By Trevor Felch
First impressions matter. And while the focus of every food-centric gathering is what’s on the plate or in a bowl, the vibe your vendor brings can make the difference for a truly memorable event.
From clever logos to beautifully painted murals adorning truck exteriors, we have a handful of creative creators who are artists in many ways. Let us know if you want them at your next gathering.
These are the prettiest trucks to have at your next event.
We just wrote about the excellent tacos and more from one of San Francisco’s iconic food trucks (and owner Miguel Escobedo’s favorite Bay Area tacos), but it isn’t the al pastor tacos that hungry diners first notice when approaching Al Pastor Papi. It’s the neon pink kitchen trailer attached to a truck! A smiling al pastor trompo on the side of the trailer greets diners, wearing sunglasses and the pineapple on top sort of functions as a hat. The al pastor mascot is indeed one very chic fellow.
Speaking of stylish mascots, the one for this Mayan cuisine truck wears a flower in their hair. The flower-adorned pig is the centerpiece for the colorful truck that could also be a spectacular mural in an art gallery. It’s a wonderful backdrop for the truck’s panuchos, poc chuc, and more from the Yucatan region of Mexico.
Alberto Avramow Pitman is cooking some of the most innovative contemporary Mexican food in the Bay Area, whether from a brick-and-mortar kitchen or a mobile kitchen , right now at the Coolinaria truck that he opened with his business partner Elizabeth Rueda. Dia de los Muertos is an enormous tradition in Avramow’s native Mexico City and Coolinario has its own eye-catching skull logo that pays homage to that holiday.
First off, Da Poke Man is a food truck that is actually a mini-bus. Everyone does a double take when first looking at it. On the truck/bus, Da Poke Man uses a sleek gray-and-white theme for its beautiful cutlery logo and for the truck’s Hawaiian art mural. While many trucks go for quirky or catchy designs, Da Poke Man’s truck/bus is quiet and stylish.
Yes, there’s a Kong-like ape painted on its namesake truck — and it’s holding a Hong Kong-style flaky egg tart! And that’s only fitting for Hongry Kong because Hong Kong-café style dishes like those delicious egg tarts, mains such as pork chop with a cheesy-tomato sauce atop spaghetti, and Hong Kong-style iced milk tea are the menu specialties of this truck. On one side of the truck, Kong is relaxing in the mountains with the egg tart. Then on the flip side, he’s lingering above the Hong Kong skyline and Victoria Harbour. The attention to detail of these murals on the truck is remarkable.
This beloved duo of trucks started over a decade ago with its “lemongrass” food truck and shortly thereafter it built its very own second “tamarind” truck. Vietnam themes and signature parts of the San Francisco skyline mingle in the background of the design, and of course there’s the very distinctive logo of a bicycle pushcart full of groceries.
The Chairman’s bright red truck with beams of black is decked out inside and out. The bold color combo ads a striking pop of color to any outdoor event. It’s always the standout at Off the Grid events.
This bright yellow van/truck is hard to miss, both because of the bright design and the lines waiting for the Sichuan region-inspired spicy pork noodles. The truck’s mascot is a cat enjoying those noodles (cats always get in line ahead of the crowd!) and it’s the anchor of the truck’s whimsical design, along with some floating chili peppers.
The tea-brewed-in-ice cream specialist has an adorable truck that kind of represents that intersection of timeless ice cream shop and charming tea café. There are flower boxes (!) on the truck and the main design element is a timeless logo with the Jolly’s mascots wearing monocles and vintage hats. There is as much personality in the truck design as there is in each of the fantastic flavors like redbush vanilla and orange cardamom chai.
One of the hardest tasks for a food truck is to create a sense of place if your cuisine is from a specific city or region. Restaurants can create transporting décor — but trucks are often in a park or parking lot. However, the great ones, like Southern Comfort Kitchen, create a truck that does send you far from San Francisco. In this case, there’s no doubt where you are with the purple and gold aesthetic, the French Quarter background, the Mardi Gras mask, the fleur de lys symbol, and a lamp post rising up from the truck (literally a lamp post on the truck!): New Orleans!
New to the Off the Grid network, this little coffee truck knows how to roll up in style. With organic espresso, coffee and matcha, they’ve got a California cool vibe that can’t be beat.
If you want to book one (or several!) of these trucks for your next company event, school gathering or party, please reach out here!