Walking through the streets of an urban city you are likely to find yourself surrounded by boisterous vendors, the white noise of chatter, and a distinctly delicious aroma filling the air. What is that delectable scent? It is the unmistakable aroma emanating from steaming pots, bubbling oil, and fiery grills ready to serve up some of the best local street food you can find.
Although we enjoy our share of refined restaurants, Scott and I agree that sampling local street food is one of the greatest ways to experience travel. These cheap and tasty bites are often served from food stalls, carts, and open markets. They are prepared and sold by everyday locals – moms, dads, grandmas – who make a living by selling their version of the traditional dish. From balut in the Philippines and cangrejitos in Cuba to gyros in Greece and bánh mì in Vietnam, street food provides a raw and authentic peek into the history and culture of a destination.
Here is our list of best street food each from a different country around the world. We hope that this list whets your appetite for a tasty culinary adventure the next time you travel.
Best Street Food from Around the World
Argentina Street Food: Choripan
Submitted by Carley Rojas Avila, Home to Havana
Highlighting two of the staple foods in Argentina – bread and meat – the humble choripan is easily one of the most popular street foods in Buenos Aires and throughout the country. Named choripan for its combination of “chorizo” – sausage – and “pan” – bread – this beloved dish packs much more flavor with the addition of chimichurri, a bright, herbal, and oily sauce similar to pesto. Pork sausage and a squishy, plain white bread roll complete it.
Choripan is famously enjoyed outside of fútbol stadiums before and after games straight from street cart. They can also be found in restaurants and eateries throughout the city. Make sure to find yourself a choripan cooked in a smoker as you wander through the San Telmo Market on Sundays in downtown Buenos Aires. This is easily a favorite and unique experience in Argentina for any traveler.
Belgium Street Food: Fries
Submitted by Kirstie Will, Kirstie Will Travel
Fries are an absolute specialty in Belgium. They’re probably the country’s most famous attraction and they’re found on countless street corners and city squares across the country. Most of the best Belgian Fries can be found in Brussels, the capital city, and some of the friteries here have been serving up fries since the early 1900s!
The fries are not only a great snack – they also form an interesting part of Belgian history. The fries served up to you are known worldwide as French fries, but they were actually invented in Belgium. Legend has it that some American soldiers discovered these fries but not realizing they had crossed the border into Belgium, mistakenly called them French fries! In Bruges, you can visit a museum dedicated entirely to fries, and discover more about this unique history.
Traditional fries are found in little friteries around the towns and cities, either in food trucks or more permanent takeaway spots on street corners. €3-4 euros ($3-4 USD) will get you a generous portion with sauce.
Bhutan Street Food: Momos
Submitted by Athul, Our Backpack Tales
A specialty of the Himalayas, you must try the momos when in Bhutan! Though the dish originates from Tibet, momos have become the soul of Bhutan and one of the best experiences to add to your Bhutan itinerary.
The momos are freshly steamed or deep-fried dumplings often prepared with a filling of meat (pork, chicken or beef), vegetables, and cheese with spices like ginger and garlic. They are served hot straight from the steamer with a Bhutanese chilli sauce called ‘Ezay‘ and the ‘Thingye‘, which are Bhutanese peppers. A plate may have 5-6 momos, and you can never stop with just one. Though the momos themselves are not very spicy, eating it with the ezay and thingye gives it a spicy twist and will surely bring a few tears to your eyes. Momos can be found throughout the place, not just in carts on the streets but also in most restaurants.
Brazil Street Food: Tapioca
(Our own recommendation)
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 crêpe made from cassava starch. Tapioca can be served sweet with fillings such as condensed milk and guava jam. It can also be served 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.
Cape Verde Street Food: Pastels
(Our own recommendation)
Whether you are at the annual Carnival celebration, out perusing an open market, or enjoying a local game of futebol, you are guaranteed to see street vendors frying up a fresh batch of tasty pastels. These fried pockets of dough are typically filled with either chicken, beef, fish, or cheese.
