It all started with the ice cream man. As soon as his jingle tickled the air, kids would come running for a cool treat. Although the scene surrounding New York's food trucks may not be as serene—car horns blaring, sidewalks bustling—each story ends just as tastily. But while meals on wheels were once limited to popsicles and pre-wrapped snacks, today's trucks go beyond the freezer to serve hot breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes, all freshly prepared in the back as drivers crisscross the city.
New York Times - Lauded Lobster Rolls
Imbued with “flavor that only fall ocean brings,” according to The New York Times, Red Hook Lobster Pound’s rolls taste authentic because the meat is deployed fresh from Maine within hours of being plucked from the ocean. Chefs glaze lobster with just enough homemade mayo before scooping it into a toasted bun. Schedule.
Mom-Made Tzatziki Sauce
Brothers Franky and Nick point to something unexpected when asked what Uncle Gussy’s specialty is: the tzatziki sauce. Their mother—a time-honored cook of all things Greek—whips up the sauce for their mobile restaurant, which pairs perfectly with her gyro meat, chicken, pork, and lamb.
Sophisticated flavors—spicy ginger, tangy citrus, green and black tea—meet one of childhood’s most revered treats at Kelvin Natural Slush Co. Staffers layer pureed fruit, such as white peaches, pears, and acai, into the cool beverages, which are made with all-natural ingredients. Schedule.
Indian Crepes Gone Vegan
A vegan himself, NY Dosas’ owner Thiru Kumar decided early on to do what he knew best. His menu—inspired by his own Sri Lankan upbringing—includes South Indian-style crepes, or dosas, which he stuffs with curried potatoes and vegetables and serves with spicy lentil soup and cool coconut chutney.
Artisan Grilled Cheese
When New York Times reporter Ligaya Mishan reviewed Food Freaks, she demanded that readers show a little respect: “Let us bow to the impeccably proportioned sandwich of short rib, Gruyere, and blackberry jam.” Noticeably absent from the menu is American cheese, tastefully replaced with choices including gouda and fontinella. Schedule.
Cotton Candy-Flavored Kettle Corn
“You won’t see this kind of corn in a movie theater,” declared Food Network host Marc Summers on his show, “Unwrapped”. Kettle Corn NYC’s owner Ken Nercessian stirs kernels and toppings inside of a 500-degree kettle, infusing batches with flavors such as cotton candy, chili lime, and cajun BBQ. Schedule.
Al Roker sampled the BBQ pork-covered waffle on The Today Show, but Wafels & Dinges’ menu favors sweets over savories. Toppings—or dinges—include nutella, whipped cream, and strawberries to go with waffles so tasty that Zagat picked Wafels & Dinges as the city’s best food truck in 2010. Schedule.
Eggs and Homemade Chorizo
4 a.m. When the rest of the city is just opening its bleary eyes, brother-and-sister team Arturo and Maribel Macedo are doing some of their best work, incorporating homemade chorizo into scrambles, tacos, and sandwiches that they dole out at the corner of Park Avenue and 52nd Street on most days.
Food Network’s Best Cupcake
Months of scouting bakers and sampling recipes helped Cupcakestop’s owner Lev Ekster curate a list of 54 cupcake flavors, including pina colada, French toast with bacon, and red velvet. The latter beat out a neighboring bakery to win the title of “best cupcake” on a 2010 episode of “Food Feuds.” Locations.
Fall-off-the-bone oxtail. Jerk chicken spiced just right. Sweet yams to balance out savory meats. Veronica Julien has her Trinidadian recipes down to a delectable science, which explains the throngs of locals who flock to her otherwise unassuming chrome food cart on Front Street.