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Best Street Food?????

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  • downndirty Jan 11, 2006 01:00 PM
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I just waited 1/2 hour for bratwurst and weisswurst at the wurst cart on 54th and 5th. I don't know if I'd wait that long again, but the food was great!!!

What are some other highly reccomended street vendors????

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  1. Daisy May's BBQ Cart. The brisket, pulled pork and chili are all amazing, as is the sweet tea with fresh mint served in a mason jar. There are several locations.

    3 Replies
    1. re: David b

      The sweet tea is not served in a mason jar at the Chili carts. It is served in a quart sized Chinese soup container.

      1. re: ES

        Actually, at the cart on 49th and Park I've always been given a mason jar to go.

        1. re: David B

          I heard that cart is gone until spring..have you seen it lately?

    2. Halal Food cart on the SW corner of 53rd and 8th after 8pm. For a dollar more they give you extra meat (might as well take it after standing in a half block long line).

      1 Reply
      1. re: welle

        Thought that cart is on 6th Avenue?

      2. The lovely church of Our Lady of Guadalupe on 14th between 8th and 9th, features a couple of carts oudside on Sunday mornings. They serve tamales and frijoles and some odd looking things. I've tried them all over the last six months, and they're all good, particularly when the wind is whistling down off the river.

        Very guilt-inducing (how Catholic is that?!), to sneak a snack en route to brunch in Pastis!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Sean Dell

          I think those are the best Tamales in the city. I haven't had them in a couple of years, but I used to go down there every weekend and buy a bunch stick them in the fridge an eat them several times during the week.

          1. re: centrejack

            Have you tried to freeze them?

        2. The Cheesesteak cart on Broadway and 3rd outside Tower Records makes a decent (if non-authentic) cheesesteak. They also, oddly, have good gyros.

          1. This is out of the normal midtown-daytime street food, but one evening a few weeks ago I was walking on Bowery and 3rd or 4th street and came across a vendor (Michael) who was unique. He makes wraps with multiple fresh vegetables, spices, chicken ( i think he had tofu and something else too), beans, rice. Everything was really fresh and well seasoned - a wrap which seemed to weigh 2 pounds was $5 or $6. He gets there around 6 pm 6 nights a week.

            1. I've been trying to accumulate a list of street vendors but I'm not sure what the hours the vendors are open. Could posters include the days of the week and times the vendors are selling their food? Coming from out-of-state, I want to make sure I plan accordingly.

              Thanks!

              7 Replies
              1. re: bearzie

                I also forgot to mention a Crepes cart on 54th and Broadway. 8am-3pm. extensive menu of both sweet and savory crepes. There is a cart in front of MoMA as well, but these guys' are bigger better and cheaper.

                1. re: welle

                  The cart in front of MoMA is ok, nothing special..you're basically paying 5 bucks for 3 bites of average tasting crepes. I tried the nutella w/ bananas and the apple one.

                  1. re: welle

                    A true crepe cart? Not the kind that come out for street fairs? What are the average prices?

                    1. re: Nancy

                      the one on 54th and broadway has better crepes and better prices. Prices start at $2 (basic crepe, butter, sugar) and go to 3 or 4 and up to 6 (depending on toppings). sweet and savory toppings, i had one with scrambled eggs for $3 - delish.

                    2. re: welle

                      Welle, can you explain where exactly this crepe cart on Broadway is? I've stopped by a couple times now, searching each corner and the vicinity without success.

                      1. re: Spoony Bard

                        I haven't seen them in a while - I wonder if they seized to exist or just relocated. Anyone knows?

                        1. re: welle

                          There is a crepe cart on 53rd btw. 5th & 6th, near MOMA. I wonder if it's the same one...

                          http://www.midtownlunch.com

                  2. There is a food van that parks during lunchtime at 72nd (?) between York and First primarilly catering to Hospital workers. The cook sells Jamaican specialties like curried chickn, goat, jerk chicken, best pecan pie I have ever had, esoteric specialties...; she is really cooking.

                    1. Chicken or lamb and rice at the Kwik Meal cart on the SW corner at 45th St and 6th Ave. They are in place for lunch and when I asked a few years ago I was told they were there weekdays until 9pm or so, or until the food runs out.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Brian W

                        They also have a cart on the SW corner of 45th and 5th. If you like spicy food, definitely ask for some extra green hot sauce, its fantastic. I also sometimes get a hot dog from them too, they grill it and its much better than a dirty water dog.

                      2. One of my favorites is the store front in Chinatown, Mott between Bayard and Pell. The store sells frozen dumplings, pre-made turnip or taro cakes, other stuff, but you can get three large turnip cakes hot to go for $1.25. Excellent.

