Exploring New York City’s Street Foods

A deep dive into the world of food trucks in the Big Apple.


Krittika Chowdhury

Pictured is the outside of the Peking Duck Sandwich Stall, located at 135-33 40th Road, in Flushing, Queens.

Walking down any block in New York City, you will find street vendor carts everywhere. From fruits to chicken over rice to nuts, everything can be found and at convenient prices. Big cities around the world are known for their diverse communities and populations within New York City are a prime example. With over one hundred countries represented in the five boroughs, you are likely to stumble upon your new favorite meal on the streets! 


On almost every block in the city, you will spot at least one halal cart. But what is it, and what are they serving? Halal carts are known for their cheap yet filling meals — a simple dish of well-seasoned chicken over yellow spicy rice with sauces of choice and an ice cold Pepsi.

The halal cart business started with The Halal Guys.  Three friends from Egypt came to America in the 1990s and started their business of selling hotdogs. Sitting on the corner of 53rd street and 6th Ave in Manhattan, the friends shared ownership of one hotdog cart. However, keeping the increasing Muslim population in mind, they wanted to add a street food option that is halal and a common cuisine for muslims all over the world: chicken over rice. From there, the rest is history. There are now over thousands of carts throughout the five boroughs.

Although there are thousands around the city, one of the best, and a fan favorite amongst Bronx Science students can be found on the corner of Jerome Avenue and Bedford Park Boulevard. Halal Express or as Bronx Science students call it, Jerome’s cart, has been selling their delicious food at cheap prices to the Bronx Science community for years. You will always find a line throughout the day; students spill over the sidewalk, and regardless of the weather conditions, they make the trip to get their favorite halal food.

Usually, I like going to Jerome’s after a long day of school. The walk only takes 10 short minutes, and the wait time is half as long. The owners greet you with a smile every time and makes you feel welcome. I always get a lamb and chicken combo over rice with white sauce and BBQ sauce. It never disappoints. For a low price of $6 plus a free soda, nothing can beat it. 

Jerome’s isn’t the only halal cart leaving their customers smiling ear to ear. At the corner of West 49th Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan is Adel’s Halal. With lines that go on for blocks, their falafels with pita bread and their chicken over rice leaves customers coming back for more. 

I highly recommend you try out what your nearest Halal cart has to offer, as it might become your favorite go to stop!


Halal Guys – 6th Avenue &, W 53rd St, New York, 10019 

Adels Halal – 6th Avenue &, W 53rd St, New York, 10019

Halal Express – Bedford Park BLVD & Jerome Ave, Bronx, NY 10468

Tony’s Halal – Paul Ave and Bedford Park BLVD W, Bronx, NY 10468

Salam Halal Food – 73-14 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372


In Manhattan it’s common to see tiny black push carts everywhere. Although they are tiny, the smell from the sweet nuts fill the city’s air. Nuts4Nuts was introduced in the 1990s by Alejandro Rad who came to New York City from Buenos Aires. The honey roasted peanuts from a small cart aroused the city’s appetite and the business grew from there. Any New Yorker would say it was a part of their childhood. 

Sam Chin ’24 visited their local Nuts4Nuts cart. “I visited the black little pushcart outside of the 86th and Lexington Avenue station on my way home. You can smell the sweetness and saltiness right from the train station.” Growing up, Chin would visit these carts, solidifying its place in their childhood. “On the way home, I stopped by the cart because the smell reminded me of my childhood, so I had to go and pick some up. I was surprised to see the prices barely changed!” Throughout the years NUTS4NUTS didn’t let inflation stop their customers from enjoying a snack. Everything ranges from $2-$5! 

Needless to say, the Nuts4Nuts cart is a staple to the New York scenery. Finding these little push carts around the city gives us a bite of our childhood back for a cheap price. I would definitely recommend this as a great snack for a nice walk around the city, or if you’re in a rush trying to catch the next train.


