Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Truck

Empire State of Mind: Food Trucks

(The Verge) – Those who have frequented the streets of Manhattan in years past will recall a certain staple of NYC culture…food trucks. For me, what most stands out are the odors, which smell more of curry and failed dreams rather than appetizing delights. However, there is a new generation of food trucks in New York, and these don’t even seem to be in the same hemisphere as the pungent Halal and unhealthy soft serve that previously held the city street-food reigns.
The emergence of “gourmet” food trucks in New York is particularly welcome for people on lunch breaks or late night drunken food missions. Food trucks are notoriously good for being VERY inexpensive; a mini version of their gourmet predecessors. This makes them an excellent option for college students on a budget, or the newly graduated workforce, as well as anyone else looking for good food & trying not to go bankrupt. They are also very easy, one-stop shops, where there is no hassle about getting your food, no need to tip the waitress and a very limited, if any, wait time. The most appealing aspects of the gourmet food trucks is that they are inexpensive and are accessible from multiple locations. The food comes to you.
Many MU students visit the city often, whether interning, working, or just visiting for fun. “Where to eat?” is a question which is bound to come up at some point. While options are nearly unlimited in this food mecca, at least one trip in should be dedicated to testing, or rather, tasting, the foot truck phenomena. Think of this as a “How-To” guide to picking out and tracking down gourmet street grub.
Step 1: Pick out your food truck. There is a food truck for nearly every type of cuisine in NYC. Feeling an Asian kick? Rickshaw Dumpling Truck might satisfy your craving. Of course they have the O.G.’s of street food (pizza, hot dogs, tacos), but even the more extravagant food genres make an appearance; Moshe’s Falafel (Middle Eastern), Schnitzel & Things, Yvonne Yvonne (Jamaican), Mini Picanteria El Guayaquileno (Ecuadorian). There are limitless options and many of the good ones are listed below. Once you’ve decided what you’re in the mood for its time to turn to your smart phone (if you don’t have a smart phone your going to have to plan ahead from an Internet connected computer), and visit some of the food truck listing/locator websites which are below. However, if you’ve done your research, or from word-of-mouth, know exactly which food truck is your poison you can simply visit their Twitter page. If this is you skip to Step 3.
Step 2: If you aren’t sure what food truck you want to go to, or you want to browse your options, visit one of the food truck affiliated websites. These websites main purpose is to connect you to your food truck soul mate (for the day) and then tell you where that food truck will be.
Websites like,, and, are great sites to check out.
Step 3: Find your food truck! Once you’ve gotten the location either through a website or through the truck’s Twitter site, get there! Take a cab, subway, or walk if your close enough. Many of the food trucks hang out at the same places during lunch time.
Step 4: Pick yo’ food and eat it! This is the fun part that you can only really pull off in a city. You’ll have to get your food and then find somewhere to eat it. Many trucks will post up shop near parks or other public places so that their customers will have somewhere to eat. If a bench or table is no where to be found, you can always have a Sex & The City moment and sit down on some steps. Really, its up to you. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Life is a journey, not a destination”. The fun in food trucks is really the process, and in this case the destination provides a very delicious, fulfilling reward.
Whatever the next reason you find yourself in New York City may be, if you’re looking for a food option that is a little out of the box, but just as spectacular as the acclaimed restaurants that NYC is known for, give the food trucks a chance…and let us know what you think!
Check back next week for a new story on whats fun & exciting across the Hudson for MU students to explore!
(just some of) NYC’S FOOD TRUCKS & SITES!:
*disclaimer: many of these are from the New York Mag list!