                        1. These aren't carts, but still awesome street food: Pommes Frites on 3rd Ave between St. Marks and 7th for Belgian french fries (great when you're at a bar and get the munchies, but don't want to pay for overpriced bar food) and Otafuku on 9th Street, between 3rd and 2nd for Japanese fast food.

                          1. Does anyone know of a cart selling roasted chestnuts? Or a soft pretzel that doesn't taste like liquid smoke and sausages?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: piccola

                              I had chestnuts ($3 bag) from cart on SE corner 54th and Fifth
                              yesterday, frest and tasty.

                            2. Allen's Falafel at Liberty Park. He's been around for at least 15 years

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Jack_

                                where is liberty park?

                                1. re: Produce Addict

                                  It's opposite the SE corner of the World Trade Center site.

                              2. I agree that Hallo Berlin (the wurst cart on 54th & 5th) is good but the wait is not worth it. Try Rafiqui's (multiple locations, but the one on 52nd & Park is my haunt) for some Lamb & Rice for lunch. It's $4.25 and delcious with white sauce. Also, not to be missed, and I'm surprised that it has eluded a mention, is the famous Chicken & Rice cart. It used to have a whole entry on Wikipedia. The cart is on 53rd & 6th Avenue from 7:30 PM until the early morning. Expect at least a 20-30 minute wait. This cart is excellent. Shockingly, after having attended college in Philadelphia, I would say that Philly far surpasses New York in terms of street food prowess. A bold statement coming from a native New Yorker. Philly has a few places where you can get a sausage, egg (4 eggs!), and cheese on a hero for $2.25! Does anyone know of breakfast carts like that in New York?

                                1. There are excellent noodles in carts in Chinatown. There is one just outside the Grand St. subway, and there used to be a good one on East Broadway outside the F train. Also, although not carts, there are countless places that serve roasted meats over rice, dumplings and buns.

                                  1. i used to be addicted to the indian food cart on 53rd and park when i worked in the area. $4 gets you a lunch box with two different veggie dishes, rice, and chapati; $5 for a lunch box with a meat and a veggie dish, rich, and chapati. the dishes change day to day. they also have samosas - and if you aren't indian, ask for the pickles and you shall receive. if you are indian, they usually just include them in the lunch box by default.

                                    1. I didn't attend the vendy's event this year, but I did manage to get one of their programs so if I remember, I can type in their list of finalists (about 40 places), surely a good place to start.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: bigjeff

                                        please do so.

                                        1. re: bigjeff

                                          Yes - I'm sure many (and many more to come) will appreciate the effort. TIA!

                                          1. re: theannerska

                                            hi all. okay, here are the 2006 Vendy Nominees:

                                            Pizza Truck, 47th Street btwn Park and Madison
                                            Hot Dog Vendor, Poly Place East of 7th Avenue, Brooklyn
                                            Grilled Chicken and Beef, NE Corner of 57th Street and 7th Ave
                                            Sam Talbot, Stanton and Rivington
                                            Hallo Berlin, 54th and 5th avenue
                                            Kwik Meal, 45th and 6th ave
                                            Mr. Khan, 45th and 6th ave
                                            Chinese Food, NE Corner of Broome and Broadway
                                            Gloria's Mexican Food, Nassau and Cedar Sts
                                            Halal Vendor, NW Corner 50th and 6th Ave
                                            Chicken and Lamb, NW Corner, 57th and 8th ave
                                            Power Lunch, Wall St and Pearl St
                                            Taco Stand, 50th and 6th ave
                                            Best Halal, 53rd and 6th ave
                                            King of Falafel and Shwarma, B'way and 30th St, Astoria Queens
                                            Tony Dragonas, 62nd and Madison
                                            Indian Cart, SE corner of 53rd and Park Ave
                                            Halal Vendor, Beaver btwn Broadway and New Sts
                                            Rojas Ecuadorian, Red Hook Soccer Fields
                                            Hot Dog Vendor, NE corner of 72nd and York
                                            Mexican Tacos, 65th st. and Roosevelt Ave, Jackson Heights Queens
                                            Falafel Vendor, Worth and Lafayette
                                            XPress Power Lunch, Whitehall and Maiden Lane
                                            Moishe's Falafel, 46th and 6th Ave
                                            Fruit Vendor, Wall st. and broadway
                                            Angelo's Souvlaki, 31st St and Steinway, Astoria Queens
                                            Fruit Vendor, SE corner of 79th and Broadway
                                            Super Taco, 96th and Broadway
                                            Spiro, 40th Street and Queens Avenue, Queens
                                            El Rey de Tacos, 30th Ave near 33rd Street, Queens
                                            Breakfast Vendor, Astor Pl and Lafayette
                                            Michael, SE corner of Bowery and Bond
                                            Grilled Food, 57th and 6th Ave
                                            Halal Food, 40th and Broadway
                                            Halal Cart, Broadway and West Houston
                                            George's Gyros, 31st st. and 31st avenue, Queens