610 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

201-205 W 40th St, New York, NY 10018

40th St & 5th Ave, New York, NY 100018

Sam Chin ‘24 enjoyed a bag of fresh and sweet honey roasted nuts. (Sam Chin)


Jackson Heights is known as one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city, representing countries from all over the world. With this diverse population the best street food can be found. Fuchka, a popular Bengali Street food, was recently added to the list. 

But what is Fuchka? Fuchka is the Bengali take on the popular Indian street food that many of you may know and love: Pani Puri or Gol Gappa. It consists of a crispy fried semolina shell filled with seasoned potatoes topped with tamarind sauce, cilantro, and grated hard boiled egg. 

Tong Fuchka Truck first came to the scene in 2018; a year and a half later, FuskaHouse entered the picture. Tong in New York City, started by Md. Naeem Khandake, wanted to add a common and popular Bengali street food to the streets of New York. Khandake holds a secret recipe to make his Fuchka extra crispy and tangy. Across the street is his “rival.” The owner of FuskaHouse, Masud Rahman, is a long time friend of Khandaker selling the same delicious snack but a sweeter version of it. Both serve great fuchka and other popular Bengali street food items such as jhalmuri and chotpoti.

Going to Jackson Heights from Bronx Science takes approximately an hour. After a couple of minutes of waiting, I was served 6 fuchkas with tamarind sauce for $6. Both locations sell the same amount for the same price. Although these are trucks, both offer seating under a shade, so you can enjoy your food while chatting with friends. Fuchka is best enjoyed with an ice cold drink and eaten right after they are made, for the best crunch. 


Tong NYC – 7301 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

Fuskahouse NYC – 7301 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11373

Fuchka & Bhelpuri Garden – 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372 

Star Fuska – 74-01 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

Maitri Sarkar ‘23 waited for her order of six fuchkas outside of FuskaHouse in Jackson Heights, Queens. (Krittika Chowdhury)


Another place for the best street food is Flushing, Queens. Peking duck sandwiches can be found at a little stall outside of the popular Shanghai You Garden. Peking duck has been a popular food item across China and made its place in New York City too, but no one does it like the Peking Duck Sandwich Stall.

But what is Peking duck? Peking duck has been a popular dish in China since the Imperial Era. The steps to cook the duck takes patience. The duck is slowly roasted and goes through several steps to get the best crispy seasoned skin. The duck comes out as a whole, and it is usually served into individual pieces. Some other ways to enjoy peking duck are with steamed pancakes or in sandwich form with bao buns, which is what the Peking Duck Sandwich Stall has perfected. 

The Peking Duck Sandwich Stall is in the heart of Main Street in Flushing, Queens. From Bronx Science, it takes approximately an hour. When you get to Main Street, the air is filled with the aroma of food and so much movement happening at once. Two blocks from the train station, a good amount of people are dining in and out of Shanghai You Garden. Located outside of that restaurant is the Peking Duck Sandwich Stall. Depending on the crowd, the wait time varies. When I visited, there wasn’t a line, so my wait time was short. The workers greeted me with a smile. I ordered and waited less than 5 minutes. The customer service was amazing, and the sandwich was delicious too!

For only $2.50, it is a great steal. The tenderness of the meat coupled with the sweet sauce makes it worth it and a great after school snack. It is definitely worth a try!

Here is an open bao bun with a crispy and tender slice of duck topped sweet oyster sauce and spring onions, sold at the Peking Duck Sandwich Stall in Flushing, Queens. (Krittika Chowdhury)


Peking Duck Sandwich Stall – 135-33 40th Rd, Flushing, NY 11354

Peking Duck House – 236 E 53rd St, New York, NY 10022

Lucky Chen – 135-53 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354

Royale Queen – 136-20 Roosevelt Ave 3rd floor, Queens, NY 11354

The street food doesn’t end just here, as cuisines from all over the world can be found on the streets of New York City. Walking down any block in the city can feel like you’re in a different country or a different continent. With this greatly diverse city, you can find anything and possibly your new favorite “go to.”

“On the way home I stopped by the cart because the smell reminded me of my childhood, so I had to go and pick some up. I was surprised to see the prices barely changed!” said Sam Chin ’24.