Park Slope's Food Truck Rally, at the entrance to Prospect Park at Grand Army Plaza, is a wonderful seasonal outing for a Sunday in the city.
The food's good. There's often live music. And what could be more entertaining than watching hungry New Yorkers chow down?
Since about 2010, food trucks have become a fun feature of Brooklyn's love affair with locally produced, small-batched, "artisanal" food. One of the biggest "food truck rallies" happens in Prospect Park's Grand Army Plaza once a month for five months out of the year.
If you like food and want to see what Brooklyn's up to these days, check it out. Note: No alcohol is served.
When: Third Sundays, June – October, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Grand Army Plaza, at the entrance to Prospect Park, between the neighborhoods of Prospect Heights, Park Slope, and Crown Heights, near the 2,3, B, and Q trains.
What kind of food is sold? See the following pages to get an idea of the gourmet treats served up by the various food trucks you'll find in Prospect Park's Food Truck Rally at Grand Army Plaza. (Note: Not every vendor will be at every food truck rally; they rotate by month. And, Menus change. But in general, you will find small batch, artisanal, organic or locally grown ingredients, cooked up in interesting recipes.
Who should go?
- Families: The Grand Army Plaza Food Truck Rally is a family-friendly event.
- Friends: This event is a favorite meeting spot for friends. Nobody cares if you arrive late.
- Dates: It's a great destination for a casual date, and you'll have lots of time to get to know one another while snacking or waiting on line.
- Anyone: Above all, food truck rallies are just plain fun. A little pricey maybe? Yes. But fun.
If you're yearning for that unique Maine lobster experience, there's no need to trek to Maine. Save on gas and hassle and just head to the Grand Army Plaza Food Truck Rally, where you'll likely find one of two vendors:
The Red Hook Lobster based in Red Hook, Brooklyn, is a red-hot little foodie fest organized by the local Red Hook Lobster Shack. With the motto, Get Your Claws on the Best Lobster Roll in NYC, their self-described "roving lobster shack" makes the rounds to some of the best parking spots and foodie intersections in town.
Luke's Lobster is another successful lobster-lovers mobile operation, with truck stops in Manhattan's Financial District, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, East Village, and Plaza Food Hall (curated by Todd English) on 59th Street. They're dedicated to sustainable lobster fishing, and serve their lobsters "the Maine way."
Also sometimes available: crab and shrimp rolls and various extras.
Chinese Dumpling Snacks
Rickshaw Dumplings has a hipsters fusion take on an ancient, much-beloved snack. Choose among such tasty treats as:
- pork and Chinese chive dumplings,
- chicken and Thai basil with soy dipping sauce,
- a side of chili sesame noodles
- miso soup.
As for attitude? Rickshaw is dripping with it.
American Food: Burgers, Grilled Cheese and More
You'll find an amazing array of Gourmet Americana, including grilled cheese, grilled meats, and even Phil's Philly Steaks.
- Frites'N'Meats - With the motto, "saving the world, one burger at a time," you can guess that the foods here are organic and the business has a larger mission than flipping burgers. A staple at the World Financial Center, this food truck specializes in grass-fed Angus beef, American Kobe, skirt steak on a variety of buns and with such fab cheese toppings as guacamole or crispy bacon, with killer french fries on the side.
- Gorilla Cheese NYC — Head here for sandwiches with combos of cheeses and meats (try the specialty smoked gouda with bbq pulled pork and onions or asiago, prosciutto di parma with aioli, or smoked mozzarella and marinara sauce on french bread. Or, go for a plain cheese sandwich!
- Mike & Willie's — Try these tasty short ribs, lime chicken, and beer battered cod.
- Milk Truck — Playing up that old standard, the grilled cheese sandwich, here you can melt at the thought of aged Wisconsin Gruyere with champagne picked onions on Blue Ribbon Jewish rye, eggs, or bacon cheddar blue cheese combo.
- Morris Truck - Have a cherry cola or “milk of the poppy” along with your bean puree and pickled radish haloumi grilled cheese, or pastrami with blue cheese port butter and pickled onion. Delicate ones might try truffle butter and truffle cheese with a side of duck fat.
