There's an art to finding food trucks, and it usually involves Facebook, Twitter, and a willingness to drop everything and head to the latest rodeo. The Charleston Food Truck Federation is a loose collection of trucks that includes Roti Rolls, Geechee Island Mobile Kitchen, Little Blue Brunch Truck, Happy Camper Snoballs, Pot Kettle Black, and Tokyo Crepes. More trucks seem to pop up every day, and we even have a few carts that you might include in the mix. Keep an eye out for them at Eat Street (a parking lot off of Morris and Coming streets), at a rodeo, or wherever else a social media outlet might lead you.
Diggity Donuts/Little Blue Brunch Truck
Ambergre Sloan's doughnuts are warm, spongy, and fresh from the fryer. You'd never guess they are also whole grain and vegan. Krispy Kreme may be like crack, but you'll never find a lychee or coconut green curry on their conveyer belt. You can also keep it simple at Diggity Donuts and opt for regular glaze, cinnamon sugar, or even naked. The lemon blueberry is covered in a slightly tart, shockingly pink frosting, but you should really try the buzzed-about peanut butter sriracha. The kick of the hot rooster sauce is offset by the especially sweet peanut butter — it's sugar and spice and everything nice. Sloan also has sandwiches, brunch food (when she's doing her Little Blue Brunch Truck), and gluten-free stuff too. Throughout the summer, the truck sets up on Sundays at Mixson in North Charleston and usually participates in the food truck rodeos.
Geechee Island Food Truck
Tacos and doughnuts have their place, but the Lowcountry needs a food truck that exemplifies the area's own flavor. Enter Geechee Island. The sweet potato casserole, practically a dessert, rivals anything you'd find on a Thanksgiving table, and the shrimp and okra purloo, a traditional Lowcountry rice dish, makes a good side. They also have wings prepared in different sauces, like lemon pepper and honey mustard, but try their own Geechee Island flavor. It's sweet and sour and has just a bit of spice, and requires some extra napkins. And if you really need a taco fix, sometimes they've got those too.
Hello My Name is BBQ
You would think that it would be impossible to improve upon bacon, but no. Just barbecue it. That's what Hello My Name is Barbecue — owned and operated by Cody and Ryner Burg — does, and they'll serve it on a brioche bun or in a taco shell. Yes, the food truck serves pulled pork in a number of ways, and sometimes they'll do a meatloaf too, but the bacon is really the way to go. Get two bacon tacos with pimento cheese and slaw, or go for their signature Boss Hog, a pork sandwich topped with bacon, slaw, jalapeños, and more. Hello also offers solid Southern sides, like mac and cheese (though the style can change day to day) and fresh fruit, as well as old-school glass bottle sodas. They also make their own pickles, which Ryner promises are no ordinary pickles, and you'll find one speared into your sandwich. And the sauce? Sure, you can go for some sweet Carolina or other traditional flavors, but try out their weekly experiments, which incorporate ingredients like moonshine jelly, figs, and chocolate. Weekdays, Hello can be found at Lowcountry Scooter on Savannah Highway in West Ashley.
Pot Kettle Black
Food trucks tend to stick to themes, something that's obvious in Charleston's mobile kitchen scene: You can choose from barbecue, tacos, or Italian for example. Pot Kettle Black's theme is immigrant-style food that's meant to inspire nostalgia, which manages to represent a variety of different cuisines. Calling themselves a "wayward bistro," PKB serves dipped Italian beefs, muffulettas, pimento grilled cheeses, and other multicultural options, as well as soups. The Duck Hunt — duck confit, arugula, and brie on a baguette — kicks the quality up a notch, but prepare to hand over $10 for a fairly small sandwich.
Roti Rolls was one of the earliest trucks on the Charleston mobile food scene, slinging South Asian flatbreads filled with distinctly Southern ingredients that are often local (like Giddy Goat Cheese) and seasonal. They've become pros at layering flavors, textures, and cuisines, exemplified by the Thurman Murman. This roll is packed with a slightly spicy mac and cheese, crunchy pickled veggies that are cool and tart, and the rich and savory short rib. The roti itself is equally soft and crunchy. Other components include curried peaches, local sausage, kimchi, and pork belly. They make eggy breakfast rotis too, and vegetarian options are regularly available. If only their portion sizes were a bit larger, or their prices a bit lower, but you're really not going to find food quite like this in any sit-down restaurant. Roti Rolls is active on the social scene, constantly rolling up to events and coordinating Eat Street, a weekday food court on the corner of Morris and Coming streets downtown.
Translated from Italian, Strada Cucina means "street kitchen," making it the most literally named food truck in town. Owners and brothers Brian and Jonathan Colarusso serve traditional sammies, like the popular chicken cutlet sandwich. The Italian beef is an ample offering, loaded with meat and topped with provolone and sweet or spicy peppers. Their watermelon salad isn't the prettiest you'll find in town, but it's a good bowlful of the fruit, along with tomatoes, basil, balsamic, and pearls of mozzarella. Strada also offers a variety of flatbreads, which look small but are surprisingly hearty. During our visit, they had a traditional caprese, but we went for the carnivorous option, which was topped with rosemary ham, salami, pepperoni, mozzarella, tomato, and greens. You can also find them at Eat Street.