Memphis

The Best Food Trucks in Memphis

New Wing Order
New Wing Order
New Wing Order

The food truck scene is ever-evolving in Memphis. We’ve seen several successful trucks become restaurants, others become fixtures — along Summer Avenue, at local breweries, around Court Square on Thursdays — and sadly, we’ve also seen a few of those trucks and restaurants close. But one thing is always consistent: incredible food without the pomp of dining out. We’ve got authentic Mexican street tacos, dim sum, Thai delicacies, raw food, wood-fired pizza, deep-fried cornish hens, and so much more. These mobile kitchens are now staples of the Memphis food scene. Here are our favorites.

9 Dough 1

Various locations
An old-school mobile pizzeria

Grisanti is a name well known to Memphians and most often associated with delicious Italian food. Alex Grisanti, a fourth-generation restaurateur, was seeking work-life balance when he decided to take the cheflife on the road. Now he turns out gourmet eight-inch personal pizzas featuring lobster, buffalo chicken, barbeque chicken, meat lovers, and lots of fresh veggies. They are all made to order in two minutes.

Say Cheese
Say Cheese
Say Cheese

Say Cheese

Various locations
Gourmet grilled cheese on the go

Terry and Allison LaRue left hectic day jobs for a more flexible career that would give them more time to spend with their four children. Their rotating sandwich menu includes Cluck Me (Buffalo chicken, blue cheese, and pepper jack ), the PCB (pimento cheese and bacon), the spinach artichoke dip on baguette, and the “Pizza” with pepperoni, cheese, and marinara. You can of course get tomato soup and even gluten-free bread.

Dim Sum

East Memphis (and beyond)
On-the-go dim sum, pot stickers, springrolls, and more

We hold a small grudge against the dim sum truck for focusing its efforts out east, but it’s definitely worth seeking out if you find yourself outside the I-40 loop. The menu features dumplings, pot stickers, spring rolls, and noodle soups. Customers love the six piece mix & match.

Jonathan Chu/El Mero Taco Memphis
Jonathan Chu/El Mero Taco Memphis
Jonathan Chu/El Mero Taco Memphis

El Mero Taco

Various locations
Chef-inspired Mexican street food

El Mero, which is Spanish slang for “the best” definitely lives up to its name. Owners Jacob and Clarissa Dries met in culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu. He’s from Memphis and she’s from Oaxaca, and the menu reflects both of their influences. The top-selling taco features fried chicken, queso, pickled jalapenos, and pickled onions. Despite opening a restaurant in Cordova and expanding their offerings there, the El Mero truck is still out and about.

Flying Sobies Hen House Food Truck
Flying Sobies Hen House Food Truck
Flying Sobies Hen House Food Truck

Flying Sobie’s

Downtown
Deep-fried cornish hens and plenty of sauce for your fries
The best place to find Flying Sobie’s is at the Ghost River Taproom on Sunday afternoons. Can you think of a better low-key brunch than one involving a cold pint of Rise & Grind, a deep-fried hen smothered in Spicy Memphis Gold Sauce then lovingly positioned on a crispy waffle, and a game of Scrabble? There are also fresh, hot French fries, potato salad, slaw, house-made ranch dressing, and several other sauce options. For those who want to look proper, a chicken salad croissant was recently added to the menu.

El Burrito Express

Midtown 
Cheap, reliable California-style burritos and tacos
The big yellow truck with Christmas lights parked at the Marathon on Madison and Belvedere (1675 Madison) is the go to for a $5 lunch. In addition to burritos, this California-style food truck offers authentic street tacos dressed with onion, cilantro, pickled carrots, and cucumber. You won’t find them on social, but you’ll always find them in their spot.

Fresh Gulf Shrimp
Fresh Gulf Shrimp
Fresh Gulf Shrimp

Fresh Gulf Shrimp

Various locations
Fresh shrimp, in so many styles

Fresh Gulf Shrimp has a simple concept — source fresh shrimp and serve it up nice and hot. They specialize in fried shrimp, steamed cajun shrimp, shrimp boils, and shrimp poboys. Oh but they don’t stop with shrimp — look for fried oysters and fresh cut fries too. The truck is often parked at the Oak Court Mall, but check their Facebook page for the weekly lineup.

Fries Guys

Various locations
On-point French fries and grilled cheeses

Fries Guys should not be confused with the Fry Guy, though both trucks specialize in French fries. The Fries Guys have a big mustache painted on a white truck and use potatoes to hold down their menus on the tables at the various breweries where they are most often found. The fry menu is very straightforward — classic, seasoned, and bacon Cheddar fries.They also offer grilled cheese sandwiches on panini bread with various fillings (traditional, chicken, spicy chicken, pepperoni pizza).

