The Los Angeles Auto Show® is delighted to host a new taste bud revolution when the USA Street Food Awards (usastreetfoodawards.com) makes its grand debut in North America. Set to kick-off November 18-19 at the 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show, the culinary event will celebrate the finest street food vendors in Los Angeles – the city that helped kick-start the food truck revolution!
Against LA’s vibrant backdrop, the first round in a nationwide hunt for North America’s first ever USA Street Food Champion will take place at the LA Auto Show. Founded in 2010 by the British broadcaster Richard Johnson, the awards have grown into an international sensation, currently taking place in 16 European countries and now making its debut in LA.
“Serving food on the streets of urban areas is a tradition that has been around for millennia, and today it’s what often connects thousands of Los Angeles commuters and pedestrians to the wonderfully diverse offerings of the world’s signature flavors. And with the rich history of street food in our city, it was a natural choice for us to host the first USA Street Food Awards, celebrating the link to the car culture capital of the world,” said Terri Toennies, President of LA Auto Show.
As every Angelino knows, food truck culture is a vibrant, dynamic facet of the city’s culinary scene, reflecting its diverse demographics and pioneering spirit. Historically rooted in the mobile taco trucks catering to late-night workers, the movement gained huge popularity more than 20 years ago, leading to the emergence of gourmet trucks serving a wide variety of flavors. The phenomenon has democratized gourmet food, making it accessible and affordable to everybody while providing chefs with a unique platform to experiment with fusion dishes and innovative flavors. As a result, the culture has grown, sprouting trucks to satisfy every craving, from vegan and organic to global cuisine, showcasing LA’s diverse culinary and ethnic landscape.
One of the primary attractions of the Street Food Awards is that visitors are able to eat, drink and vote their way around the competing food vendors. The awards are also judged by a panel of culinary experts, with each dish evaluated on taste, creativity, and presentation. The participants are invited to share the unique story behind their culinary journey, celebrating the mouthwatering flavors and highlight both the cultural significance and heritage behind each dish, which began on the streets of LA for many competitors.
The LA Auto Show®, one of the most influential and well-attended auto shows in the world, will provide the setting for the event. Annually drawing hundreds of thousands of auto aficionados from more than 50 different countries, the Street Food Awards will take place in tandem with the Auto Show on its first weekend, helping to feed and inspire the LA community of foodies and fervent car fans.
The Street Food Awards will then move across the United States, allowing food vendors in different cities to battle it out, with winners from each city heat competing for People’s Choice and Judges’ Favorite at the final round back in Los Angeles in November 2024 in the USA Street Foods Champion Cook-off. The events will continue throughout 2024, including Austin and New York. Other cities may be added throughout the year.
“My dream – when I launched the British Street Food Awards back in 2010 – was to bring this competition to the US. My first encounter with food trucks in America was what inspired me in the first place. So to finally celebrate the best US food trucks, and a whole way of eating that cities from coast to coast have gifted to the world, is a very special feeling,” said Richard Johnson.
This event will be co-hosted by Food Fleet, one of the premier mobile food solutions companies in the country. Founded by chef Jeff Mora, Food Fleet provides support for events of all sizes, including the LA Auto Show itself, ensuring visitors are served fresh, tasty food during the busiest days.
Visitors purchasing tickets to the LA Auto Show on November 18-19 will automatically be entitled to enter the Street Food Awards, taking place on the campus of the LA Convention Center. People wishing to only attend the Street Food Awards are able to purchase separate $5 tickets using the information below.
Visitors to the Street Food Awards will be able to purchase the food items being judged from each vendor. Sample packs can also be purchased for $20. The packs entitle attendees to obtain samples from three vendors and any number of sample packs can be purchased. A percentage of each sample pack purchase will go towards two organizations being supported by the Street Food Awards. These include Wave Foundation (thewavenw.org), which supports sustainable, equitable and resilient food systems, and Streets International (streetsinternational.org), a social enterprise providing culinary training to at-risk youth. Please visit usastreetfoodawards.com for the most up-to-date information.
Food fans wishing to attend the USA Street Food Awards can purchase tickets and sample packs in advance at laautoshow.com/tickets. Anybody who holds a ticket for the LA Auto Show on November 18-19 will automatically receive access to the Street Food Awards.
The 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show will be cashless. All tickets can be purchased online at laautoshow.com/tickets with a credit card or bank card, and will include complimentary admission to the USA Street Food Awards on the relevant days.