During the height of the L.A. food truck craze a few years ago, another truck offering international cuisine seemed to roll out every week. There were two Tunisian trucks (for a hot second), Argentine trucks, a Cuban truck, and even Italian food trucks. Some aimed to serve traditional cuisine, while others offered dishes that barely representing their nation’s food.
In the Mexican food truck scene, however, you would only find trucks serving their own community’s cuisine, whether that be authentic or Mexican-American style. That was until I came across the Antojitos Chapines food truck, L.A.‘s first Guatemalan food truck that’s doing authentic dishes like pepian (pumpkin seed based dish), hilachas (stewed meat and potatoes) and pacayas (egg-battered bamboo shoots). The truck is parked on Alvarado just south of 8th Street, competing with the several Guatemalan street vendors that serve traditional food during the week.
Weekdays are the best time to sample the daily specials at Antojitos Chapines for hearty soups like caldo de gallina (hen soup), frijoles colorados (red beans), or a fried chicken knock-off plate from the famous Guatemalan export— fast food chain Pollo Campero. When the whistle blows, all the hard working chapines (term of affection for Guatemalans) head to 8th and Alvarado looking for a delicious, affordable meal and now they can upgrade from shopping carts to a bright yellow food truck.