The insignia on the outside of the Boricua Soul truck (or the “Soul Patrol,” as it’s known) is based on the African symbol Sankofa, which means “go back and get it.” This represents the truck’s personal approach to cooking and its ethos of drawing from the past—Southern soul with a Caribbean flair—but the motto is also a nod to Boricua Soul’s loyal fan base. Look for empanadas, pork platters, and tostones, along with veggie-friendly options.
This Korean BBQ truck doesn’t skimp on portions, so bring your appetite. The BBQ base comes with several spicy and non-spicy meat options and a choose-your-own-adventure approach to the fixings, including tacos, burritos, and burrito bowls, among others. Add an egg or pan-fried kimchi to top itoff, and check out the sides, including the goon mandoo.
Chez Moi Bakery
When midday cravings turn from savory to sweet, the Chez Moi Bakery food truck comes to the rescue. Choose from favorites such as lemon cake, ice cream cakewiches, and cool strawberry lemon cups. The brown sugar vanilla rum cake—$4 for one generous slice, or $25 for the whole dang thing, why not?—is the star of the show.
Chirba Chirba Dumplings
The folks at Chirba Chirba have harnessed the Triangle’s appetite for dumplings to become one of the most popular food trucks (two trucks, actually) in the region. Track down the bright yellow truck(s) for mouthwatering dumplings, delicious spicy glass noodles, or rice bowls. New to Chirba? Go original—an order of the pork juicy buns with the Chirba Spicy sauce is one of the best bites around.
You won’t find a better empanada in the Triangle than from Fuzzy’s truck. They’re handmade from local ingredients, then fried and handed out hot, the cheese warm and gooey, the doughy casing the perfect degree of crispness. Order a side of the perfectly salted tortilla chips and salsa, and settle into wherever you’re at.
The graffiti-splashed Kokyu BBQ truck, which sells a variety of multi-cuisine offerings, including banh bi sandwiches, pork gyoza, and chilled ramen bowls, is a familiar sight around Durham. It’s the crisp tater tots, though, that make it the stuff of legend: crisp, fried in duck fat, generously infused with rosemary, then served with a special sauce, these tots have earned praise from many corners, including Southern Living.
101 Short Street, Carrboro, napolicarrboro.com
Here’s a food truck with a permanent address, and it’s one of Carrboro’s best. The maniacs behind Napoli managed to shove a wood-burning pizza oven into a truck. It can blaze a hand-stretched Neapolitan pie made with tomatoes and flour from Italy in two minutes flat. Fior di Latte, every damn day.
This bright green truck offers a panoply of Cuban and Latino dishes: cochinita pibil, beef empanadas, a hearty Cubano sandwich, a rotating cast of tacos, and fried quesadillas (with homemade red salsa). A trifecta of sizzling sides rounds out the meal: yuca fries, fried sweet plantains, and tostones with garlic mojo.
So Good Pupusas
As the name suggests, this truck makes pupusas, thick tortillas stuffed with meat, cheese, and beans and served with pickled cabbage and carrots, a street food that originated in El Salvador. Get one with pork or choose from a handful of veggie options. You can find the truck at Cocoa Cinnamon’s Lakewood location in Durham on Tuesdays.
Tacos El Niño
102 South Merritt Mill Road, Chapel Hill
From late afternoon until last call, some of the best tacos in America can be found in a parking lot at the border of Chapel Hill and Carrboro. There, Tacos El Niño slings a variety of delicious Mexican street tacos ranging from al pastor and chorizo to barbacoa, lengue, and asada out of a big white box truck, all garnished with just cilantro, onion, and plenty of hot sauce.
2018 Best of the Triangle Readers’ Pick, Best Food Truck: Chirba Chirba Dumplings.