Top 10 Tastiest Food Trucks You Can Find In NYC In 2019

As the New York City’s food truck scene has become increasingly enormous, trying to find the best food can sometimes feel impossible. Our NYFTA team has done all of the heavy-lifting for you and has taste tested almost every food truck in NYC. After our sampling, we have come to a conclusion that’s worth sharing. Next time you’re trying to decide, which food truck to pick to get the best food, service, and value, we have you covered!

ABEETZ - WOOD-FIRED PIZZA   Making pizza as authentic as authentic can get, Abeetz pizza truck is our #1 pick when it comes to pizza. Founder David D'amico managed to bring together his passion for pizza and his family history to create one of the most successful food trucks in NYC. All you have to do now is to decide, whether you want to want to eat your pizza straight, folded, or use silverware :)   Tip:  Abeetz makes an Avocado Toast personal style pizza. Need we say more?

ABEETZ - WOOD-FIRED PIZZA

Making pizza as authentic as authentic can get, Abeetz pizza truck is our #1 pick when it comes to pizza. Founder David D'amico managed to bring together his passion for pizza and his family history to create one of the most successful food trucks in NYC. All you have to do now is to decide, whether you want to want to eat your pizza straight, folded, or use silverware :)

Tip: Abeetz makes an Avocado Toast personal style pizza. Need we say more?

BIG D'S GRUB - ASIAN FUSION

It’s very likely that you’ve spotted one of Big D’s trucks in action serving the hungry crowds of New Yorkers. The Chef and Owner of Big D’s, Dennis Kum, converts his passion for food into amazingly tasty, flavorful food creations that are an absolute must try!

Tip: No need to wait till next Tuesday to get Big D’s Spicy Chicken Tacos! Also, their Bulgogi Rice Platter is just FLAVORSOME!!

DISO'S - ITALIAN SANDWICH SOCIETY NYC   If you are an Italian sandwich lover, then Diso’s is the food truck for you. Adam DiSilvestro, a.k.a. Diso, grew up with Italian parents and there is no doubt he exactly knows what a classic Italian sandwich is about. Diso makes his sandwiches using imported Italian meats and cheeses sourced from famous DiPalos in Little Italy, NYC. Diso’s truck was also featured on Food Network's TV show  Great Food Truck Race.    Tip:  Vinny Chins, Joey Shakes, or Eddie Mush are among the top picks that we love!

DISO'S - ITALIAN SANDWICH SOCIETY NYC

If you are an Italian sandwich lover, then Diso’s is the food truck for you. Adam DiSilvestro, a.k.a. Diso, grew up with Italian parents and there is no doubt he exactly knows what a classic Italian sandwich is about. Diso makes his sandwiches using imported Italian meats and cheeses sourced from famous DiPalos in Little Italy, NYC. Diso’s truck was also featured on Food Network's TV show Great Food Truck Race.

Tip: Vinny Chins, Joey Shakes, or Eddie Mush are among the top picks that we love!

EL TORO ROJO - MEXICAN   In Mexico, street food is a part of their culture, and since Gabriel Apreza and his children opened their truck, it has become a part of our culture, too. El Toro Rojo brings homemade Oaxacan Cuisine to the streets of NYC. They believe in simple, locally sourced dishes, with quick service and consistent quality. Their menu consists of Tacos, Burritos, Quesadillas and Fajita bowls, all which are just to die for.   Tip:  You can pick from six protein options - Chicken, Steak, Al Pastor, Chorizo, Shrimp or Carnitas. You can also go meatless, just veggies.

EL TORO ROJO - MEXICAN

In Mexico, street food is a part of their culture, and since Gabriel Apreza and his children opened their truck, it has become a part of our culture, too. El Toro Rojo brings homemade Oaxacan Cuisine to the streets of NYC. They believe in simple, locally sourced dishes, with quick service and consistent quality. Their menu consists of Tacos, Burritos, Quesadillas and Fajita bowls, all which are just to die for.

Tip: You can pick from six protein options - Chicken, Steak, Al Pastor, Chorizo, Shrimp or Carnitas. You can also go meatless, just veggies.

