New York Food Trucks Go Gourmet

Street food has moved way beyond hot dogs and halal carts. Now you can get everything from red-velvet cupcakes to grass-fed burgers from these trucks.

If it weren't for the iconic rainbow-ice-cream banner, you might mistake the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck for a standard Mister Softee. But what the truck lacks in looks, it more than makes up in personality—from its toppings to its operator. The Big Gay Ice Cream Man is Doug Quint, who is a doctor of musical arts candidate with a specialty in bassoon and a freelance musician who has performed with the Boston Pops and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. In his truck, he's quick with witty quips and more than happy to load up cones and cups with premium toppings like cayenne pepper, wasabi pea dust, and olive oil and sea salt. Quint's signature cone is vanilla ice cream topped with dulce de leche and crushed Nilla wafers. Splurge on the "choinkwich," a special treat that only appears on the menu once a week: a few pieces of brown-sugar-and-maple-syrup-caramelized bacon sandwiched between chocolate soft serve and two chocolate cookies. Various days and locations in Manhattan; the truck will operate through October. Check for updates. From $3.

With a vibrant wraparound mural depicting brilliant blue skies and rolling green mountains, the La Cense Beef Burger Truck brings a bit of Big Sky Country to Midtown's busy streets. This truck is an outpost of a Montana ranch of the same name. There, cattle graze on 88,000 acres of land before...well, you know what happens next. At La Cense, there's only one thing on the menu: black Angus grass-fed beef burgers topped with caramelized onions and, for an extra 50 cents, cheese. The six-ounce patties are thick and juicy, but fans of rare or well-done burgers may be disappointed: La Cense's burgers only come medium. Various midtown locations, 11 a.m.3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Check for updates. $7.


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