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The Geography of America's Best Food Trucks

101 trucks in 23 metros.


They're an old story by now, but I'm still a big fan of food trucks. I see them not only as signaling a local foodie scene, but as an indicator of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Aspiring chefs who may not be able to afford their own restaurant can outfit a truck and off they go.

The Daily Meal recently compiled a list of America's 101 best food trucks and my Martin Prosperity Institute colleague Zara Matheson mapped them below.

Map by Zara Matheson based on The Daily Meal ranking

The best food trucks tend to be in large metros, which is not surprising given their large populations, and while cities on the coasts have the largest number, there are quite a few highly rated food trucks in the interior of the country.

But leading food trucks do not follow population altogether. Los Angeles and San Francisco both best New York, which is not too surprising given their mild climates and foodie cultures. L.A. has the most top trucks, at 18, and San Francisco comes in at 13, followed by New York in third with 11. Washington, D.C., is fourth, with eight leading trucks — topping Chicago (four) and Houston (three), both larger metros. Seattle is fifth with seven leading food trucks and Minneapolis sixth with five, proving that food trucks can do just fine in colder cities.

Charleston and Boston have four each; Miami, Houston, Austin, and St. Louis each have three; and Philadelphia, New Orleans, Nashville, and Denver are home to two leading trucks apiece.

Top image: Danny Moloshok / Reuters

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