GLAZED & CONFUSED - FRESH MINI DONUTS   You’re going to go nuts for these donuts - guaranteed! In a case like this, size doesn’t matter as much as the quality and experience. Lifelong friends Dan and Larry founded Glazed & Confused in 2015 with a simple goal: Bring their delicious & made-to-order mini donuts to the streets of NYC! Served by the tray, their signature donut combos are always a huge hit.   Tip:  Flavorssuch as doNutella and S’mores are their customers favorite. For those over 21+, you can ask for their boozy seasonal flavors :)

GLAZED & CONFUSED - FRESH MINI DONUTS

You’re going to go nuts for these donuts - guaranteed! In a case like this, size doesn’t matter as much as the quality and experience. Lifelong friends Dan and Larry founded Glazed & Confused in 2015 with a simple goal: Bring their delicious & made-to-order mini donuts to the streets of NYC! Served by the tray, their signature donut combos are always a huge hit.

Tip: Flavorssuch as doNutella and S’mores are their customers favorite. For those over 21+, you can ask for their boozy seasonal flavors :)

MAKINA - ETHIOPIAN & ERITREAN EATERY   As a first food truck of it’s kind in NYC, Makina will surely bring you a whole new culinary experience. Offering both meat and vegetarian/vegan options, Makina Cafe gives a slice of Northeast African culture to the city of New York while giving warm & welcoming service. Their big yellow truck will surely make your day a bit brighter (and more delicious!)   Tip:  Makina truck gives you an option to choose and create your own plate. P.S. Their Beef Sambusa is fantastic.

MAKINA - ETHIOPIAN & ERITREAN EATERY

As a first food truck of it’s kind in NYC, Makina will surely bring you a whole new culinary experience. Offering both meat and vegetarian/vegan options, Makina Cafe gives a slice of Northeast African culture to the city of New York while giving warm & welcoming service. Their big yellow truck will surely make your day a bit brighter (and more delicious!)

Tip: Makina truck gives you an option to choose and create your own plate. P.S. Their Beef Sambusa is fantastic.

NUCHAS - EMPANADAS   In 2009, Ariel and his wife (Leni) arrived in New York City with two things: $9,000 and a dream! A few years later, a kiosk in Times Square to award-winning empanadas, Nuchas has taken this handheld food to another level and became the empanada king of New York. Nuchas truck serves unique flavors like Italian sausage and pepper, spicy cheese, and Seitan Al Pastor. These empanadas are freshly baked (not fried!)   Tip:  Team Nuchas recommend to get about 3-4 empanadas per person to get one full meal. What a great opportunity to try a whole bunch of flavors.

NUCHAS - EMPANADAS

In 2009, Ariel and his wife (Leni) arrived in New York City with two things: $9,000 and a dream! A few years later, a kiosk in Times Square to award-winning empanadas, Nuchas has taken this handheld food to another level and became the empanada king of New York. Nuchas truck serves unique flavors like Italian sausage and pepper, spicy cheese, and Seitan Al Pastor. These empanadas are freshly baked (not fried!)

Tip: Team Nuchas recommend to get about 3-4 empanadas per person to get one full meal. What a great opportunity to try a whole bunch of flavors.

PHIL'S STEAKS - PHILLY CHEESESTEAKS   Phil’s Steaks is NYC’s 1st Authentic Philly Cheesesteak Food Truck and quickly amassed one of the largest followings around. With a combination of high-quality beef ribeye and freshly baked rolls shipped directly from Philly, this truly is the most authentic cheesesteak you can get without actually going there. American Steak, Pepper Steak, Shroom Steak... you can never go wrong with this classic Philly sandwich.   Tip:  You will probably hear Phil using the word “Jawn”. That’s how they like to call their truck. For those that don’t know, the word “Jawn,” is Philly slang – a noun that can replace just about anything and everything.

PHIL'S STEAKS - PHILLY CHEESESTEAKS

Phil’s Steaks is NYC’s 1st Authentic Philly Cheesesteak Food Truck and quickly amassed one of the largest followings around. With a combination of high-quality beef ribeye and freshly baked rolls shipped directly from Philly, this truly is the most authentic cheesesteak you can get without actually going there. American Steak, Pepper Steak, Shroom Steak... you can never go wrong with this classic Philly sandwich.

