These are the things you can expect to see in China, in terms of their famed food vendors and stalls (none of which I tried, for personal reasons).
RESTAURANTS THE WAY THEY WERE IN THE PAST
Small, dilapidated restaurants in old, falling down, broken buildings. I am sort of imagining that this is what China was like before the great sweep and cleansing change of the Cultural Revolution — authentic, raw, and intense.
I took a picture and if I went back I’m sure I’d never see the stall again. It’s probably already gone by now.
As an example this is a noodle shop in Beijing, China. The last remaining, right across the street from an extremely modern (Chinese-style of modern) looking mall.
Up close, a bearded (rare in China!) customer in red, waits for his noodles to be ready.
The mall looked something like this, right beside this restaurant to the right of it, which is what made it all the more comical in a sad way.
Other restaurants are smaller and more makeshift behind a few tin walls:
While others are more open-air with seating and umbrellas.
ALLEYWAYS WHERE THEY HAVE STREET RESTAURANTS IN FRONT OF THEIR HOMES
This is actually a street restaurant, right in front of their home.
See the menu on the left? I’m pretty sure that’s what that is (I can’t read Chinese), but the bottled water everywhere gives it away.
She gets to watch her kid while making a living, and she can do it well into her old age like these women:
These pouch food things looked delicious…
MOBILE FOOD COURTS
Breakfast in the morning. Where do they wash their hands, I wonder?
Maybe they’ve come up with a better system than the hotdog carts in Toronto, where I ALSO wonder where they’ve wash their hands.
This mom and pop shop is selling meat, seafood and other things to eat on a stick.
Very cute.. but a bit sad that they’re working so late into their old age.
I even got a lovely video of them working. The man takes the money, the woman does the work. *cough* *cough*
You also have super small shops like this grill on a bicycle which I hear are popular street carts in India:
You have to buy a lot of oil to cook that street food. This couple with a bike, had about 30 gallons of oil.
Then you also have people who sell snacks, mostly cut fruit and not meals, to refresh you during the day which is extremely healthy in my opinion.
Pineapples are very popular:
Sometimes they sell jackfruit which I love:
But watermelon is also pretty popular:
This young man is cutting durian for sale (a stinky either you love-it-or-hate-it fruit). (I hate it).
And this guy sells roasted sweet potatoes:
This however, is quite a fancy setup compared to the other food stall owners.
This one as well.
Sometimes it’s just (literally) a grill in the wall, on the side of a building.
No need for ventilation, you’re outside. The grill is set into the side of a crevice in a wall.
Or they just have a grill outside:
(I LOVE her trench coat. I almost wanted to ask her where she got it but chickened out.)
And they have a display case of what they can grill for you (mostly offal):
OR SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE “PROFESSIONAL” – SEPARATE RESTAURANT STALL
Or little side stalls that do takeaway like these crepes: