The days are getting shorter, and the weather is getting cooler. The leaves are starting to change, and New York City weekends are filled with football and fun. It’s a great time to slow down and celebrate a little! Hosting a catered autumn-themed get-together, neighborhood festival, or work party is a great way to celebrate the fall.
Fall is a season of once-a-year flavors and colors, which makes any party so much fun to plan. Familiar comfort foods can take on a whole new dimension with sweet and savory spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and of course, pumpkin!
NYC has some of the best comfort food trucks anywhere in the country. When you host a fall wedding, company picnic, corporate event, or another catered event, you can enjoy some of the best fall food available, all while supporting local and minority-owned small businesses.
Great Fall Party Food Ideas Everyone Will Love
Autumn comes only once a year, so it’s important to savor every minute. There’s so much versatility at this time of year with themes and cuisines, and there’s something for just about everyone. For instance, kids love spooky Halloween treats, and grownups love Octoberfest!
Here are some great fall picnic food ideas that are sure to be crowd-pleasers. Party planners will appreciate our really unique food truck options to make all of these comfort foods available to a group of any size. Whether you’re looking for fall appetizers like fried cheese balls or other finger foods (goat cheese and fig crostinis anyone?), or something a bit more upscale with seasonal favorites like butternut squash and other fall dinner staples for a formal dinner party, there is a New York Food Truck for you.
Fall is the time when people bring out the old pigskin and toss it around on game day or during the tailgate. Whether it’s while watching the game with friends, or enjoying a picnic outside, cheesesteaks are football food, plain and simple!
While Philly purists might take issue with anything but the classic formula, New Yorkers know how to take the original and take it to the next level! That’s because gooey cheese, tender, savory steak, and a hoagie roll make the perfect platform to add all sorts of hearty fall flavors.
One of our favorite NYC cheesesteak comfort food trucks is Twisted Steaks. They’ve leveled up the cheesesteak with options like the “Cheesesteak Pretzel,” the “Pizza Cheesesteak Pretzel,” or even the “Bacon Barbecue Cheesesteak Pretzel!”
The fun doesn’t stop there, as Twisted Steaks also features their famous waffle fries. They’re available plain, with cheese, or “loaded.” Ditch the slow cooker chili and standard plate of nachos we’ve all had for years on end and try something new!
Popular breakfast chains always offer pumpkin and Halloween waffles and pancakes for a reason: they are a super fun way for kids and grownups to enjoy some delicious fall flavors and colors.
Waffles can take on new dimensions with pumpkin spices, or delicious hot or cold toppings. They can also be so much for kids with spooky ghosts or jack-o’lantern decorations.
In both NYC and beyond, Wafels & Dinges has been making some great seasonal flavors to complement their already delicious waffles for well over a decade. They have waffles of all shapes and sizes.
For a true autumn treat, try the “De Apple of My Pie Wafel,” which is made “grandma style” with dulce de leche, chunky apple jam, whipped cream, and, of course, cinnamon sugar. For a savory touch, try one of their “Baconized” items!
Craft Beer and Cocktails
Beer is tasty all year long, but fall has long been associated with this malty beverage. Gone are the days when you had to travel to Munich for Oktoberfest. Craft brewers all over the world now make delicious Oktoberfest-style beers.
The Greats of Craft Mobile Mar is the best way to bring the full flavors of fall beer to your next event. Their truck-based mobile tap room has a rotating selection of some of the best craft beer around. Not only is their beer selection impressive, but they can easily accommodate interesting cocktail options with apple cider or your favorite seasonal spices.
Fall is a great time for aromatic whiskey cocktails, and The Greats of Craft have you covered with all sorts of mixologist-created beverages.
Hand-Held Foods Like Empanadas
Fall is a great time to eat hand-held food! Most people are used to enjoying the football game with the remote in one hand, and some tasty treats in the other!
Empanadas are a complete, savory meal in a tiny, delicious package. For your next event, let Nuchas delight your guests with their take on Argentinian-inspired comfort food. They have an 18-foot food truck perfect for your next fall-themed wedding or picnic. They’re known throughout the New York Area for their commitment to using premium ingredients and non-GMO dough.
They have empanadas of every variety, including some that are a perfect partner for the fall season, like the short rib. It features red wine, peppers, onion, potatoes, carrots, and peas, along with a braised short-rib from Kansas cattle country.
They also have plenty of great vegetarian and vegan empanadas as well, including a portobello, spinach, and mozzarella version that would please even a meat eater!
Don’t forget their selection of desserts like apples, cranberries, and Nutella in a delicious almond dough, perfect for any fall party.
