So Sarap NYC Brings Pinoy Streetfoods to the Big Apple

New Yorkers get to experience Filipino street foods as high school buddies Virgilio ‘VJ’ Navarro and Sebastien Shan introduce Filipino iconic treats through So Sarap NYC.

The pop-up food stand offers different Filipino food such as fish ball, balut, ice candies, and taho in the streets of Manhattan, Bronx, and Brooklyn, among others. It was supposed to open at the beginning of summer but plans were changed because of the pandemic.

VJ’s sister Whitnee Atenas shares that So Sarap NYC was, pretty much, the first Filipino street food cart in NYC with such a concept. According to her, they had their first pop-up last August in Lower Manhattan.

So Sarap NYC

Image: Facebook/So Sarap NYC

“It’s been difficult to serve food in these conditions. The struggle to bring that hospitality atmosphere. Back in the Philippines, it was so easy to just ‘tusok tusok’ the fishball and gather around the ‘isawan’ and be able to just enjoy and dip your food in the sauces. But we have to stay compliant. We reinforce wearing face masks, social distancing, and make sure no one double dips or crowds the food cart,” she added.

It’s all about unique ingredients

Whitnee also shared that they source most of their ingredients in Restaurant Depot and they reach out to Asian vendors for the intestines, chicken feet, pork blood, quail eggs, and fertilized duck eggs.

“The taste of the sauces is so authentic, thanks to our dad’s recipes. They’re definitely close to the homeland,” Whitnee said.

So Sarap NYC

Image: Facebook/So Sarap NYC

Furthermore, she added that for the majority of their customers, the food they offer brings back memories, especially for those who haven’t been back in the Philippines for years. For some, it was a new experience, she added.

Anyone who would like to try what So Sarap NYC can head over to their social media accounts to know their whereabouts.