The Best Food Trucks in DC
Food trucks are becoming increasingly popular in the capital city and they're not limited to just tacos anymore with a broad selection of gourmet treats. Here are five top picks as well was their locations:
Red Hook Lobster Pound
Now you don't have to live on the coast to take advantage of lobster for lunch. And what a lunch! This truck is the mobile version of Brooklyn's Red Hook Lobster Pound (yes, Maine lobster coming from a Brooklyn institution). With its easily identifiable red and white striped awning, the truck offers the Maine-style Roll with fresh Maine lobster meat tossed in their signature lemon-based mayo with a sprinkle of sea salt, white pepper and celery for crunch. Get there early as lines are long. Locations include Eastern Market on Capitol Hill, Ballston, Crystal City and the Farragut and McPherson Square Metro Stations.
A fixture on the DC restaurant scene, it only makes sense that chef Jose Andres has brought his Iberian-style plates to the street (Pepe is his nickname). Favorites include the Pepito de Iberico (seared pork and serrano ham seasoned with roasted peppers, caramelized onions and aioli), Futbol Club Barcelona (Pepe's version of a BLT with shallot mayo and thinly sliced chicken bacon). Pepe also offers seasonal soups during the colder months. You can catch Pepe at L'Enfant Plaza, Union Station, and Metro Center, among other stops.
This rolling station of epicurean delights serves gourmet lasagnas and made-from-scratch pastas, including favorites such as black truffle lasagna with portobellos and gorgonzola. The "design-your-own pasta" option allows hungry patrons to select your choice of noodle (spaghetti, ravioli, fettucine, or bow tie) and specialty sauces ranging from marinara, meat, pesto, and vodka, all made from family recipes. And, if you have room for desserts, they're equally tempting with chocolate-dipped cannolis and tiramisu on the menu. Warning -- running to the truck to secure your place in line probably won't do much to burn the calories you're about to consume. Basil Thyme typically rolls through NoMa, Union Station, L'Enfant Plaza, and Navy Yard.
This light blue former ice cream truck emblazoned with the "DC E" logo is run by a husband-wife team who supposedly first met in kindergarten. Today DC Empanadas are offered by different types of meat ranging from ground sirloin and spanish olives in the "Traditional" to the "Executive Order" stuffed with bacon cheeseburgers. Non-meat options are also available. Check them out at Union Market, Metro Center, Navy Yard, and other DC locations
Carnivore BBQ and Mac Attack
This list wouldn't be complete without a BBQ option and Carnivore nicely fills the spot. The owner originally launched a business delivering New York bagels to DC, later switching gears to offer drooling Washingtonians succulent wood-smoked meats. The owner credits the flavors to his custom wood smoker -- "Old Smoky" -- hand-built by a disabled War veteran. The truck's signature dish is a decadent pulled pork sandwich topped with mac and cheese. Look for the Carnivore truck at Union Market, Farragut Square, Metro Center, and L'Enfant Plaza.