Tip: You will probably hear Phil using the word “Jawn”. That’s how they like to call their truck. For those that don’t know, the word “Jawn,” is Philly slang – a noun that can replace just about anything and everything.

SOUVLAKI GR - GREEK   One of the only true classic Greek trucks in New York City, Souvlaki GR has been serving their delicious kabobs and gyros to the hungry people of Manhattan since 2010 when they won the Vendy award for Rookie of the Year. The following year they won the Vendy Peoples Choice Award as well as The NYC Food and Wine Festival People’s Choice award.   Tip:  Charcoal-grilled meat inside a warm pita, with a slice of tomato, red onion, tzatziki sauce, and french fries INSIDE - Chicken Souvlaki Pita is out hot pick.

SOUVLAKI GR - GREEK

One of the only true classic Greek trucks in New York City, Souvlaki GR has been serving their delicious kabobs and gyros to the hungry people of Manhattan since 2010 when they won the Vendy award for Rookie of the Year. The following year they won the Vendy Peoples Choice Award as well as The NYC Food and Wine Festival People’s Choice award.

Tip: Charcoal-grilled meat inside a warm pita, with a slice of tomato, red onion, tzatziki sauce, and french fries INSIDE - Chicken Souvlaki Pita is out hot pick.

WAFELS & DINGES - BELGIAN WAFFLES   So the story goes... In 2007, King Albert II of Belgium mandated the Belgian Ministry of Culinary Affairs to bring his   authentic (and  very  scrumptious) Liege & Brussels waffles to the NYC streets .  And so, the first Wafels & Dinges yellow food truck was born! The goal: Give America's "Belgian Waffles" a serious upgrade. Wafels & Dinges is arguably the most award-winning truck in New York City, including the following prestigious titles: Best Dessert, 2009 Vendy Awards + Winner, 2010 Throwdown with Bobby Flay + Best Dessert Truck in America, 2013 The Daily Meal.   Tip:  WAFELS & DINGES truck is so good, people like to rent it for weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, office parties, and all sorts of events. Everyone ♥s the Wafels & Dinges!

WAFELS & DINGES - BELGIAN WAFFLES

So the story goes... In 2007, King Albert II of Belgium mandated the Belgian Ministry of Culinary Affairs to bring his authentic (and very scrumptious) Liege & Brussels waffles to the NYC streets. And so, the first Wafels & Dinges yellow food truck was born! The goal: Give America's "Belgian Waffles" a serious upgrade. Wafels & Dinges is arguably the most award-winning truck in New York City, including the following prestigious titles: Best Dessert, 2009 Vendy Awards + Winner, 2010 Throwdown with Bobby Flay + Best Dessert Truck in America, 2013 The Daily Meal.

Tip: WAFELS & DINGES truck is so good, people like to rent it for weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, office parties, and all sorts of events. Everyone ♥s the Wafels & Dinges!

New York Comic Con 2018

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Is Comic Con the new adult Halloween?


New York Comic Con is basically the pregame to the #1 costume holiday of the year but better. And instead of trick-or-treating for candy, cosplayers hop from food truck to food truck collecting savory treats to fuel up for the next panel.

If you were an attendee in years past and had the chance to stop by the Food Truck Village at the Javits Center, you know exactly what you are committing to for some of the best truck grub in the city all under one overhang! It’s all about strategy for large events just like NYCC.

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Check out some of our favorite memories from this year!

See you next year!

Event Recap: 2018 Vendy Awards

“The Oscars of Street Food” has come and gone and we are STILL FULL. This past weekend, street vendors from across the boroughs came together on Governor’s Island for the annual cook off to celebrate what it means to be a successful small business. The NYFTA team had the privilege to stuff our faces again this year, support some of our favorite vendors and to scope out some new faces at the 2018 Vendy Awards.


It was a brisk Saturday and the perfect way to celebrate the First Day of Fall on Governor’s Island.

Food trucks and carts lined Colonel’s Row according to their nominee category, with music bumping and the smells of cultures mixing together wafting over the green space.


