Sampling street food is an integral part of world travel. These quick and cheap bites provide a glimpse into the authentic culture and culinary history of a country. We’ve consulted the experts to determine 10 of the best street foods around the world to add to your bucket list. This list is by no means exhaustive, but we do hope that it inspires you to take your taste buds on an adventure the next time you travel.
by Fatima of Blogs by FA
Where to eat it: India
“Originating from the Indian subcontinent, Dahi Puri is a very popular street food snack. Served in mini-puri shells knows as the gol gappa, its taste is a combination of both sweet and slightly sour due to the addition of the tamarind chutney. The round puri shell is broken from the top and filled with seasoned chickpeas, a sweet tamarind, and a spicy green chutney. A touch of sweetened beaten yogurt is poured over the shell and garnished with crushed sev, moong daal and sometimes with pomegranate and coriander leaves. Dahi puri must be eaten whole, to experience the full spectrum of flavors and textures of this beloved street food.”
By Ayngelina of Bacon is Magic
Where to eat it: Cuba
“Cuba isn’t like Mexico where there is a lot of street food to choose from but traditionally Cuban food includes many sweet things. Furthermore, while Cuba doesn’t have taco stands, you do find lots of little stalls in buildings that sell just one or two things which they do very well.
I’ve been based in Havana for the last year and Cuban cangrejitos are one of my favorites. The name means little crab which references the shape of this sweet doughnut-like pastry filled with guava jam.
You can find them in a little stall across from the Capitol building in Habana. Most tourists pass by not understanding just what they are missing, but Habaneros love this spot. You can’t miss the long line of locals lining up for a hot handful of delicious cangrejitos for a dollar.”
By Annette from Bucket List Journey
Where to eat it: Italy
“If you are too busy to have a sit-down lunch at Florence’s Mercato Centrale’s upper floor, you know, because you still have to go rub the nose of the Fontana del Porcellino, climb to the top of the Duomo and catch a glimpse of the Statue of David all before you can watch the sunset over the Arno and Ponte Vecchio Bridge, then you should definitely eat a Lampredetto Sandwich on the go.
A Florentine Street food delicacy, your typical Lampredetto Sandwich is a soft roll sandwiching tender slices of tripe (cooked cow stomach—it’s much better than it sounds!), salsa verde, spicy sauces, and heavenly delight. You can find these sandwiches at stalls and trucks all over Florence, but one of the best is right in front of Mercato Centrale.”
By Priyam of The Beard Foodies
Where to eat it: India
“The lust for food urged us to travel and explore the amazing bits of the country. To find the regions yet unexplored, we consulted with a few friends for guidance and landed in the city of Ambala. It is here where we discovered the best Bedmi Poori, a popular street food and breakfast dish found in northern India. Bedmi Poori is composed of wheat bread stuffed with spiced lentils and served with a spicy potato (Aloo) curry.”
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Food on a Stick
By Sue from Food Travelist
Where to eat it: China
“We’ve been to a lot of markets around the world but the one that really stands out to us is the Donghuamen Night Market in Beijing, China. The first time we experienced the market, it was somewhat overwhelming. So many different types of food that it makes your head spin. The most remarkable foods are the ones on sticks. Beetles, starfish, centipedes, scorpions, crickets just about anything you can imagine can be cooked up and served to you on a stick.”
By Ankita from the Cliché Kitchen
Where to eat it: India
“Pav Bhaji is the king of the chaats (Indian snacks). It is one of the most awesome, lip-smacking, luscious chaats that everyone craves for, a chaat that is incomparable with any other chaat. Pav Bhaji is the king of street food dishes and is loved by all throughout India.
Pav Bhaji is a small piece of soft pillowy bread served with a spicy stew of mixed vegetables called Bhaji. It’s this Bhaji which makes Pav Bhaji very special as if heaven on a plate.”
By Cecilia of Lovicarious
Where to eat it: Brazil
“Brazil is a mecca for delicious street food. Wander through Rio de Janeiro and you will find lines of carts serving up quick eats like pão de queijo (cheese bread), skewers of grilled shrimp, pasteis (fried meat-filled pastries), and coxinhas (crispy meet filled fritters). My personal favorite is something called Tapioca, a stuffed crepe made from cassava starch. Tapioca can be served sweet with fillings such as condensed milk and jam, or savory with shredded beef and melted cheese. You will see locals and tourists alike, enjoying Tapioca at all hours of the day whether as a light breakfast at home or as a mid-day snack at a street cart.”
By Raghav of Ticker Eats the World
Where to eat it: India
“Food in India is as distinct as its people, and every city has its specialty that is characteristic to the region. Up North, around the capital of New Delhi, one of the most popular street foods is Chola Bhatura. Although consumed at all times of the day, most locals enjoy this finger-licking favorite either for breakfast or lunch.
Cholas are spiced chickpeas, full of distinct flavors, that have been soaked in water overnight before being cooked in a spicy gravy that adds a zing to every bite. Bhaturas, Indian puffed bread made with white flour and then fried in oil, are quite heavy, and most individuals usually have two or maximum three in a sitting, depending on the size.
The dish originates from Punjab and has a spicy touch to it. It is available at tiny mobile stalls, in restaurants, and is quite regularly made in homes as well. However, the pleasure of eating freshly made, piping hot bhaturas from a street stall, along with some pickles and raw onions, is a delectable experience that every gourmand should try at least once. Greasy, yet delicious, a sense of gastronomic satisfaction is guaranteed after a meal of Chola Bhaturas. The only problem is that it can lead to a food coma cured only by few hours of restful sleep.”
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By Uyen of Bubufoodshow
Where to eat it: Vietnam
“Bánh mì is a lightly toasted bread roll that is filled with an array of herbs, salad, special sauces (often spicy), mayonnaise, pate and different cuts of pork. If you travel to Vietnam, be sure to visit Bánh mì Phuong. Made famous by Anthony Bourdain, this roadside restaurant is the best place to give it a try.”
By Scott of Lovicarious
Where to eat it: Zanzibar, Tanzania
“Zanzibar pizza is a unique and tasty dish found in the streets of the Tanzanian islands Unguja and Pemba. Despite the name, this “pizza” does not resemble that of one which you would find in Italy. Instead, think along the lines of a crepe or a savory pancake. Fillings include anything from lobster with cheese to pulled chicken and avocado to diced vegetables. The blend of minced meat and/or veggies is tossed around with savory spices, wrapped into a delicate crepe, then thrown onto the grill until golden and crisp.
Although we prefer the savory version, travel to Fordhani Gardens and you will be able to find dessert Zanzibar pizza. Rather than savory fillings, you can fill for your crepe with sweets including Snickers bars, Nutella, and banana.”
It seems as if many travel bloggers favor street food in India. What about you? There are countless other countries which serve up delicious and unique snacks. We would love to hear about your favorite street food around the world. Comment below with your thoughts.
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