Makan

New York makan times

Food choices are aplenty in New York and not all are fancy restaurants.

Recently, I was invited to be a judge for the city's Vendy Awards, an annual food truck and carts competition. I ate like royalty.

I was also taken for a spin in Brooklyn by the owners of Turnstile Tours. The husband and wife quit their jobs to show off New York's less touristy side, telling stories and taking tourists to interesting migrant corners in the area.

A chunk of their profits goes to the Vendy folks to support their efforts in protecting the livelihoods of the migrant food cart vendors.

Here's a list of notable makan places:

Guandong Cheong Fun

61st Street and 8th Avenue in South Brooklyn's Chinatown

The owner, who is from Guangzhou, sells freshly-made chee cheong fun. She also has a gentrified version with chicken, corn and parsley. The rolls are soft, resilient and smooth.

STREET FARE: Guandong Cheong Fun's chee cheong fun.

Snowday Food Truck

Follow @snowdaytruck for locations

Winners of this year's Vendy Award, this social enterprise helps ex-prisoners put out a mean cheese and ham sandwich caramelised with maple syrup, and amazing smoked pork ribs.

Anibal Meat Market

103, Moore Street, Brooklyn

This 50-year-old butchery offers sausages and meats, plus it roasts a mean rack of pernil (roast pork with crispy skin). Try a plate of rice with morcilla (blood sausage) and pernil with green bananas for a slice of Hispanic food culture.

Moore Street Market

103, Moore Street, Brooklyn

This is one of the last four public markets left from when Fiorello La Guardia was mayor in the 1930s. It sells South American groceries, snacks, and Puerto Rican and Dominican chow like Sancocho stew (chicken, pork, beef, plantain and yam).

Sancocho stew

Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos

271, Starr Street, Brooklyn

The tortilla skins are fresh and the shop offers a range of hearty tacos, tostadas and tortillas. Prices go from US$1.50 (S$2). Very popular with locals.

Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos' tortillas

Makansutra, founded by KF Seetoh, is a company that celebrates asian food culture and lifestyle. It publishes food guides in and around the region, produces a food series, develops interactive mobile content and services, operates foodcourts and eateries, organises food tours and events, and consults on culinary concepts.

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