Where to Eat

Bite Into The Big Apple: Here’s Where To Find The Best Street Food In NYC

A world of flavor awaits around every corner

The Vacationeer
Iconic New York City skyline, Statue of Liberty, New York Bay, purple dusk sky, New York.

The city that never sleeps is more than a hustle-and-bustle metropolis with towering skyscrapers and iconic landmarks. It’s a melting pot of flavors and global fare. From carne asada tacos and mouth-watering waffles to the classic NY-style slice, the Big Apple dishes out a street food experience that’s meant to be savored.

So, before you step out of your Suite at The Hilton Club – New York or The Quin, a Hilton Club, browse this list, then go find some of the best street eats in NYC.         

Joe’s Pizza – Carmine Street

Flat lay image, classic New York City-style pizza slices, white paper plate, blue counter, NYC street food.    

Pizza in New York City is more than just a meal — it’s an institution. And an NY-style slice is known for a few stand-out characteristics:

  • It starts with a thin, hand-tossed crust that’s slightly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
  • Then comes the toppings, which are minimal. A basic pie usually features even layers of mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. You can also add classic toppings like pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms or onions.
  • Finally, there’s the sheer size of each slice. They’re so big, it’s tradition to fold it in half while you eat it.

When it comes to finding the classic neighborhood slice, popular opinion is that no one does it better than Joe’s Pizza. Nestled in the heart of Greenwich Village, the original Joe’s location has been serving up fresh pies for over 45 years. This no-frills pizzeria is always busy, but the line moves quickly, and the service is fast. Slices seem to fly off the counter and fresh pies are always in the oven. Stop by for a no-nonsense, foldable slice of pizza paradise.

Where To Find Them

  • Greenwich Village (Original Location) – 7 Carmine Street
  • Times Square – 1435 Broadway
  • Union Square – 150 East 14th Street
  • Fulton Street – 124 Fulton Street

Gray’s Papaya – Uptown

There’s another timeless classic that’s always on the move in NYC — the hot dog. From dedicated stands to rolling carts to Yankee stadium, you can find quality franks across the city. Although street carts abound, there’s one spot that shines bright with a “Recession Special” (two franks and a medium tropical drink) that’s been satisfying customers for decades: Gray’s Papaya.

Gray’s Papaya is a fixture in New York City. This unassuming hot dog joint was founded in 1973 and still serves its signature dogs on the same corner where it first opened. Gray’s prides itself on using quality ingredients, from the buns and the all-beef franks to the toppings. They’re also famous for their fruity tropical-drink flavors: coconut, banana, pina colada and, of course, papaya.

Where To Find Them

2090 Broadway (West 72nd Street)

The Halal Guys – Midtown

What started as a modest food cart in Midtown Manhattan has grown to a legendary part of NYC’s street-food culture. Today, The Halal Guys have carts and brick-and-mortar restaurants all over the world. You can find their signature canary yellow carts everywhere from San Francisco to Seoul. But when you’re in the Big Apple, make your way to the original location on the corner of West 53rd and 6th Avenue.

The menu is simple, and the food is scrumptious. Can’t-miss favorites include the beef gyro, falafel sandwich and the chicken platter served over rice, packed with veggies and smothered in the signature white sauce.

Insider tip: The Midtown cart is a beacon for foodies looking for a late-night feast. It stays open until at least 4 a.m. daily.

Where To Find Them

  • Midtown – on the corner of West 53rd Street and 6th Avenue
  • 307 East 14th Street

Los Tacos No. 1 – Multiple Locations

Los Tacos No. 1 has earned its place as a top spot on the New York City street food scene. This small chain of Manhattan-based taquerias was started by three friends from California and Mexico with a desire bring the authentic Mexican taco to the Big Apple.

Flat lay image, traditional Mexican tacos lined up, New York City street food.    

With a menu that celebrates the flavors and culture of Tijuana and Mexico City, Los Tacos uses family recipes and fresh ingredients to serve up homemade tortillas and sizzling meats that range from carne asada (grilled steak) to adobada (grilled pork) to nopal (grilled cactus).

You’ll find five locations across the city, and you can count on seeing cooks behind the line, flipping steaks, chopping chicken and creating mini masterpieces.  

Where To Find Them

  • Chelsea Market – 75 9th Avenue
  • Noho – 340 Lafayette Street
  • Times Square – 229 West 43rd Street
  • Grand Central – 125 Park Avenue
  • Tribeca – 136 Church Street

Wafels & Dinges – Multiple Locations

Wafel & Dinges, a quirky name that translates to “waffles and toppings,” began as a small food cart in 2007 and quickly captured the hearts of New Yorkers and tourists alike. Founded by a Belgian native with a passion for authentic Liège waffles, the goodies they serve go far beyond ordinary breakfast fare — and the dinges make all the difference.

The menu at Wafel & Dinges offers an array of sweet and savory options and lets you build your own creation, too. Here are a few fan favorites:

Bourbon Maple & Bacon Wafel – Candied bacon and barrel-aged bourbon maple syrup top this legendary treat

WMD (Wafel of Massive Deliciousness) – bananas, strawberries, Belgian chocolate fudge and whipped cream sit atop a sweet Liège wafel

S’more Wafel – A sweet spin on the campfire classic, this warm wafel is topped with marshmallows, Belgian chocolate fudge and spekuloos (a Belgian gingerbread cookie spread)

Where To Find Them

  • Bryant Park – 1090 6th Avenue
  • Herald Square – 102 West 35th Street
  • Flatiron District – 186 5th Avenue
  • Museum of Natural History – 392 Columbus Avenue

Insider tip: Stop by the Wafels & Dinges location on Columbus Avenue to grab a sweet treat before walking over to Central Park and enjoying an afternoon stroll or impromptu picnic.

Check out “5 Unconventional NYC Pizzerias You’ll Love” to see where you can go for a tasty twist on the classic New York slice.

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The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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