On a roll: Meet 12 Chicago food trucks on the road now

Throw your collection of food delivery apps in the back of your closet with your winter coat and long underwear. Gone are the days of refusing to step outside for lunch. As temperatures continue to rise, Chicago food trucks are hitting the streets in droves. Along with the usual suspects, summer also brings a batch of brand-new options. Here’s an inside look at 12 trucks we’d chase around the city all year, but keep your eyes out for dozens of other options cruising the streets this summer.

The Happy Lobster
Type of food: Seafood
Find it: Follow @thehappylobster on Twitter, @happylobstertruck on Instagram or go to facebook.com/happylobstertruck for updates.
Order this: The Happy Lobster Roll ($17, or $10 for a small version) stars the namesake seafood on a grilled bun with just a touch of butter, special seasoning and mayo. You can also get your lobster as part of a grilled cheese sandwich on challah bread ($12) or snack on an order of four deep-fried lobster mac 'n' cheese bites drizzled with spicy sauce ($8).

Mediterranean Express
Type of food: Lebanese
Find it: 54th Street and University Drive from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 345 E. Ohio St. from 4-9 p.m. Tuesdays and 400 N. McClurg Court from 4-9 p.m. Thursdays.
Order this: Pick chicken shawarma, shish tawook, kafta kabob or falafel as your protein, and get it served over basmati rice or salad ($10) or in a soft pita wrap ($9). Your meal comes with one side, and options include tabouli, fattoush, hummus and Cajun fries. Can’t decide? Add an extra side for $2.

Loop Juice
Type of food: Smoothies and juices
Find it: Follow @chiLoopJuice on Twitter and Instagram or go to fb.com/loopjuice for updates.
Order this: The Green Smoothie is the truck's bestseller, a blend of pineapple, orange, mango, spinach and kale. Or opt for a sweet and spicy mix with the Detox Smoothie, which features blueberries, ginger, lemon and pomegranate. Super-hot days call for the Brazilian Cool, a blend of juiced watermelon, pineapple and mint (all $6 for a 16-ounce cup or $8 for a 24-ounce cup). 

Chicago Lunchbox
Type of food: Asian
Find it: Follow @chicagolunchbox on Twitter or visit chicagolunchbox.com for updates.
Order this: Choose your protein and have it served on a French baguette, tacos, salad or over rice. Favorite combinations include the beefy Korean rice box with barbecued meat, jasmine rice, pickled daikon, carrots, cucumbers, red onions and cilantro ($10) or the Vietnamese pork with the same toppings served on a French baguette ($8). Add on fire rangoons, an Asian version of jalapeno poppers served with sweet Thai chili sauce ($4). Look out, Chicago Lunch Box plans to launch a second truck that will serve a mix of items from the regular menu and some new dishes.

Porkchop
Type of food: Barbecue
Find it: Follow @ChicagoPorkchop on Twitter for updates.
Order this: Dig into a pulled pork sandwich ($8) or an order of mac 'n' cheese with your choice of pulled pork or pulled chicken ($6) with a side of cornbread with honey butter ($3).

Hot Dog Fiend
Type of food: Hot dogs
Find it: Follow @HotDogFiendFT on Twitter for updates.
Order this: Chicago and New York compete for diners’ hearts through the Chicago Fiend—a jumbo all-beef hot dog on a grilled bun with sport peppers, a pickle wedge, onion, relish, mustard, tomato and celery salt—and the Bronx Dog, which is topped with New York-style onions sauteed in hot sauce plus sauerkraut and brown mustard (both $6 each). But everyone can agree on the Dog Rolls ($4), fried wontons stuffed with hot dogs and a crispy cabbage mix.

The Fat Pickle
Type of food: Deli
Find it: Visit thefatpickle.com/schedule or follow @thefatpickle312 on Twitter and @thefatpickle on Instagram for updates.
Order this: The brand-new truck from the owners of crowd favorite The Fat Shallot serves a slew of sandwiches including grilled salami topped with a fried egg, barbecue sauce and pickled red onions on a challah bun and turkey pastrami with pickled green tomatoes, Havarti and herb aioli on a pretzel bun (both $10 each). Toss in fries with garlic and herb butter for good measure ($4).

Da Pizza Dude
Type of food: Pizza
Find it: Visit dapizzadude.com or follow @dapizzadude1 on Twitter for updates.
Order this: Try the classic margherita with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil ($7) or satisfy your carnivorous cravings with the Chicago Combo, which features sausage, Italian beef and giardiniera ($10), or the Pros pie, which is topped with prosciutto, arugula, shaved parmesan and an olive oil drizzle ($12).

Boo Coo Roux
Type of food: Cajun
Find it: Follow @BooCooRoux on Twitter or visit facebook.com/boocooroux for updates.
Order this: The menu changes weekly so check boocooroux.com for the most current selections. Some tried-and-true favorites include seafood gumbo made with shrimp, crab, housemade Andouille sausage, okra and steamed rice ($5 for a cup, $11 for a bowl); the fried shrimp po' boy topped with rotating garnishes and spreads ($12); and hush puppies served with bacon jam ($6).

The Cajun Connoisseur
Type of food: Cajun
Find it: Follow @thecajuncon on Twitter and Instagram for updates.
Order this: The shrimp po' boy features Cajun or garlic seafood on toasted garlic bread served with garlic butter sauce, spinach and tomato ($10). Substitute lobster for shrimp for $11.50, or get your shrimp nested in a bowl of creamy cheese grits ($10).

Auntie Vee's
Type of food: Dessert
Find it: Visit auntievees.com or follow @AuntieVees on Twitter for updates.
Order this: Indulge your sweet tooth with a variety of frozen cheesecakes on a stick ($6), including key lime and peanut butter-banana-chocolate. Or opt for a 6-inch deep-dish baked cookie ($6) or a variety of inside out cakes ($5) in flavors such as lemon cream and turtle.

Bruges Brothers
Type of food: Frites
Find it: Follow @BrugesBrothers on Twitter or visit facebook.com/brugesbrothers and brugesbrothers.com for updates.
Order this: Beef and duck fat frites are served with a variety of unique sauces ($5-$9)—think English curry with onion, garlic, ginger and toasted spices or Bravas sauce with smoked paprika, onion, garlic, tomato—or as an entree topped with meatier ingredients. Chimichurri steak is a crowd favorite with grilled hanger steak, onions and fresh chimichurri sauce ($12). Or get your daily veggies with the wild mushroom poutine, which is topped with ‘shrooms, swiss curds, mushroom gravy and crispy leeks ($11).

Samantha Nelson is a RedEye contributor.

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