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8 of the best food trucks in Alabama

Blenz Trucks outside of Bryant Denny Stadium Photo by Zac Rogers

What is it exactly that makes food truck fare so tempting? The short answer is probably, “calories.” But to wax philosophical, it might be that small, mobile kitchens have more freedom to try something new—really go wild with their menus. And there’s nothing foodies love more than variety. From gourmet vegan corn in Birmingham to fine-dining filet mignon sliders in Auburn, there are big flavors coming out of little windows across Alabama.

1. New South Hot Dog & Sushi, Huntsville

New South Hot Dog & Sushi gourmet hot dogs

Gourmet franks at New South Hot Dog & Sushi come piled high with primo toppings and inventive flavor combos. | Photo courtesy New South Hot Dog LLC

It takes a creative mind to top a quarter-pound Nathan’s hot dog with sushi-style fixings such as wasabi mayo or imitation crab. And, judging from the lines at the award-winning New South Hot Dog & Sushi, founder Albert Toh’s out-of-the-box cooking has paid off.

The Crunchy Dog—one of this 3-year-old truck’s wilder combos—counts pork rinds, spicy mayo, and eel sauce among its toppings. Purists can find more traditional chili-cheese and Chicago-style franks on the menu along with deep-fried sushi roll faves.

Read more: Take a caffeinated tour on Huntsville’s Craft Coffee Trail.

2. Thirsty Pig, Dothan

Thirsty Pig Truck staff

The Thirsty Pig food truck pairs its savory favorites with craft beer from its neighboring taproom. | Photo by Kerry Farrell

This 4-wheeled kitchen parks permanently at the taproom by the same name and specializes in eats that pair perfectly with high-quality suds.

In Thirsty Pig owner Kerry Farrell’s words, “When I opened this place 5 years ago, craft beer was new, and I didn’t want to invest in a commercial kitchen. I thought, ‘If the taproom doesn’t work out, I can drive off into the sunset.’ ” Luckily, she’s still here.

Order your spicy Wisconsin cheese curds, Sriracha carnitas, or hand-cut fries to be delivered to your barstool Tuesday through Saturday. Wash them down with a draught of ever-rotating IPAs, darks, sours, and more. (Be sure to designate a driver if you plan to drink alcohol.)

3. Aww Shucks, Birmingham

Aww Shucks corn

Taki, Mexican street-style, and garlic herb Parmesan flavors top roasted corn. | Photo courtesy Aww Shucks Alabama’s Original Gourmet Street Corn

Don’t let the name fool you; there’s nothing bashful about the flavors coming out of this wildly popular, corn-focused food truck. Husband-and-wife team Avrie and Phillip Powell launched Aww Shucks in 2020 to introduce fresher and more affordable vegan and vegetarian options to the street-food scene.

Each ear is roasted over a live fire before being drizzled with Cajun Parmesan sauce and coated in a garlic-herb-Parmesan seasoning or just doused in butter. In all, diners find about a dozen varieties starting at $3 per ear. Super fans can buy mix-and-match packs in bulk.

4. Top’s Food and Catering, Mobile

Tops Food Truck

In Mobile, Lavel Turner's Tops Food Truck serves up hardy portions of comfort food favorites. | Photo by Dan Anderson

A mix of home-style comfort food such as red beans specials and fried seafood platters alongside indulgent pub-fare darlings like sauce-drenched wings make Top’s a perennial fan favorite.

Anyone looking to work up an appetite—or bust a diet—should scroll the truck’s Facebook page, where owner Lavel Turner and his team diligently post locations and tempting photos of daily specials. The loaded fries topped with ground beef chili, cheese, and peppers make a meal all on their own. Good luck saving room for red velvet cake.

Read More: 6 great food trucks in Texas

5. Sword and Skillet, Auburn

Sword and Skillet

Sword and Skillet in Auburn focuses on high end options like filet mignon and mahi tacos. | Photo by Cary Norton

Burgers and bowls are nice, but Sword and Skillet is fine—as in fine dining. The highbrow food truck anchors permanently on Main Street in Midtown and offers fancy fare such as filet mignon sliders, blackened wild-caught mahimahi with lemon-dill aioli, and caprese chicken salad on its ever-changing, gourmet menu. 

Sword and Skillet Chef

Pro chef Torrey Hall serves fine dining fare out of the Sword and Skillet food truck in Midtown Auburn. | Photo by Cary Norton

Co-owner with his wife, Jordan Whitley, California Culinary Academy–trained chef Torrey Hall boasts stints at Spago and the Four Seasons on his résumé. It’s no wonder Sword and Skillet won Best Food Truck 2021 in the Auburn-Opelika area. Stop in Wednesdays through Fridays.

6. SAW’s Street Kitchen, Birmingham

SAW'S Street Kitchen

Slow smoked brisket and sweet tea-fried chicken make the menu at SAW's Street Kitchen. | Photo by Cary Norton

The “best of” list–topping barbecue joint that’s won accolades from the likes of Garden & Gun and Southern Living has taken to the streets of Birmingham. SAW’s Street Kitchen slings sandwiches packed with ’cue classics such as slow-smoked brisket piled with caramelized onions and the chain’s signature sweet tea–fried chicken.

SAW'S Street Kitchen

The beloved, local barbecue chain offers up signature sammies and more at the roving SAW’s Street Kitchen in Birmingham. | Photo by Cary Norton

Follow along on Facebook to be the first in line for limited runs of delicacies like the elusive (and jaw-stretching) char-griddled grilled meatloaf sandwich.

7. Blenz, Tuscaloosa

Blenz Food Trucks

Health trends, fresh fruit, and beach vibes make for a tasty mix at Blenz, which parks at the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa among other locations. | Photo by Zac Rogers

A post-graduation trip to Florida inspired University of Alabama alums Zac Rogers and Riley Voce to bring the flavors of the beach—think pineapple, coconut, and mango—back to campus. Launched in 2018, Blenz offers power smoothies laden with such health-conscious ingredients as turmeric and blue spirulina alongside fruit-based bowls topped with good-for-you goodies like granola and chia seeds.

The smoothie bowl operation now boasts locations in 4 states, a new storefront in Auburn, and its original truck, which parks on the Tuscaloosa campus on weekdays.

Read more: 8 of the best brunch spots in Alabama

8. Amsterdam Café Food Truck, Auburn

Dam Food Truck

Sample some fan favorites from longtime Auburn gem Amsterdam Café at its four-wheel satellite, the Amsterdam Café Food Truck. | Photo by Cary Norton

Longtime community gem Amsterdam Café takes a scaled-down version of its menu mobile with this food truck. (Don’t worry, the signature turkey wrap featuring breast meat and softened lavosh cracker bread made the menu.)

The Amsterdam Café Food Truck can frequently be spotted on the Auburn University campus, where students line up for grab-and-go favorites like chicken fingers and crab cake–avocado sammies. A second spin-off—the Dam Taco Truck—adds burrito bowls and tacos filled with seasoned chicken, ground beef, steak, or pork to the mix.

Travel writer and guide author Jessica Fender will take one of everything. Follow her adventures—gastronomical and otherwise—on Instagram @travelerbroads.

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