A Tour of New York's Best Street Food

Photos
1009_NYStreetCarts launcher image
Biryani Cart: Although cart competition is fierce in Times Square, Meru Sikder recently added a second, adjacent cart to feed the hundreds who line up for his 2009 Vendy Award–winning Indian food.
— Shana Liebman
Bapcha: John Lee's 6-year-old cart near Rockefeller Center got a makeover this summer: a new name, a modern look, and, many say, a more inspired take on his dad's Korean recipes.
— Shana Liebman
Rafiqi's: Fans rely on this multicart chain for "clean meat, clean counter," according to the three guys working the particularly popular Rafiqi's cart by the Empire State Building—which feeds hundreds daily.
— Shana Liebman
N.Y. Dosas: Even nonvegetarians line up for Thiru Kumar's Vendy Award–winning South Indian crepes. The best is arguably the Pondicherry, a delicate, flaky lentil-and-rice-flour pancake loosely wrapped around curry potatoes, crunchy lettuce, and finely chopped vegetables.
— Shana Liebman
Magdy's: This cart appeals to a more American palate with its well-known Philly cheesesteak: slightly greasy, very tasty shredded beef covered in melted American cheese on a hard roll.
— Shana Liebman
Magdy's: Service is speedy, so don't be put off by the typical lunchtime lines. Magdy's wife, Jennifer (who quit her job as a schoolteacher to help), takes your order and money while you wait, and two extra grill guys bag and prep.
— Shana Liebman
Carnegie John's: The modestly charming chef John has been in this spot next to Carnegie Hall for 12 years, and his one-man cart is so busy with regulars that he often runs out of the coveted chicken over rice.
— Shana Liebman
Shirley's: The best recipes from Shirley's native Trinidad include a rich chicken curry: three pieces of juicy, bone-in dark meat slow-cooked in a mild orange curry, with steamed cabbage (or carrots or yams) on a bed of rice and peas.
— Shana Liebman
Shirley's: The laid-back and likable Shirley has been dishing out her home cooking for many years—first at a storefront called Trinidad and Roti and, since 1995, in her very busy Financial District cart.
— Shana Liebman
The Jamaican Dutchy: O'Neill, the cart's cook, makes a hearty curry goat that's long-stewed with terrific, subtle curry flavor. His herb-rubbed jerk chicken is the real thing—incredibly moist dark-meat chicken falling off the bone with heat that you feel in the back of your throat.
— Shana Liebman
The Jamaican Dutchy: Don't miss the specials posted out front, and keep in mind that chef O'Neill and his sidekicks are on island time, so be patient.
— Shana Liebman

Related Content