Food trucks have been in the takeout food business since they came into existence. Now, during the time of the coronavirus pandemic, many of these walk-up operators have added online ordering and curbside service to their business models, helping to ensure social distancing.
What follows is a list of 21 great food trucks in Austin that have remained open. Some of them may change hours from time to time depending on traffic, so it’s best to give a call or check out their Instagram or Facebook pages before heading out to grab your meal. A food truck you love that is still open not make the list? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know about it.
Abo Youssef. 2101 Manor Road, 512-815-6804. This Middle Eastern trailer specializes in crunchy falafel, creamy hummus and savory grilled meats. And you can probably count on one hand the number of trailers in town serving flaky baklava. Open 5 to 10 p.m. daily.
Arlo's. Multiple locations. Arlostruck.com. How can lentils and millet taste this good? The Bac’n Cheeze Burger topped with dill pickles, seitan bacon and Daiya "cheese" at these four trailers has the texture, juiciness, weight and even "meatiness" of its meaty brethren. Best veggie burger in the city. You can now order curbside service online. Open 11 a.m. to midnight daily.
Bombay Dhaba. 1207 South First St. 737-247-4323, bombaydhabaaustin.com. Find crunchy samosas, a wide variety of vegetable dishes and restaurant-quality classic Indian options like chicken tikka masala and bone-in goat curry.
Bummer Burrito. 89 Rainey St. Instagram.com/bummerburrito. Fat Arizona-inspired burritos filled with beans, breakfast staples and carne asada. You can also use their website to order queso and alcoholic beverages to go. Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Capital Taco. 2125 Ben White Blvd. 512-999-2881, capitaltacoaustin.com. This trailer serves some nontraditional items like chicken piqued and sweetened with ginger and mango, along with a smoky brisket and avocado taco and a crunchy migas that headlines the breakfast taco roster. Open daily from morning ‘til late.
El Primo. 2001 South First St. 512-227-5060, elprimomex.com. Michoacán native Humberto Reyes and his family members have been operating this South Austin staple for 14 years, delivering al pastor supple with fat, juicy barbacoa and one of the best migas tacos in town, studded with smoky deli ham. Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
Granny's Tacos. 1403 E. Seventh St. 512-701-4000. Get the citrus and spice of soft al pastor on bubbled and toasty homemade flour tortillas, salty cuts of steak refreshed with onion and tomato, or a chilaquiles taco tart with sour cream and overflowing with cotija cheese at this food truck operated by Armando Vazquez and his wife, Maria Rios. Open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.
La Flor. 4901 South First St. 512-417-4214. La Flor’s handmade corn tortillas, thick and fluffy as pupusas, are as good as any I’ve had in town. Well-seasoned crumbles of ground beef carry a faint heat from a rumble with red chile sauce in a picadillo taco brightened with white onions and cilantro, and soft potatoes mash with a squeeze to give added creaminess to chunks of carne guisada. Open 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
LeRoy & Lewis. 121 Pickle Road. 512-945-9882, leroyandlewis.com. Barbacoa, pulled pork and brisket on the weekends. You can still get some of the city’s best barbecue and you can even pre-order online and pick up without getting out of your car. Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.
Luke's Inside Out. 1109 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-589-8883, lukesinsideout.com. A killer burger and a Szechuan fried chicken sandwich are staples here. And you can still use the patio seating at the adjacent Gibson bar, as long as you keep your distance. Trailer is open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.
Mi Trailita. 5301 Manor Road, 512-497-9877, facebook.com/taqueriamitrailita. David Salinas and his mother, Maria, a native of Guerrero, have operated this truck since 2011 and use two types of soda in preparing carnitas that are a jumble of fat and crunch. The carnitas share top billing with barbacoa that blends fibrous cheek meat with the preparation’s trademark unctuousness. Open 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Micklethwait Craft Meats. 1309 Rosewood Ave. 512-791-5961, craftmeatsaustin.com. One of the city’s best barbecue operations has limited its hours to the weekend but is still serving excellent sausage, brisket, ribs and more. They ask that you call ahead to order for easy pickup. Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday-Sunday.
Patrizi's. 2307 Manor Road. 512-522-4834, patrizis.com. Owners Nic and Matt Patrizi’s family has been in the Italian food business for more than 60 years, and their trailer outside the Vortex theater serves homemade pasta classics like carbonara, cacio e pepe and pomodoro. Open 4 to 9 p.m. daily.
Pollo Las Abuelas. 11444 Menchaca Road. 737-228-7449, pollolasabuelas.com. Chef Matt Reinhart blends the flavors of the Midwest and Mexico to create some of the best fried chicken sandwiches in town. Open 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday,; 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
» Related: SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES: How to buy gift cards to use later
Pueblo Viejo. 121 Pickle Road. 512-762-2566, puebloviejoaustin.com. Steaming twirls of egg, lardy beans and crunchy bacon and potatoes fill many of the breakfast tacos, while al pastor and a steak taco buried in guacamole serve as afternoon and evening stars. The five homemade salsas run from the smoky dusk of an exceptional black habanero to the morning glow of creamy jalapeno. You can order online for pickup at the South Austin truck that is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Sabor a Honduras. 2538 Elmont Drive. 512-326-1086, facebook.com/saborhon. You’ll find puffed and toasty pupusas, crunchy meat pies and knobby fried chicken drizzled with a tangy cream sauce at this truck that specializes in the food of Honduras. Open 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Saigon Le Vendeur. 2404 E. Seventh St. 512-351-6916. The Vietnamese bánh mì is pretty much the perfect sandwich, and nobody in Austin does them better than chef Tebi Nguyen. The truck, along with its sister restaurant Le Bleu, is offering 20 percent off for service industry. Trailer is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
Soursop. 440 E. St. Elmo St. 512-522-7710, soursopaustin.com. This trailer serves Thai street food favorites like sticky sambal chicken wings lacquered with fish sauce and Thai barbecue pork belly wrapped in a crunchy fried roti. They’re even adding specials during the coronavirus pandemic and are serving daily.
Tacos Guerrero. 96 Pleasant Valley Road. Sometimes the people matter as much as the tacos. Yolanda Guerrero is a maternal figure who not only makes her own great jagged-but-gentle corn tortillas and molcajete salsa but also treats everyone like family. Stop in for a smile and a great breakfast taco filled with a steaming heap of eggs, tomatoes, peppers and crispy bacon with glistening fat. Open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
Valentina's Tex-Mex BBQ. 11500 Menchaca Road. 512-221-4248, valentinastexmexbbq.com. The trailer in South Austin is still serving its smoked carnitas sweetened with caramelized onions and punched by tomatillo habanero salsa and brisket topped with a wobble of sea salt lime guacamole. Both served on the best lardy homemade flour tortillas in Austin. Only accepting online orders for takeout (no advance ordering). Open 7:30 a.m. until sold out Wednesday-Sunday.
Via 313. 700 W. Sixth St. 61 Rainey St., via313.com. Big, fat squares of cheesy Detroit-style pizza provide the kind of comfort you need in an uncertain world. Trailers offer online ordering for pickup.
Getting groceries in Austin during a pandemic: Where to shop, how to help employees
15 great ideas for takeout from some unexpected places in Austin
Complete coronavirus coverage on Statesman.com/coronavirus.