                                            And, the four finalists:
                                            Sammy's Halal, 73rd st. and Broadway, Jackson Heights Queens
                                            Dosa Man, Washington Square South
                                            Arepa Lady, 79th St. and Roosevelt ave, Jackson Heights Queens
                                            Calexico Carne Asada, Wooster and Prince Streets

                                            And the winner:
                                            Sammsy's Halal (now I know CH is a fortress for the Arepa Lady, so don't kill me, I'm just the messenger but, Sammy's IS really really good).

                                            1. re: bigjeff

                                              Thanks! Very much appreciated.

                                              1. re: bigjeff

                                                Awesome, thanks. And many are in the vicinity of each other. Plans for an evening of vendor-hopping is definitely in the works.

                                          2. My top 4 food carts are Hallo Berlin-for wursts, Tony Dragonas at 62nd and Mad for the greatest chicken souvlaki in the universe, Daisy May's for chili-bowl-o-red and, though technically not a cart-the pizza truck for a square tomato pie slice.

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: guttergourmet

                                              sorry if you answered this somewhere else, but where is the pizza truck located, and what are its days/hours of operation? thanks?

                                              1. re: lebron

                                                I believe the pizza cart that was referred to is the one on 51st and Park Avenue. I found the cart overrated. Not sure about its hours.

                                                1. re: TheNewYorker

                                                  Yes. Overrated. As is the one on 48th(?...47th?) between Park and Mad.

                                                  The novelty of a pizza from a truck seems to cloud people's taste buds. The chicken parm is not good. The pasta is nothing special.

                                                  1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                                                    I don't think Jiannetto's is overrated considering the price and the other options in Midtown. It's also not for people who love cheese on their pizza. It's more about the sauce... traditional sicilian pizza. There's two in Midtown and one downtown. Check out pictures and more info here:

                                                    http://midtownlunch.com/blog/2006/08/...

                                                2. re: lebron

                                                  There is an excellent pizza truck- Jianetto's- that is usually at Front & Wall Streets during the week at lunch time. Not sure if they're there all day and doubt that they are around on the weekends. Do a search, there are some old postings on it. Great Grandma slice.

                                                3. re: guttergourmet

                                                  I've said it before, I'll say it again, but Carnegie John on 56th and 7th weekday afternoons is a quality operation that has a strong local following, though no one else on the board ever mentions him. Haven't been to Dragonas, but John's salad is fennel-studded, his tzatziki is herby, I often pick whole bay leaves out of his rice, and the Italian sausage is fennelly and good too. Nominated for a Vendy in 2004, to boot.

                                                4. From what i have found, the key to good street meat is a crowd. Not a huge crowd, but you want to wait in a little bit of a line, so that you know that others really like the food and go there regularly. The cart on 47th and Park has the best i've had, and there's always a 5-10 person line, which moves fast, but you know it's going to be good.

                                                  1. It isn't a whole meal in a box, but the bullet cakes right on canal in China town. They are hard to describe, but it is basically a really tasty batter almost like pancake batter pored into little bullet shaped molds and then popped out and served in a wax paper bag. They are about the size of the last joint of your thumb. They are warm, not greasy, not too sweet and amazingly satisfying. For some reason the first one you pop into your mouth leaves you thinking - these are ok. Then the second one and you are addicted.

                                                    Am I the only one addicted to these?

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: centrejack

                                                      No, I too am addicted to these things. They are so good. I usually buy 2 bags at a time. Good explanation of them. I once tried to explain these things to someone and I had to drag them down to C-Town. The little bit of sweetness to them...man they are good.

                                                      1. re: Yaxpac

                                                        They're usually called egg cakes. And, man, are they good. They make an awesome dessert to a bahn mi (pick your local fave)--and al for under $5,

                                                        1. re: jasmurph

                                                          These are the 15 or 20 for $1 item, right? I notice there is one seller 15/$1 I think on canal, another on Bowery, a little south of Canal, 20/$1. Anyone do a comparison?

                                                      2. re: centrejack

                                                        aah, the egg cakes. these always take me back - taiwan street food. in taiwan night markets they've got lots of cake people about. one of the major things that makes them so good is that they're fresh, hot cakes, light but satisfyingly chewy and slightly crisp around the edges.

