11 Food Trucks Los Angeles Kids and Parents Love

Photo by John Joh/Flickr
Photo by John Joh/Flickr

The City of Angels is all about highbrow food in casual, comfortable settings, and nowhere is that more evident than the food truck scene. LA's food trucks offer up every cuisine mash-up imaginable, and between the trucks' websites, Twitter, and Instagram, it's easy to track down your favorites. A truck at a festival can be a little culinary surprise, but there's also a thriving, family-friendly, deliciously casual scene that pops up at regular local gatherings like the Santa Monica Food truck lotAbbot Kinney’s First Fridays, Natural History Museum First Fridays, and others. A bonus for us with food trucks is no worrying about the inevitable mess left behind by my little whirlwind, or trying to keep her butt in a high chair.

Here are the LA trucks I most enjoy tracking down with my tiny food critic.

The food critic tucks in.

  1. Banh Mi in LA
    This food truck doesn't limit itself to the famed Vietnamese sandwich. I got my daughter the chicken noodle bowl and she devoured it, as well as part of my banh mi. Follow the truck on Twitter.
  2. Tacos La Estrella
    A chef friend told me two signs of a good place are a limited menu and running out of ingredients (it means they don’t have a freezer full of stuff that’s been sitting there for months). This little-known Eagle Rock institution serves only tacos and burritos, and the last day I went they were out of chicken. It shows. This is a traditional, no-frills Eastside taco spot that won’t hurt your wallet. My kid loved the carnitas without hot sauce (though she’d probably love the hot sauce too). The truck is easy to track down, since it's always parked outside the Philips 66 on Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock. There is a bare bones website with menu, too.
  3. Cousins Maine Lobster Truck
    Winners of Tasting Table’s West Coast lobster roll rumble of 2015, Cousins has a national reputation. The company has trucks and restaurants all over the country, serving up a classic, well-executed take on the mind-blowing alchemy of butter, mayo, and lobster. 
  4. All Flavor No Grease
    Keith Garrett has been blowing up social media for years thanks to fans of his truly spectacular quesadilla, and his signature stand has grown into two trucks. Enjoy whatever cheesy magic he’s stuffing between a grilled tortilla that day. You can follow on Instagram.
  5. The Grilled Cheese Truck
    Did you really think I could make a list of kid-friendly food trucks without including the GCT? This comfort food classic does it right. The fully loaded Cheesy Mac 'N' Rib is the stuff of legend. A dairy eating family will find something to please everyone on this menu, and the website has a calendar page with details about where to find the trucks on any given day of the week.

    A classic setting for a classic dish 
  6. Sticky Rice
    The most whimsical “truck” on this list is actually more of a trailer. It genuinely made me giggle, but they they serve up the same yummy Thai Street food as the original Grand Central Sticky Rice location. Kid-approved options include the pineapple fried rice and the pad thai. 
  7. Mama Musubi
    Though not technically a truck, this food stand pops up at farmers markets and events all over the city. Its specialty is a rice ball stuffed with your choice of salmon, chicken, bacon and avocado, sea vegetables, and more. At my local farmers market, I swear every kid between ages 1 and 16 has one of these baseball-sized sushi in his mouth. My toddler is addicted to the salmon one. Check out the website or follow on Instagram.
  8. Meso Hungry Truck
    The Meso Hungry truck has fun, chef-y twists on a classic burger and fry stand. For the veggies out there, the portobello mushroom burger is a masterpiece. My little one has always been obsessed with short rib, so she likes the KTM sliders. Follow the truck on Twitter.
  9. India Jones
    I’ve been somehow blessed with a child with an adventurous palate, but even I was surprised by how much she devoured these flavors. Certainly, the butter chicken curry is a fave with the littles, but the taco chaats are a fun bit of fusion as well. It’s all a playful variation on your normal Indian takeout spot at India Jones. Check it out on Twitter, too. 
  10. Kogi BBQ Truck
    This is the granddaddy of them all, the truck that is credited with starting the gourmet truck revolution with its Korean Short Rib Taco. Kogi Dogs and sliders keep the menu interesting for that rare kid who won't eat a taco or quesadilla. The website keeps track of the daily movements of the company's four trucks. 
  11. And for dessert… the CVT Truck
    This is not the old-school, soft-serve truck haunting your neighborhood with a blaring, broken speaker. With a commitment to superior ingredients starting with local milk, the CVT Truck strives for simplicity. The choices are vanilla, chocolate, or a twist. With soft serve this next-level delicious, I don’t need more. Find the truck on Twitter and Instagram.

Don't stop here! There are so many more to check out, from the Granada Hills Grubfest to Smorgasboard downtown. A food truck gathering can be a different adventure every time.

Top photo by John Joh/CC BY 2.0. All others by author

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