Taco trucks (pejoratively or lovingly called "roach coaches") are a roadside fixture in California towns with a sizable Hispanic population, and one of the most enduring types of food trucks around. They offer food that is extremely fresh and frequently more delicious than that found in "sit-down" restaurants. Lunchtime at a handy construction site may be one's only chance to sample taco truck fare in Davis. Luckily, the excellent El Paisano Taco Truck and other trucks are close by in Woodland.

But not just in Woodland!

  • On weekdays, between noon and 12:30 P.M, South Davis residents are mysteriously exposed to the Mexican Hat dance. Supposedly its emanating from a mobile food service affectionately known as the Roach Coach. This theory explains why the Mexican Hat Dance has a Doppler-like quality to it.
  • On weekdays one usually hits up Hibbert lumber between 6:30-8 am, go hat dance —StevenDaubert
  • There is also one on the way into Winters — don't know what its name is, or if it has one. Maybe its on Putah Creek Road by the bar next to the bridge into town. It was a few years ago though the last time I stopped there. Something like it appears on the google maps aerial/satellite photo. When I went there, I got a steak burrito and can of coke, and they were quite good. -NS No, that's a different one — the one I was thinking about is here. If you bike or drive into Winters on Russell Boulevard from Davis, which turns into E Grant Rd in Winters, it will be on your left as you proceed towards the center of town. —cp
  • On weekdays around 1, the Four Star Catering truck appears next to the University Extension Center, near the student farm, rec pool, and PRB.
  • See also Food Trucks for non-Mexican fare.


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The car dealerships along the 'strip' in South Davis are visited by the roach coach Fri-Sun around 9ish IIRC. As a former employee of Hanlee's, I've eaten my fair share of roach coach food. My recommendations are: pretty much everything is very edible if not "good", but stay away from the potato products (fries, hash browns) as they're unwaveringly soggy. Pick up the "5-Speed" burrito if you can; it's very popular and a damn good burrito. —DomenicSantangelo

2005-05-26 23:10:41   What part of South Davis? I know it used to stop at the PSL Building, but I don't know if it still does. DaVinci Court Apartments would be my second guess, being a construction site. —JessicaLuedtke

2005-05-26 23:12:45   Ha ha, we have one in good ole Vacaville too! —MichelleAccurso

2005-05-27 00:59:02   I hear it in near the police station, at Greystone Apts.CraigBrozinsky

2005-05-27 08:43:56   I love those mobile lunch counters! They almost always have the best taquitos at rock bottom prices. I think the tune is fairly standard, at least for the ones that stop at work sites; there are probably a few vendors around town. —AlphaDog

2005-05-27 09:51:49   i'd like to link this page to restaurants, sandwiches, or something else. if anyone has eaten at the one in Davis, please link it appropriately. —CraigBrozinsky

2005-05-27 13:38:44   I know there's one called "Five Star Catering" or something like that, but it's run by an asian woman who sells generic roach coach food. I don't think it plays the mexican hat dance. There are also plenty of roach coaches in woodland.—ArlenAbraham

  • My favorite taco truck in Woodland is the one on West Main (near Road 98) in front of the True Value. They have good lengua tacos and their tortas are pretty good too. They also serve burritos, but I haven't tried them. You can also ask them for rice and beans, which aren't on the "menu" on the side of the truck (they may or may not charge you). Last time I went, tacos were $1, burritos and tortas $4 each. As for the Five Star taco truck that comes by campus, they're subcontracted or something through Sodexho, who I believe has the lock on campus food (dunno what kind of deal the CoHo has worked out, but that's what my understanding is). They're always by the Extension Center near the rec pool, where a lot of the exchange students hang out. —AliceCheng

2005-05-28 08:47:52   Used to hear these every single day in the dorms, when they were building the three new segundo buildings. Also hear them (currently) on Anderson Road, where they are renovating Sycamore Lane Apartments or whatever it is they're called. —ES

2005-07-20 11:04:08   I have no information to impart other than the best lunches are generally from the roach coach. —RocksandDirt

2005-08-12 19:01:24   I used to work at Hanlees and University Honda, so I'm experienced in most of the fare sold by this roach coach Domenic speaks of. I have had the 5-speed burrito, and it's lukewarm and seemd to be half-cooked. It is popular, but not among the discriminating. It's worth paying double for a Guadalajara burrito (if your closer will let you take a long enough break!). —RickEle

  • You could do it if your closer takes breaks from yelling at you long enough to sleep/smoke pot in the "conference room"... they usually do. —dom

2005-12-08 18:07:43   Here is a hint. Where there's construction workers, there will always be a roach coach nearby. America is being built by workers fueled on roach coach food. WHATS THAT SMELL?? —DudeNude

2007-01-31 19:08:19   Often a 'nice' one appears around lunchtime by the UC Extension buildings near Student Farm, just west of the parking for the Rec Pool. —NotTires

2007-12-30 19:15:23   I love the one that comes to the Unitrans Garage every morning. It's highly tasty and most definitely plays the "Mexican Hat Dance." All of the shop personnel and most other people at the Pad take a break when it comes around. —TracyPerkins

2010-07-15 11:25:52   Does anyone have more current info on trucks, especially on or around campus? Other than Shah's Halal Food, of course. —IAmNewHere

"2011-06-04 13:37:34"   No cucarachas por favor. Especialmente los que falta marijuana para fumar!!! —RaoulDuke