When the COVID-19 pandemic started, the food industry suffered huge losses. Restaurants across the globe had to either retrench or shutter completely as fears of infection grew and profits plummeted. But some food businesses, due to their nature and setup, were able to survive despite the odds. Case in point: the New York food truck.

More and more people have shown an interest in mobile food services over the years. From 2013 to 2018, the food truck count in the United States nearly doubled, from 3,281 to 5,970. New York’s food truck scene, in particular, has grown quite popular, with menus that showcase all sorts of cuisines from different countries.

But these numbers belie the difficulty of getting into this industry, as plenty of patience, passion and sheer grit are required. First of all, those who start a food truck business have to apply for numerous permits, including: health permits, food safety permits, and mobile food vending licenses. Food truck owners have to go through around 45 government-mandated procedures on average just to be able to operate.

That being said, there’s no better way to honour the hard work of these entrepreneurs than by checking out their food trucks and what they have to offer. So, we’ve compiled a list of the very best food trucks to watch out for the next time you’re in New York.

Uncle Gussy’s

 

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Perhaps one of the oldest street food vendors in New York City, Uncle Gussy’s food truck planted itself on the corner of 51st Street and Park Avenue almost 50 years ago, as a small hotdog and pretzel cart. Today, it fills customers’ bellies with large portions of authentic Greek cuisine – gyros, salads, Keftedes or Greek meatballs, Gemista or rice-stuffed vegetables, and more. The truck also takes pride in its homemade Tzatziki sauce, freshly made every day.

The queue of customers at Uncle Gussy’s is usually long, but don’t let that put you off as you won’t have to wait for too long; the service is quick, and the food, is excellent.

NY Dosas

 

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Located in Washington Park in Greenwich Village, NY Dosas has been in business for nearly two decades. Despite the food cart’s humble beginnings, it has earned worldwide attention with its menu of delicious South Indian street food that will satisfy even the most discriminating vegetable lover’s palate.

Customers usually line up to buy their Special Pondicherry dosa – a veggie and potato-filled crepe served with coconut chutney and sambar, a lentil-based vegetable soup. NY Dosas also serves crispy samosas and lunch specials, but they sell out quickly, so either get there early or call ahead to reserve your order.

Wafels and Dinges

Since 2007, Wafels and Dinges’s unique selling point has been to put various dinges in waffles. But what exactly does that mean?

Dinges is a Flemish term that basically means “thingies” in English. In this case, it refers to the toppings with which you can dress up your waffle. Wafels and Dinges has a wide selection to choose from, but among the crowd favourites are the speculoos spread, Belgian chocolate fudge, and dulce de leche.

For those looking for a savoury meal, popular dinges include: chili, cilantro, and sour cream; pulled pork, coleslaw, and barbecue sauce; or ham, scallions, and raclette.

The combinations are endless, and are as much a part of the fun as eating the food is.

New York is a melting pot of different cultures and these experiences manifest in its food truck scene. And, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can also check out some recommendations for other equally interesting gastronomic getaways.

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