Mac and Cheese
Warm and savory, mac and cheese is a great choice for just about any fall gathering. There’s a reason that people consider mac and cheese to be the ultimate fall comfort food! It’s hot, gooey, and delicious. That golden cheese sauce just makes us think of the leaves falling. And, of course, many people remember back to eating this hearty food when they were kids.
Although mac and cheese is still just as popular with kids as it’s always been, everyone knows that mac and cheese isn’t just for children! No one knows that better than our favorite NYC food truck: Mac Truck.
Mac Truck keeps it fresh with dozens of fun toppings for their mac and cheese: braised applewood bacon, lobster, pulled pork, and more! One of their more gourmet combinations is the mushroom and truffle. That’s sure to be a hit at more sophisticated events!
This is a food that is often associated with long summer days and baseball games. The great thing about the hot dog is that it works just as well in the fall as well! Hot dogs are a perennial crowd-pleaser and great food to serve at an event.
One of our favorite hot dog food trucks is Walter’s Hot Dogs. They’ve been serving Westchester for over 100 years. Now, their great fall flavors can be enjoyed anywhere in the NYC area with their 16-foot food truck.
Try the “Puffy dog,” which combines a hot dog with fried, smashed, and grilled potato puffs. All their dogs can be paired with great sides like french fries, curly friends, potato puffs, chips, or sweet potato fries.
It doesn’t stop there. Their food truck also features sweet items like ice cream. For a great finish to your fall picnic, try the funnel cake fries!
This is another food that is hot, cheesy, and delicious and pairs well with the fall. Pizza can be topped just about any way, to please anyone’s tastes. It’s also fantastic party food. Guests have the opportunity to try all the different pizzas, and find their favorite combo.
NYC Pizza is a great option for a fall party. Whether it’s meat lovers or vegetarians, this pizza food truck has choices that everyone will love. A great option for parties is the classic Margherita pizza with fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomato sauce.
Toppings can be added to any pizza, which can make your party even more fun. The fall is a great time for really spicy, savory flavors like sausage, but grilled chicken or savory hearty meatballs are great as well.
Hamburgers are a great fall comfort food. There’s just something about the taste and smell of that grilled beef and smooth cheese. If you are looking for a great food truck that has some of the tastiest smash burgers in NYC, book No Good Burger for your next fall picnic.
Their 22-foot food truck doesn’t just have their signature single, double, and chick smash burgers; they have a ton of other options that will be a huge hit at your wedding, festival, or another event.
The “Farmer Kev Loaded Tater Tots” are an unbeatable addition that your guests will love! They’re crispy tater tots served with pulled pork, onion straws, bacon, and their famous bbq ranch sauce.
The complex mix of chilies, oil, and other spices makes the trendy food a great choice for the fall. They’re made from a complex, slow-roasted stew of meat and chilies, and have “gone viral” on social media.
NYC has an amazing Birria taco truck that you can reserve for your next fall-themed party. El Toro Rojo operates a 20-foot truck with some amazing options to bring your next party to life.
The Birria beef can be added to their tacos, burritos, or even enjoyed in a bowl. They also have some other hearty classics like al pastor, grilled chicken, as well as vegetarian items.
The great thing about “bowls” is that they can be customized to meet everyone’s tastes. They are a great addition to any picnic or party. Vegetarians and meat lovers alike love all the combinations that play really well together in these bowls.
Terry and Yaki’s Halal Asian Kitchen has a 25-foot food truck with some really innovative items that take the classic rice bowl to a whole new level. This is good hearty food, full of great flavor combinations that are perfect for autumn days or nights.
Their signature item is the Yaki Rice Bowl, mixing seasonal Chinese vegetables with sweet and spicy chicken teriyaki. The same teriyaki chicken can also be combined with kale and cherry tomatoes for a healthy salad. They have a vegan tofu bowl that will be a hit with vegetarians.
How about their loaded sweet potato fries? It’s a combination of their delicious chicken teriyaki, served on a bed of sweet potato fries and topped off with chipotle mayo.
Learn about the history of the New York Food Truck Association. From how we got our start, our vision for the food truck scene, and so much more, get direct insight from a conversation with our President and CEO Ben Goldberg.
Food truck catering is an excellent way to elevate your event. Aside from the conveniency and cost-effectiveness of food trucks, mobile catering gives you the opportunity to choose a food truck design to match your event aesthetic. As a party host, this is a win-win: in addition to feeding your guests gourmet meals, food trucks are a way to decorate at the same time!
Sunday, January 15th is National Bagel Day, and what better way to celebrate the holiday than with a topic juicier than your bacon, egg and