New York, “The Big Apple”, is one of the most happening cities in the world. The city has many iconic attractions to see. It is on the wish list of many tourists. Most people who have been to NYC want to return to the city. With the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Times Square, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Fifth Avenue, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and more, there is plenty to see in New York City. While visiting, don’t miss the amazing street food in New York.
Your trip to NYC is never complete unless you try its street food. From waffles to smoothies, nuchas, barbeques, steak, bacon, grilled cheese, and more, you will always have a lot of New York City street food options to try. You will find food trucks and street vendors throughout the city.
France has the bread, Italy has the pasta. However, NYC is not known for any particular food. It is a melting pot. People from different backgrounds and cultures have come here to stay, and they have influenced the food scene of New York. You will find Korean, Chinese, Indian, French, Italian, Thai, Malaysian, and African, there is plenty to try.
Top 10 Street Food In New York City
1. Ice Cream Sandwiches – You will find many moving trucks selling them. Available in many flavors. Select from 1-story, 2 storied, or skyscraper that has 5 scoops and 6 cookies. These sandwiches are also popular in Los Angeles.
2. BEC – Short for ‘bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich’. Many locals will have this in the morning. You will find this in many places, and also at restaurants.
3. Hot Dog – Always popular. On the outside, it is very crispy, but the inside is juicy. Gray’s Papaya has become an institution selling these hot dogs. It is often served with a soda.
4. Eggstravaganza – Sandwiches on eggs are a rage now in NYC. It’s a staple breakfast food for the New Yorkers. Typically from the street, many restaurants now also serve egg sandwiches. Many come with a Mexican flavor with homemade chorizo.
5. Falafel – Fried chickpea fritters, a local favorite once again. This food from the Middle East is served with pita, fresh veggies, and tahini. Mamoun’s Falafel is the oldest place in the city serving falafel.
6. Meat Over Rice – It is colloquially called ‘street meat’ and available in many sidewalk carts. Simple but very tasty. Try this at The Halal Guys, an extremely famous sidewalk stand. Served with hot and white sauce.
7. Lamb Over Rice – Once again at The Halal Guys. Roasted lamb on basmati rice with white sauce. It is so popular that sometimes the line can be a hour long for your turn.
8. Braised Pork Shoulder – Local meat in big cuts. Sometimes served with roasted mashed potatoes.
9. Pork Bun – You will find them everywhere now, but it’s the best at OG Bun. Made with roasted pork belly, steamed bao, scallions, and cucumbers. It is sweet and very tasty.
10. Cheesecake – The New York cheesecake is a classic that has spurred many imitations throughout the world. Try it at Junior’s. They serve with homemade purees and fresh fruit. You will love the creamy slices. The cake bottoms are spongy.
Many street food festivals are held in the city as well. For instance, the Feast of San Gennaro in September. Find a wide array of food on display, ranging from desserts, arepas, sausages, to cheese.
Top Alfresco Restaurants
- Narcissa – Open-air restaurant serving good brunch.
- Mission Cantina – For Mexican food. Very good tacos.
- Vinegar Hill House – A top-rated Alfresco-style dining place in NYC.
- Shake Shack – Popular for milkshakes and hot dogs.
Times Square has the best Indian street food. Try the food at Clove, Utsav, Saar Indian Bistro, Biryani Cart, and Minar. Read our London street food guide for London.
Street Food in New York City – Top Breweries
You can find some of the most exquisite beers at –
- Gun Hill Brewing Company
- The Bronx Brewery
- Single Cut Beer Amith’s
- Fifth Hammer Brewing Company
Some of the best street bakeries are Sullivan, Levain, and Bourke Bakery. They serve up everything from pizzas of all shapes and sizes to bread. Magnolia Bakery’s cupcakes are a treat. Levain is famous for its cookies. Their bagels and jelly-filled doughnuts are also very good.