They are one of the most common street foods in Cape Verde, however, they are also made in the home. Because they are so small, they make for an ideal afterschool snack and are commonly sold outside of schools or in roadside stalls. For just 20 CVE or around $0.20 USD, it is easy to load up a whole napkin filled with pastels!
Canada Street Food: Poutine
Submitted by Ilakkiya Maheswaran, Wander is Calling
Poutine is all you need to say to be quickly inducted as an honorary Canadian. Canadians everywhere are nodding their heads in unison as they’re spooning handfuls of crispy fries with steamy gravy and melted cheese curds into their mouths. Poutine (poo-teen) is a French-Canadian dish that is served almost everywhere in Canada. It easily takes the crown for the best Canadian street food.
A traditional Canadian poutine will run you upwards of $4 USD. Once you’ve tasted the standard version – you can venture into the realm of poutine variations. I’m talking about all the fixings. My favorite poutine spot in Ontario is Smoke’s Poutinerie, as they’ve mastered the art of poutines and sell them by the boatloads. Smoke’s menu variations include topping up with chicken, pork, beef, and vegetables.
Poutines are served at fast food joints, food trucks, pubs, and most restaurants. Quebec is a hotspot for poutines, and if you’re ever in Montreal, you must head over to La Banquise for arguably the best poutine ever served.
Whether you’re traversing the Rocky Mountains or indulging in Toronto’s city life, you’ll want to do it with poutine in hand. I must warn you, once you try poutine, it’ll be difficult to enjoy regular French fries again.
China Street Food: Food on a Stick
By Sue from Food Travelist
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.
Columbia Street Food: Arepas
Submitted by Deb, The Visa Project
Made from corn and sometimes wheat, Arepas come in so many flavors and forms. Immensely popular in both Colombia and Venezuela, arepas can be found anywhere starting from a food cart on the street to bakeries and upscale restaurants.
You can have them for breakfast with some hot chocolate or for a light lunch or as an evening snack. They can be served as appetizers, snacks, or side dishes. The choice is entirely yours.
My favorite is the Arepa Rellena that comes with fillings of pork, chicken cheese, and black beans, and more. But give me an Arepa Choclo with queso Cuajada (a type of cheese) any day and I won’t say no. While visiting Colombia, if there is one thing I never got tired of, it’s the arepa.
Costa Rica Street Food: Patacones
(Our own recommendation)
Patacones, known in many other countries as tostones, are hard green plantains that are fried in oil, mashed into a flat round disc, and fried again to crispy perfection. Crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside, patacones are both savory and delicious. They are a commonly eaten food in Costa Rica, served as a side dish in restaurants or as a salty street food snack.
The shape and toppings of patacones can vary depending on what region of the country you find yourself in. Around San José, the capital of Costa Rica, it is not uncommon to see the fried plantains shaped into baskets and filled to the brim with an assortment of toppings including beans, meat, salsas, and even ceviche.
Cuba Street Food: Cangrejitos
By Ayngelina of Bacon is Magic
While Cuba doesn’t have too many street foods to choose from, you do find a lot of little street stalls 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.
Dominican Republic Street Food: Empanadas
Submitted by Christian Jannasch, Punta Cana Travel Blog
Empanadas are famous throughout Latin America and a very popular street food option here in the Dominican Republic. It doesn’t matter if you are exploring the cultural heritage of Santo Domingo, the famous beaches of Punta Cana or the mountains of Cordillera Central, you’ll find an empanada in every little village without any problem.
An empanada is a samosa-kind piece of dough filled with all sorts of different ingredients. Usually, it is stuffed with chicken, beef, cheese, vegetables, and/or eggs. Once filled, they are deep-fried and should be consumed right away. If you see vendors selling empanadas that have been sitting out for more than 15 minutes, don’t buy them. Empanadas need to be consumed fresh and hot.
When traveling to the Dominican Republic, my top 3 recommendations for tasting the best empanadas are:
1) Delicias de Bavaro in Punta Cana (a local restaurant with fresh empanadas and good service)
2) Sicily’s in Santo Domingo (an empanada outlet in the Colonial Zone with the most creative fillings in the Dominican Republic, among the mushroom-sweet plantain, eggplant-cheese or Caprese)
3) D’Leonora Empanadas in San José de las Matas (a famous empanada place using yucca dough)
England Street Food: Fish and Chips
Submitted by Steph & Lewis, Book It Let’s Go!
