Screw your lobster rolls and $19 grilled farm-fresh duck legs: these are not food trucks. We’re talking about legit street food.
Eating from a genuine street cart is a delightfully universal experience in New York: typically, the people standing in line are a cross-section of the population, coming from a wide range of incomes and backgrounds. Everyone has an opinion about their favorite dishes, and they all want to talk about their old favorite carts that used to be just two blocks away, but closed or moved or changed ownership. To put it mildly, I love street carts. I love them so much, I once lived off them exclusively for an entire week. Which is why it was only natural that I would rank Manhattan’s best-known carts.
While I focused on carts exclusively for this list, I’d also like to give a shoutout to the ladies who sell fresh sliced mango in plastic bags with cayenne and that vinegary hot sauce, the guy who will slice open your coconut for you with a machete at 118th and Lex, and the illegal ceviche carts up in Inwood. Now on to the rankings...
23. Nuts 4 Nuts
Greasy, honey-roasted nuts that always smell better than they taste. Good for keeping your visiting cousin’s blood sugar up before contending with Times Square or whatever.