Sunset Park’s parallel communities of Asian and Latin immigrants, lining 8th Avenue and 5th Avenue respectively, offer no shortage of fantastic eats. But sometimes one can’t be bothered to go into a restaurant. Maybe you’re in a hurry. Or you’re not wearing a shirt or shoes, and you’re afraid that sign about “no service” is for real. Enter the street cart.
There are many carts along 5th Avenue selling empanadas, fruit, ices, and tacos. They all seem pretty good. We like the ladies at 48th Street best for their friendly smiles, sassy outfits, and well-edited offerings. For your first course, you’ve got fresh mango and coconut, sliced and served with your choice of condiments. (Choose lime juice and chili powder, no sense messing with a classic.) Then select a main course from a short lineup of fried dough products, the best of the bunch being a juicy beef empanada. Round out the meal with something to drink from their plastic barrels, usually a choice of an agua fresca, horchata, or limeade. Take your food to the park for a picnic, or do as the locals do and window-shop along the Avenue whilst you munch.