NYC Food Trucks For National Hot Dog and Ice Cream Month

Welcome to July! It’s the first month of the year that’s dedicated to summer fun. July means lazy days spent poolside, summer family vacations, and— here in America— celebrations of country and independence. But did you know July also marks two of the most delicious, summer-themed holidays? That’s right! July is National Ice Cream Month and National Hot Dog Month. But why spend your time in the kitchen or standing over a hot, smoky grill when NYC food trucks can serve you these classic summer eats, giving you more time to soak up the sun with family and friends? Let’s take a closer look at these July holidays that’ll give you 31 days of reasons to relax with great company while savoring even better food.

The History Of National Hot Dog and Ice Cream Month

There’s a national day— or national week— or national month all year long. Some are federally recognized holidays (e.g., Christmas Day), while others are more obscure (e.g., National Canned Food Month). For its part, ice cream has enjoyed a storied history as the world’s preeminent dessert— with its roots dating back to Ancient Rome. By the time ice cream came to America in the mid-18th century, it was the dessert of choice for our nation’s founders, from George Washington to James Madison. It would be another U.S. President— Ronald Reagan— who would officially designate July as National Ice Cream Month in 1984. Likewise, he proclaimed the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day. 

colorful ice cream cones with fruit

Alternatively, the origins of hot dogs are up for debate. What we do know is that July 4th is the single largest hot dog day of the year, according to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council. This past Independence Day alone, Americans consumed a whopping 150 million hot dogs! But they’ve been (officially) in our national consciousness since July 1957, when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recognized the first observance of National Hot Dog Month. 

american flag hot dogs

So, now that you know the backstory of these delectable holidays, it’s time to start planning your summer celebrations! But how do you start, and where can you find the tastiest hot dogs and scoops of ice cream? Lucky for you, food trucks pioneered these all-American eats, and NYC food trucks boast some of the most delicious from coast to coast!

The Top NYC Food Trucks for Hot Dogs

selection of hot dogs and condiments

Walter’s Hot Dogs

Walter’s Hot Dogs is more than an NYC food truck. It’s an institution— and has been for over a hundred years. It’s so iconic; its Chinese pagoda-style flagship location is a nationally registered historical landmark. How come Walter’s has over a century of staying power? Well, their hot dogs use a blend of beef, pork, and veal that’s a family recipe. Walter’s hot dogs are also split down the middle, grilled to order using a trade secret sauce, and served with a schmear of Walter’s homemade mustard— the New York way. It’s why these famous dogs are beloved well beyond the five boroughs. When you book Walter’s hot dogs for your next barbecue, pair their signature “Singles” and “Doubles” with sides like scratch-made “Potato Puffs.” Oh, and wash those good eats down with an Egg Cream— a signature New York fizzy drink.

stack of walters hot dogs and curly fries

Nathan’s Famous

Speaking of New York institutions, few are as consummate as Nathan’s Famous. Today, you can enjoy a Nathan’s hot dog from Jamaica to Russia. But this NYC food truck has been a Big Apple icon for 105 years. Because it’s July and National Hot Dog Month, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Nathan’s world-famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Since the brand’s inception, they’ve hosted this Coney Island tradition every July 4th. What kicked off this annual affair? According to Nathan’s, it all started over an argument between four immigrants to settle a debate over who was the “most patriotic.” Fast-forward to 2021 and 55,000 locations, and you’ll find that even though Nathan’s is celebrated worldwide, their classic NYC carts remain just as ubiquitous as their famous hot dogs.

nathan's famous hot dog cart

The Top NYC Food Trucks for Ice Cream

waffle cone ice cream during ice cream month

Mister Softee

When Lin-Manuel Miranda premiered the film adaptation of his hit musical “In The Heights” in June, he chose the film’s setting— Washington Heights, New York— for its debut. “I’ve never been to a premiere so literally close to home,” he said. “It’s thrilling. This movie, this musical, is a love letter to this neighborhood. You could hear the Mister Softee truck as we speak.” 

If you grew up in New York City, the Mister Softee jingle is an enduring symbol of nostalgia, and it’s hard to imagine summer without it. For over 60 years, the ice cream truck icon makes memories for kids of all ages. With over 600 trucks operating in 18 states across the U.S., Mister Softee is the epitome of summer fun. Whether you’re hosting a backyard pool party at home or an outdoor corporate barbecue, Mister Softee reigns supreme as one of the best NYC food trucks you can book to celebrate National Ice Cream Month!

mister softee ice cream with sprinkles

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

Let’s say you want to take a trip back to fond childhood memories, but your tastebuds have grown up since. Are there ice cream trucks serving cool treats for more sophisticated palates? Now scooping eclectic flavors for the big kids is Van Leeuwen Ice Cream. This NYC food truck believes that “goodness comes in all flavors.” What does that mean? It’s equal parts all-natural ingredients and thinking outside the “holy trinity” of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. 

Want to feel like royalty for a day? Then Van Leeuwen’s “Royal Wedding Cake” is just for you! This “noble” dessert takes sweet cream cheese ice cream and pairs it with lemon sponge cake and elderflower frosting. Plus, it’s gluten-free! If you’re practicing a vegan lifestyle, Van Leeuwen’s got you covered too. Their “Brownie Sunday Raspberry Swirl” combines oat milk ice cream with Tahitian vanilla beans, dark chocolate brownie chunks, and raspberry jam. So, raise a cone and toast National Ice Cream month with an NYC food truck that’s “on a mission to make good ice cream that makes you feel good!”

van leeuwen food truck new york

Celebrate National Hot Dog and Ice Cream Month With NYC Food Trucks

Like Old Glory and Uncle Sam, hot dogs and ice cream are tried and true symbols of America. It makes sense that we celebrate these foods in the same month as we celebrate our nation’s founding. But as much as you want to savor delicious hot dogs and scoops of creamy ice cream, it doesn’t mean you want to put in the work making and serving them. That’s why NYC food trucks are your go-to for booking affordable and delicious catering. So now, you can focus your energy on beating Joey Chestnut’s hot dog eating record or feeling those good summertime vibrations with family and friends! 

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