The Best 5 Food Trucks In NYC—Hungry Yet?

UPDATE: If you're lucky enough to be out of work early on this holiday eve, take your lunch up a notch by noshing on grub from one of these so-yummy food trucks. This story was originally published on May 16.
New Yorkers are used to instant gratification — we want our coffee served before we can say "with room for milk," we need a cab the moment our arm reaches its full extension (unless, of course, it's the dreaded 5 p.m. shift switch), and we'll be damned if we've got to wait more than 20 minutes for an outdoor table at a popular restaurant during brunch hours. But our fast-fix obsession doesn't mean we're looking to skimp on quality. And we've found the perfect solution in five beloved NYC food trucks — quickly served gourmet dishes that aren't short on flavor but also don't break the bank.
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Sure, you've probably seen our favorites — Dosas, Milk Truck, Comme Ci Comme Ça, Taïm, and Frites And Meats — on the block, but we've upped the ante with insider pics and the super-secret scoop on some of their tastiest and most popular mobile plates. From grilled cheese to Indian food to the "best falafel in NYC," these dishes have us wishing it was lunchtime all the time. But hey, there's no rule against that. Now, about that line…
Click through for some foodie-truck favorites and snack-time inspiration. 
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Chef Samir, Comme Ci Comme Ça

What you're known for: "Friendly service and family style food."

Best seller(s):"Chicken and merguez (lamb sausage), couscous, chicken over basmati rice , and Basmati royal, Moroccan kofta sandwich."

Your truck name is based on a song, what kind of music do you think your food tastes like?
"My food taste like lounge music, easy and beautiful to listen to, especially like Gotan Project."

Photographed by Joe Buglewicz
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Could you tell us any secrets to the "best cous cous in NY"?
"The first secret is cooking with love. The second is using a good blend of spices including cinnamon and Smen."

Who is your chef hero?
"Jacques Pépin and Lidia Bastianich."

Your truck is very personable: you say feeding NY is like feeding a family. Describe the family dynamic.
"The idea to start the food truck came from cooking for family and friends, and now, after one-an-a-half years of business, seeing a lot of faces that I know by name everyday, and even doing two weddings this summer for some of my clients, my New York family is growing. We spread love one bite at a time."

Photographed by Joe Buglewicz
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Do you have any funny "regulars" stories?
"I have a customer that started to come after his wife brought him dinner from our truck for an entire month. And, it was funny, because the first time he came, he introduced himself in a mad but funny way. He said, 'my wife has stopped cooking for me and it`s all because of you!' Still, for more than a year his wife comes every Monday to our location on Water Street and he comes almost every Friday to 36th Street. He always says, 'you know that I hate you, but I love your food.'"

How has cooking changed your life?
"I have always liked people and love to have more friends. Food introduced me to a large community of all ages and social statuses. I discover a lot of things and places in the city through my costumers."

What do you hope the dining experience to be like for your fans/customers?
"I actually wish the city would reserve spaces for food trucks where the costumers can come and find tables, where they can sit, so it will be like a restaurant in the street."

You can find Comme Ci Comme Ça Mondays at Old Slip and Water Street, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 36th Street and Broadway and Wednesdays at 52 Street and Park Avenue.

Photographed by Joe Buglewicz
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Hiassam Beydoun, Frites 'N' Meats

You source your bread, meat, and cheese from some of the best and most well-known spots in NYC. Tell us a little bit more about those partnerships — do you plan on following suit with a brick-and-mortar spot yourself?
"We feel it is very important and integral to partner with local premium purveyors (DeBragga & Spitler, Balthazar Bakery, and Murray’s Cheese). This allows a degree of comfort in serving a quality product while helping local businesses grow. Right now we are focusing on the truck, but if the right opportunity arises for a brick-and-mortar, we would have to consider it."

What kind of dining experience do you hope to bring your fans/customers?
"We bring to our fans good food! Nothing too fancy — good 'ole Hamburgers, but done right with the perfect ingredients made fresh to order!"

Photographed by Joe Buglewicz
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If you could only eat Frites OR Meats for the rest of your life, what would it be?
"Frites or the Meats? That's a tough one...I will have to sleep on that, that's how tough it is."

What do you love about selling from a truck?
"Selling from a truck really allows us to interact with our fans and bring our goods to them!"

Photographed by Joe Buglewicz
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Any crazy fan stories?
"We have a few crazy fan stories...fans chasing us down the street, yelling at us to open up when we are closing up for the day, fans requesting that we bring the truck to their significant others as a surprise gift for their birthday party, fans trekking across the city into different boroughs just to have our burgers...we really do have awesome fans!"

