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Sep 25, 2002 05:31 PM

Best street food in NYC

  • l

So many great metropoliss around the globe have wonderful street vendors, but most of NYC seems trapped in the hot dog/pretzel world or the schwarma/falafel world. (I was recently in Korea and I wonder why anyone bothers to actually go into a restaurant.) Is there any really interesting food out there to be had? I've heard of the Dominican trucks up in Washington Heights - which are the best ones. Anything else interesting around?

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  1. Lets see....hmmm...some of this is seasonal.

    I like the Taco truck at Queens blvd and 40th street in Sunnyside, queens. They are there from 7pm-2am or sao. The earlier the the food isn't as good in teh wee hours.

    Hallo Berlin has a sausage stand in midtown.

    Festival of San Gennaro (a couple of weeks ago) and 9th ave food fest (in May) are good.

    Chicago Hotdog stand in Madison SQ park (for the summer, so it's gone now.)

    I hear the crepe stand in the SW corner or Central park si good, but haven't tried it.

    I get cups of hot cider from the union sq greenmarket in the winter, but don't knwo if that qualifies.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jayask
      Mark DiBlasi

      The Trinidad-Pakistan curry chicken guys on the northeast corner of 43rd and 6th in midtown is amazing. Get a chicken and rice with both yogurt and hot tamarind sauces and proceed directly to nirvana.

      1. re: Mark DiBlasi

        the best slice I have had in years (much better than patsies pizza even) is from a Red Van on 40th and Broadway, John Vincents. He has 6 guys chopping up fresh tomato every day, fresh basil, and a great cripy crust, not too thin not too thick. I think it might even be good for you.....i.e. not too greasy, fatty, wobbly like 99% of pizza joints in town.


        P.s. he uses mozzerella curd for the cheese.


        1. re: Paul Agnew

          Oohhh--a pizza truck! I encountered these in Provence, and ever since, I've thought it would be a great concept for NYC. Can't wait to try it . . .

    2. This might not sound "interesting" as in "clever," but it interests me three or four times a week.

      I'm completely wrapped up in Kwik Meal on 45th and 6th in midtown, on the corner with the Citibank. It's a little trailer, and the chef serves pita sandwiches and pilau (which he spells "pilow," meaning "on rice" I guess) -- chicken, lamb, tiger shrimp, vegetable or felafel.

      NY Press went hysterical over the lamb pilau. The meat is really tender, the yogurt is bracing, and the RICE is FANTASTIC.

      My favorite is the chicken pita. No wait, this is GREAT. The chicken is marinated in something savory and spicy -- so tender and flavorful -- and served with some yogurt and a smatter of chopped vegetables. The pitas -- experts: educate me if you can -- seem to be slightly raised. Soft, steamy, fluffy, grilled.

      Yeah, I called the guy a chef, and apparently he trained somewhere in Canada and worked for a time at the Russian Tea Room. I dunno what that's worth, but he makes a hell of a chicken pita. It's a meal. And my favorite part? FOUR BUCKS

      I end up buying lunch for my office buddies there, just to show them how good it is, and everybody goes back.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Clams247

        I agree. I have been touting Kwik Meal for about two years now, and I was back there last Wednesday. The food is as good as ever but I should warn you to not bother with the cheese steak. In my opinion it's awful even though a guy I work with seems to like it. The chicken or lamb dishes are terrific!

        Not exactly street food (but in NYC so many hole-in-the-wall places are essentially the same thing as carts) is the Fresco Tortilla place on 42 Street between 6th and 7th Aves. The chicken fajita at $1.59 is terrific and best if you catch them when they are really busy. Everything is freshly prepared at that point. There are other Fresco Tortillas but this outlet seems to be the best.

        Also, re another post: I dislike the Chicago Hot Dog in Madison Sq Park, but I do like the Hallo Berlin cart as well as the restaurant itself.

        1. re: Clams247

          I can't find this place. I've check out the carts on 45th on both sides of 6th, but they are not Kwik Meal. There are, however, two Falafel(?) carts on 45th near Citibank -- one on each side of 6th. Are you sure it's still there?

          1. re: Bill
            david sprague

            it was there yesterday: on the southwest corner, right next to a--very aggressive-- UHO rep cadging people for change. really top notch chicken, consistent quality too, unlike most such vendors i've patronized in midtown....

            1. re: david sprague

              I found it. I think the reason I missed it is that it leaves after I usually get to that area -- about 3PM. Thanks

        2. t
          The Turtle (Bay) Dove

          I now frequent the dosa cart on Wash Sq Park So.

          1. Yeah, it's kind of a bummer to come back from somewhere in Asia, where amazing street food is a part of everyday life, to New York, where it just isn't. The street food experiences here are totally different, since they are the exception, rather than the rule, but can be rewarding. I suggest hunting down the Arepa Lady (do some searches on this board) for a life-changing New York street food experience.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Peter Cuce

              NYC is an oasis compared to Boston. Someone's going to make a bundle bringing food trucks to Boston.

            2. There is a good taco truck that is usually on 14th bet. 6th & 8th (6-7th during the week, 7-8th on weekends)