Fish and chips is an iconic British dish. Once upon a time, the only place you could get good fish and chips was at the seaside in resorts such as Skegness, Whitby, Devon, or Brighton. Nowadays fish and chips can be found all around England whether you are visiting London and staying in 5-star luxury or budget camping in Devon, fish and chips can always be found nearby.
It is a staple on any pub menu. They can even be found in Michelin star restaurants but the best way to enjoy fish and chips is on the seafront where it first started. Head to the coast of England to experience the finest fish and chips. Freshly caught cod is the main attraction, battered and deep-fried to crispy mouth-watering perfection. Team this with proper British chips — thick-cut, no skin potato chips, no skinny fries here. Add a side of delicious mushy peas, and season with salt and vinegar, or a squeeze of lemon if you feel fancy.
France Street Food: Crêpes
Submitted by Elisa, World in Paris
France has produced an endless stream of iconic and talented chefs along with some of the world’s favorite foods. Their street food remains on par with the country’s standard for deliciousness.
Sweet crêpes are one of the best street foods in France. Crêpes are a kind of pancake made of wheat that is served plain or garnished with various ingredients, usually sweet. Although they come from the region of Brittany, they are most popular in Paris. Crêpes in Paris are the go-to food for visitors exploring the city because it’s quick, budget-friendly, and yummy. Expect paying less than 10€ or $12 USD for a takeaway crêpe.
You will find this Paris food everywhere in the city, especially in the tourist neighborhoods like Montmartre and Le Marais. Also, the most-touristy parks in Paris like the Tuileries Gardens or Luxembourg Garden have kiosks or food trucks selling crêpes. They taste even better with a takeaway coffee or hot chocolate
The typical crêpes sold as street food are Nutella crêpes, lemon sugar crêpes, and crêpes with any jam. You can find more crêpe varieties in restaurants, topped with hot chocolate, honey, or whipped cream, but this is another story.
Germany Street Food: Currywurst
Submitted by Sydney Richardson, A World in Reach
You can’t pay a visit to Germany without sampling currywurst. An iconic German street food, currywurst is a dish made of bite-size chunks of pork sausage covered in curry ketchup – a delicious form of ketchup that is dusted in curry powder. The snack is cheap and portable; currywurst is often served in a paper tray with a small fork, making it easy to eat on the go. The dish is also frequently served with french fries or Brötchen (German bread rolls).
Currywurst can be found all over Germany, but Berlin is especially known for its delicious currywurst stalls. The city is home to tons of currywurst stalls, but some of the most popular spots among locals and tourists alike include Curry 36 in Berlin’s trendy Kreuzberg neighborhood, and Konnopke’s Imbiss, located in Prenzlauer Berg. You can also find currywurst at Germany’s famous Christmas Markets – the treat goes great with a mug of glühwein!
Greece Street Food: Gyros
Submitted by Alice, Adventures of Alice
‘Of all the most iconic dishes in Greece, the delicious Gyro is definitely a favorite. You can find it all across the country, both in restaurants or within traditional street food stalls. I personally prefer the Gyros from street food vendors as it has a much more authentic feel to it. They are also significantly cheaper which is perfect if you’re traveling on a budget.
Gyros are made from meat cooked on a traditional vertical rotisserie. It is a little bit like the doner kebab but, in my opinion much tastier. The meat is then combined with onion, lettuce, tomato, tzatziki, and chunky fries and wrapped in thick pita bread. When I was in Athens, I had the most delicious Gyros for just 3 Euros or around $3 USD, and it was one of the best meals I had.
Hong Kong Street Food: Dim Sum
Submitted by Ingrid, Ingrid Zen Moments
You cannot go to Hong Kong without trying its iconic Cantonese dish: dim sum. Even though Hong Kong is such a cosmopolitan and vibrant city, packed with restaurants from all over the world, you will find it hard to stay away from the delicious dim sum.