- 2018 VENDY FINALISTS -

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VENDY CUP

Burmese Bites

Franky’s Souvlaki

Jianetto’s Pizza

El Saboroso De Aracataca

Royal Grill Halal Food *WINNER*


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BEST BREAKFAST VENDOR

Cheong Fun Rice Noodle Cart

Evelia’s Tamales Mexicanos

King David Tacos

Mama Jo’s Breakfast Cart *WINNER*

Saravanaa Bhavan


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ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Jak! Chinese

Makina Cafe

Mannahatta Mediterranean

Mr. Khao Man Gai

Nansense *WINNER*


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BEST MARKET VENDOR

Caspanish

D’Abruzzo NYC *WINNER*

Hometown Spring Pancakes

IEatLaoFood

Taste of Surabaya


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BEST DESSERT VENDOR

Baonanas *WINNER*

Bonsai Kakigori

Delmy’s Obleas

Malai Ice Cream

Twister Cake


Check out the Vendy’s instagram for more tagged photos from the weekend!

It has been an unofficial trend in recent years for Vendy Award winners to see a boom in their street vending or food truck business after being crowned in their respective categories ;)

We can’t wait to see how these small businesses grow with the support of their amazing community! Keep your eyes peeled.

3 Creative Ways to Use a Food Truck at your Next Event

Long headline, important topic.

Every event is unique in it’s own way - from the venue to the food being served, all the way down to why the event is being hosted. There are many creative ways to utilize a food truck for a WOW factor that will leave a long-lasting impression on your guests and set your event apart from the rest of the pack.

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1. Use the physical truck as a brandable space

Fabricate the food truck with a fun, eye-catching design to grab the attention of the masses. Use hashtags, social media slogans and recognizable branding to get your message across. Brighter colors look so cool driving through the streets of Manhattan!

For a brand activation, plan to stop in diverse, high traffic locations throughout the city and boroughs to get the most out of the mobile advertising space.

A brand activation in partnership with MiQ and El Toro Rojo was an eye-catcher!

A brand activation in partnership with MiQ and El Toro Rojo was an eye-catcher!

2. Customize and personalize

The NYFTA members all have great menus that they are known for but pairing down their catering menu to 2-5 options makes it seem like more thought went into the event and helps expedite ordering and service two-fold! Several of the members have vegetarian options available upon request so you can think ahead to accommodate any dietary restrictions.

Weather is also a huge factor in determining an event menu. If your event is being held outside during the summer, you know it’s going to be sweltering and might consider choosing cooler menu items such as lobster rolls, sides of guacamole, cold brew coffee or ice cream sandwiches.

Red Hook Lobster Pound knows how to keep guests cool at an outdoor summertime event!

Red Hook Lobster Pound knows how to keep guests cool at an outdoor summertime event!

Another way to customize is to use the food service products to your advantage.

Napkins, food containers, drink cups, stickers: you name it and you can customize it! These are great takeaways that guests physically hold and take with them after they visit a food truck. Even if they get thrown away at some point, the brand impression is still there.

3. Add interactive elements

  • Place a drop box near the truck service window for business cards if you are hosting a corporate event to enter a drawing for a raffle. Everyone loves swag!

  • Use signage to your advantage. Most food trucks have a menu board you can either customize or use as a part of your truck fabrication. An “A frame” sign on the sidewalk next to the food truck is also useful for explaining menu selections and welcoming guests in an unexpected way.

  • Staff brand ambassadors (shout out to Mustard Lane) to engage with attendees, take orders, collect emails or use technology to show live clips of a product you are launching.

  • A photo booth might seem overdone but if used in a strategic way, it can have a huge impact on the engagement factor of your event. Guests can snap a photo and quickly post directly to social media using your wedding hashtag or tagging your brand.

No matter how you go about incorporating different elements and details into your event, consider this evidence that food trucks are always an unexpected treat!

Now go forth and get creative!

Food Holidays: September

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September typically signifies the end of summer, transition to fall and all the glorious things that come with it. We aren't talking PSLs and crunchy leaves just yet (since it's still 90 degrees in New York City), but rather the random reasons eat more food :) Our food truck vendors have the perfect way to celebrate this month.


- September 5th - National Cheese Pizza Day -

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- September 20th - National Pepperoni Pizza Day - 

Do we even need a food holiday in order to eat pizza? The answer is no but it's still a great excuse to find a slice not once, but twice this month. Abeetz, Neapolitan Express and Valducci's are our top picks for street pizza.

