Looking for new places to grab a quick and economical bite to eat in the Big Apple? Street food in NYC has always been a big part of the city’s culture. Rich or broke, young or old, there can’t be many New Yorkers that wouldn’t readily agree to a hot dog.
The tricky thing about food carts, however, is that they’re constantly on the move. So, if you like one, you’d better save their phone number!
To help you keep track, we’ve pinned down the current locations of all the best street food vendors in NYC. You could be a newbie to New York or a native, looking for that one food cart you loved but lost. Whatever the case may be, the food trucks on this list will not disappoint you!
Take a look below.
1. NY Dosas
Located in Washington Square Park, this food cart operates from 11am – 3pm every day except Sundays. It serves authentic South Indian food so good that it’s even got its own Wikipedia page.
The cart is owned and run by just one man, Thiru Kumar, who’s basically a local celebrity. And he makes some of the best Indian street food in NYC. The dosas (a savory, Indian-style crepe) and samosas are its most popular items, highly sought-after by college students.
The dosas are served with sambhar and coconut chutney. And unlike a lot of street food in NYC, all the food is fully vegan and gluten-free. After finishing your mouthwatering meal, you can pay by either cash or Venmo.
2. Mom’s Momo
Mom’s Momo serves some of the most famous street food in New York. It’s located in Jackson Heights and serves traditional Tibetan cuisine. Momos are steamed flour dumplings, usually filled with meat or vegetables, and served with spicy schezwan sauce. As far as street food in NYC goes, there aren’t many carts that serve momos like this!
Mom’s doesn’t have a large menu, which we feel adds to its appeal. They serve a select few dishes that will leave you licking your fingers off. One review states, “The dumplings were a form of perfection never before realized on this planet.” Need we say more?
So forget the FOMO and just try these momos. For regular updates, you can follow their Instagram page. And, if Jackson Heights is too far, you can check out their second truck in Queens Boulevard, Sunnyside.
3. Ling’s Fresh Made Sweet Mini Cakes
Operating since 1982, Ling’s serves some of the best Manhattan street food. From its name, you can probably tell that the cart serves sweet cakes. For just $1, you can buy a bag full of the original-flavored fried cakes. Their fluffiness makes it super easy for you to finish them off without much help!
While these cakes are also served with multiple condiments, Ling’s regulars suggest eating them as they are. So, for some of the lightest and sweetest street food in NYC, give Ling’s shot.
4. Kwik Meal Kart
Kwik Meal is owned and run by former Russian Tea Room chef, Muhammed Rahman. The most talked-about and sought-after meal at this Manhattan street food cart is its marinated lamb.
The lamb is marinated overnight in multiple spices, yogurt, and green papaya. Then it’s served up in a slice of pitta bread or over a plate of basmati rice. We think it’s some of the tastiest street food in NYC.
Is your mouth watering yet? The cart’s owner is also quite a treat, serving up fun conversations along with his food. Catch this famous food cart on the 6th Avenue of Manhattan and follow their Facebook page for more updates!
5. The Halal Guys
The Halal Guys is a chain of street food carts operating across New York City. Considering the lawsuits they’ve had to file on various impersonators, they’re definitely serving the most famous street food in NYC.
The original Halal Guys have been around since 1990 and have an ever-increasing fanbase. As suggested by many reviews, their white sauce is a definite must with whatever dish you choose.
These guys are so popular that they have their own website, as well as an app! They also offer the option to start a franchise, if you’re interested in that. You can find the cart nearest to you using the website’s location finder.
6. Indian King Biryani House
Indian King Biryani House, as its name might suggest, serves up some of the best Indian street food in NYC. As you can see from the picture, this food cart has got quite a vast menu. That doesn’t make its food any less amazing, however.
On the contrary, the chicken biryani served here is a foodie favorite, with meat that’s super tender and well spiced. Besides that, some other popular dishes are chicken tikka, kati rolls, and samosa.
For some of the spiciest and best street food in NYC, catch Indian King Biryani House on Broadway. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any social media handles for this one.
Would a street food guide really be complete without some Mexican food? We think not. Birria-Landia is mostly known for its eponymous dish birria. It is a traditional Mexican stew made using a combination of spices.
Besides that, Birria-Landia is also quite popular for its tacos and mulita. This food truck has got some of the tastiest Mexican street food in NYC. It’s also one of the very few places in the city that actually serves birria.
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