It is worth knowing that dim sum is not one particular dish, but an assortment of dishes you can choose from. Some might look at the menu and find the options a bit strange at first sight – chicken feet, turnip cake, sweet tofu. Why not try something at least once? You might end up liking it!
The Cantonese dumplings are steamed or fried and come in bite-size portions. You can find them everywhere from street stalls to Micheline star restaurants. I recommend choosing the most affordable and tasty place in Hong Kong: Tong Kee Bao Dim. You will get a full meal for around $6.50 USD, or even less. If you want something for a special occasion or if you have a larger budget, try going to the Crystal Jade or Madame Fu.
Hungary Street Food: Langos
Submitted by Jakub, Tymrazum
When thinking about Hungarian cuisine surely paprika, salami, and goulash will be among the first things coming to mind. However, the undoubted king of Hungarian street food is langos (pronounce langosh). This fried dish comes in many versions, but perhaps the most classic is the one containing garlic, cream, and cheese. Other versions of langos are made with the addition of spicy salami, arugula, ham, or vegetables. There are also sweet versions available.
The word Langos comes from láng, which means flame in Hungarian (this is how it was prepared in the past). Langos can also be found in the kitchens of their neighbors – Slovak and Czech.
If you are not planning to visit Hungary soon, you can try your hand in preparing this traditional dish at home with this simple recipe.
India Street Food: Chola Bhaturas
Submitted by Raghav, Ticker Eats the World
Food in India is as distinct as its people. Every city has its specialty that is characteristic of 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. Most individuals usually have two or a maximum of 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. 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.
Indonesia Street Food: Pisang Goreng
Submitted by De Wet & Jin, Museum of Wander
Pisang Goreng, or fried banana, is an Indonesian comfort food that is beloved by people all across the country. From Sumatra to Java and Bali, even on a boat while snorkelling in Komodo National Park all the way to Papua in the east, Indonesians know how to fry up a good pisang goreng.
Indonesians usually enjoy pisang goreng as a snack to go with morning or afternoon coffee. However, street vendors will fry up this golden treat for you if a craving strikes at any time of day.
The bananas are coated in batter before getting a deep fry in hot oil. This process turns the batter on the outside crispy and the banana on the inside soft and sweet. Due to Indonesia’s large size and the large variety of bananas to be found in the country, pisang goreng recipes differ from one island to the next. Traditionally enjoyed plain, it can also be served with chocolate sprinkles or ice cream on top.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that one will be enough! At about $0.25 USD for a single pisang goreng, you have no excuse to only have one.
Iran Street Food: Dizi
Submitted by Ellis, Backpack Adventures
One of the most popular street foods in Persian cuisine is Dizi or abgoosht. An ancient Persian stew of lamb and chickpeas that is served as a quick eat in bazaars all over Iran. The name Dizi refers to the earthenware pots it is cooked in. Hint: these pots are a telltale sign that a food stall or restaurant serves this delicious stew.
Dizi is eaten in a specific way. The hot stone pot is filled with stew and served with a generous amount of bread, a bowl, and an iron masher. The first step is to pour the broth in the soup bowl and eat this together with some of the bread. You then use the iron tool to mash the lamb and chickpeas in the pot and scoop this up with the remaining bread.
This popular street food makes for a filling lunch. It is guaranteed to fuel you for the rest of the day.
Italy Street Food: Lampredetto Sandwich
By Annette from Bucket List Journey
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.
Your typical Lampredetto Sandwich is a soft roll sandwiching tender slices of tripe (cooked cow stomach), salsa verde, spicy sauces, and heavenly delight. You can find this Iatalian street food delicacy at stalls and trucks all over Florence, but one of the best is right in front of Mercato Centrale.
Japan Street Food: Yakitori
Submitted by Priya Vin, Outside Suburbia
Yakitori has a great combination of umami and sweet flavors making it one of the best street foods that you will find in Japan! They are bite-sized pieces of skewered meat grilled to perfection and served in street-side shops and Izakayas (pubs) throughout Japan.