Courtesy of Gourmande
Courtesy of Gourmande
Courtesy of Gourmande

Gourmade

Various locations
Homemade gourmet comfort food

Jared Richmond, a self-taught cook, opened Gourmade (a combination gourmet and homemade) in a repurposed FedEx truck. His specialties include The Gourmade Burger (truffle aioli, arugula, white American cheese, and pickled red onion), “Appetite for Destruction” (pulled pork, grilled mac & cheese, crispy fries), lobster mac & cheese, and decadent desserts (strawberry cake, caramel cake, coconut cake, and banana pudding).

Fuel

Downtown
Memphis’ OG food truck

The Fuel truck was the first real-deal food truck in the city and set the bar pretty dang high with its thoughtfully sourced ingredients and the best homemade veggie patty in all the land. What started as a catering truck for movies has come full circle now that the restaurant has closed and the big blue truck is busy on the set of “Bluff City Law.” However, the red truck still makes the rounds and you can get your taco fix at the Memphis Farmers Market on Saturday mornings and select locations throughout the week.

Nicole Robbins/MemPops
Nicole Robbins/MemPops
Nicole Robbins/MemPops

MEMPopS

Various locations
“Farm to Stick” pops from fresh produce

What started as the most adorable food truck in Memphis, if not the entire world, has become as household name just as owner Chris Taylor dreamed it would be. Despite having three thriving retail locations from Crosstown to Collierville, the little blue mail truck is still out on the streets, serving up the freshest and most delicious pops in town. MemPop flavors vary depending on what’s fresh and they recently wowed us with fig and orange cream pops as well as fig and goat cheese pops. Other signature flavors include roasted peach, sweet cherry, lemongrass watermelon, and avocado lime. Pops sell for $4 each.

New Wing Order
New Wing Order
New Wing Order

New Wing Order

Various locations
Award-winning wings, made to order

In less than 10 years, a group of friends went from frequenting the Southern Hot Wing Festival to competing to winning to owning their own truck. How’s that for dedication?¬†
The truck offers traditional or boneless wings with signature sauces (Memphis Buffalo, Grind City Gold, Midtown Masala, Pineapple Habanero, Ring of Fire) and seasonings (lemon pepper, Nikki’s hot). Don’t miss out on the hot wing nachos, fried chicken barbecue nachos, and buffalo chicken tacos! Go ahead, bring a vegetarian — they have mighty fine avocado tacos, several varieties of fries, salad, and chips.

Pupuseria Anitas

Berclair
Handmade Mexican and Central American food
Anita’s truck/mobile pupusa unit is parked outside of a convenience store cum dining room (658 Stratford Road) so that her customers can sit and enjoy their food. She has a wide selection of Mexican and Central American food, but people line up for her pupusas — stuffed, thick flatbreads made of cornmeal. Filled with your choice of cheese, pork, and beans, pupusas are perfection.

Raw Girls LLC
Raw Girls LLC
Raw Girls LLC

Raw Girls

Midtown, East Memphis
Chef-made raw foods

Hannah and Amy Pickle, better known as the Raw Girls, started with raw food home delivery and expanded to two trucks that you’ll find permanently parked at Eclectic Eye (242 S. Cooper) in Midtown and Hollywood Feed (5502 Poplar) out east. Their hours tend to vary, so always check online before heading out to load up their amazing offerings like taco salad, mung bean pasta, French lentil soup, hummus toast, zucchini pasta, and lemon cheesecake. (Look for their first brick and mortar store coming to Saddle Creek in the coming months.)

Soi Number 9 Food Truck
Soi Number 9 Food Truck
Soi Number 9 Food Truck

Soi Number 9

Various locations
Authentic Thai street food served with genuine smiles

Tim Vimonnimit, a classically trained chef, and his wife, Mai Mitrakul, are the two smiling faces you will see at the Soi Number 9 truck. Tim specializes in authentic dishes created from recipes shared across multiple generations. The rice bowls and noodle bowls are crowd pleasers as are the spring rolls, pot stickers, fried tofu, sticky rice, and iced Thai coffee. They recently opened a permanent space located inside UT Health Science Center’s Food Hall (920 Madison Ave) where they serve lunch Monday through Friday from 11am – 12:30pm. The truck can still be found out and about on evenings and weekends.

