Mobile eateries and New York go together like Paris and cafés, like Dublin and pubs, like London and tea rooms. While the food truck craze has been raging through the United States in recent years, NYC has been on the (literal) bandwagon ever since the conception of food on wheels, originating with the first hot dog cart to grace Coney Island. There's no cheaper, more satisfying way to fulfill your hunger and truly feel like a Big Apple city slicker than by picking up a hot dog slathered in ketchup and mayonnaise from one of the hundreds of street vendors across the city…
But while the classic hot dog from the oft' maligned, unfortunately dubbed "roach coaches" will always be close to a New Yorker's heart, NYC is also leading the curve in innovative, gourmet street food. These food trucks are an inexpensive antidote to the over-priced and over-crowded destination restaurants in the city. Of course, as with everything in New York, there's a vast assortment to choose from. To guide you down the busy, multi-cultural culinary streets of New York, New York we've compiled the top five New York food truck recommendations.
Kids and big kids alike love a good slushie on a hot day. But kids' parents don't love the hyperactivity brought on by all that nasty sugar and those sneaky additives, and big kids don't like the repercussions for their waistline. So that's where the savior that is Kelvin Natural Slush Co. comes in. Road-side slushies are an inspired idea, and Kelvin's tea, citrus or ginger-based ice drinks, with delightful mix-and-match options on the extra flavors (ginger and mint is a favorite) are the perfect remedy when NYC's pavements start radiating heat. Hit up Kelvin's website to discover the elusive truck's next stop.
Rickshaw Dumpling Bars are a fixture on the New York food scene and their enterprising mobile truck has a dedicated following in itself. The dumpling truck offers sizeable dumplings stuffed with your choice of meat, veggies and all sorts of delicious east-Asian flavors like Thai basil and Chinese chive. For less than $8 you'll get six of these satisfying creations plus a crisp, fresh salad. The soy or peanut dipping sauces make a delightful (if logistically inconvenient on the go) addition to this cheap, cheerful and relatively healthy street cuisine.
The Korean burrito/taco is already a food truck staple and Korilla BBQ is NY’s champion of the trade. Korean and Mexican fusion together perfectly as easy finger food-style fare in the form wraps, salad bowls or rice bowls packed with intense Korean flavors. The wraps filled with sticky rice and your choice of meat or tofu absorb the accompanying spices and your selected sauces perfectly for a gratifying flavor explosion. You’ll get all of that plus service with a smile for under $10.
Easy-to-handle Taiwanese food is the order of the day at Bian Dang. Even the less adventurous foodies can enjoy the simple joy of a fried chicken, rice and meat sauce plate coming together perfectly. The dumplings are a little heavy, not to everyone’s taste, but the pork sauce is a menu highlight so good you’ll never want to eat rice without it again. You can order extra, and you probably will. In an unusually considerate move for a food truck, customers can call ahead in the morning to order their "Taiwanese lunch box", gaining busy New Yorkers a precious few extra minutes on their lunch hour.
If the idea of vegan food has you running for the nearest barbecue joint, The Cinnamon Snail will obliterate your bias and outdo your expectations. With an organic and always seasonal menu, the cuisine is so gourmet and the options so extensive that the carnivores among us will soon forget they ever needed meat or dairy. The Snail’s breakfast choices are delicious and satisfying – the hazelnut pancakes with pine nut butter, cranberries and ginger stout syrup are a stand-out – while the sandwiches and burgers are packed so full of spices, herbs and sweet vegetables that you’ll barely have room to try sample the bewildering selection of international-style pastries for dessert.