You can find Frites 'N 'Meats Mondays for Lunch (11 a.m. to 2pm) at 50th Street and 6th Avenue, Tuesdays for Lunch (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at Church and Walker streets, Wednesdays for Lunch (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at Hudson and King streets, Thursday for Lunch (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at World Financial Center Food Truck Lot, Fridays fpr Lunch (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at 10 Hanover Square and for Dinner Mondays through Fridays, (4 p.m. to 8 p.m.) at Greenwich and Chambers streets.

Photographed by Joe Buglewicz
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Keith Klein, Milk Truck Grilled Cheese

What you're known for:
"We take a balanced approach to making our sandwiches, versus piling it on. We use super high quality products and make sure everything works together —textures, acids to fats — all in the right proportions. We even slice our bread by hand to get just the right thickness."

Top sellers:
"Milk Truck Classic, bacon cheddar blue, three cheese grilled cheese, and our milk shakes, especially the malted ball french vanilla. Plus, in the summer we make fresh strawberry shakes that are insanely good."

What five words do you think of when you think of a grilled cheese? "Versatile, dependable, delicious, familiar, happy."

Photographed by Joe Buglewicz
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What's the worst thing that can happen in a grilled-cheese-gone-wrong scenario?  
  "Too much or too little. Whether that's cheese, butter, or other ingredients. Lousy bread. Burnt."

  We LOVE grilled cheeses, but as an expert, what do you think it is about such a simple sandwich that is such a big hit?
"Well, first off, melted cheese and bread is pretty fantastic in any form, whether it's a grilled cheese or a pizza. And so many different cultures have their version of the grilled cheese sandwich (panino, monte cristo, etc.). I just think that the combination of textures, crisp bread, melted cheese, maybe some mustard, tomato, or pickled something hits all the right notes in your mouth. But, most of all, it brings you back to a safer time in your life when all it took was a grilled cheese to make things right."

Photographed by Joe Buglewicz
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What have you done to improve upon your mother's grilled cheese?  
"My mom made a pretty mean sandwich. We have just elevated the ingredients. We use really great bread from Balthazar and Blue Ribbon Bakery, we use artisanal cheeses that we source from Murray's and we worked for months getting the right balance of bread and cheese and other ingredients to all work in harmony. Getting the bread right was the hardest thing, surprisingly."

If you weren't selling grilled cheeses you'd be:
"Reading a good book, hanging out on the beach with my kids and wife."

If you could never eat a grilled cheese again you'd:
"Probably live. But something would be missing.

You can find the Milk Truck on Tuesdays and Fridays at Wall and William streets, Thursdays at the World Financial Center Food Truck Lot, Wednesdays in Soho, and Saturdays in Tribeca, Smorgasburg, and the Brooklyn Flea.

Photographed by Joe Buglewicz
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Stefan Nafziger, Taïm

Best sellers:
"Green falafel sandwich, fries with saffron aioli, and our date-banana-lime smoothie."

You've been given the distinction "best falafel in NYC" — where do you go from there? What are you looking for next?
"We are opening our new Taïm location in three weeks on the corner of Spring and Mulberry streets in Nolita."



Photographed by Joe Buglewicz
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Any myths about working in a truck you'd like to debunk?
"It's a really nice job: you freeze in the winter, roast in the summer, fight with food carts and other trucks everyday, and then get kicked out of your spot by the cops in the middle of your lunch rush. Moving to L.A. sounds nice at this point!"

How has midtown helped define your brand?
"It was nice while it lasted. Due to complaints and parking tickets we avoid it now..."

Photographed by Joe Buglewicz
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What does a Taïm power lunch look like?
"300 sandwiches in 2.5 hours."

Photographed by Joe Buglewicz
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What's the secret to a great ball of falafel?
"Besides the right seasoning and fresh ingredients, moisture and crispiness make the difference. Don't fry the balls too long or they'll be hard and dry."

You can find Taïm Mondays and Thursdays at the World Financial Center Food Truck Lot, Tuesdays at Varick and King street, and Wednesdays and Fridays at 20th Street and 5th Avenue.

Photographed by Joe Buglewicz
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Thiru Kumar a.k.a. the Dosa Man, Dosas

What you're known for:
"We're known for being the first vegan Indian food cart, really known for the dosas."

Best seller(s): "Special Pondicherry Dosa, Roti Curry, Jaffna Lunch."

Photographed by Joe Buglewicz
15 of 17
What are some common misconceptions about food truck life? 
"I'm not too sure, it is a very tough job, but as long as you follow all the rules and regulations and enjoy what you're doing, then it's great!"

Photographed by Joe Buglewicz
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How do you describe your flavors in just five words?
"It's delicious, made with love."

Photographed by Joe Buglewicz
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What's the craziest event you've done?
"NYU's Earth Day event..."

What's the toughest part about cooking Indian food in a truck?
"Working on rainy days are tough."

You can find Dosas at West 4th and Sullivan streets.

Photographed by Joe Buglewicz
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