Stick Em

Various locations
Delicious kabobs and a side of veggies

Go to any food truck rodeo and Stick ‚ÄėEm is sure to have the longest line. Meat on a stick just can’t be beat. Chicken, tofu, shrimp, or beef served up with a side of perfectly seasoned, grilled vegetables make for a healthy, delicious meal. Pro tip: The owner also has a restaurant, Blue Nile, which specializes in Ethiopian food, but they serve the same kabobs you find on the truck.

Charles Morgan
Charles Morgan
Charles Morgan

Tacos Los Jarochos

Berclair
A taco truck with a patio, and ice cream

The Tacos Los Jarochos truck is permanently parked at 4900 Summer Avenue in front of a Mexican neveria of the same name specializing in frozen treats. There’s a lovely patio where you can sit and enjoy your tacos, tortas, and more. You’re also welcome to sit inside.Sign up here for our daily Memphis email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in the Blues City.

Stacey Greenberg is a Thrillist contributor and author of the award-winning blog, Dining with Monkeys.

Memphis

The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Tennessee

Get some fresh air.

Michael Hicks/Flickr
Michael Hicks/Flickr
Michael Hicks/Flickr

As the late Charlie Daniels famously used to say, “Ain’t it good to be alive, and be in Tennessee!” That’s because Tennessee truly is a special state filled with beautiful places. If you’re of a mind to travel, here are some of the most breathtaking sites and sights across the state.

Anthony Heflin/Shutterstock
Anthony Heflin/Shutterstock
Anthony Heflin/Shutterstock

Big South Fork

Oneida
Named for the major tributary of the Cumberland River, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area covers almost 200 square miles along the border of Tennessee and Kentucky. Boasting many natural bridge and arch formations, an extensive system of hiking trails, and five developed campgrounds, Big South Fork has something to offer for adventurers at any level of experience looking to get out into the wild.

Alisha Bube/Shutterstock
Alisha Bube/Shutterstock
Alisha Bube/Shutterstock

Fall Creek Falls

Spencer
The gorgeous cataract is the tallest free-fall waterfall east of the Mississippi. Beautiful from above, the 256-foot tall falls is even more impressive after taking the hike down to the pool at its base. It’s worth the hike back up to the parking lot afterward, we promise

Weidman Photography/Shutterstock
Weidman Photography/Shutterstock
Weidman Photography/Shutterstock

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Gatlinburg
The most-visited national park in the United States draws more than 10 million tourists a year to marvel at close to a thousand square miles of dense forests and mountain ranges that exhibit remarkable biodiversity. Drive or hike through the park to one of many scenic overlooks to spy the beautiful fog-shrouded peaks that give the ancient mountains their name.

Bluegrass Underground
Bluegrass Underground
Bluegrass Underground

The Caverns

Pelham
This cave complex outside the small town of Pelham just off of Interstate 24 is a dual threat. Not only does it host daily cave tours featuring a single room that’s longer than three football fields, giving the attraction its former name of Big Room Cave, but it’s also a premier performance venue. Currently, the spot has established a series of concerts in an above-ground amphitheater where music fans can purchase socially distanced pods of seats overlooking the sweeping vistas of Payne’s Cove below.

Oleg Shpyrko/Flickr
Oleg Shpyrko/Flickr
Oleg Shpyrko/Flickr

Cherohala Skyway

Tellico Plains
The Cherohala Skyway is a 43-mile stretch of elevated highway connecting Tennessee with North Carolina and features multiple overlooks offering views of the Unicoi Mountains and the two national forests through which it passes, the Cherokee and Nantahala forests that combine to give the skyway its name. A favorite of motorcyclists, the Cherohala is one of the greatest scenic drives in the region.

Michael Hicks/Flickr
Michael Hicks/Flickr
Michael Hicks/Flickr

Walls of Jericho

Belvidere
Once hidden away on private land, the Walls of Jericho is still rarely visited since it’s a pretty grueling hike in and out of the 8,900-acre wilderness area. Those that make the trek are rewarded with multiple waterfalls and rippling creeks along the way to their final destination, a dramatic natural amphitheater with 200-foot sheer rock walls that seep water from the Turkey Creek to create a dramatic water feature.

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Clingmans Dome

Bryson City
Visitors can literally look down on the state of Tennessee from this peak, the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The observation tower is surrounded by a rare evergreen forest and affords a wraparound view that reaches 100 miles on a clear day. As a bonus, there aren’t many mountain tops where you can drive all the way to the apex and park your car a short walk along a paved trail to find breathtaking views like these.

