Top 12 Food Truck Menu Ideas for New Owners

bucket of freshly cooked french fries with ranch dip on the side

The United States has been popularly known as the food truck nation. Today, there are around 26,228 registered food truck businesses in the U.S. The top 3 states with the most numbers of food trucks are California, Florida, and Texas. So, if you dream of starting a food truck business, it is important to craft the perfect menu. 

Here are the top 12 easy food truck menu ideas for new owners.

Barbecues are meat cooked in an open fire. They are America’s favorite pastime and summer food. The word barbecue came from a Caribbean Indian tribe. In 1526, a Spanish explorer quoted it as “barbacoa”, a term for grilling meat on a wooden grate. After that, the popularity of barbecues spread like wildfire in the American colonial period. Some of the most popular barbecue menus you can serve on your food truck are briskets, burgers, chickens, kebabs, lambs, and ribs.

Burgers are ground meat placed into sandwiches. They are also called hamburgers because they were said to come from Hamburg, Germany. The concept of this round patty came from Russian cavaliers who went to Germany in the 12th century. They bring with them minced beef which served as a handy meal while riding their horses. Burger menus are easy to cook among food trucks. They are also easy to mix and match among flavored sauces. And who doesn’t love burgers for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? 

Candies are a popular comfort food among Americans. They originated from India between the 4th and 6th centuries. Greeks and Persians discovered that Indians made candies from honey. It became a form of medicine in America and Europe during the industrial revolution. Candy bars are easy to carry and market among food trucks. Children and grown-ups alike love candies. You can serve candy mixes in a jar or gluten-free candy bars to make your offering unique. 

Cookies are commonly round and thin sweet treats. As the American saying goes: you’ll never convince Snoopy that there’s more to life than a cookie. Cookies started as test cakes in Europe. But the very first cookies came from the Persians in the 7th century. They were the ones who introduced such treats in the world through the crusades. Among the popular flavors of cookies, you can serve on your food trucks are butter, chocolate chips, gingersnaps, oatmeal raisins, peanut butter, shortbread, and sugar cookies.

Cupcakes are literally small cup-shaped cakes. They contain more fats and sugar than muffins and they are also softer. An American cookbook author named Elisa Lezlie first quoted the word cupcake in 1796. In 1919, commercial cupcakes were sold in Hostess Bakery in America. The most popular cupcake flavors are banana, carrot, chocolate, coffee, lemon, peanut butter, pumpkin, red velvet, and vanilla. 

Doughnuts are fried leavened dough. They originated in the 19th century when a ship captain’s mother deep-fried a dough flavored with cinnamon, lemon rind, and nutmeg. She made it so her son can bring pastries along long voyages. The ship captain was attributed to punch holes in the doughnuts that his mother made. This is for him to easily digest the pastry. Doughnuts are a great food truck menu because of their simple method of cooking. Some popular doughnut flavors in the U.S. are Boston crème, candy-sprinkled, chocolate, cinnamon, custard, lemon cream, maple, and strawberry.

When rivers freeze in Belgium during winter, Belgians commonly fry potatoes. These are the popularly known French fries because Belgians dominant language is French. They are one of America’s popular staple foods. They can be the main dish or side dish among entrees. The key to creatively serving French fries among food trucks is the dipping or sauce. You can serve cheese or chili fries, parmesan wedges, short rib poutine, steak and salad fries, or waffle fries in your food truck.

The noblest of the dogs is the hotdog. It feeds the hands that bite it. They are sausages stuffed in an edible casing. Hotdogs were first made by the Romans who brought them to Germany. The Germans brought hotdogs to the U.S. in the 1860s. A New York Times’ sports cartoonist coined the word hotdog in one of his comic strips. Hotdogs are easy to sell and give higher profits among food carts and trucks. Some gourmet hotdog serving ideas are Bacon Wraps, Banh Mi, Cheesy Mexican, Hong Kong Phooey, and Korean Slaw Dog. 

The origin of ice cream can be traced back to the 2nd century B.C. Alexander, the Great was said to enjoy ice treats sweetened from honey and nectar. After a thousand years, Marco Polo brought such a frozen treat to Europe. It came to the New World around 1744. The 1st ice cream ads appeared in the New York Gazette in 1777. Today the average Americans consumed around 23 pounds of ice cream every year. Among their favorite flavors are butter pecan, chocolate, coffee, cookies n cream, Neapolitan, pistachio, rocky road, strawberry, and vanilla.

These long strips of leavened dough originated from China. It was the staple food among the Chinese during the Han Dynasty. Since then, noodles became a culinary art in China. They find creative ways of mixing wheat flour and water to pull them into long strips. Marco Polo brought these noodles to Italy which the European cultivated as pasta or fat noodles. The Italians were also the ones who introduced noodles to Americans. Fried noodles, pancit, phad thais, ramens, and samurai noodles are among the popular food truck menus.

Pizza is a round flattened Italian dish made of leavened dough and topped with cheese, tomato, and other ingredients. Raffaele Esposito is the Italian inventor of pizza who served the dish when Queen Margherita visited Naples. While the Italian named Gennaro Lombardi brought the first pizzeria in America. Since then, pizza has been popular in the U.S. being a complete and complex food. Some popular pizza flavors among Americans are all-meat, BBQ chicken, buffalo, cheese, Hawaiian, Margherita, pepperoni, and veggies.

Tacos are traditional Mexican corn or wheat shells stuffed with ground meat and veggies. They are believed to have started among the Aztecs of Mexico during the 13th century.  They were made out of corn and formed with a half in the middle which is literally called a taco. When Mexican migrants brought tacos to Los Angeles, Americans started making hard-shell tacos. This became a popular American street food. Among the taco flavors, you can sell on food trucks are beef with cheese and veggies, double-decker, fish tacos, Oaxacan, pasta shell tacos, roast pork, and Taqueria-style.

Now you can start planning your own food truck menu with those simple and easy food items. You might also want to see the Most Profitable Food Truck Items from the best food truck businesses in America. And aside from having an enticing menu, it is also crucial to include food packaging to your initial planning. Here’s an article about The Dos and Don’ts in Food Packaging

There are so many opportunities in the food truck industry. You just need to set your goals right and, of course, find a truck that will keep your business rolling. Visit to catch the perfect food truck for your business.