- Phil's Steaks— Billed as New York City's first authentic Philly cheesesteak truck and proud of it.
Fusion Taco Food Trucks: Mexican, Turkish & Even Kimchi Tacos
Brooklyn's an internationally-minded place, and at the Grand Army Plaza Food Truck Rally, you can find a suitably global spectrum of tacos, including some innovative adaptations far from the Rio Grande.
- Big D's Grub - Tacos and grinders filled with spicy pork, ginger chicken, bulgogi, a Korean-style marinated meat recipe.
- Kimchi Taco Truck- Fusion-style Korean kimchi tacos? And why not?
(When the definitive history of the Great American Food Truck Revolution is finally written, there's a good chance that the humble taco truck will get star billing alongside Good Humor ice cream.)
Mexican BBQ and Cuban Sandwiches
Visitors can enjoy excellent Mexican and Cuban food at Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza Food Truck Rally, held the third Sunday of every month from June to October.
Show up hungry! Because unless you don't eat meat, you might want to try the fare at these trucks:
- Bongo Brothers promises to deliver "fresh and local ingredients to make deliciously affordable Cuban dishes" including the Cubano, a smoked ham sandwich, a mojo marinated roasted pork sandwich, a dish called ropa vieja (translation:"old clothes") of-braised flank steak with sauteed onions, peppers and garlic tomato creole sauce, and mojo chicken a la plancha, citrus and garlic marinated grilled chicken breast with veggies and a spicy bongo sauce.
- Mexicue— BBQ brisket sliders, Alabama barbeque chicken and smoked rib tacos with mole and cojita cheese.
Mediterranean Salad, Souvlaki & Felafel
Vegetarians, gluten-free eaters, trans-fat avoiders and generally healthy brunchers: Head to these trucks for salads & veggies.
- Promising to deliver "a little bit of "Mykonos" in the heart of New York City's Lower East Side," Souvlaki GR lovingly sails into Brooklyn with great tastes from their restaurant on Stanton Street in Manhattan.
- "Taim", which means "tasty" in Hebrew, also dishes out traditional middle eastern recipes with a gourmet flavor, including felafel, Mediterranean salads, and quinoa. Taim Mobile, inspired by the street foods of busy Tel Aviv, serve all-vegetarian foods, with a gluten-free falafel and everything cooked in vegetable oil "with not a drop of trans-fat." Also, smoothies.
What Brooklyn food event could ignore pizza? Certainly not the grassroots Food Truck Rally!
- Eddies Pizza Truck — Offering a once weekly "fan-selected pizza", their thin crust pizzas come with such toppings as anchovies, artichokes, arugula, basil, broccoli, caramelized onions, chicken, eggplant, hot cherry peppers, jalapeños, meatballs, pesto, prosciutto, pulled pork, sausage, spinach. And there are salads, too.
- Valducci's Original Pizza — Foodie New Yorkers love pizza-on-the-go, and here you can get thin crust Sicilian, complete with homemade sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil and a handful of grated cheese. Select among a range of veggie toppings or get sausage, imported spicy pepperoni, or homemade meatballs that are “better than grandma used to make.”
Gourmet Baked Goods & Ices at Food Trucks in Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn
Now, these are really delicious. The lines may be long but from homemade ices to the "Treat Truck" to incredible waffles, every single one of is worth the wait. Check for vegan options.
- Kelvin Slushies aren't just any old slushies. You can add real fruit purées and other natural mix-ins like fresh chopped mint and basil.
- Andy's Italian Ices
- Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
- Treats Truck - Serving an array of sweets, treat yourself and then go work it off in Prospect Park!
- Coolhaus- Cookies, ice creams, beverages, and sweets. Offer such yummies as double chocolate with sea salt, ginger molasses, oatmeal, and peanut butter and snickerdoodles.
- Wafels & Dinges- Sweet waffles, with ice cream and many adventurous, surprising, yummy toppings.