Tsukune (chicken meatball) is a special kind of yakitori made with minced chicken, chopped onions, grated ginger, and herbs. You can also find pork belly yakitori available in some places.
Be sure to order a few at a time and you can eat them right off the skewers. Don’t miss tasting this delicious street food and other must-try Japanese dishes on your next visit to Japan!
Laos Street Food: Khanom Kok
Submited by Marie Moncrieff, A Life Without Borders
Traditional Lao street food tends to consist of small bite-sized morsels that can easily be transported and eaten on the go. One street food snack that is particularly popular is khanom kok, or sweet coconut cakes. Usually seen in Luang Prabang, the tiny crescent-shaped cakes can also be found throughout Laos, at fresh markets and street-side food vendors.
Khanom kok is freshly-made on the spot from rich coconut cream and rice flour batter which is then poured into the round molds of a hot cast iron griddle, similar to a poffertjes pan. A savory coconut cake option includes the addition of sliced spring onion and is particularly popular among Lao locals.
The cakes are cooked until golden-brown and crispy on the outside and molten and silky-smooth on the inside. Often scented and colored with pandan, khanom kok are light, fragrant, and the perfect balance of sweet-and-savory flavors.
Two half-moon-shaped cakes are usually sandwiched together, held in place by a small bamboo toothpick. Served piping hot in their own cute little banana-leaf bowl, at 5,000 Kip (USD $0.50), it’s easy to devour several of these delicious coconutty morsels in one single go.
Mexico Street Food: Tlayudas
Submitted by Julien Casanova, Cultures Traveled
Cheap, fast, and yummy! Tlayudas have all the characteristics of the world’s best street foods. This may be why they are quite sought after in Oaxaca, Mexico. One of the best things to do in the city is to visit one of the numerous markets. There you’ll find plenty of vendors inside and out selling tlayudas.
Tlayuda preparation starts with crisping a plate-sized tortilla in lard on a round, flat griddle called a comal. Refried black beans are then smeared on top followed by stringy Oaxacan cheese and other toppings such as tomatoes, avocado, and lettuce. It’s then topped with your choice of meat. The typical Oaxacan favorite is tasajo, a salty cured beef that is thinly sliced.
Tlayudas are most often served flat but if you’re on the go, add your salsa of choice and fold it in half like a large slice of New York-style pizza.
Netherlands Street Food: Stoopwafels
Submitted by Jennifer, FamilyTripGuides.com
Dutch food gets a bad reputation around the world but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a Stroopwafel! The best ones are those found in the street stalls in the Netherlands, made to order, warm and gooey. The best stroopwafels I’ve ever had were at a family stall in the famous Albert Cuyp Markt in Amsterdam. I chose the untraditional chocolate ones and did not regret it.
These wafer cookies with a caramel filling were invented in Gouda in either the late 18th century or early 19th century. They don’t cost much and are best eaten hot or warmed up over a hot cup of coffee!
Pakistan Street Food: Chole Bhature
Submitted by Samantha, Intentional Detours Travel Blog
One of the tastiest street foods you can try is chole bhature. Usually a breakfast dish, this delicious and filling roadside treat is one of the best food items in Lahore, Pakistan. You can also find chole bhature across the border in the Indian states of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
Chole bhature consists of a fluffy, fried bread (bhature) that happens to be very similar to American fried dough. It is then topped with chole, which is a flavorful chickpea masala. The bread is absolutely incredible- while thick and doughy, it maintains a satisfying outer crispiness.
Most carts will be happy to refill your plate. In Lahore, you can try chole bhature for the incredible price of just $0.50 USD. Though some sellers are only open for breakfast hours, others serve up this delicious dish all day long.
It’s not an understatement to say that you can find this street food all over Lahore. Nevertheless, one of the most delicious stalls is Riaz Halwa Puri, which has been operating for decades in the famous Anarkali Bazaar.
Peru Street Food: Anticuchos
Submitted by Daniel and Ilona, Top Travel Sights
Anticuchos are a classic Peruvian food staple that you can find everywhere in the country. These savory meat skewers originated in pre-Colombian times and have remained popular over the centuries.
