Posts Tagged ‘food vendors in 19th century New York’

Hawking pretzels on the streets of New York

May 1, 2010

Before hot dogs, falafel, Mr. Softees, and other New York City street eats became food cart/vending truck staples, the hot pretzel was already a ubiquitous city favorite.

These two men are selling their pretzels in City Hall Park, circa 1936. They don’t have vending carts but cigarette boxes as a makeshift stand.

A 1923 New York Times article proclaimed that pretzel vendors had disappeared from the Park Row area. I guess the Depression brought them back.

I don’t know where the 1890s photo below was taken, but it looks like they’re hawking fruit and bread too, with more pretzels inside those baskets. 

Would these two pass a health inspection today? Hmm. (Photos from the NYPL digital archives.)