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Hot Dog and Pretzel Phase Out

Traditional food carts are making way for specialty.
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Pretzel Food CartEating alfresco is a springtime bonus. And while food trucks may be all the rage, traditional pretzel- and hot dog–serving food carts around New York City are preparing for an upgrade. While tourists tend to enjoy the hot dogs, New Yorkers are less tempted. To increase sales from locals, as licenses expire, the Parks Department is gradually replacing some of the roughly 55 hot dog carts in and around Central Park with “specialty food carts” offering gourmet treats.

The Parks Department has started its revamp outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where hungry passersby can now pick up Cake & Shake's organic cupcakes or Sigmund Pretzelshop's handmade pretzels. And at the base of Central Park, Wafels and Dinges is selling savory and sweet Belgian waffles, while organic options are expected to pop up soon. These newfangled food stops will continue to replace standard fare with fancier options in other areas around the park.

They’re not a hit with everyone though. Some locals have been complaining that these larger carts are visually and environmentally assaulting, whereas the hot dog vendors blended into the scenery. What can you say—in a city of more than 8 million, you can’t please everyone. —Denise Shoukas


Denise Shoukas is a regular foodspring.com contributor and is the author of foodspring’s food forager blog.

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