New Yorkers can be divided between those who don’t go near street meat and those who believe it one of the most delicious, efficient ways to consume home-style savory lunches that cannot be found elsewhere. Mind, we’re not talking meat on a stick; food carts have evolved worlds beyond that. See what we mean… .
– Anna Van Lenten
6th Ave and 46th Street
New York, NY 10036
Traditional Indian food delivers mouth-watering chicken, tikka, or lamb sandwiches, kabobs, and platters. Savor the accessories: caramelized onion, fresh lettuce and tomato, a secret sauce, and the handmade Kati roll.
Daisy May’s BBQ Cart
50th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues
New York, NY 10022
We have loved the Texas chopped beef with pickles and onions, the Carolina pulled pork, and the very nice beef brisket sandwich. And, the chili is to die for: Saucy, full octane flavor, with pieces of meat accompanied by onions, sour cream, cheese and a tortilla.
51st Street and 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10019
The Curry Chicken and Jerk Chicken platter are fantastic. Either includes a good amount of deliciously juicy chicken, fluffy rice and peas, tasty plantains, and assorted steamed vegetables. Sandwiches in cocobread are also great, and the spicy beef patties rock.
The King of Falafel and Shawarma
30th Street and Broadway
Queens, NY 11106
You could make the awesome, best-selling Chicken and Rice a religion. Not big chunks, but scoops of fragrant, chopped, tender, spiciness here. At times, the King hands out free shawarma (delicious slices off a hunk of marinated meat), or falafels while you wait.
6th Avenue and 45th Street (for more locations, see their website)
New York, NY 10036
The spicy green sauce is the thing—a lovely peppery, minty flavor. Lamb on rice uses marinated cuts of grilled lamb over basmati rice. The white sauce has a nice yogurt tang to it and the slaw is crips and tasty as well. Chicken is beautifully seasoned. Pitas get brushed with olive oil and lightly toasted. Chef Muhammed Rahman – formerly of the iconic Russian Tea Room – is behind the much-lauded, and expanding, line of carts.
Latin American food carts at the Red Hook ball fields
Clinton Street & Bay Street – Saturday & Sunday afternoons
Brooklyn, NY 11231
The pupusas are divine: a corn pancake with spicy, tangy, saucy chopped chicken or pork, topped with pickled red cabbage, cheese, and sour cream. The chorizo pupusa is also excellent. Chicken Tacitos are remarkable: corn tortillas rolled around spiced chicken, then deep- fried and smothered in hot sauce and raw onions. The Roja cart’s zingy, cold ceviche calms a hot afternoon. Shrimp, whitefish, and squid come alive with citrus, onion, tomato and cilantro—ask for the spicy touch at the end. Huaraches from the Country Boys/Martinez Taco Truck are drippingly fabulous. Outsized flour tortillas spread with beans, Mexican cheese, lettuce and steak, pork or chicken, then zinged up with a splash of lime juice pico de gallo and white sauce.
Rickshaw Dumpling Truck
Key to these delicately spiced dumplings is that their wrappers are not overly thick. All meat versions are stellar: the Chicken and Thai basil with spicy peanut sauce, the pork and Chinese chive with sesame soy dipping sauce, and the Peking duck with hoisin dipping sauce.
Yvonne’s Jamaican Food Truck
71st Street & York Avenue
New York, NY 10021
We recommend the Hot and Spicy Jerk Pork (or chicken) and the Oxtail Stew in brown gravy (outstanding). Choose two sides (collards are excellent) and be aware that the blazing hot sauce–scotch bonnet peppers diced in vinegar–is not for the weak.