                                                        1. re: shirlotta

                                                          well the good ones in taiwan have a nice redbean filling (I think they took this from the japanese), inside of a larger fish or something like that. the old favorite on mosco street (just off of mott) has been closed for years, but those little egg cakes in a bag still hit the spot.

                                                          1. re: bigjeff

                                                            I find none of them nearly as good as Mrs. Han's, formerly of Mosco St. I think hers may have had more eggs in the batter.

                                                      3. there's also a place I think on 2nd st and 2nd ave (or maybe its 1st and 1st), just up the block from anthology film archives; I think it's called indo-pak or something like that, a standard deli, with some very spicy taxi-cab food sometimes. not the greatest but in a pinch, filling and satisfying.

                                                        1. 86th has had a couple of carts for the past few months (btwn 2 & 3rd).

                                                          I haven't tried them yet though...anyone been?

                                                          Tipsy

                                                          1. I like the taco truck on 96th and brodaway. A good variety of tacos and some agua frescas. better than the stuff you get in San Diego

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: MVNYC

                                                              Haven't had a San Diego taco in a while, but I can assure you there's a host of tacos in California that can beat the pants off that truck on 96th. That said, it's pretty decent, fun, though doesn't entirely satisfy a craving for the likes of Fruitvale's El Ojo de Agua or LA's El Taurino.

                                                              1. re: Spoony Bard

                                                                I live in SD, the mexican food is terrible

                                                                1. re: MVNYC

                                                                  That's bizarre to me, but some other posters agree (see DiningDiva here- http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...) So New York actually has better Mexican than San Diego, not 20 minutes from the border? Amazing. I still doubt, however, that we top you for burritos and (as bigjeff mentions below) fish tacos.

                                                                  EDIT: For the record, the Upper West taco truck is called Super Tacos Sobre Ruedas, and is open after 7pm weekend nights.

                                                                  1. re: Spoony Bard

                                                                    It's there seven nights a week.

                                                                    1. re: squid kun

                                                                      Their hours must have changed. It used to be weekend nights only, but I saw the truck there at about 3pm on Saturday. Didn't look like it was doing any business yet, though.

                                                              2. re: MVNYC

                                                                I like that place too very satisfying when I pour the entire container of green sauce into a single taco. a great rush and makes me want to devour another one instantly!

                                                              3. The halal food cart on Front & Maiden lane is awesome. $4 gets you a platter w/ falafel, pita, awesomely fragrant yummy spicy rice, veggies & chicken. Can't beat it.

                                                                1. all they got is fish tacos, right? and in that department, they have NYC beat.

                                                                  1. take a look at:

                                                                    http://www.kapshow.com/pushcartnyc/

                                                                    Many of the good places mentioned in this thread are reviewed.

                                                                    1. has anyone tried Gloria's Mexican Food on Nassau and Cedar Street. i walk by it a lot but i'm a little wary of trying it...

                                                                      1. I walked past Tower Records on 4th and broadway and I noticed there was a Sammys food cart with a Vendys food award posted outside the cart. Is this the actual sammys or a poser?

                                                                        1. No one seemed to mention the Mexican truck on the north side of 14th Street, just east of 8th Avenue. I had amazing huaraches from there on two occasions, and my boyfriend had a great goat meat taco. I helped myself to the pickles from the a serve-your-own pickle tub as well as the green and red salsas. Very yummy. Granted, I was really nervous going there for the first time, as I assumed that they were catering to drunken partiers, but the food is, in fact, delicious.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: ElizabethZ

                                                                            I had a couple of tacos from those guys on 14th Street a few weeks ago, and they were very very very salty. Maybe they were trying to disguise something going on with the meat.

                                                                            Speaking of trucks and carts and all things street foodie, there are a bunch of chimichurri trucks along Amsterdam up in the 170s, but there is one that makes me laugh out loud everytime I pass it. Can anyone help me out with the meaning of "Chimifritanga El Bla Blaso"??

                                                                          2. New assignment brings me to manhattan 2/week now. wish i saw this earlier. I grabbed some soup from the "HOT SOUP" guy on 47/park. beef barley was waaaaay salty and the beef was chopped meat like a cheap meat sauce. Blah!!!!! :-((((

                                                                            1. It's not exactly a street cart, but Otafuku on 9th street has great Japanese street food known as Takoyaki. Little baked balls of puffed dough mixed in with little pieces of octopus and served with a bit of pickled ginger, bonito shavings, mayo (my don't we japanese love mayo) and a ubiquitous brown sauce. yum!