We here at FoodTrailersAustin.com like to think we have a good handle on the trailer scene in and around Austin. But even we find ourselves surprised to hear of new trucks, events and news surrounding the latest and greatest mobile food. Case in point, starting Tuesday October 29th thru Sunday November 3rd, a citywide trailer showcase is going on called Truck by Truckwest. And we’re here to give you an Insider’s Guide to some of the best deals and events worth checking out.
Quick Disclaimer: We have zero affiliation with any food trucks, trailers, or carts and are offering our own opinion on what we find most interesting. In truth, we would visit every single one of the participating food trucks if time allowed.
Before You Begin
Truck by Truckwest is a celebration of Austin’s mobile food scene. The idea is to encourage everyone to get a taste of as many food trucks as they can. The incentive for the food trucks (aside from the great publicity and foot traffic) is a grand prize award to the Peoples’ Choice favorite food truck of $10,000!
To kick things off, badges have been sold in advance online and can be picked up at Trailer Food Tuesdays on Tuesday, October 29th. You can also buy badges at TFT, or some of the trailers later on in the week. But the sooner you get it, the sooner you can start eating! If you can’t pick up your badge at Trailer Food Tuesdays, they will announce another location where you can get it later in the week.
With your badge in hand, you can begin visiting the 65 participating food trailers. Each vendor has their own specials that are only valid during certain times, so make sure to check the deals on the TxTW website here.
Once the TxTW week is over, an online survey will be sent to everyone who purchased a badge and they will vote for their favorite food truck. This will determine which food truck will receive the $10,000 grand prize!
Now For The Food
With the logistics out of the way, here are some of our go-to picks based on what we like and who’s offering some prime deals and how you can stack those deals to eat like a king or queen.
(South) 1st in our Hearts
La Barbecue – If you can withstand the growing lines at one of Austin’s top BBQ places, grab a free pulled pork or chopped beef (your choice) slider to go along with the rest of the incredible meats they’re selling out of. But save room, because just across the street you can find…
Mellizoz Tacos – Mellizoz is giving away an entire mini-meal, complete with soup, a taco, and a Mexican hot chocolate! For some this might be enough to fill you up, but we suggest using it as an appetizer while you decide what other tacos to get. Or maybe pair that Mexican hot chocolate with…
Gourdough’s – The king of enormous doughnuts are handing out their seasonal special Smashing Pumpkin Doughnut Holes. Sounds like a great trip down on South 1st!
The Rainey Street Bender
Rainey Street has almost too much going on. We recommend starting and ending your night with something like this, all for a total of one dollar.
Via 313 Pizza – Via is no longer a hidden gem, now that everyone and their mom’s Facebook friends know about it. That shouldn’t stop you from getting a $1 slice of their Detroit-style pizza to start things off behind Craft Pride.
La Fantabulous – Follow up your slice with a free trio taster. You’ll get a taste of land (beef fajita), sea (fresh catch of the day), and air (chicken fajita… ok, chickens can’t fly, but still). That should fill you up enough to crave something sweet.
Dessert on Rainey will be a test of willpower, meaning will you have the power to eat all of these sweets in one fell swoop? Each of these trailers put their names on what they’re selling, so it’s gotta be good.
Little Lucy’s – Pick up a free bag of 4 mini doughnuts with either sea salted caramel or creamy chocolate dipping sauce. It’s a good place to start, and easy to share, as you move on to your second dessert.
Celia Jacobs Cheesecake Experience – Grab a free NY Style Cheesecake bite from Celia herself. These two-bite desserts will round out your night nicely.
Like Rainey, you can do a lot of damage on East 6th without spending a penny. The variety of sample-size options will keep you going long into the night.
Way South Philly – One of this site’s favorite trucks will be handing out samples of their classic Balboa cheesesteak. Fair warning, these taste better and better as the night goes on!
Spartan Pizza – Snag a free slice to keep your night going, though be warned this is only available from 4-6pm each day. Otherwise you can get a whole small pizza for just five bucks.
Gonzo Juice – Round out your meal with either a free slider or the soup du jour (“It’s the soup of the day”. “That sounds good. I’ll have that.”)
Nina’s Carnitas – Two free “Especial Pork Tacos” does a body good. Check out these carnitas and pair them with some free beer on Halloween night. Might we suggest doing your own carnitas throwdown by comparing Nina’s with…
Oyama – Also offering up two free carnitas tacos! These have an Asian spin to them and can be enjoyed with equally free beer on Halloween. Be sure to let us know who’s doing the best mobile carnitas in Austin!
Sweet Treats All Over
Cow Tipping Creamery – CTC creates a new, unique daily special, and during TxTW they’ll be giving that day’s special away for free (in a mini version). You can’t afford not to go! It is the opinion of some people (yours truly included) that this is the best ice cream in Austin.
Yeti Frozen Custard – I scream, you scream, it’s frozen custard! Grab a free “Naked Yeti” with a topping of your choice. There aren’t many better ways to treat yourself than this.
Some trucks are only offering their deals during limited times, so you won’t want to let these pass you by.
Hey, You Gonna Eat or What?! – Wednesday 10/30 | noon until 10pm – A sandwich is just a sandwich, right? Wrong. The Shiner Bock Beer Battered Monte Cristo at HYGEoW is what dreams are made of, and they’re giving away samples. Note, they’re not normally open on Wednesdays, and this is the only thing they will have on this one particular Wednesday.
Llama’s Peruvian Creole – Rotating Specials @ noon & 7pm – Llama’s is rotating most of their menu for free in the form of half-size portions twice a day. A few other items are half price all day every day during TxTW. It’s a little confusing, so just know you’ll be getting great Peruvian food on the cheap!
Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ – Rotating Specials – Each day, at changing times, you can get some fantastic BBQ-TexMex fusion. You’ll need to check the TxTW site for more details, or just go everyday to try each of the specials they’re giving away.
Now, go forth and enjoy responsibly! And by responsibly I mean eat as much as you can.