New York City is full of amazing restaurants, and you can choose from various types of cuisines and enjoy truly amazing service and luxury. But New Yorkers can eat amazing food without stepping into a high class restaurant as there are hundreds of street food vendors selling some of the best dishes this city has to offer.
These days, hot dogs are not what comes to mind when people think NYC street food, but gourmet global cuisine made by professionals for you enjoyment.
In the mood for some good lobster rolls?
Just track down Red Hook Lobster Pound’s food truck, one of the best food trucks in NYC which offers you good, quality seafood fresh and straight from Maine. One roll costs $16, which is quite an expensive meal for a food truck, but the food is so good that despite the price, around 400 people buy their meal here each day. Believe us, when you see Big Red (the trucks cute nickname) don’t skip the opportunity to grab your meal on the go, you won’t regret it.
The rolls are served cold with mayonnaise if you choose the Maine-style, but you can also have them Connecticut-style and eat them warm with butter and lemon (my personal favorite). Each of the rolls is filled with around 100 grams of grade-A Maine lobster.
If you didn’t know what lumpia is – it is a dish consisting of crispy spring rolls inspired by Filipino cuisine. Recently, Lumpia Shack became a small restaurant made of brick and mortar and they abandoned the idea of street vending, but it remained at the same location where it originated as a food cart.
The rolls are made of ground pork from local sources, roasted duck or truffled adobo mushrooms, and each is rolled by hand and deep fried. What differentiates Lumpia Shack from other street vendors is that the food can actually measure up to any high class restaurant. The food is always well arranged on a tray and garnished with pickled veggies and homemade sauce.
Solber Pupusas (Our personal favorite)
This street food cart has recently won a Vendy Award, and the food is so good that even the famous professional chefs, such as Martha Stewart and Anthony Bourdain, love eating there.
The owners of this place are a married couple whose passion for cooking is inspirational, and they prepare their studded Salvadorian corn tortillas with such enjoyment that is is a pleasure even to watch your food being made. They have been making these tortillas in their small pupuseria for over 15 years, and more than 600 people come and buy at least one each day.
Their most famous dish is served on banana leaves with tangy slaw, covered with 2 pupusas, tangy curtido, pickled jalapenos, sour cream and tomato sauce.
Located on the corner of 53rd Street and Park Avenue, King of Falafel & Shawarma is really the KING, which will be clear to you once you see how long the line of people waiting to get their food is. When there is a huge line to wait in, you know that the food is amazing.
In 2010, this small street food cart received the Vendy Award for New York’s Best Street Food.
Today, there are two carts selling this famous food and people are more interested than ever. Freddy’s Junior (chicken, kefta and onion over basmati rice with tahini and hot sauce) is something you must try. My mouth is watering just by thinking about it!
When you think about Mexican food in New York City, you probably don’t consider it attractive ‘cause for a long time there wasn’t a good Mexican place. However, recently the Mexican food scene has become much better, mostly thanks to Calexico.
Calexico started out in 2006 as one food cart in Soho and it was one of the first Mexican food carts in NYC. Since then, thanks to their amazing food, the business flourished and now there are several Calexico carts and a few brick-and-mortar places all around the city.
When it comes to their menu, go for the traditional items – burritos filled with beer-battered fish, beans and rice, topped with Monterey Jack cheese, or soft corn tacos with slow-cooked chipotle pork and jalapeno cheddar grits.