Find Your Own Damn Truck!
Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man where to find the food trucks, feed him for a lifetime.
If you want to get in the game, be warned: tracking the trucks is more art form than science and it's a never-ending task, sure to both elate and frustrate in equal measure.
There are truck finder sites which list times and locations, but only are as good as the information that's out there from multiple sources. Then there are twitter lists, which is generally where I turn to most. The challenge here is finding a list that stays up to date. I keep mine current and will do so as long as I continue to chase my food. Last, but not least, are the individual truck sites. Not all trucks are active on twitter. Sad, but true. You can find links to each truck's website, twitter page and (soon!) facebook page on their respective pages on this site.
The reality is, you do need to use all of these sources to have the full picture, and even that can change on a dime. 'Tis the way of the truck. Feel free to leave a comment to let me know of any others I should add. No promises though. ;)
- chicagofoodtruckfinder.com: This site cuts the fluff and delivers the goods. You can select either by time or location and see on the map where the trucks are. The dude who runs this is also extremely active on twitter and is a blast to follow if you want to see some fun banter between him and the various trucks. Follow along at @chifoodtruckz. Plus it's cool that he works in/near Merch. Funny...so do I. We need to meet sometime!
- foodtruckfreak.com: This site has a search feature so you can try to find a specific truck, or you can just browse the chronological list of trucks to see who is landing where and when. Totally dig the logo. And there's all sorts of other content: a blog, truck list, community challenge (way cool) and more. Follow on twitter at @foodtruckfreak.
- foodtruckcorner.com: Sort of a combo site primarily acting as a map, but also showing latest tweets from trucks on the map. It's real time only so no peeking ahead. Follow on twitter at @FoodTruckCorner.
- TruxMap: This site also has a map, along with search feature and the ability to look for the action where time keeps on slippin, slippin, slippin. But that's just scratching the surface. There's mobile apps, nationwide cities, truck lists and more. Follow on twitter at @ truxmapchicago.
A couple of twitter-feed-aggregator-type accounts and sites have popped up along with related retweet streams if you want to follow. The dashboard concept is pretty sweet.
- foodtrucksnearme.com: Cool dashboard-style site that lists twitter feeds for various trucks along with a few blog posts. Follow on twitter at @FoodCHI.
- foodtrucksinchicago.com: This site is actually creating an archive of all the retweets from the associated twitter account. History in the making, I suppose. Follow on twitter at @foodtrucksinchi.
- @uchiNOMgo: For all you lucky bastards that are in and around the daily food truck orgy that happens at the University of Chicago, you can follow this twitter account to filter out the noise and just hone in your microcosm of greed and good fortune. Oh yeah, and I hate you all.
- Time Out Chicago: I have to list this first, only because this is where I did the vast majority of my targeting for the bulk of my mission. It's fallen a bit out of date with all the new food trucks hitting the Chicago scene, so I built my own and have abandoned this resource. But kudos for helping me on my way.
- The Most Awesome Chicago Food Truck List Known to Mankind: This is my comprehensive list. I know there are a couple list members that are no longer on the road, or haven't hit the streets yet. I originally wanted to keep the dead (*sniff*) trucks in there for posterity sake, but plan on pulling them.