Flickr/Guillaume Capron
Flickr/Guillaume Capron
Flickr/Guillaume Capron

Reelfoot Lake

Samburg
Tennessee’s only major natural lake (you can thank the TVA for all those great reservoirs), Reelfoot Lake was formed when a series of earthquakes along the New Madrid fault in 1811-12 actually caused the Mississippi River to run backwards and fill in the land in northwestern Tennessee that had subsided due to the tremors. Known for gorgeous bald cypress trees, Reelfoot is known as paradise for fishermen and duck hunters. Bird watchers can also spy numerous nesting pairs of bald eagles.

Flickr/Joel Kramer
Flickr/Joel Kramer
Flickr/Joel Kramer

The Lost Sea

Sweetwater
Tucked in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, The Lost Sea is the nation’s largest underground lake at almost five acres. Beautiful subterranean features such as stalactites, stalagmites, and delicate crystal anthodites are visible as part of glass-bottom boat tours called The Lost Sea Adventure. Wild cave tours are also available for more intrepid spelunkers who want to go even deeper into the cavern.

Wayne Silver
Wayne Silver
Wayne Silver

Townsend

Townsend
Known as “The Peaceful Side of the Smoky Mountains,” Townsend is the least-crowded entrance into the national park. Even if you don’t ever actually cross into the park, the views from Townsend where the Cumberland Plateau meets the Tennessee Valley and the Smokies is breathtaking.

Flickr/HD_Vision
Flickr/HD_Vision
Flickr/HD_Vision

Twin Falls

Rock Island
Rock Island was created when the Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Caney Fork River in the early 20th century to help provide hydroelectric power to Nashville. The resulting reservoir has steep wooded banks leading down to the lake with lots of generations-old vacation homes taking full advantage of floating boat docks and water activities. Twin Falls is a striking cascade near the powerhouse where water flows out of an underground cave before falling 80ft into a pool below.

Flickr/Matthew Paulson
Flickr/Matthew Paulson
Flickr/Matthew Paulson

Cades Cove
Cades Cove

Sometimes the valley can be just as beautiful as the mountains, and Cades Coves at the foothills of the Smokies is an excellent example. An 11-mile one-way loop circles the cove offering the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty and abundant wildlife of the verdant valley without ever leaving the comfort of your car. There are also some cool historical sites along the loop, including three churches, a working grist mill, and other restored centuries-old structures. Grab a self-guided tour booklet at the entrance and take a drive through history.

Flickr/L P
Flickr/L P
Flickr/L P

Crystal Shrine Grotto

Memphis
A true oddity, Crystal Shrine Grotto is the largest man-made crystal cavern in the world. Crafted in the 1930s by artist Dionicio Rodriguez (a self-taught sculptor from Mexico), Crystal Shrine is a sort-of-kitschy/sort-of-beautiful retelling of scenes from the Bible illustrated in sculptures made using rock quartz crystal and semiprecious stones. Once you pass through the hole in a large concrete stump, you’ll be entering into a magical world.

Flickr/J. P. Lu
Flickr/J. P. Lu
Flickr/J. P. Lu

Tellico Plains

Tellico Plains
Located where the Tellico River emerges from the Appalachian Mountains, Tellico Plains is a prototypical sleepy little mountain town with picturesque landscapes of rolling fields, ancient barns down below, and spectacular mountain views looming from above. With easy access to the Cherohala Skyway and the Cherokee National Forest nearby, Tellico Plains is a lovely home base for a weekend of outdoor adventures.

Flickr/Tim Moore
Flickr/Tim Moore
Flickr/Tim Moore

Natchez Trace Parkway

Fly
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile-long drive from Nashville to Natchez, MS. Although it’s slow going thanks to a 55 mph speed limit, it’s worth taking your time to enjoy the pastoral scenery and historical markers along the way that trace the history of the original inhabitants and settlers of the region. Particularly striking is the concrete double arch bridge across Highway 96 near Fly close to the northern terminus of the parkway. Acrophobics might want to close their eyes when crossing. (But not if you’re driving‚Ķ)

Flickr/Brent Moore
Flickr/Brent Moore
Flickr/Brent Moore

Falls Mill

Belvidere
Although the latest round of health regulations forced the 140-plus-year-old mill to cease commercial operations, the waterwheel is still turning at this historic facility near Belvidere. In addition to a bed and breakfast and a museum of antique, water-powered machinery and even a dog-powered butter churn, Falls Mill is worth a visit just to sit in the placid picnic grounds along the creek to listen to the stream cascading across the wheel and into the pool below. Spring foliage is particularly dramatic in the woods surrounding the mill.

Chris Chamberlain is a Nashville writer — follow him on Twitter at¬†@CeeElCee.

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