In recent years, food trucks have taken over the streets of New York City. But for the casual observer, it can be difficult to distinguish between the good (organic, artisanal, locally-sourced), the bad (hello street meat), and the ugly (any of the cupcake carts in SoHo) when it comes to street food. To help, we’ve compiled a slideshow of some of our favorite mobile restaurants in NYC. You can thank us later.
%Gallery-144628%Big Gay Ice Cream Truck
The truck is in the garage until spring, but ice cream lovers hankering for treats like the Salty Pimp (vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt, chocolate dip) or Mermaid (vanilla ice cream, key lime curd, crushed graham crackers, whipped cream) can stop by the new Big Gay Ice Cream Shop on East 7th Street.
A step up from your standard gyro stand, Bistro Truck serves high-quality Moroccan-Mediterranean food, like lamb over couscous, grass fed beef bistro burgers, and more. White linen napkins not included. Check their weekly schedule for locations.
With carts in SoHo and Flatiron, restaurants in Greenpoint and Red Hook, and appearances on Food Truck Revolution and the Cooking Channel under their belts, the brothers behind Calexico are taking over New York with fresh tacos, burritos, and quesadillas.
Halal Guys at 53rd and 6th
Their website proclaims, “We are different.” Maybe that’s why hundreds of people line up at the corner of 53rd and 6th Avenue each day for the Halal Guys’ chicken, gyro, and mixed platters and sandwiches, while other midtown gyro vendors stay empty.
King of Falafel
The King of Falafel’s falafel, shawarma, and chicken platters are more than worth the trip into the Astoria, where he holds court at the corner of 30th Street and Broadway.
Korean tacos? Why not? The guys behind Korilla BBQ whip up fusion foods like bulgogi burritos and house-made tofu chosun bowls at locations around Manhattan. Check their Truck Finder to track them down.
Try a taste of Jamaica (jah) at the Jamaican Dutchy truck, which serves full sized and mini meals of specialties like jerk chicken and curry goat. Follow them on Twitter to see where they’re parked.
The best vegetarian dosas in town can be found at Thiru Kumar’s food cart, which is usually parked on Washington Square Park, at West 4th Street and Sullivan. The accompanying chutney is unreal.
Red Hook Lobster Truck
Red Hook Lobster Pound’s famous lobster rolls are now available on the road! Rolls are available Maine-style, with mayo, or Connecticut-style, with butter. Both are excellent. Stalk them on Twitter.
Last year’s Vendy Award winner serves authentic El Salvadoran pupusas, grilled corn masa patties stuffed with cheese and delicious fillings. You can find them at the Red Hook Ball Fields, or at the Fort Greene Brooklyn Flea Market.
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream
Nothing spells summer in New York like creamy red currant and Earl Grey artisanal ice cream from Van Leeuwen. Though the business has expanded to storefronts in Greenpoint, Boerum Hill, and the East Village, they still operate trucks in SoHo and Madison Square Park.
Wafels & Dinges
Traditional Belgian wafels, dinges, and speculoos can be found at the Wafels & Dinges truck, which makes the rounds around Manhattan and Brooklyn year-round. Save some room for the Belgian hot cocoa too.
[Flickr image via Bob the Astorian]