The History of the Food Truck

hero burgers food truck

Over the past five years, the food truck business has boomed throughout North America. It’s no wonder because who doesn’t love delicious, freshly made burgers, tacos, sandwiches and pizzas made right before your eyes.

With the growth of social media and the ability to pick up and move to where the action is, food trucks are becoming a cost-effective ways for aspiring chefs to serve their food to their city. While food trucks are all the rage today, here’s a little history of how they first came about.

Our modern food trucks stem from two separate dining traditions that predate the invention of the automobile itself. Chuck wagons and pushcarts served cowboys and urban workers, respectively, all the way back to the years right after the Civil War.

Chuck WagonsChuck wagons followed trail-driving cowpokes in the Wild West, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to hungry men across the plains. The wagons themselves were designed specifically for cooking, with separate areas for pot storage, washing up and food preparation. This specialization and the ability to actually prepare and cook food make the chuck wagon the most direct ancestor of our modern food truck.


push cart

The importance of the pushcart can’t be understated. While these carts lacked the ability to heat or cook food, they served simple lunches of meat pies, fruits and sandwiches to urbanites in large cities like New York and Chicago. While the design of the chuck wagons was closer to our modern day food trucks, the purpose of the pushcarts – to provide a reasonable lunch to working urban folk – was much nearer to the purpose of the truck today.

In the 1950s, ice cream trucks were the first businesses to take to the streets in modfied vehicles that looked almost exactly like their trucks today. The 1960s brought larger trucks, usually selling tacos and burgers on the streets. These “roach coaches” as they were called, got the name because of their substandard health practices and their ice cream truckpractice of setting up shop in construction lots and alleys.

Now, there is no dirt or grime, simply shiny, brand spanking new food trucks built for life in major cities, with festivals built completely around them. What a turnaround from the days of feeding cowboys in the prairie.

Now that we’ve given you a little history of the food truck, make history with your next special occasion by booking our HERO Food Truck. From birthdays to bachelor parties, weddings to wine tastings, we got what you need.

hero burger food truck


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