These Chefs Turned Their Street Carts Into Famous Restaurants


Food trucks and food carts are the gateway drug of the restaurant world. Their menus are designed to be laser focused and brash. We visit because we want something that surprises us and we want it fast. If it’s good, we’ll go back over and over. If not, there’s always another truck around the block. There’s no loyalty in this game.

A good mobile eatery can be an attention-grabbing revelation. And if that revelation is seasoned with a good dose of media savvy and drive, it can lead to a culinary empire. Celebrity chef Ludo Lefebvre put it this way, “You have the truck to ‘master’ a concept and build a loyal clientele. Being patient will pay off in the long run.” For the chefs and entrepreneurs below, that patience and hard work paid off.

Taking that ethos to heart, we scoured some of our favorite food trucks and carts from around the country and found the ones that grew into something bigger. These mobile food concepts became mini culinary empires, beloved from coast to coast. If getting into the culinary scene, let these stories of success serve as a roadmap to taking that plunge. If you just love good food, then enjoy some great food porn. Either way, let’s dive in.