The following trucks represent the latest wave of food trucks, unified by their decorative appearance; mobility and active social media accounts. But there's an older tradition of Latin American immigrants selling tacos, tortas and sopas from trucks: Try La Taqueria Espres at 2700 Ashley Phosphate Road for a great example of the form.
There's an array of fillings on Avila's menu, ranging from braised chicken-and-avocado to griddled mushrooms, but the star of the show is the encasing arepa. Crisped around the edges, but custardy toward the center, the sweet corn cake is a lovely complement to almost anything, including fried plantain chips with crema and cheese.
Don't miss: Limeade.
This truck doesn't specify which bird it's frying up golden brown for sandwiches, but based on the patties' dimensions, customers might think they've been dealt an ostrich breast. It's really chicken-sized for sharing, especially when topped with pimento cheese or mashed potatoes and gravy.
Don't miss: The classic with pickle sauce.
Although serving food from far away — the lobsters come from Maine — the Immortal Lobster is one of the trucks that's easiest for downtowners to reach, thanks to its permanent spot in Blue Bicycle Books' parking lot. Lobster rolls are served cold and hot.
Don't miss: Lobster taco.
It's a testament to the popularity of food trucks that one out of five established restaurants in 2014 told the National Restaurant Association that they planned to launch a truck within two years. One local example is Mac Daddy, designed to sell Crave's award-winning mac-and-cheese, available with a variety of toppings.
Don't miss: Mac-and-cheese.
Food trucks' popularity peaked around the time that “put an egg on it” entered the culinary lexicon, so it's no surprise that owners Tim Logan and Claire Masingill, who met while working at McCrady's, were able to turn that request into successful burgers and breakfast sandwiches.
Don't miss: Warm vegetable salad.
Recent College of Charleston grad Thai Phi is responsible for the city's best Vietnamese food, inspired by his mother's cooking and frequent trips back to Asia. Phi is a staunch supporter of local farmers and keeps an eye on the seasons: Last year, he did wondrous things with soft-shell crabs.
Don't miss: Broken rice bowl with brisket, pork or tofu.
Recently resituated for late-night service at King and Spring streets, Platia's taverna vibe extends beyond the bouzouki music it broadcasts. The truck from Tommy Diangikes and Tony Angelakis, who grew up in a restaurant-owning family, pays tribute to their ancestral homeland with some of the best Greek food in the area, including homemade yogurt.
Don't miss: Hillbilly sandwich with chicken souvlaki, pickled onions and feta pimento cheese.
Arguably Charleston's most successful food truck, the six-year-old Roti Rolls recently expanded to Atlanta, meaning Georgians can get a crack at Cory Burke's veg-heavy wraps assembled with a worldly bent. The words “local” and “pickled” are constants on the chalkboard menu.
Don't miss: Funky Farmer, a collection of curried vegetables. Pay the extra dollar for the egg.
If you've never eaten at a Charleston food truck, start here. Short Grain's vibrant rice bowls could stand up against any restaurant dish in town — and since Charleston doesn't have a restaurant dedicated to inventive Japanese cooking, we're lucky that Shuai and Corrie Wang brought their talent and enthusiasm here.
Don't miss: The O.G., featuring locally caught sashimi.
Compiled by Hanna Raskin