Gallery: Food on the Street: The Incredible Visual World of Chinatown, NYC

Morning deliveries
Morning deliveries
Boxes of fruit and vegetables get trucked in to groceries on self-propelled dollies.
Butchering fish
Butchering fish
Fish on ice
Fish on ice
Bakery
Bakery
Morning is the best time to hit Chinatown's bakeries, when buns, tarts, and other sweets are all fresh.
Workers outside a restaurant and bakery
Workers outside a restaurant and bakery
Shopping for fish
Shopping for fish
Claws
Claws
Squid
Squid
Live crabs
Live crabs
Chinese chives
Chinese chives
These round, hollow chives are good for stir fries. The flatter versions have a more pronounced garlic stink that makes them interesting companions on your subway ride.
Mulberry Street vendors
Mulberry Street vendors
Produce vendors line Mulberry Street below Canal.
Lychees
Lychees
Lychees are common finds in Chinatown street stalls. A handful makes the perfect snack; just have a second bag to hold the easy-to-peel skins and hard inner seeds.
Longans
Longans
A tropical fruit with a flavor similar to lychee, though a little less juicy.
Live frogs
Live frogs
Dispatched to order.
Manhattan bridge vendors
Manhattan bridge vendors
A long line of shoppers forms for the produce vendors under the Manhattan bridge.
Manhattan bridge vendors
Manhattan bridge vendors
Weighing out
Weighing out
Greenery
Greenery
Sticky rice vendor
Sticky rice vendor
Markets on Mott Street
Markets on Mott Street
Dried mushrooms
Dried mushrooms
Pretty enough to use as home decor.
Yu zhu
Yu zhu
Just one of the many medicinal herbs and rhyzomes sold in markets.
Dried seafood
Dried seafood
More dried goods
More dried goods
Gingko nuts
Gingko nuts
Old ladies shell and hawk gingko nuts from curbs. The foul-smelling nuts are pretty tasty once you cook them right.
Dried fish
Dried fish
Sausage
Sausage
Chinese sausages, characterized by a firm texture, high fat content, and intense sweetness, hang from many markets.
Butterflied birds
Butterflied birds
So do many species of butterflied and dried fowl.
Roast chickens
Roast chickens
Available by the pound.
Pig faces
Pig faces
Roast meat
Roast meat
Roast pig
Roast pig
One of the enduring sounds of Chinatown: heavy cleavers slicing through roast pig. Take note that roast pork generally refers to char siu, the red-glazed "barbecue" pork. Roast pig, when listed on menus, generally means this unglazed meat with crisp, crackly skin.
Pig skin
Pig skin
Chicken wings
Chicken wings
Fried chicken and dumplings
Fried chicken and dumplings
For a couple of bucks—with plenty of hot sauce—you have lunch.
Eating in the park
Eating in the park
Honeycomb tripe
Honeycomb tripe
Rice roll vendor
Rice roll vendor
Small carts selling freshly steamed rice rolls dot the streets of Chinatown. A rice flour batter is ladled into a steamer tray and cooked until just set. The noodle is then rolled up and topped with ground pork, scallions, hot sauces, and the like.
Rice roll
Rice roll
The rice roll is steamed into a giant lasagna-like noodle.
Bak kwa
Bak kwa
Malaysia Beef Jerky makes a sweet, char-grilled flat hunk of beef or pork for a dollar a pop.
Fried food on sticks
Fried food on sticks
From an all-fried vendor on Canal Street.
Steam
Steam
On cold days, steam fogs up kitchen windows.
A dragonfruit pokes through
A dragonfruit pokes through
Milk tea and banana
Milk tea and banana
Leftover boxes
Leftover boxes