Long gone are the days when “streetfood” was a dirty word in New York and the only thing you could find to eat on the corner was a “dirty water dog” (that’s what we call the inferior hotdogs cooked in a pot of hot water. Avoid at all costs!).
With each passing summer in New York City, the number of food trucks is growing and the gourmet options for on-the-go eaters are enormous! We’ve compiled a few of our favorite food trucks for you to sample this summer in NYC, but please feel free to add to our list by posting to the comments at the bottom!
• The Rickshaw Dumpling Truck offers an abbreviated version of the popular restaurant’s mainstays. Choose from three different kinds of dumplings: Pork and Chive with Soy Sesame Dip, Chicken and Thai Basil with Spicy Peanut Dip, and Vegetarian Edamame dumplings ($6 for six dumplings), plus sides that include miso soup and Asian green salad ($3 each). With three trucks, it’s not uncommon to find Rickshaw Dumplings around the most popular destinations in NYC: look near the World Financial Center at the 9/11 Memorial, or on the corner of 40th Street and Park Avenue, just two blocks south of Grand Central Terminal.
- Korean barbecue and everyone’s favorite Mexican staple live happily ever after in the glorious union that is the Kimchi Taco. This insanely popular food truck serves up four different versions of its signature taco topped with that spicy Korean condiment made from fermented cabbage: Grilled Korean Barbecue Short Rib, Spicy Seared Pork, Spicy Grilled Chicken, and Tofu Edamame Falafel. Choose three for $7, and add a side for just $3 (Spicy Rice Cake or Chips and Beans). Look for the Kimchi Taco Truck in Midtown Manhattan or SoHo during the lunch hour. It’s often parked a block north of the Museum of Modern Art.
- There’s no need for tinkling music to lure ice cream-lovers to Coolhaus, a favorite in New York for its thick ice cream sandwiches built with homemade cookies and gourmet ice cream. First choose your cookie (the selection includes peanut butter, double-chocolate, Snickerdoodle and vegan ginger molasses, among others), and then your ice cream. At $5 a pop, they may seem pricey, but these ice cream sandwiches are just as good as any gourmet dessert you can find in this city. Among the outstanding ice cream flavors: Green Tea, Chocolate Chipotle, and Pear Vanilla Sorbet. The Coolhaus Truck can often be spotted near Union Square or by the Flatiron Building in Midtown Manhattan. It’s also a staple at special events around the city.
- Grilled Cheese sandwiches are also seeing a resurgence this summer, as that childhood favorite gets a gourmet makeover at the Gorilla Cheese Truck. With indulgent combinations like Smoked Gouda with Barbecued Pulled Pork ($8), these sandwiches are anything but simple. (But the sides are: Tater Tots, Tomato Soup and Mac & Cheese are just like mom used to make!). And for dessert: S’mores. (What else?) Look for the Gorilla Cheese Truck parked by the World Financial Center or in SoHo.
While many NYC food trucks are nomadic, parking each day in different spots around the city, there are a few places you can be sure to find the food truck love this summer:
- Central Park is once again hosting its own food truck court, complete with outdoor seating at the former Tavern on the Green restaurant (located near the Bike and Roll rental kiosk on the west side of the park at 66th Street). Depending on the day of the week, you’ll find two to four food trucks parked in the courtyard area. Pera Turkish Taco Truck sells uncommonly good tacos like Lavender & Honey Roasted Chicken Tacos, and even beer, wine and sangria. Parked nearby is the Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream truck, which serves exceptional ice cream made from locally sourced ingredients, as well as iced coffees made with Intelligentsia Coffee.
- Many of New York’s favorite food truck vendors will also once again have outposts on the High Line this summer. This new elevated park, built on an old freight rail line, spans more than 15 city blocks, from 30th Street in Midtown Manhattan to the fashionable Meatpacking District downtown. A popular Sunday afternoon destination, the High line is perfect for both people-watching and plunking yourself down on a bench to enjoy some of the city’s most inventive street food and sweet treats. Try some authentic Mexican food at the Taco Truck, where the menu includes Carnitas Michoacan Tacos, Pollo Asado Torta, and La Unica Salad. Or savor a cup of artisanal gelato from L’Arte del Gelato, which offers both classic Italian flavors such as Stracciatella, and delicious twists like Valrhona chocolate.