New York’s Best Street Food

New York is home to the best street food in the country, and perhaps the world. There is a never-ending list of reasons why: The sheer magnitude of vendors and carts; the dynamic and adventurous nature of New York’s vast population; and an unwavering demand for quality combined with competition, all contribute to creating a healthy environment for growing better street food.

The city has always been known as a place where one can purchase just about any kind of cuisine from around the globe at relatively affordable prices (especially if you’re buying it to go). And though many looks to emulate or recreate some aspect of New York’s street food scene on their own turf, few can actually live up to Manhattan’s very high standards. Unlike other cities that cater more towards tourists looking for a quick bite, New Yorkers are a fairly discerning bunch. And who can blame them, really? They have an endless amount of options from which to choose.

Here are some of the finest street foods the city has to offer:

Beef Patties

New York
Beef Patties

These are the best beef patties in the world. Period.

Price Range: $4 – 5

Where To Get It: Most carts around the city take turns selling them, though you can also find them at Seaport and Coney Island boardwalks, or the West Indian Day Parade on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn every Labor Day.

Beef patties are pretty much Jamaica’s national dish (though that honor could arguably go to jerk chicken ). And whether it is because of this, or in spite of it, they’re everywhere in New York (literally). Seen as a cheap and easy alternative to making a full meal for locals without much money, there is no shortage of vendors selling Jamaican beef patties all over New York.

Lumpia Shack

Lumpia Shack

Price Range: $4 – 7

Where To Get It: Carts usually set up shop in high foot traffic areas, though you can always find them at Smorgasburg if the line isn’t too long.

Lumpia are spring rolls found all over Asia. They are made of an egg crepe wrapper filled with various ingredients ranging from vegetables to meat. The wrappers themselves are not fried, making them a light snack than most deep-fried snacks, but they’re crispy on the outside and moist on the inside because of what’s inside them. Lumpia Shack’s version is bursting with flavor because each bite has something different to offer; it’s truly a good representation of why street food culture exists in New York.

Creperie Truck

New York
Creperie Truck

Price Range: $5 – 7

Where To Get It: They drive around, though you can also find them at Smorgasburg on Saturdays.

Crepes are not necessarily something people get super excited about, especially when there are lots of other more exciting options to try. But that doesn’t change the fact that New York’s creperies are some of the best in the world. The thing is, they’re so good because crepes themselves aren’t necessarily life-changing or in any way spectacular in and of themselves; it’s really just how damn tasty they make their ingredients. And who doesn’t like pancakes? Crepe Shack, for example, has an extensive menu where you can choose from a long list of toppings with which to fill your crepe. From Oreos to Nutella, to pulled pork and chicken fingers: there’s something for everyone.

Pommes Frites

Pommes Frites

Price Range: $5 – 7

Where To Get It: Everywhere in New York! Look for them at Smorgasburg, or just around the city – they’re usually by a subway stop – and follow them on Twitter.

Pommes Frites are simply French fries. But these aren’t just any old French fries; they’re Belgian-style french fries. And if you’ve never had one before, you need to try it ASAP (before deciding “eh, I don’t really like them”). They start off crispy on the outside and slightly gooey on the inside. Then there’s this rich, almost meaty flavor that comes out once you’ve taken a bite. The best part about Pommes Frites is that they’re made with fresh potatoes and fried in beef fat (so yeah, it’s not exactly healthy).

S’mores from Big Gay Ice Cream

S’mores from Big Gay Ice Cream

Price Range: $6 – 9

Where To Get It: They drive around in New York, but you can also find them at Smorgasburg on Saturdays.

S’mores are an American staple for a reason; they’re just so damn good! But when you add ice cream to the mix things get really interesting. Big Gay Ice Cream does an amazing job of keeping their menu simple; they offer three different kinds of s’mores, each with a variety of toppings (and all delicious). The peanut butter s’more is my favorite; they’re perfectly gooey and rich.

So now you know where to go for your buttery crepes, meaty patties, and sweet s’mores. Just remember that you’ll be able to find all of these delicious foods anywhere in New York.

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