Food Truck Revolution

Inspired by a bold chef and fueled by social media, a global food-truck craze picks up speed.

Photographs by Gerd Ludwig

Emblazoned with eye-catching graphics, trucks (usually converted step vans or trailers) attract customers along L.A.’s streets as well as at private events. Food varies from hot dogs to rice bowls to ice cream. Click for Twitter handles

Gerd Ludwig

@RiceBallsofFire
Trucks use Twitter to broadcast their daily locations, such as this car show and race in Fontana, California. Posing in front of the Rice Balls of Fire truck, model Tyler McEwen displays fare from nearby @Berlinfoodtruck.

Gerd Ludwig

@CurrywurstTruck
Owner and chef Chris Topperwien works the grill in the No. 1 Currywurst Truck, which features handmade bratwurst on rolls topped with German curry ketchup.

Gerd Ludwig

@eatsonofabun
Halloween partyers enjoy freshly made meals from food trucks at local public radio KCRW’s annual masquerade ball. The fund-raiser features several bands and is held on the grounds of L.A.’s Park Plaza Hotel. Special events guarantee customers—and cash—for area food truck businesses.

Click for Twitter handles

Photographs by Gerd Ludwig

Dining Out

Like street food purveyors around the globe, L.A.’s food truckers offer fast, filling meals to hungry diners. Dishes often mash up diverse cuisines and flavors to create new classics, such as Korean tacos (top far left).

Gerd Ludwig

Snapping photos and sharing via social media are as much a part of street food culture as the food itself.

Gerd Ludwig

@pienburger
At Pasadena’s Rose Bowl, the Pie ’n Burger food truck provides food and drink to tutu’ed participants in the Epilepsy Foundation’s fund-raising walk.

Gerd Ludwig

Roaming food trucks serve up street food and smiles every day throughout Los Angeles County. From downtown to the beaches to the San Fernando Valley, they’re part of the culinary landscape.

Gerd Ludwig

@ChiliPhilosophy
Down-home dishes meet high-end, locally source ingredients in the Chili Philosopher’s $11 Triple Beef Chili n’ Cornbread combo. A strong brand identity and an aggressive social media strategy are essential to differentiate trucks in an increasingly crowded marketplace. That, and delicious food.