When I grew up right outside of New York City, food stands were a common sight. You would see them and you could smell them. The aroma of roasting chestnuts would permeate the air and as you got closer to a food stand you could smell the fresh jumbo pretzels and hot dogs. Sabrett and Nathan’s hot dogs were the more common favorites. You could spot their brightly colored branded umbrellas from anywhere in the city. Fast forward to 2016. While you don’t see too many food stands anymore, except at fairs and outdoor events, you do see food trucks. The food truck culture has hit Charleston and many other cities and towns across the country in a big way. Why are food trucks so popular? We are a nation of instant gratification and precious little time. Hunger and time constraints have provided a foundation for the food truck culture. Add in a college town and a climate that permits people to take a walk outside most of the year……and there you have food truck success! Also, food trucks offer diverse food to people looking to try something new.
It’s interesting that food trucks experienced a boom just as the economy started to nose dive back in 2008. Many restaurateurs who were hesitant to take on a new restaurant turned to food trucks as a less expensive way to sell food and reach customers. Having a unique food truck concept allows inventive owners to stand out. Food truck operators set themselves apart with creative cuisine and specialized menus. Food aficionados now have the ability to search for a particular truck, cuisine or dietary need using their smartphone. The huge wave of social media users allowed food truck owners to market their wares cheaply and efficiently. The Internet and social media played, and continues to play, a vital role in making food trucks accessible to wide areas of communities. The possibilities for success and continued growth are endless for the American food truck.
Food Trucks are now so popular that the Zagat Restaurant Review Guide even added a new category called “Food Truck Reviews.”
Food truck owners have carved out a niche in society and it is very apparent right here in Charleston. You can now find them outside airports, schools, markets and much more. The rise of the food truck has seen them working at special events such as weddings, school dances, birthday parties and public gatherings. You can find many food trucks in downtown Charleston, Mt Pleasant, Folly Beach and James Island. I was amazed to see how many different foods trucks there are! Here are some of my personal favorites:
Bac’n Me Crazy
Outta My Huevos
Platia Greek Food Truck 😉
The Immortal Lobster
If you haven’t experienced food truck dining, I would highly recommend it! Keep On Truckin’ !