10 Unforgettable Street Food Destinations


1
New York, N.Y.
Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry? Today's taste calls for unique flavors and toppings like caramelized bacon and poppy seeds.
Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry? Today's taste calls for unique flavors and toppings like caramelized bacon and poppy seeds.
Alex Caol/Digital Vision/Getty Images

New York is the undisputed king of American street-food cities. With everything from bargain bags of roasted nuts to Cambodian peppercorn catfish, this city sizzles with an intoxicating mix of mobile food from around the world. As a testament to its love affair with on-the-move cuisine, New York invented the Vendy Awards in 2005 to honor the best-of-the-best street food vendors.

The cart that was crowned 2010 winner was, fittingly, the King of Falafel (he also won the People's Choice award). His savory stuffed pitas and signature chicken and rice dish is on the menu at 30th Street and Broadway in Astoria, Queens.

With 3,000 food carts working the streets of New York, it's patently unfair to single out just one area or cart worthy of attention [source: New York]. Your best bet would be to spend some time at NewYorkStreetFood.com or to check out the Vendy award site. However, one spot that has had street food cred since 1974 is the Red Hook Ball Field in Brooklyn, where dishes like tacos, ceviche and pupusas fill the soccer field with the irresistible smells of pan-Latin cooking.

The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck has people lining up for soft ice cream creations with names like "Bea Arthur" and "Mermaid." Can you imagine Mr. Softee offering toppings that include olive oil and sea salt, wasabi pea dust, Nutella, Trix cereal, cayenne pepper and key lime curd? Check the Truck's Web site for locations.

Guerilla Ice Cream, a 2010 Vendy runner up, creates unique ice cream flavors inspired by political movements. "Red Corridor," named for an Indian region with militant Maoists, is a chai masala ice cream punched up with a topping of almond slivers and candied fennel.

Still not sure what you want? Just start walking. You're bound to bump into something you like.

