the menu offers loads of options including several vegetarian options. Each dish on the menu though ranges in price from $8-12/hour and all portion sizes are fairly large. No constant cravings left throughout the day after you’ve had a good helping from Masala Dhaba.
Curry Up Now – San Francisco, CA
Photo courtesy of Curry Up Now
Touted as the Bay Area’s first Indian food truck, Curry Up Now was started back in 2009 by Akash and Rana Kapoor. With one single truck on the road, their mission was to bring the flavor of authentic Indian street food (from Old Delhi, Chowpatty, Mumbai, etc.) they experienced in their childhood to the streets of San Francisco. Since that initial inception, the business has expanded into a thriving business with five trucks, four brick and mortar locations and a thriving catering business. Customers come from all over to experience their Sexy Fries (an Indian-style poutine), Naughty Naan (Indian-style pizza) and Chicken Tikka Masala burrito.
Masala Fresh – Atlanta, GA
They don’t call it hotlanta for nothing! Masala Fresh is the first indian street food truck found in Atlanta. Their offerings are traditional Indian food done in a fast, casual way. For example, lamb masala, served in a rice bowl or smaller bites include samosas. However, there is a bit of playfulness and fusion that can be found on the menu at Masala Fresh – take for example the chicken tikka masala naan wrap – which is their take on a classic burrito or the loaded masala fries topped with Indian-spiced lamb. Since taking to the streets in 2012, Masala Fresh has had a steady stream of folks interested in trying out their take on Indian street food.