 

- September 12th - National Chocolate Milkshake Day -

You could go to a diner for a classic milkshake...orrrrrrr you could get handed one from a food truck! Bona Bona and Carnivale Donut Bar are both your mobile solution for a twist on this sweet frozen treat. Summer will last forever at this point so might as well continue eating ice cream.

- September 13th - National Peanut Day -

We are huge fans of PB and anything with PB on it especially when it is on or in between something sweet. Glazed & Confused's Peanut Butter Cup mini donuts drizzled in chocolate and peanut butter sauces are actually something out of our sweet dreams. Wafles and Dinges, a cult classic, lets you customize your waffle toppings so you can load up on the peanut butter!

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- September 18th - National Cheeseburger Day -

Stuf'd is known for their crazy, larger than life sandwiches and their Angus Cheeseburger doesn't disappoint. Grab some napkins, use two hands and bite into their signature thick slices of savory bread and their version of an American classic.

 

Happy eating, you can find us jamming to Earth, Wind and Fire with fists full of food all month.

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"Cool" Eats

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And we aren’t just talking about ice cream for once! With summer winding down (also, when did that happen?) we are all looking forward to fall (that’s right, we said it). Until then, we can rely on some of our favorites to lower our core temp while out and about.

You may not realize it, but a lot of our food truck members serve certain menu items that don’t need to be heated and are best served cold. You can still get your food truck fix and cool down at the same time! Take a look at some examples that are refreshingly satisfying.


Starting off with something traditional, Rita’s Italian Ices and Andy’s Italian Ices are both a given for summer. We love both of these food truck members for their versatility and that nostalgic, fun feeling you get when you get a giant scoop of frozen sweetness on a hot day.

Toum Lebanese is the expert when it comes to garlic and with that comes their incredibly authentic (and award winning) garlic hummus. Best served and eaten cold with a side of warm pita (or a spoon, it’s up to you).

We’ve talked about El Toro Rojo’s guac before but one can never get enough! It is the perfect refreshing snack with it’s cool blend of avocados, cilantro and a little added heat from the spices.

Souvlaki GR is the mediterranean hostess with the mostest and when it comes to their salads, you can have whatever you like. Combining their fresh ingredients like cucumber, kalamata olives and feta with a warm chicken skewer makes it a dish you could eat year round.

The way lobster rolls are prepared comes down to personal preference and everyone on the East Coast has their own strong opinion on the subject: warm vs. cold lobstah. We prefer to be able to have this seafood all the time so it makes the perfect summer AND winter meal! Luke’s Lobster and Red Hook Lobster are perfect options with multiple locations around the city if you are craving a cold one.

And last but not least, a NYFTA team favorite and the coolest of treats: Melt Bakery. This one might be obvious but they are so good we do not care. With inventive flavors and new concepts coming out every month, Melt has found its way into the hearts (and hands) of its most loyal customers.

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Stay cool!


Brand Ambassadors (and why you need them)

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Imagine this: you walk outside and there is a mobile billboard stationed in front of your office in Midtown. Maybe you Tweet to spin a prize wheel, maybe you are handed free hot chocolate, maybe you stop and ask the people in matching shirts who look like they are part of the madness "what's going on?" The answer is: no one knows...but Brand Ambassadors look good doing it!

Now the question is: where do these Brand Ambassadors come from? We work exclusively with a company called Mustard Lane, which brands themselves as "the nation's one stop shop for all your staffing needs" and they certainly hold true to that statement! Their roster of “Laners” includes industry professionals from across the country and their selective casting process means that all of their Laners come to your event vetted, tried and true.

Twitter's #WhatsHappening activation during Summer 2018

Twitter's #WhatsHappening activation during Summer 2018

Brand Ambassadors are such an important addition to any event or brand activation where you are trying to get a clear and concise message out to your audience. They don't just stand there handing out food samples, they are actually professionally trained to interact with and engage your target audience. Teams can come in all shapes and sizes with a wide range of abilities. Need to collect email addresses? Need to manage a crowd? Spinning prize wheels and getting excited when someone wins a foam finger? They can do it all.

