Whenever you go to a festival, you find so many different types of food trucks parked up next to the Escort Mk2 with their carburateur weber and lot of people crowding round, waiting to get something to eat. Lets take a look at the many types of food trucks dominating the scene.

Taco Trucks: The Original

Taco trucks were one of the original food trucks on the scene. With thousands of taco trucks in existence, you could stop at a new one every day for years and never repeat. The mighty taco truck has spread far beyond its Los Angeles origins with trucks throughout the United States and abroad. The two dominant forms are the classic Southern California style and fusion, the Kogi style.

Classic taco trucks offer some of the best Mexican food available with specialties ranging from pescuezos (chicken necks) to onboard suadero (rotisserie pork and pork fat seasoned with onion, lime juice, salt, and adobo). Taco trucks represent all aspects of classic Mexican cuisine. Some restaurants, like the El Gallito chain, park their own food truck in front of their bricks-and-mortar business to showcase specialty items. The Gallito truck specializes in Birria de Chivo, a traditional Jaliscan goat stew made of shredded goat mixed with roasted chiles, toasted cloves, and fresh oregano. Wrap it up in a tortilla, wash it down with a cold Modelo, and go back for more.

Fusion trucks tend to combine another cuisine such as Asian with the standards of tacos, protein, veggies, and sauce wrapped in a hard or soft tortilla. I’ve already discussed the importance of the Kogi truck to the food truck revolution, but there are countless similar trucks throughout the country. In New York City, you find the Korilla and Kimchi BBQ trucks; in Dallas, the Ssahm BBQ truck takes to the road; and in Portland, Oregon, the fleet of Koi Fusion trucks are customer favorites. The fusion tacquerias seem here to stay and are crossing over into bricks-and-mortar restaurants, essentially defining a new cuisine.

Pizza Trucks: It’s All About the Ovens

Pizza is one of the most popular foods in America, and pizza trucks are one of the fastest-growing segments of the food truck industry. Strolling out of my door at lunchtime in Manhattan’s Financial District, I bump into the Eddie’s, Jianetto’s, and Vinny Vincenz pizza trucks. Eddie’s Pizza’s bricks-and-mortar operation has operated in a New York suburb for decades, and its fan base expanded when HBO’s Entourage featured it. Its New York City truck specializes in the thin crust variety and has average waits of more than an hour during the busy part of the day. Jianetto’s has a more diverse menu of Grandma slices, which are Sicilian-style slices served with dots of plum tomato sauce above the cheese. And Vinny Vincenz serves classic New York–style slices for $1 each. Who needs to go to the pizza parlor when the pizza parlor can come to you?

The main concern when starting a pizza truck is product differentiation and quality. Look for inspiration from someone like Casey’s Pizza in San Francisco, which focuses on a well-prepared pie using only the best ingredients, or California Pizza Kitchen, which has built a chain through the use of unusual toppings and combinations.

Dessert Trucks: Nighttime Sweet Spots

It was only a matter of time until deliciously decadent sweets made their way into the food truck game. On the night before Halloween 2007, direct from some underfed college student’s dreams, came DessertTruck. The vehicle, which parked outside New York City college dormitories, served pastries you would have to go to cooking school to learn how to concoct. Jerome Chang, the creator of DessertTruck, went to the French Culinary Institute and left a job at the world-famous restaurant Le Cirque to establish his own brand selling Warm Chocolate Cake and Espresso Panna Cotta. He has since moved to a permanent location on the fashionable lower East Side.

The idea for DessertTruck came from a chance snack that Chang and his roommate, Columbia Business School student Chris Chen, came up with in their apartment. A combination of toast, Nutella, caramelized bananas, and sea salt ignited their passion for sweets on the street. Chen and Chang chose a truck because it had more space than a cart and lower overhead than a storefront. They invested about $60,000 to purchase and design their truck. They prepard their items in a kitchen during the day and sold their desserts at night.

Another dessert truck includes Cupcake Stop, specializing in nostalgic cupcakes including Betty Crocker–style cake with buttercream icings or exotic flavors like chocolate caramel pretzel. Flip Happy Crepes, an old-fashioned trailer in Austin, Texas, serves French crepes. Wafels & Dinges, doles out Brussels wafel, the “mother of all wafels” with sweet and savory artisanal toppings.

While dessert trucks can be great, they also have more limited sales options. Not that many people are looking for cupcakes at lunchtime. Dessert trucks flourish where students are looking for a quick sugar fix or couples are strolling after a nice dinner. To maximize revenue, many successful dessert trucks focus on delivery, catering, and providing sweets to savory truck operators.

