10. Pretzel Vendors

pretzel vendor in the subway

Although pretzels were first brought to America in the 18th century by German settlers via Pennsylvania, the salty twisted treats have become a staple of the New York City street food scene. Since the late 19th century, when street vendors lined the streets of Manhattan, pretzels have served as a steadfast snack for the busy New Yorker.

Today, it is easy to find a soft pretzel out on the streets and many subway stops have food vendors at the station — like the Turnstyle Underground Market at Columbus Circle — but the most convenient way to grab this classic snack, and not miss your train, would be to have a pretzel vendor right on the subway platform. In the 1960s, commuters at the Union Square station were able to do just that. In recent years, the city has been cracking down on subway food vendors, and in 2017, the MTA Chief even suggested banning food on the subway.