Believe it or not the most popular question I receive in my inbox from people visiting New York (or who have just moved here) is not about the typical tourist attractions. Instead people want to know where to get their hands on delicious food without breaking the bank.
While New York is filled with top notch and expensive places to eat, it is also home to a wide selection of some of the most mouth watering food trucks and street food of any major U.S. city. Here is your guide on what to eat and where to eat it around New York.
Street Sweets: Have a sweet tooth? Great then you will love this mobile bakery that offers up sweet and savory items such as brownies, cupcakes, muffins, croissants and quiche. Wash it all down with a freshly brewed cup of coffee or cool off with an iced tea. All ingredients use organic milk, raw sugar and fair-trade coffee beans. Take a peak inside and check out the beautiful (and spotless) kitchen on wheels. (@StreetSweets)
The Jamaican Dutchy: This 2009 Vendy Award Finalists prepares breakfast items like banana oatmeal and corn meal, but it is the mouth scorching jerk chicken that keeps people coming back for more. Other must taste items include pumpkin soup, sweet & sour chicken and peppered steak. (@JamaicanDutchy)
Go Burger: I must admit that yours truly fashions himself as a bit of a burger addict. So when I saw Go Burger in the distance one day while wandering the streets of New York City, I had to stop by and indulge. You can’t go wrong with the Classic with cheese, which is a 5oz. grilled certified black Angus beef burger topped with tomato, red onion, iceberg lettuce & pickles. Not worried about your waistline? Then get one of their killer milkshakes to go. (@GoBurger)
Big Gay Ice Cream Truck: Described by The Village Voice as “a cross between Mister Softee and Mario Batali”, this truck offers up some outstanding soft served ice cream with such memorable names as Salty Pimp (Vanilla Ice Cream, Dulce de Leche, Sea Salt with a Chocolate Dip), Bea Arthur (Dulce de Leche and Crushed Nilla Wafers) and my favorite the Belgian Slipwich (Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate Cartwheel Cookies and Nutella). (@biggayicecream)
Rickshaw Dumpling Truck: Quick to order, tasty and affordable, who doesn’t love a dumpling? Their menu includes such deliciousness as pork and Chinese chive with soy sesame dip and sides like miso soup (which makes me so happy when I order it). (@RickshawTruck)
Asia Dog: While I love me some Nathan’s Famous and Gray’s Papaya, there is just something downright awesome about this hot dog serving food truck that just rocks. They take your everyday “dawg” and spruce it up with some Asian toppings like kimchi and seaweed flakes, Japanese curry and homemade kimchi apples and Asian sesame slaw. (@AsiaDogNYC)
Calexico Carne Asada Cart: They won the 2008 Vendy Awards, an annual street food contest held in New York and their restaurant was voted best new Mexican joint in New York. Recent specials have included pork rib & pork belly in a chili de arbol & coconut sauce. (@CalexicoCart)
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream: You think you know dessert? You aint see nuttin’ yet my friends. This is some serious ice cream that is made from the finest ingredients like fresh hormone free milk and cream, cane sugar and free of crap like corn syrup. Flavors you can gobble up on a hot New York City day include coffee, peppermint & chip, ginger, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. (@VLAIC)
Papa Perrone’s: Mamma mia this Italian food is mouth watering and belly filling. Although Papa Perrone’s has some outstanding items on the menu like freshly made meatballs, baked ziti and chicken parm heroes, they are best known for their insanely addictive rice balls. Can’t go wrong with the three cheese rice ball that comes with ricotta, Mozzarella and pecorino romano cheese. (@PapaPerrone)
Wafels & Dinges: Another sweet treat on wheels food truck is Wafels & Dinges. This bright yellow truck offers up tasty wafels and plenty of dinges (aka toppings) to choose from. Toppings cost $1 each, so I highly recommend paying an extra $2 for the WMD (Wafel of Massive Deliciousness). This allows you to pile on as many toppings as you like. Some of the goodies you can add on include nutella, dulce de leche, Belgian chocolate fudge and whipped cream. (@waffletruck)
Hallo Berlin: I like German food…a lot. Wienerwurst, alpenwurst, bockwurst, bratwurst, currywurst and many more of the best wurst in New York City are here. Order up a side of German potato salad and you’re set. While this food stand will re-open in the fall of 2010, you can still enjoy some German fare at their various other locations around Manhattan.
Eddie’s Pizza: It is like a delicious dream come true. Pizza on wheels. Eddie’s has been a staple of nearby New Hyde Park, New York for over 60 years. After years of request to take the dough,sauce and cheese on the road, Eddie’s decided to pack up and start driving around the Big Apple with pies in tow. Check out Eddie’s Special Bar Pie which is a 10″ pizza topped with sausage, pepperoni, meatballs, mushroom, peppers and onions. Drool. (@EddiesPizzaNY)
Mud Truck: If there is one thing that I like almost as much as pizza, it is coffee! Let me rephrase that – good coffee. Forget ordering up some overpriced crappa-frappa-latte at the big chains and look for the orange truck full of tasty “mud.” With such great flavors like Hippie Mud Blend (light n’ crisp roast), Mud Truck Blend (medium roast) and Mud Mojo Blend (dark espresso roast), I sometimes wish this truck was parked outside my apartment every morning on my way to work.
The Treats Truck: Yet another truck filled with tempting and tasty treats. Their motto is “Not too fancy, always delicious” and that is true. Indulge on some fresh cookies and moist brownies. Wash it all down with some organic milk or soy milk. (@TheTreatsTruck)
Schnitzel and Things: Don’t know what schnitzel is but curious to try it anyway? Well before you hunt down this food truck and order something that is fun to say, here is a description from Schnitzel and Things website: “Schnitzel is a hand pounded, lightly breaded thin cutlet fried to golden perfection.” I’m sold. Schnitzel comes in cod, chicken and pork varieties and I highly recommend making sure you get that side of Austrian potato salad. Delicious! (@schnitzeltruck)
Halal Cart: No food cart list would be complete without easily the most popular of them all. Located on 53rd and 6th, Halal Cart is home to the late night crowd that sometimes extends down the street. Order a gyro, pour on the white sauce, add a little hot sauce, take a big bite, wait a few seconds and enjoy food ecstasy. Stay nearby at the Hilton New York or the Warwick New York Hotel. Note: Halal Cart is only open 7:30pm-4am, during the day another licensed food cart works the same location.
Of course there are many, many more food trucks and street food around the Big Apple. If you do not see your favorite listed here, feel free to leave a comment and add them to the list.