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Jul 22, 2007 07:09 AM

Manahattan Street Food

My foodie hubby, two teenage boys and I are travelling to NYC next week. We plan to enjoy finding some hidden street vendors gems while there. Any suggestions from those in the know?

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  1. Ah, there is many a place to delect and delight.

    Personal cannot miss-

    The Dosa Cart- Vegetarian Indian/Sri Lankan Food, very filling. A dosa is a lentil pancake stuffed with vegetables. He offers several different kinds as well as other specialties. Ask for the off-the-menu Roti Curry for one excellent meal. Food around 5 dollars, on the Mid-South Side of Washington Square Park M-F 11-4

    Sammy's Halal Food- Winner of the Vendy award for best street vendor (though not necessarily entirely deservingly, imho), Sammy's is an excellent example of regional street food in New York City: the halal (islamic kosher) chicken over rice vendor. The food is very good chopped chicken over rice for about 4.50 if I recall correctly. Sit in the park or on a convenient stoop to eat. West 4th St and Bway, SE Corner M-F 12-4

    The Pizza Truck- Notable for it's Pizza's, but better for other things, this truck hovers on 47th St bet Madison and Park during the weekday Rush Hour. They're a family from Staten Island so you know they're the real deal when it comes to Italian-American food. Recommended: The Chicken Parm Sandwich on a Homemade Garlic Bread Roll. Yum. Don't forget to ask for some tomato sauce. 47th bet Mad and Park M-F 12-3ish?

    The legendary "CART"- Among my college student nerd-friends and I, there is the legend... of the cart. Now, while Sammy's is good, it doesn't compare to the place only known for us as "Cart". Somehow, someway, this halal food place with its strange hours and long lines is the most sought after and very best of its ilk. Occasionally, on an evening when the desire becomes too strong, we will take the long trek from an NYU up to The Cart and wait in the line in the dark and the cold. It is always worth it. 7 Days on 53th St and 6th ave SW corner, 8pm-4am only.

    The Taco Truck- Authentic Mexican Food and the best tacos I've had in New York City hands down. N.B.- These guys don't even speak english. Man though, only place I know round you can get a goat taco, or a decent Chicken Mole without blowin' a wad. Try to come earlyish as they do run out occasionally. 14th St and 8th ave, NE corner. Sat and Sun (maybe Fridays?) 8pm-2am approx.

    Calexico Cart- For a more conventional cal-mex experience, these guys opened a pretty decent burrito cart with surprisingly good fresh salsas. Remember to ask if your dish comes with "avocado sauce" to switch it for guacamole. Taco Platter is a good value at 8 bucks and Burrito is a steal for 7. Much better than Chipotle and great when you're shopping in SoHo. Prince St and Greene St (I believe) M-F 12-4

    Other carts include regular street halal places and cool, upscale ones I don't frequent like Daisy May's and Hallo Berlin. Search those for other reviews.

    Hope this helps.

    -Nick F.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Nick F.

      great info from someone that seems in the know! thanks

      1. re: Nick F.

        Where is this mysterious Hallo Berlin cart? Last I checked it was supposed to be somewhere on 5th between 54th and 58th, however I've scoured that area and all I can find are lame hot dog carts. There is nothing that looks different or that says Hallo Berlin outright. What am I missing?

        1. re: Nick F.

          I second the much-fabled "CART" on 53rd and 6th Ave. There is so special about that place that I have friends from California who forget the LES dinners and West Village nooks and rave about the Halal Cart.

          Also a fan of the Taco Truck on 14th, though I've seen goat tacos at nearly every taco stand/truck I've come across lately.

          To this list I might add the Chinese cart outside the Canal St. station on Lafayette. If you're in an adventurous mood, the vendor doesn't speak English so you have to point and hope for the best!


          Recent article from NYM. You can print the maps for the ones that you are interested in from the site, and then write the hours and subway stops for each on the backs of the maps.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MIKELOCK34

            thank you for your info. my mouth is salivating already!

          2. Hi Echo,

            My foodie hubby, my friends and I just got back from our trip to NYC. You must try the chicken and rice platter from Halal's Chicken and Rice on the corner of W 53rd and 6th Ave. He is only open from 7pm - 4am and the lines are always at least a 1/2 hour. It was definitely worth the wait for all of us. You'll know which corner by the amount of people in line.


            1 Reply
            1. re: carrie1403

              thanks for the input. Can't wait to head to NYC and give all of your suggestions a try!

            2. Kwik meal cart in midtown. 45th and 6th i think. Chicken on rice is fantastic.

              4 Replies
              1. re: randumbposter

                thanks Randumbposter! Will add your suggestion to my list of several from the helpful folks here!

                1. re: randumbposter

                  I routinely get the lamb on rice, with extra hot sauce, from Kwik meal (which is, in fact, at 45th and 6th, on the southwest corner by the Citibank). It's terrific.

                  I also really like the falafel served by the big gleeming halal truck that parks on the east side of 6th Avenue, between 24th and 25th, from 8:00pm-6:00am.

                  1. re: Blumie

                    If you like your hot sauce spicy, be sure to ask for the green hot sauce from Kwik Meal. Its almost florescent green and they won't give it to you unless you specifically ask for it. Its got great flavor and is very hot.

                    1. re: ESNY

                      I simply ask for my lamb on rice "extra hot," which always gets me the florescent green sauce.

                2. The 3 top carts in NYC- Daisy May's if they're there (maybe one left on sixth avenue)-otherwise just go to the source on 12th avenue and eat outside and have a bowl o'red. Hallo Berlin-NY's "wurst" cart on 54th and 5th- get any 2 wurst combo with bavarian meatballs, red and white kraut und kartoffelen. Tony Dragonas on 62nd and Mad for grilled chicken with homemade tsatsiki from Mt. Olympus.