Does dinnertime make you feel like a short order cook? Give yourself the night off and let a short order master—or rather several—feed your family. Like samples at Costco, food truck lots offer up an array of culinary delights all in one place. With so many options to choose from you’ll be able to satisfy every picky palate in your brood and you may even entice them to (gasp!) try something new. These are our favorite spots where meals on wheels gather together.
photo: Shahrzad Warkentin
Main Street Santa Monica
A pioneer of the food truck revolution, the Main Street lot in Santa Monica is still the place to be for food lovers old and young. With a good assortment of trucks, there’s always something to appeal to all taste buds. Despite how delicious the eats are, however, the best part of this weekly lot is actually the vibe. Dozens of families take over the lawn in front of the Victorian with strollers, blankets and the occasional bubble wand. You can relax and enjoy your meal while your junior foodies frolic, make new friends and pop bubbles.
Best Trucks For Kids: The Urban Oven serves up mouthwatering artisan pizzas in six-inch individual pies, the perfect size for smaller appetites. The Pudding Truck dishes creamy, gourmet pudding. ‘Nuff said.
Where To Eat: Come early to secure a spot on the lawn and enjoy the family atmosphere before it gets busier with the Main Street bar crowd as the night progresses.
Every Tuesday from 4:30-9:30 p.m.
2612 Main St.
Find our what’s parked there this week on Facebook: facebook.com/smfoodtrucklot
photo: Damon D. via Yelp
The last thing you want to do after a day at the beach with kids is cook a hot meal. So don’t! Instead, stay a little while longer (while traffic dies down) and enjoy your dinner, food truck style. The weekly gathering of food trucks at the Mother’s Beach parking lot in Marina del Rey wins the award for the most entertaining space for a food truck lot. Not only is it steps away from the beach, but there is also an awesome playground to keep your tots moving and burning off the sugar from the dessert truck before bedtime.
Best Food Trucks For Kids: Oh My Gaga Grilled Cheese makes a plain grilled cheese sandwich taste gourmet. Plus these four magic words: fried Mac & Cheese balls. For dessert, Recess Truck is not to be missed. The ice cream sandwich made with fresh baked cookies is the perfect capper to a day at the beach.
Where To Eat: Spread out a blanket and have a picnic right on the sand. You can also park your crew on one of the several shaded picnic benches along the top of the beach.
Every Thursday from 5-9 p.m.
4101 Admiralty Way
Marina Del Rey
Find our what’s parked there this week on Facebook: facebook.com/Beachtrucks
photo: Shahrzad Warkentin
Miracle Mile Food Trucks
This daily congregation of trucks parked across the street from LACMA is the perfect place to eat when you’re visiting Museum Row with little ones. If you’ve tried to eat at the museum cafe, you know the kid-friendly options are slim. The food trucks, on the other hand, offer a plethora of options and at slightly less piggy-bank gouging prices. Squeeze in a quick history lesson and check out the Berlin Wall installation on the sidewalk while you wait for your food.
Best Trucks For Kids: Dogtown Dogs, because what kid doesn’t love hot dogs and tater tots? For dessert, cool down with Coolhaus, one of the original ice cream food trucks, and still the best.
Where To Eat: Many museum visitors simply plop themselves on the steps and ledges off the sidewalk where the trucks are parked. Unless your kids need to eat instantly, skip this option and head across the street with your eats to the museum courtyard. Just outside the Boone Children’s Gallery are several tables. Or if you want to give your museum explorers a chance to stretch their legs after eating, pack a picnic blanket and make your way down to the Pleistocene Garden between LACMA and the LA Brea Tar Pits.
Daily from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
5900 block of Wilshire Blvd.
Find our what’s parked there today on Twitter: twitter.com/miraclemilela/lists/miracle-mile-food-trucks
photo: via Mary T. on Yelp
Granada Hills Grubfest
If you live in the valley you don’t have to trek all the way to the Westside to enjoy the thrill of dinner cooked in a truck. In fact, the San Fernando Valley has one of the best and biggest food truck gatherings in all of LA. With anywhere from 30-50 trucks parked across several blocks in downtown Granada Hills, there is always something that will appeal to even the pickiest young eater. The sidewalks get packed, but they are full of families so no one will mind as you squeeze your way through with a stroller. Street musicians also set up along the boulevard giving the kids something to watch as you wait in the inevitably long lines.
Where To Eat: Seating can be a bit tricky so arrive early and snag a spot on the corner of White Oak and Chatsworth, where the city recently added benches on all four corners.
Best Trucks For Kids: While it’s no where near a healthy meal, sometimes you just have to live a little and let your kids eat a deep fried PB&J sandwich at the FryFry truck, which serves up pretty much everything deep fried. Like the Cronutburger, which will give you county fair flashbacks. For dessert, if you’ve got room and unclogged arteries, check out Paradise Cookies and Ice Cream, where they feature piping fresh cookies baked from scratch on the spot.
Every Friday from 4-10 p.m.
18000 block of Chatsworth St.
Find our what’s parked there this week on Facebook: facebook.com/GranadaGrubfest
What are some food trucks that your whole family loves? Share your favorites in the comments!