food trucks

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Features, History

To fully experience New York City, you have to eat. And then eat some more. So inextricably linked with its food, the city’s social and cultural history requires an exploration of its endless cuisines. And while street food is not unique to New York, the city provides some of the most diverse dining options in the world, with over 10,000 people make a living by street vending. But this tradition dates all the way back to the 1600s when European settlers enjoyed eating shellfish on the streets. Food vendors took on a more formal incarnation in the early 1800s on the Lower East Side and have changed with every new immigrant group that’s landed here since. From oysters and knishes to hot dogs and Halal, the city’s street vendors reflect its constant evolution and also what brings New Yorkers together.

Dive in to the full history

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Scarface "Little Paradise" interior

Images: Scarface home (left), 41st St hotel (right)

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