Street Food of New York City

New York City, US

One of the reasons we love New York City is its abundance of street food.

It seems that eating out in New York for lunch can be as simple as going out of your office to the nearest sidewalk. Which is a far cry from what Jack and I had to do in our previous working lives – get in a car and drive during our lunchbreak.

Food trucks can found lining the streets around office buildings, parks, and busy intersections selling everything from meat-on-a-stick to Mongolian BBQ to Belgian waffles. Things that you don’t normally considered as ‘street food’.

This cupcake and milkshake food cart can be found outside of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Even though the cupcakes are a little too rich (apparently there is such a thing), the milkshakes are to die for.

Cupcake and Milkshake food cart in New York City
Cupcake and Milkshake food cart in New York City

Dumplings make for a perfect snack, don’t you agree? They’re bite-sized, easily held in hands, and delicious too. Try the shrimp dumpling or the edamame ones. They’re good, but for $1 a dumpling, you expect them to be good.

Rickshaw dumpling food truck in New York
Food truck selling dumplings outside of an Apple Store in Chelsea
A typical New York Street vendor
A typical New York Street vendor - A Strakey

I think New York is probably one of the few cities in the world where a Belgian Waffle sold from a food truck sets you back $5. Rumor has it it’s delicious, and based on the long line of people we saw waiting for their waffles, it must be. We didn’t try.

Belgian waffle food truck in New York City

The options are unlimited. Each time we venture out we’d come across yet another food truck selling something we’d never seen before. There’s even a tour that takes you to all the wonderful and edible stuff available on the streets New York City (unfortunately, we didn’t know about this before).

And if you want to do it yourself, here’s a list that can help you find these trucks yourself. Or, even better – just walk around the city. You’re bound to come across one. Or 10.

Being New York City, these food might be served on the street but they’re not cheap and they pale in comparison with the variety and freshness of sidewalk food in South East Asian countries. Regardless, there’s something to be said about rubbing elbows with business men in suits over a $5 falafel over rice plate, eating them standing by a trashcan on the sidewalk, and watching the rest of the world go by in an excited rush.

We only wish that one day our most favorite dishes: Indian and Thai would be just as easily available – you know, say out of a food truck parked in our driveway. Then life would be just the one step closer to being complete.

Do you ever wish that food could be served out of a truck in your hometown?


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24 Replies to “Street Food of New York City”

  1. new york is my hometown 🙂 i have been hearing from many friends that the whole food truck craze is getting a bit out of hand. there are so many food trucks roaming nyc these days that there's going to be a backlash at some point i reckon!
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  2. I shudder at the food in this item. For the most part. Like a great deal of American food, it is very entertaining but not very good for you. I would even be wary of the Chinese food with the amount of Americanised versions you find there. I wouldn't want to go out there at 3 in the am to eat junk food, no matter how "ma and pa" it is dressed up to be.

  3. Wow, you visited quite a few food trucks in NYC! I love Waffles & Dinges, but another great one is Uncle Gussy's! Awesome Greek food, and the lamb – yum! Food trucks are popping up all over the place these days, so I'm sure every town will have them soon.

  4. In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, I’m running a post link-up on my blog so the world remembers all the amazing things there still are to do and see in New York State. I would love if you would join in by linking this article!

  5. I wish I had the Cake and Shake and dumpling food cart outside my residence here in Bucharest! I haven't had a good dumpling since goodness-knows-when!

  6. Yum!! I wish Portland would have more (good) food that comes in a truck. It's convenient when you're in a rush.

  7. Australia doesn't do food carts and it makes me so sad. I got used to being able to find them on virtually every street in South Korea – but we've got ridiculously strict health codes that basically make running a roadside stall impossible.

    We're totally missing out.

    1. Ooooh, that sucks! Maybe they haven't realised that there are many countries with roadside stalls whose citizens don't end up with awful food borne diseases?

  8. Funny. I saw that rickshaw dumpling guy create his business on True Life on MTV. I haven't made it back to NYC since the food cart/truck craze started. I wish I had a month there just to try all of them! Q & I did a food tour ourself in Greenwich, it was was pretty great and even stopped by the old 'Friends' building.

  9. Great photos! I remembered I come home really late from work like 3am in the morning and I still can find chicken rice truck outside my apartment.

  10. We loved all the food trucks in NYC – the food is great, it's much quicker than sitting down in a restaurant and pretty cheap :)Have to make sure to try a milkshake at the Cupcake and Milkshake food truck next time we're in town 🙂

  11. Thank you for letting people know about our food cart tours! We're sorry we didn't have the opportunity to host you on the tour, but hope to do so the next time you're here. Thanks again and happy travels!

  12. I'll have to check this out the next time I'm in NYC. Since I barely know my way around, the tour sounds like a neat option. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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