In the hip city of Austin, trailer food is fast becoming übercool.
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Leave it to Austin to make trailer parks hip. Although the Capitol City has always had an abundance of local taco stands peppering neighborhood corners, within the past couple of years “trailer food” has taken on new meaning as a wealth of food trailers have sprung up around town. It doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re craving a greasy breakfast taco or a decadent cupcake or whether you’re wandering down Sixth Street or visiting a neighborhood on the east side, trashy is the new chic. We’ve decided to make things easy for the novice and have provided a list below of some of our favorites.
Flip Happy Crepes
When we are at this Airstream trailer tucked away off South Lamar, the sweet crêpes, French press coffee, and quaint outdoor seating transports us to a cafe in Paris. The fruit crêpes filled with fresh berries and vanilla pastry cream ($4.25) or lemon curd and blueberry dressing ($4) are delicious. If you are in the mood for something more substantial, we recommend the ham, gruyère cheese, and green onion ($6.25) or the smoked salmon, herbed cream cheese, spinach, and tomato ($7.50), capable of pleasing even the most sophisticated bon vivant. Be advised: Don’t go in a hurry. Lines are always long, parking is terrible, and seating is limited. And remember this place takes cash only. 400 Jessie, 512-592-9034, fliphappycrepes.com. Open Wed–Fri 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Sat 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
One of the first in Austin to serve food out of an Airstream trailer and the place that spurred the local cupcake trend, Hey Cupcake! is hard not to like. Although the business has expanded to include a traditional sit-down location on Burnet, we prefer the original trailer parked on South Congress. Occasionally the oversized cupcakes seem a little dry, but with consistently friendly service, to-die-for buttercream icing, and the kitschiest locale in town, we forgive them. For $2.50, try the 24 Carrot (carrot cake and decadent cream cheese icing) or the Standard (a simple but delicious vanilla cake topped with swirly chocolate frosting). If you really want to go all out, make your cupcake a Whipper Snapper by having it injected with a hearty pump of fresh whipped cream. 1600 Block of South Congress, 512-476-2253, heycupcake.com. Open Tue–Thur noon–9, Fri noon–10, Sat 11–10, Sun noon–9. Closed Mon.
Izzoz (pronounced “Eee-zoes”) Tacos, which claims to be the largest food trailer in town (it is 42 feet long), has struck a delicious balance by offering both the comforting greasiness and simplicity of classic breakfast tacos ($1.75) as well more exotic offerings such as the Portabella Shroom—mushrooms, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, and chipotle aioli ($3). We like the Padre, braised carnita pork, avocado, pineapple, and tomatillo salsa inside a thick, chewy tortilla. 1207 South First, 512-326-4996, izzoztacos.com. Open Tue–Thur 8 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri 8–10, Sat & Sun 9–10. Closed Mon.
Consistently delicious and one of the cheapest lunches in town, Lulu B’s is quickly becoming a local favorite (evident by the increasingly long lines during the lunch hour). While the trailer offers a variety of Vietnamese staples—bowls of glass noodles ($6) and summer rolls ($3.50)—we advise sticking with the sandwiches ($4.50). Lulu B’s piles perfectly flavored meats such as lemongrass chicken or barbecue pulled pork in a soft French baguette and adds cilantro, shredded carrots, and cucumber. Vegetarians offerings include tofu summer rolls and avocado sandwiches. 2113 South Lamar, 512-921-4828, myspace.com/lulubssandwiches. Open Tue–Fri 11 a.m.–4 p.m., Sat noon–6.
This little red truck lives up to the “Mmm” in its name and offers a wide selection of warm, flaky empanadas wrapped up in wax paper. We crave the spicy Green Chile Chicken topped with homemade salsa (the stand’s most popular offering) and the S’more—cinnamon-sugar coated and stuffed with marshmallow and chocolate. At only $3.25 a pie, you can’t beat one of these for a delicious snack. Or try the lunch special (two empanadas and a drink for $7) on weekdays to make it a meal. Our only complaint is that the hours are tricky; be sure to call ahead to ensure sure the truck is open for business. Fifth & Brazos, 512-788-2228, mmmpanadas.com. Open Tue–Fri 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Fri & Sat 10 p.m.–2:30 a.m.