Ice Cream Trucks: Good-Bye, Good Humor

Oh, how the ice cream truck has changed! Generally the lines in front of the Van Leeuwen Ice Cream trucks are so long that you’d think they were giving it away, but that’s only until you get a taste. Ben Van Leeuwen’s off-white postal truck, and now his similarly designed stores, are decorated like shabby chic Italian farmhouses, and have a loyal following of folks looking to satisfy their sweet tooths. But don’t forget, The ice cream business is great in the summertime, but business chills when the weather turns cold. If you’re planning an ice cream truck, assume your business will be seasonal or find a warm-weather climate.

Dumpling Trucks: Simply Delicious

What do you get when you combine high-quality ingredients and tasty dipping sauces with a childhood craving? Chirba Chirba Dumpling truck, of course. Chirba Chirba was created by owner Nate Adams after he moved to the United States from overseas and couldn’t satisfy his childhood craving for delicious dumplings. Since this truck's inception, it has expanded it’s fleet to two trucks and Nate is working on a brick-and-mortar restaurant. When you have a restaurant as well as a truck, you can share overhead and have fewer start-up costs, which means more profit for you. During slow months, you don’t have to take your truck out. Having a bricks-and-mortar establishment, even if it’s small, is a massive advantage in creating a successful food truck business.

Dumplings are the perfect food truck item. Most of the prep is done off the truck, with the dumplings just steamed or fried on board. They lose none of their freshness, cook quickly, and are easily served and eaten alongside a salad and a dipping sauce. Done right, dumplings are simple, fresh, clean, and, most importantly, authentic.

“Chirba Chirba” means “Eat eat!” in Mandarin Chinese. Nate chose this name because he felt it “embodies a very warm and hospitable feeling, especially to a friend or guest.” When the big yellow Chirba Chirba trucks drive up, they want their guests to feel “This is so delicious and it makes me extremely happy to see you enjoy it, so please, eat!” And since 2011, they have been growing their business and scoring awards all over North Carolina. Burger Trucks: Look Out Mickey Ds, We’re the Burger Kings!

The Latin Burger and Taco Truck was launched in early 2010 by Ingrid Hoffman of the Food Network, along with her boyfriend, Jim Heins. It was one of the first gourmet trucks in Miami and is best known for the Latin Macho Burger, with a patty made of blended chorizo, chuck, and sirloin topped with Oaxaca cheese, caramelized onions, avocado sauce, and red pepper mayo. The result is an over-the-top, melt-in-your-mouth creation that proves burgers have a home in the food truck game.

Burger trucks have taken hold throughout the country. In Baltimore, Kooper’s Chowhound Burger Wagon is widely known as the city’s best burger. It’s perfectly situated next to Kooper’s Tavern for that perfect late night snack. La Cense Beef, a grass-fed beef company, has created a truck to promote their brand of beef. And, in Los Angeles, Baby’s Badass Burgers are being featured on the Travel Channel and CBS. The ladies of Baby’s Badass sell burgers such as the Au Natural and the Covergirl, referring to the owners’ feminine charms.

But don’t forget, propane is the key to the burger business on a truck. Grills (burgers) and fryers (fries) use a lot of propane, so you’ll need to work the cost of extra tanks into your numbers.

Mediterranean Trucks: New York’s Taco Truck

Souvlaki, gyros, and falafel have always been favorites in the world of street food. Nowadays, a new breed of Mediterranean trucks are taking hold, such as the Vendy Award–winning, Souvlaki GR. For those of you that don’t know, the Vendy Awards is an annual award ceremony organized by the nonprofit street vendor project. The event celebrates New York’s street vendors and awards prizes in categories such as “Rookie of the Year” to top street vendors.

Souvlaki GR specializes in the signature street food of the founders’ beloved homeland, Greece. With a commitment to only the freshest handmade ingredients, the company has created the ultimate Greek food truck. Their signature souvlakis are available on sticks or wrapped in hand-rolled pitas, and they are served alongside signature salads, such as the Prassini, which features chopped greens, dill, and feta cheese in a lemon–olive oil dressing.

Mediterranean trucks are Manhattan’s answer to the taco trucks of Los Angeles. Moshe’s Falafel and Taim Mobile are engaged in truck-to-truck combat for New York’s best falafel truck, both serving some of the crispiest falafel, smoothest hummus, and freshest salads in Manhattan. The types of trucks mentioned here are mere samplings of the many possibilities for food on wheels. Just because you don’t see your favorite cuisine on the list, don’t be discouraged. Part of what makes the food truck industry so successful is that people aren’t afraid to experiment and take a risk. Whatever you choose, make it yours by letting your personality show.