Ok so you can’t just choose a destination because of the food, but if you are a food lover then it will probably play a part in your decision making.
When you like to see the world on foot you find that street food plays a big part in your diet whilst travelling; quick, cheap meals that are bought from little stalls and made by locals.
Less seasoned travellers tend to shy away from street food thinking it dirty inedible, but if you take these stories with a pinch of salt and aim for the sellers with the freshest looking ingredients then you can tuck in to street food without worry, and often find it some of the most delicious you’ll eat.
So where in the world is the best street food on offer? In no particular order, here are our favourites:
Probably one of the world’s most famous cities to get your fix of street food is Thailand’s Bangkok which is why a shock announcement from the Thai government about banning street food hit all street food lovers hard. Thankfully nothing has materialised from this and you can still find a vast array of street food stalls in and around this vibrant city.
Be it served from a humble cart on the side of the road, a collection of stalls in one of the many markets, or even a traditional shophouse that has tables spilling out onto the pavement, you will enjoy authentic local and delicious food.
Mexico City, Mexico
Whilst exploring this wonderful city you won’t fail to notice the amount of street food on offer, whether its from stalls, trucks, bicycles, umbrella carts or out of a hatch in a wall, you can buy every kind of food from a street food vendor, and you won’t regret it.
Tamales are one of the most popular street foods in Mexico city, these are often eaten for breakfast and are made from a dough mix that is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. They come sweet; often strawberry or pineapple, or opt for spicy tomato, chilli based flavours.
Aside from these you’ll find everything from juices to coffee and pastries, Chilaquiles, chips, tacos and so much more, and it’s all really, really good.
The street food scene is huge in the whole of this country but you’ll find the best in Marrakech.
While you are here try the popular snail soup which is said to have restorative and digestive benefits, probably doesn’t sound hugly tempting but actually these chocolate brown snails are very tender and have a great taste.
For the adventurous foodie who wants to eat like a local, go for the sheep head street food stalsl where you will find plates of offal, tongue and head scarpings – a very popular delicacy here.
This vibrant and bustling capital city is bursting with street food stalls with great variety, taking ingredients and food styles from Caribbean seafood, jungle flavours, mountain herbs and more.
You have to try a cheese arepas, delicious ground maize dough or flour cooked and compressed into flatbread, with cheese! Served at many street food stalls these are a delight at any time of the day.
Patacones are also a firm favourite, traditionally a popular Latin American dish, Colombian patacones are made by twice frying green plantains and adding lots of garlic.
Hit the markets and alleyways of Beijing and make sure you are hungry! There is street food on offer here in abundance, favourite places include Wangfujing Snack Street, Niujie Mosque and Fucheng Road and these places are a feast for the eyes and ears, not just the mouth. Smells, sound, colours and bustling stalls will fill all of your senses, it’s a great experience.
You’’ll find so much variety, from deep fried insects, kebabs, snake and silkworm to Muslim foods and more luxurious street food dishes.
Probably one of the more obvious choices, but the street food in Hong Kong does need to be mentioned since it is so great and readily available. With a reputation of a gourmet paradise it is easy to see why Hong Kong has made itself a name on the street food scene.
Make sure to try an egg waffle – these delicious treats are crispy around the edges with a soft and gooey centre and a more-ish sweetness.
Curried fish balls are another absolute must – these are cheap and delicious little deep fried balls of fish that you’ll find just about everywhere.
Istanbul is one of the largest cities in the world, with 14 million mouths to feed it is no wonder their street food scene is quite so big.
Pick everything from Dilli Kasarli Tost (essentially a really great toasted sandwich), Simit (a baked dough ring) to Iskembe (tripe soup which sounds bad but is a firm favourite for a post-night out snack and is meant to stave off a hangover).
Finally we come to sunny Jamaica, the birthplace of jerk, a cooking style that marinates meat with a super hot and spicy mixture.
Street food in Jamaica is usually focused around colourful and bustling market stalls run by local families.
Head for National Heroes Park to find loads of great food stalls, or Aunt Merle’s Fish Shack where fishing boats dock and sell everything from raw fish to grilled lobster.
Although a lot of the food is based around meat, the vegetarians amongst you will love Veggie Meals on Wheels, a portable kitchen that has been labelled a ‘tropical vegan dining oasis’.
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