Posts Tagged ‘New York street food throughout history’

The street vendors who fed a growing city

January 12, 2011

Cupcake trucks, shawarma stands, dumpling carts—New York’s street grub has come a long way from the wares vendors pushed in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The potatoes for sale in this 1937 photo, at left, don’t look too appetizing. But it was the height of the Great Depression, and a hot spud for a nickel may not have been such a bad deal.

The lowly hot pretzel is still a popular street eat. But at least vendors no longer have to tote them around in wicker baskets, as this man is doing in a 1900 photo.

Here’s an early hot dog merchant, taken in 1936 by Berenice Abbott. She shot it at the corner of Moore and West Streets, the Lower West Side then but Tribeca today.

There must be a lot of ice in that rickety gizmo to keep the lemonade cold all day.