The summer of 2010 brought me to the city that never sleeps. After being offered a great internship at a small tech start-up, I packed up and moved into a teeny apartment in Gramercy with three friends. Once I deposited my first hefty paycheck, I started to explore the city the best way that I knew how to – through its cuisine.
The first thing that I discovered about food in NYC is the array of unique, gourmet food trucks that roam around the city everyday. I immediately jumped on Twitter, followed every food truck I could find, and started venturing away from the cheap Chinatown food near my office for some unique eats.
1) Schnitzel & Things: After tasting schnitzel for the first time in Salzburg, I became a fanatic. The first time that I visited the Schnitzel & Things truck was on a day that Food Network Canada was filming the truck for the first episode of Eat Street! The Schnitzel truck has a unique offering of Austrian-style main dishes and sides – if you’re overwhelmed, they’ll be sure to help you out.
My recommendation: Chicken Schnitzel with Austrian Potato Salad and French Fries, and get the Pesto Mayo as your condiment.
Location: Varies, so follow on Twitter, but their new brick-and-mortar location is in Midtown.
Image via Vendr.tv
2) Wafels & Dinges: I studied abroad in Belgium for a semester during college, so I had extremely high expectations for this truck upon my first visit – and those expectations were not only met, but exceeded. Expect to be greeted by two dashing men with charming accents who will ask you what kind of waffle you would like and what “dinges” (toppings) you would like on top.
My recommendation: Liege Wafel with Vanilla Ice Cream and Spekulos (ask to try it before you get it on your waffle… you’ll be hooked!)
Location: Varies, so follow on Twitter for real-time statuses.
Image via Tasty Touring
3) Big Gay Ice Cream Truck: Run by a bassonist who’s bound to have you laughing from the second you step on line, the truck features your typical soft serve ice cream with quirky and unique toppings, such as Wasabi pea dust, Trix cereal, and ginger syrup.
My recommendation: The Salty Pimp – Vanilla ice cream, Dulce de Leche, sea salt, and a chocolate dip.
Locations: Varies, so follow on Twitter, but during the winter you can visit their new brick-and-mortar location.
Image via Big Gay Ice Cream
4) Cupcake Stop: The cupcake craze has gone mobile. The winners on Food Network’s “Food Feuds” for best cupcake bring dozens of creative cupcakes to the streets of Manhattan in an attempt to cure your sweet tooth. There has been a few times that a quick end-of-day trip to the truck gave me the sugar boost I needed to finish the workday off.
My recommendation: Chocolate Caramel Pretzel. Heaven.
Locations: Two trucks travel around Manhattan, so follow on Twitter for locations. In addition, there is a brick and mortar store in the Staten Island Mall, and the bakery is in New Jersey.
Image via Driving and Dining
5) Souvlaki GR: If you love Greek food, this is the truck for you. It has been around for only a short time but has gained a ton of publicity from influential NYC food-spotters, and even won a Vendy award two years in a row. I’ve had my fair share of Greek food, and I still fell in love with the Souvlaki truck. It is run by Abby and Pavlos (who got married 16 days after meeting each other just last year) and their partner, Kostas.
My recommendation: Chicken Pita Souvlaki– the fries are in the pita!
Locations: The truck parks around Manhattan, so follow on Twitter for locations. Their new restaurant is on the Lower East Side.
Image via Souvlaki GR
-by Jessica Dante