We were approached by Charlotte, who writes for Simonseeks.com and wanted to tell us all about her favorite New York street food vendors. We know what we like, but it’s always interesting to hear opinions from others, especially when they’re from exotic foreign lands (like the UK).
We were in London a couple of months ago and the street food scene there was pretty sparse, although the Sunday UpMarket by Brick Lane had a huge variety of international food offerings that we really enjoyed.
If you’re planning a trip, you should check out Simonseeks.com. It’s a travel website that uses writers who are experts in different locations who offer their Top 5 hotels, restaurants and things to do at their particular destination.
There is a large amount of information on each destination, with numerous categories such as Why To Go, When To Go, Best For Chilling-Out, Best For Families, etc, as well as forums for readers to ask questions on specific topics. Simonseeks also has the requisite links to book all aspects of your trip, from flights to hotels to rental cars and sightseeing.
Click through to find out Charlotte’s Top 5 New York street food vendors. We’re getting hungry just thinking about it!
An English Girls Take On The Best NYC Mobile Eats
Food in New York to me is an attraction all in its own right. The vast array of tastes, smells and above all the gargantuan portion sizes are all completely different to any of the everyday food we experience on a daily basis over in the UK. Mobile food vendors are not something we’ve quite cottoned on to in the UK, unless of course you count the traditional ice cream van!
It’s fair to say New Yorkers don’t do things by halves and the Big Apple is home to some of the best food in the world, much of the authentic and convenient treats coming from the mobile food vendors dotted around the city. Here is a roundup of an English girls take on the Top 5:
Cupcakes in New York are big business, made famous by an episode of Sex and the City where Carrie and Miranda enjoy a pink frosted cupcake from the Magnolia Bakery. Ever since seeing that episode I have longed to enjoy a Cupcake in New York so the first on my list of top mobile vendors has to be the Cupcake Stop.
Parking in some of Manhattan’s prime locations, The Cupcake Stop offers its customers over 40 delicious flavours of cupcake including Chocolate and Peanut butter, Oreo and my personal favourite Red Velvet. The Cupcake Stop is the perfect way to enjoy this sweet treat forever associated with New York for me without the long queues of the bigger bakeries and without even having to stop your sightseeing.
If you do want the comfort of eating in whilst you enjoy your cupcake, the Cupcake Stop opened the doors to its flagship store on 16th December 2010 in Greenwich Village, allowing customers to enjoy their cupcakes from 8am to 10pm daily (8pm on Sundays!)
Big Gay Ice Cream Truck
Another for those with a sweet tooth and perfect for cooling you down if you are in New York during its scorching summer temperatures is the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, not available at the moment but back on the road in spring in plenty of time to keep you cool!
The brain child of Douglas Quint and his partner Bryan Petroff, their aim was to provide ice cream with eclectic toppings all served with a smile. As the name suggests the truck is fun mixed with a healthy sense of humour and toppings include key lime curd, Nutella and elderflower syrup.
The ice cream is rich tasting and it’s the eccentric toppings and element of humour so associated with New York that sets the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck apart from its rivals.
Sweetery NYC (formerly Street Sweets)
Continuing with the sweet trend, perfect for someone with a sweet tooth like me is Sweetery NYC and if you have yet to try it be warned its offerings are addictive!
This mobile eatery, situated in different spots around the city every day was inspired by its creators visits to Italy and tasting croissants filled with jams and nutella, they loved it so much they based their business around it! The fillings for the croissants have evolved and now also include marshmallow cream, honey and dulce de leche.
For those of you who are more interested in the savoury options, Sweetery NYC also offers savoury croissants with fillings such as salmon and dill and spinach and tomato, ideal for a lunchtime treat. Other offerings for the dessert lovers out there include flourless chocolate walnut cookies and pumpkin flavoured all-American whoopi pies.
Kim’s Aunt Kitchen
Kim’s Aunt Kitchen, the smallest of many food carts in the area is instantly recognisable by its ‘Food Is Love’ slogan on the side. The history around Kim’s Aunt Kitchen is a bit of a mystery, no one seems to know who Kim or indeed their aunt is. However what New Yorkers do know is that they offer excellent street food.
The smell of fish and fried foods reaches you before you see the cart; the best of their offerings is The Whiting Sandwich, doing what street food does best, offering big portions at small prices. The sandwich consists of two pieces of fried fish, with salad and tartar sauce and is as cheap as just $4.
If fish isn’t for you, try the bulgoki, this Korean style beef seasoned with a slightly sweet sauce is delicious. The large portions are sure to fill you up and the exotic ingredients provide you with the chance to experience new flavours.
(NYSF Note: Of course an English girl is going to choose fried fish. Fish and chips is a well-loved institution in the UK that celebrated it’s 150th anniversary last year.)
Calexico Carne Asada
Californian brothers, Dave, Jesse and Brian Vendley opened their first Mexican inspired food cart back in 2006. Their gourmet so called Cal-Mex food soon became a huge hit. Being a lover of Mexican food this is the ideal stop for me, and whilst the success of the cart has meant the brothers have now opened a second cart and two restaurants in Red Hook and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, experiencing the original cart food is a must.
The secret to the delicious food is down to the expert seasoning brother Jesse developed with a Queens based spice company. The rub goes on all their meats and creates the most mouth watering Mexican offerings. The best for me has to be the Calexico carne asada burrito and the chipotle pork taco.
However you choose to enjoy the plentiful food on offer in New York, experiencing the street food is authenticity at its best, giving you the chance to eat as a New Yorker would without falling into the usual tourist traps, and saving money in the process.
Thank you Charlotte for your thoughts on the Top 5 New York Street Food vendors. We would love to join you for some of these goodies next time you’re in New York.
Charlotte writes for new travel site Simonseeks.com and if you are looking to visit New York and sample the delicious street food on offer, you might want to also look at the top rated recommended New York hotels on Simonseeks, where you can find inspirational travel guides and expert advice.
And our last tip for this post, is for those of you living in NYC or London, or in any other big crowded city. It’s for those of you who prefer the traffic-free style, who love to explore tiny allies, by riding bikes, and in particular – the awesome trend of folding bikes. We have one for strolling and exploring NYC’s most hidden food heavens, and we love it. The beautiful thing about folding bikes – is when you get tired riding, or can’t ride anymore after a big meal you just devoured – you can just fold the bike in seconds, throw it in a cab and drive back home. If you’re just hearing about folding bikes for the first time and want some tips and reviews – check out FoldingBikerReviewer.com. It’s a great website that offers a buying guide and lots of bike reviews.
Have a wonderful ride!