Related Articles

Sources

  • Associated Press. "Philly soul food truck takes top honors at Vendys." The Wall Street Journal. July 10, 2011. (July 15, 2011) http://online.wsj.com/article/AP9a2e69904c5e4b16ab05240caebf1479.html
  • Bonnaroo. "Food Truck Oasis." June 7, 2011. (July 15, 2011) http://www.bonnaroo.com/news/2011/06/07/food-truck-oasis.aspx
  • Broyles, Addie. "SXSW Eats: Foodspotting Street Food Fest." Austin360.com. Feb. 24, 2011. (July 15, 2011) http://www.austin360.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/food2/entries/2011/02/24/sxsw_eats_foodspotting_street.html
  • Cuisine Bonne Femme. "Ziba's Pitas." Food Carts Portland. Sept. 23, 2007. (July 15, 2011) http://www.foodcartsportland.com/2007/09/23/zibas-pitas/
  • dieselboi. "Altengartz German Bratwurst." Food Carts Portland. Apr. 19, 2009. (July 15, 2011) http://www.foodcartsportland.com/2009/04/19/altengartz-german-bratwurst/
  • Edge, John T. "Eight Great Street-Food Vendors in Philadelphia." Gourmet. Sept. 21, 2009. (July 15, 2011) http://www.gourmet.com/restaurants/2009/09/philadelphia-street-food
  • Gelt, Jessica. "Kogi Korean BBQ, a taco truck brought to you by Twitter." Feb. 11, 2009. (July 15, 2011) http://www.latimes.com/features/la-fo-kogi11-2009feb11,0,4771256.story
  • LA Street Food Fest. "The Participants." (July 15, 2011)
  • HauteSausage.com. "About." (July 15, 2011) http://www.hautesausage.com/about
  • Henshaw, Ashley. "4 New Food Trucks Rolling Into Chicago." CBS Chicago. Apr. 22, 2011. (July 15, 2011) http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/04/22/4-new-food-trucks-rolling-into-chicago/
  • Nelson, Rick. "Now Seeking Meals on Wheels." Star Tribune. March 4, 2010. (July 15, 2011) http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/taste/86237807.html?page=1&c=y
  • Idov, Michael. "How Clean Are Those Things? Where Does the Meat Come From? And other essential street-cart questions answered." New York. June 18, 2007. (July 15, 2011) http://nymag.com/restaurants/features/33530/
  • Magic Bus Café. "Welcome to The Magic Bus Café." (July 15, 2011) http://www.magicbuscafe.com/3101.html
  • Mendez, Alexis J. "Exit Elote Man, Enter Tamale Lady: Chicago Winter is Upon Us." Remexcla. Dec. 3, 2010. (July 15, 2011) http://chi.remezcla.com/2010/latin/exit-elote-man-enter-tamale-lady-chicago-winter-is-upon-us/
  • New York Street Food. "Sign The NYC Food Truck Petition." (July 15, 2011) http://newyorkstreetfood.com/19532/sign-the-nyc-food-truck-petition/
  • Norton, James. "Minneapolis Street Food Proposal Passes." Heavy Table. Apr. 2, 1010. (July 15, 2011) http://heavytable.com/street-food-proposal-passes/
  • Portland Architecture. "Contemplating Portland's food cart explosion from a design perspective." (July 15, 2011) http://chatterbox.typepad.com/portlandarchitecture/2010/09/contemplating-portlands-food-cart-explosion-from-a-design-perspective.html
  • Robertson-Textor, Marisa. "Eight Great Street-Food Vendors in New York City." Gourmet. Sept. 21, 2009. http://www.gourmet.com/restaurants/2009/09/new-york-street-food
  • Robertson-Textor, Marisa. "World's best street food." CNN Travel. July 19, 2010. (July 15, 2011) http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/07/19/worlds.best.street.food/index.html
  • Google Maps. "Food Carts Portland." (July 15, 2011) http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=217549409037211234366.00047d50e37ba179a1eac&ll=45.52103,-122.681333&spn=0.002233,0.003219&z=17&source=embed
  • Rochlin, Margy. "Eight Great Street-Food Vendors In Los Angeles." Gourmet. Sept. 23, 2009. (July 15, 2011) http://www.gourmet.com/restaurants/2009/09/los-angeles-street-food
  • Ruiz, Rebecca. "Elite Street Eats." Forbes.com. Sept. 2, 2008. (July 15, 2011) http://www.forbes.com/2008/09/02/gourmet-street-food-forbeslife-cx_rr_0902food.html
  • San Francisco Street Food Festival. "Eat and Drink." (July 15, 2011) http://www.sfstreetfoodfest.com/eat_and_drink.php
  • Silva, Jill Wendholt. "Food trucks take trendy eats to the streets of KC." Kansas City Star. June 12, 2011. (July 15, 2011) http://www.kansascity.com/2011/06/21/2965013/food-trucks-redux.html
  • Spiegel, Jan Ellen. "From Common Food Carts, Exotic Tastes." The New York Times. Apr. 23, 2011. (July 15, 2011) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/25/nyregion/25dinect.html
  • StreetVendor.org. "Announcing the 2011 Vendy Awards." (July 15, 2011) http://streetvendor.org/vendys/
  • Tamarkin, David. "Eight Great Street-Food Vendors in Chicago." Gourmet. Sept. 9, 2009. (July 15, 2011) http://www.gourmet.com/restaurants/2009/09/chicago-street-food
  • USA Today. "10 great places to flag down a fabulous feast." July 13, 2008. (July 15, 2011) http://www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/10great/2008-07-10-food-trucks_n.htm
  • Vann, Mick. "Trailers (No Trash)." The Austin Chronicle. Feb. 29, 2008. (July 15, 2011) http://www.austinchronicle.com/food/2008-02-29/597215/
  • Watercutter, Angela. "Foodspotting Turns Up Heat on Austin's Food Trucks." Wired. March 11, 2011. (July 15, 2011) http://www.wired.com/underwire/2011/03/foodspotting-sxsw/
  • Yelp.com. "Food Stands New Haven." (July 15, 2011) http://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=foodstands&find_loc=56-62+Orange+St%2C+New+Haven+06510
  • Yelp.com. "The Tamale Lady." (July 15, 2011) http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-tamale-lady-chicago

UP NEXT

Why You Should Never Buy Airline Miles

Why You Should Never Buy Airline Miles

HowStuffWorks finds out the best ways to redeem airline miles and what to do if you don't have enough for your next trip.


More to Explore