While Anticuchos can be made from any meat, they usually consist of beef hearts, corazón de rez. Don’t let that scare you off! Beef hearts don’t taste very different from regular beef, except for a firmer consistency. Street food vendors often marinate the Anticuchos in spices and herbs, which adds to their flavor.
Lima and Cusco are great places to try Anticuchos. Here, you will see street food carts popping up in the evening, with vendors selling multiple skewers for a few dollars. Many offer dips made of chilis or garlic, and some even sell side dishes like potatoes or corn.
If you don’t want to buy food from carts, you can also find Anticuchos in restaurants all over Peru, either as a main dish or as a starter.
Philippines Street Food: Balut
(Our own recommendation)
Featured on shows like Anthony Bordain and Andrew Zimmern, Balut is certainly one of the most iconic street foods in the world. Balut is nothing more than a fertilized duck embryo, however, it remains a beloved street food among Filipinos and a culinary adventure among tourists.
After the duck egg is hatched, it is left to incubate for anywhere between 14-21 days before it is boiled. The length of incubation impacts the size and development of the embryo inside. A fully developed embryo will have the feathers, bones, and beak visible, but still soft enough to consume in its entirety. Many prefer to top off the Balut with a tablespoon of vinegar or chili oil. From Ilocos Norte and Manila to Coron and Busuanga, Balut can be found on every island throughout the Philippines for just a few pesos.
Portugal Street Food: Pastel de Nata
Submitted by Nichola, Family Hotel Expert
If you’re visiting Portugal you absolutely must have Pastel de nata, the deliciously creamy custard tarts the country is famous for. The place to eat them has to be in the Belem district of Lisbon where they originated from. Pastel de nata were created in the 18th century in a Portugal monastery and the recipe was sold to a shop, The Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém which is still operating and serving its own secret recipe.
Wherever you go in Lisbon you can pick them up for around a Euro from bakeries or stalls. Throughout Portugal, you can find them and if you’re visiting one of the resorts in the Algarve they often serve them up for breakfast, dusted with the traditional cinnamon topping.
Russia Street Food: Omul
Submitted by Sarah, A Social Nomad
There aren’t many streets in Listyvanka, Siberia however on the shores of Russia’s deepest lake Baikal, you’ll find some of the most Moorish street food around. This town used to be on the Trans Siberian railway, but now is usually only visited by those wanting to travel on the Circum Baikal Railway. The lake is home to a small white fish from the salmon family called “Omul“. It is considered primary fare for those living here, but in the rest of Russia, it’s considered a delicacy and expensive. Here you can pick it up for only a few roubles.
As you wander this small town you’ll notice the smokers preparing Omul. It is salty, smoky, and also sweet at the same time. One purchase of this Siberian street food won’t be enough!
Scotland Street Food: Haggis Supper
Submitted by Allan, Bangorni
The U.K. is not best known for its street food, partly due to rubbish weather, and people being reluctant to eat out on the street. With that said, if there is a standout British street food it would have to be found at the local chip shops; and when it comes to ‘chippies’, Scotland is hands-down unbeatable. They batter pretty much anything. And the same goes for the staple of traditional Scottish food, the haggis, which is battered, deep-fried, and sold alongside chips as a ‘haggis supper’ in Scotland.
For those new to haggis, it’s a savory pudding, a bit like a fat meat sausage. It is made from a mix of some potentially off-putting meats including the heart, lungs, and liver of the sheep. Traditionally haggis would also have been cooked in a sheep’s stomach, although not so much these days. It is also a peppery and flavorsome staple with other more palatable additions. These might include suet, oatmeal suet, onion, lots of seasoning, and spices. Haggis suppers are found at chippies throughout Scotland and cost around £3-£4 or $3-$4 USD on the menu.
South Korea Street Food: Hotteok
Submitted by Tegan and Alex, Why Not Walk Travel Guides
No visit to Seoul is complete without sampling at least one hotteok. This popular street food is a delicious, piping hot pancake, sold fresh off the griddle all around South Korea. Hotteok can vary flavor-wise but are traditionally filled with a sweet syrup made from chopped nuts, brown sugar, and honey. More modern flavor options include green tea, pizza, and beyond– though you absolutely should try the traditional one at some point!
