Like many modern metropolitan cities, food trucks are a way of life in Washington, D.C. They’re a popular alternative to brick-and-mortar lunch options for office workers, congressmen, and students alike, often featuring fresh, unique options that aren’t otherwise available. Food trucks are also an excellent option for travelers, because they give you a small taste of what the broader culinary scene in the city has to offer. Whether it’s a curry from that delicious Thai place in an area of the city you’ll never get to or a taco from an independently-owned Mexican food truck, there are so many delicious things you can find in food trucks to really make your vacation special. As you’re planning your upcoming D.C. trip, plan to scope out a few food trucks on your trip as you explore the city’s top attractions. Pick up a Washington DC Explorer Pass® to save up to 40% on combined admission to all your favorite area attractions, from leisurely bike rides to exciting cruises. Washington DC Explorer Pass Here are a few things to keep in mind about D.C. food trucks (and to be fair, food trucks in general), so take note before you venture out into the culinary wild. While there are a few mainstays that remain in the same area every day of the week, food truck culture encourages flexibility and change – trucks usually mix up where they are during the week to make themselves available to a wider variety of customers. Sometimes food trucks that make more money in a specific place will stay there longer, or, alternatively, companies with an entire fleet of trucks are likely to keep trucks stationed in the same general area.

Image credit: Elvert Barnes. Image credit: Elvert Barnes.
So if you’re looking for the ever-popular D.C. Taco Truck, they’re probably in the same place. If you’re trying to find the more elusive Sweetgreen truck, it’s best to follow them on Twitter or use something like a food truck tracker to find out where they’re going to be when you’re looking for some lunch. If you miss them in one spot, never fear! Food trucks are designed to be mobile and you’re sure to catch up with them someplace else. It’s also important to keep in mind that many food trucks do not carry credit card machines on board, so you should be prepared with cash. They also often don’t have a lot of change, so smaller bills are best. In a few cases, listed prices will actually already include tax as well, to make it easier on everyone. Any questions? Just ask – food truck folk are friendly folk!
Image credit: Belal Khan Image credit: Belal Khan
Because of cramped quarters, limited prep space, and even more limited quantities, food trucks don’t often have the capacity to customize orders (especially for pre-prepared things like salads), so don’t expect to be able to request changes to a sandwich, for example. This isn’t always the case, though, and it never hurts to ask. What kind of food can you find at a food truck? In 2015 - basically anything. Although food trucks began serving simple food like tacos and sandwiches, today you'll find gourmet food trucks serving a variety of ethnic, fusion, or new American cuisines. You'll still find the simpler stuff, of course, including the classic ice cream truck, but there's a lot more variety on today's food truck scene than you'd have found a mere five years ago.
Image credit: Elvert Barnes Image credit: Elvert Barnes
Finally, why visit food trucks? You mean, besides the awesome convenience and fun of eating like a kid again? Well, if you’re searching for a more compelling reason, know that many food trucks are run by entrepreneurs just starting a culinary business, who are sometimes even trying to save money to open up a brick-and-mortar location. So your food truck purchases support local business and independent business owners in D.C. – one great reason to dine street-style on your next trip! So there’s your crash course in D.C. food truck culture. Enjoy a snack , a bit of ice cream, or all of your lunches at a food truck on your next D.C. vacation, and lets us know how it goes! If you’re looking for a complete and up-to-date listing of all available food trucks, visit this handy website. And remember, while you’re saving on lunch with food trucks, save on admission to great attractions with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®! Washington DC Explorer Pass