 

Mustard Lane works with some of the biggest brand names (including the biggest of them all: NYFTA ;) ) to bring events to life and they are also fun people to work with! Take a look some of our recent projects where we had some Laners!

Mustard Lane recently featured us on their own blog if you want to read more about the biz from their perspective and to see what else they have going on! We promise we didn't pay them to say nice things, but they said nice things.

Ask us about bringing on Brand Ambassadors to your next NYFTA project! You won't regret it.

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Behind the Window: Toum NYC

You have your favorite food trucks (and we have ours) but have you ever wondered what goes on beyond the serving window? The food truck industry is exciting, fast paced and challenging but those who are in the biz do it for the love of the game.

Take a sneak peek behind the scenes of Toum: NYC’s most popular Lebanese food truck.


You might recognize them by the cute little garlic man on their truck fabrication or maybe you’ve seen them at a NYFTA event recently. They are everywhere! Starting as a humble side catering business for family and friends in the community by request has turned into a full blown operation with a huge following. Regulars find them for their authentic cuisine (stuffed grape leaves on a food truck?) and stay for the staff’s smiling faces.

What goes on during a regular food truck meal service might be clear to some but is a mystery to most. It is not always be pretty (especially when there's a line) but the madness leads to deliciousness.

Depending on the truck, there could be anywhere between 2-6 people working in a confined space at a time. Think of your one-bedroom apartment being converted into a three-bedroom: space is hard to come by but just like your walk up in the city, they make use of the space they do have. Toum even made room for their vertical meat spit! Innovation is the key to success in any mobile kitchen. Toum specifically has to pre-plan storage for to-go salad containers, utensils to hand out as well as transport all beverages (including their signature lemonade). Toum as well as all of the NYFTA members have their Department of Health certifications to ensure quality and cleanliness.

Toum (which means garlic in Lebanese) always has a line during lunch wherever they are. They blast out their location in the city via social media nearly everyday to keep their dedicated followers in the know if they are off the streets for an event. They are available for pretty much anything from private catered events to Ubereats to pop up lunches at the office. Just follow the crazy garlic man!

Keep Calm and Shawarma on!


Food Holidays: August

We all love a good excuse to celebrate and celebrations usually go hand-in-hand with food. So celebrating food holidays should be a no brainer!

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Check out some ridiculous reasons to eat during the month of August and stay tuned for a monthly feature!


- August 2nd - National Ice Cream Sandwich Day -

Clearly we have a love for ice cream (who doesn't) and would like to think every day is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day but now there is an actual day dedicated to everyone's favorite frozen snack! Our favorites are The Tenny from Melt Bakery and The Good Witch from The Good Batch. Both have brick and mortar shops located in Manhattan and are also able to bring their pushcart into pretty much any venue for a fun addition to any event.

- 1st Saturday in August - National Mustard Day -

This is an obvious one for us since we have been partnering with the Public Art Fund all summer to bring you the Hot Dog Bus. See you every weekend until the end of August in Brooklyn Bridge Park for 'dogs smothered in mustard (and ketchup if that's your jam).

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- August 10th - National S'mores Day - 

It's hard to mess up the camping staple but if you happen to not have a fire pit and all fixin's then Glazed & Confused can help you out. They drizzle Marshmallow creme, chocolate sauce and crumbled graham crackers over their signature warm mini donuts in a mouthwatering combination. Bring us s'more.

 

- August 14th - National Creamsicle Day -

Another excuse to show off our incredible creamsicle inspired ice cream floats in partnership with Twitter. Unfortunately, you won't be able to find these on the streets any longer but request a custom menu from our culinary team and perhaps you can have this orange treat again!

- August 20th - National Bacon Lover's Day - 

This could be considered the Holy Grail of food holidays. If you had to dedicate an entire day to something, it better be bacon. Our vendors know what the people like so here are some of our favorite menu items that sizzle.

Mac Truck NYC's Applewood Smoke Bacon topped mac and cheese is one of their most popular menu items, especially at events!

Abeetz serves up everyone's favorite combo in pizza form and affectionately call the creation BAE - Bacon, Egg and Cheese, Mozzarella, Everything Spice Crust.

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