Hotteok is one of the most ubiquitous street foods in a country famous for its street food, and for good reason. They are made-to-order, from a yeasted dough that was allowed to rise for several hours. They are then filled and fried flat, leading to a slightly caramelized finished product. They are super inexpensive, which is an added bonus! While hotteok is most common in the winter months, you can likely find them in tourist centers in cities like Seoul year-round, such as near the Bukchon Hanok Village area.
Sri Lanka Street Food: Isso Vadai
Submitted by Rai, A Rai of Light
Asia contains some of the best street food from around the world. One firm favorite is the isso vadai found on the island of Sri Lanka. You will usually find a vadai cart in almost every town, usually near the train station or bars. They are also a favorite among locals and often seen as a go-to afterwork snack.
These spicy lentil cakes are deep-fried with three whole shrimp (with heads intact) on top. Even though it may not be the healthiest or most hygienic of street foods, isso vadai are crunchy, delicious, and cheap. The price will depend on its size and type, but they usually go for around Rs. 50/ $0.60 USD in most places. Although this “weird” food is not so great to look at, they are strangely addictive and something you have to try.
Taiwan Street Food: Bao Bing
Submitted by Dia Mariano, How She Wanders
Taiwanese shaved ice (often called Bao Bing) is a popular dessert in Taiwan. You can easily find it being sold by street vendors at numerous night markets across Taipei especially during scorching summer months. Bao Bing will be your saving grace in that humidity as nothing is more refreshing than this frozen sweet goodness! Snow-like sweetened shaved ice that melts in your mouth garnished with fresh fruits such as mangoes, lychee, and strawberries, this dessert is delightfully refreshing! It is creamy, soft, and not overly sweet. You can even top it with condensed milk, chocolate syrup, or even ice cream.
A bowl of Bao Bing typically costs 60-180 NTD / 2-6 USD, and is often served in heaping portions, thus, good for sharing. Such a steal for its price! Taiwan’s exciting street food scene is indeed one of the best you’ll experience in Asia, and a satisfying bowl of Bao Bing is a prerequisite to complete that experience.
Tanzania Street Food: Zanzibar Pizza
(Our own recommendation)
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 crêpe 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 crêpe, 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 pizza with sweets including Snickers bars, Nutella, and banana.”
Turkey Street Food: Simit
Submitted by Corinne Vail, Reflections Enroute
Simit, is a ring of dough most often covered with sesame seeds. It’s all at once crunchy, with a little soft doughy texture in the middle, topped off with nutty sesame seeds. It’s super yum. Turkish people eat them all day, but especially for a quick breakfast. They’re sold on many street corners or in bakeries, but most often a baker will pile up his simits on a tray and carry them through the streets on his head selling them as he walks. It is the ultimate Turkish street food, and is the perfect way to ward away the “hangries.” The best thing about trying a simit is its cost. It will only cost you about 20 cents to try this ubiquitous Turkish roll.
Vietnam Street Food: Bánh mì
Submitted by Antoine and Marielle, Offbeat Escapades
Living as Digital Nomads in Vietnam, Antoine and Marielle of Offbeat Escapades developed a morning ritual that involves visiting the street side vendors next door, ordering a Bánh mì sandwich, and watching the bustling streets of cities like Saigon go by.
Bánh mì is as iconic as the streets of Vietnam can be. Finding its origins in the French colonial era, the Vietnamese sandwich can be found literally everywhere. Various recipes exist, but it usually consists of an airy baguette with grilled meat or paté, mayonnaise, a fresh scoop of cilantro, carrots, cucumber, and spicy chili. You can see it as a breakfast ritual, when dozens of motorbikes in Vietnam stand by on the sidewalk to grab their Bánh mì from a cart before their day starts. The Bánh mì is usually wrapped in a newspaper with a rubber band and costs about 20,000 Vietnamese Dong, which is less than USD $1. Though it’s more of a breakfast street food, it’s also great for those late night cravings or as an afternoon snack as the street vendors sell them all day long.
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